After an impressive debut and a so-so sequel, the third of the Insidious franchise hits DVD and Blu-ray. Serving as a prequel of sorts to its predecessors, this latest instalment brings both a sense of familiarity and freshness with it.
From the get-go, we’re introduced to Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott), a teenage girl who’s at a pivotal point in her adolescence and who is longing to communicate with her deceased mother. Much like Quinn, father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) is also struggling with the situation as he has to juggle the various spinning plates of being a single father whilst grieving for his departed wife. When Quinn’s attempts at contacting the dead result in her being targeted by a dangerous entity, things take a sinister (and dare we say familiar) turn. Desperate for assistance, the help of franchise fave Elise Rainer (genre icon Lin Shaye) is sought out. As Elise struggles with fighting her own demons, the life of young Quinn hangs in the balance as we once again traverse over to The Further as the darkness begins to take hold.
Insidious: Chapter 3 sees Leigh Whannell, writer of the previous two instalments and the series’ Specs (who also appears here, along with Angus Sampson’s Tucker), take over the director’s chair. Despite definitely showing a great deal of promise as a director, Whannell’s directorial debut ends up feeling a little sluggish and ‘been there, done that’ due to its revisiting of many of the familiar franchise and genre tropes that we’ve seen plenty of times before. There’s the booming ‘shock’ score, the dark and gloomy palette, and a whole host of jump scares that, whilst still effective, can’t help but feel like a retreading of old ground.
What is great to see about the third Insidious movie is that Lin Shaye gets to take centre-stage as one of the leads of the film. So often a supporting role in many a horror movie over the years, Shaye gets some much-deserved time to shine in a larger role, and she does wonderfully well with the opportunity to give some more depth and levity to a character who we’ve seen in both of the previous two Insidious films. Similarly, young Stefanie Scott gives an impressive turn as the troubled teen stuck in the middle of the film’s main premise. And then there’s the always welcome inclusion of Specs and Tucker, as we get to take a look at the duo’s earlier days as hosts of a spooky webseries.
With some nice nods to the future (i.e. the two films we’ve already seen) and some welcome glimpses into the backstories of franchise favourites, Insidious: Chapter 3 manages to deliver a decent film with some strong scares, yet certain moments will feel like a haunted trip you’ve already taken one too many times before. As an end to a series of movies, this outing, regardless of how well done particular facets are, certainly feels like the right time to make that final cut, and we certainly look forward to what else is to come from Leigh Whannell in the future.
Special Features: Four featurettes / Making of / Deleted scenes
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: LEIGH WHANNELL / STARRING: STEFANIE SCOTT, DERMOT MULRONEY, LIN SHAYE, ANGUS SAMPSON, LEIGH WHANNELL / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 12TH