Insidious: Chapter 3

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Insidious: Chapter 3

The Insidious movies are about as basic a horror movie as you can get: someone messes around with ghosts, they get possessed, then it’s exorcism time. The only real twist across the three films is that the exorcism stage involves people actually travelling into the spirit realm to rescue the possessed person’s soul, which is why this is a prequel – psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) died in Chapter 2 and without her there’s nothing to distinguish this series from, say, The Conjuring (made by the same team of James Wan and Leigh Whannell).
This time around teenager Quinn (Stefanie Scott) is the one dabbling with the occult – well, she’s just saying “is that you mum?” a lot in the hope that her recently dead mum is watching over her. Unfortunately, as Elise points out in the opening scene, when you call out to one of the dead all of them can hear, and her creepy old apartment building has a ghost lurking in the ducts that’s looking for someone to play with.
It’s all largely by the numbers stuff here scare-wise, though there is at least one quality shock development and director Whannell (Saw, numerous other horror films) does a better-than-usual job at making the creepy moments actually creepy. Scott does a decent enough job here, especially early on, while Dermot Mulroney as the dad is somewhat less than engaged, and Whannell and Angus Sampson’s return to reveal the origin of their low-rent Ghostbusters act is as good as you’d expect considering by the time they arrive on-screen the film is already ramping up for the big spooky trip to the other side of the grave. There are enough of these films going around at the moment that you only really need to see one or two in a lifetime; if this isn’t your first, it’ll probably be your last.