Friday, 20 November 2015

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015): Review

Insidious: Chapter 3 is a 2015 supernatural horror prequel. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, (Saw, Insidious) the film stars Stefanie Scott, Dermot Mulroney (Stoker) and Lin Shaye (Insidious, Dead End). Although Whannell has written many of James Wan's films, this is his directorial debut.

 Occurring before the events of the first film, Chapter 3 follows the entire new family of Quinn (Scott), her father (Mulroney) and younger brother. Grieving after the death of her mother Quinn reaches out to Elise (Shaye), currently a retired psychic, to help her contact the spirit of her dead mother who she has been seeing. However, it soon becomes clear that the spirit haunting Quinn is not her mother and Elise must enlist the services of Specs (Whannell) and Tucker and journey into the further to exercise Quinn's demons as well as a few of her own.

What do you do when you run out of ideas for a horror sequel?...You make a prequel of course! This has happened with so many other horror franchises so it's only fitting that it would happen to Insidious, a series which borrows so heavily from other movies. The fact that I didn't even realise this was a prequel until the penultimate scene just goes to show what a dull and unimaginative film this is and, much like the Paranormal Activity series, is driven forward by it's profitability rather than it's narrative.

In all fairness to Whannell, he does a good job of stepping into Wan's shoes and is able to continue the distinctive visual style of the series. There's also some good writing hidden amongst the nonsense, particularly the sub plot involving Quinn's difficulty in coming to terms with her mother's death. "The further" is still an interesting concept to explore visually and the "oxygen mask demon" is a worthy successor to the iconic antagonists of the first film but it's very clear that Whanell got all his exposition into the first film and there's no plot left to weave.

Not nearly as ludicrous as Chapter 2 but twice as dull, the Insidious franchise has most certainly run out of steam. Whanell is better than this and Patrick Wilson has already been transplanted over to the Conjuring franchise, which has a sequel on the way and seems like the more logical option for a franchise. A few scares, some cool visuals but a wholly unnecessary prequel (as many are) that won't leave much of an impression.

*** 3 Stars

What did you think of Insidious? Do you think this was an unnecessary installment?


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