Insidious: Chapter 3 (15) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir: Leigh Whannell, US, 2015, 97 mins

Cast: Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Dermot Mulroney, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Tate Berney

Our favourite franchise is back, and this time, it comes in the form of a prequel. Insidious: Chapter 3 is written by, directed by, and starring Leigh Whannell, and presents the question of what can’t this man do.

We go back to (almost) the beginning. Lin Shaye, as we know and love her is back as our favourite medium Elise. She is currently living a little hermit-like, after retiring from the profession. When aspiring actress Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) appears on Elise’s doorstep requiring her help, she appears to be very reluctant, and for a very good reason.

Even though Elise advises her not to, Quinn tries reaching out to her deceased mother again after a shocking accident leaves her recuperating in bed. Even though she starts receiving a response, it’s from a malevolent entity, and he’s not happy. Cue ‘The Man Who Can’t Breathe’.

Sean, Quinn’s father, begs for Elise’s help after a string of events that even he can’t deny are supernatural, and new help Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) tag along for the thrill of the ride.

Insidious: Chapter 3 is yet another bone-breaking, shocking and thrilling movie, which delivers paranormal action and, where needed, comic relief. Nor is it a slow burner. From the moment the movie starts, we see plenty of action.

Scares should be plentiful, but not bunched up in a movie; Insidious: Chapter 3 has a good, if unpredictable pace. Often a viewer would sit there waiting for the scare, when it doesn’t actually come in mediocre horrors. There is a cat and mouse technique between characters, verbally and non-verbally, and the plot is fluid.

The comic relief is a welcome step away from the frights, and removes you as a viewer (that is, if you’re the type to become invested in a movie). Whannell and Sampson play off each others personas, and feature near the beginning of the film as a duo who have their own spooktacular web series. However, after admitting they don’t have any experience with the paranormal, this is one experience they shan’t forget too easily.

There is only a little CGI, which for most horror fans, can be a welcome sigh of relief. Hollywood can get a little OTT, and use it around every dark corner; however it doesn’t feel like it’s thrown in your face.

Finally, in Chapter 3, we do get to see the lead up to Elise’s untimely demise. Being a prequel and showing how Elise blooms into our heroine, we also get to see her biggest fear, and how she links into the Lambert family’s life.

My only problem is that the ending was very open-ended., however a plot twist arrives when you least expect it. Ultimately, I know Whannell did his job right, because the next morning I woke up from an odd dream, featuring The Man Who Can’t Breathe.

Review by Emilia McKay

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