After a quick change of pace, the writer of the first two films takes matters into his own hands and directs the prequel to the original Insidious films in the franchise. The first two films of the series were searching for their very own identity for the most part.
The first film was a slow burn, which decided to put its atmosphere over anything horrifying. However, the second went back to basics and pushed towards a more conventional horror film, which managed to be extremely weak in scaring audiences. However, the third film decides to embrace the trope-based horror even more, yet still remembering all of the things that made the original film so unique.
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The Movie Review
Insidious Chapter 3 is a prequel to the first two chapters in the franchise, meaning that it takes place before the events of the first two films and puts Lin Shaye’s character of Elise Rainier in the front seat again. The protagonist Quinn, is a young girl who wants nothing more than to communicate with her recently deceased mother. She reaches out to a powerful psychic so she can do so, though in doing so she unlocks the gateway to the other side.
A powerful, dangerous and inconceivably chaotic spirit turns Quinn into a host body and feeds on her soul to gain more and more power within the world of the living. Elise Rainier’s visions lead her to the Brenners, and she’s the only one that can help them.
Now, most of you don’t know this, but Leigh Whannell was the writer of the original Insidious films. A lot of the fans were disappointed when they realized that James Wan would not be directing the film, and instead just producing it. However, Leigh Whannell knows and loves the material he was directing and that is very visible within Insidious Chapter 3.
The film takes place before the events of the original and is a completely separate story from that of the Lamberts. This gives the director creative freedom to do whatever he wants, and he does everything to make the experience that much better.
The only aspect of this film that I can’t love is the acting. It chooses to let go of the talented actors such as Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne and gets in a newer cast with minimal experience. However, that’s not to say that the performances are bad by any means, they’re just not at the level you’d expect them to be.
Stefanie Scott as Quinn Brenner and Lin Shaye as the iconic Elise Rainier stand out in the film, delivering pretty great to actually amazing performances in some parts. However, the rest of the cast sadly doesn’t follow much due to lack of experience or just being quite unaware of the characters they’re playing. Dermot Mulroney as Sean Brenner is pretty unlikeable throughout the film, as well as Leigh Whannell and Angus Simpson in supporting roles who stand out like sore thumbs.
The best part by far about this film is its aesthetic, it brings the visionary stylized look from the original Insidious film, and combines it with the dreadfully colorless aspects of the sequel. In doing so, it elevates the overall sequences in which the colorful aesthetics are used and makes them that much more potent.
The cinematography is pretty good as well, with some shots being done masterfully and the lighting being perfectly balanced within the film. Joseph Bishara’s score for Chapter 3 is by far his best work within the Insidious franchise. He creates a somber and emotional score for the sequences which need them while making an orchestral horror soundtrack for the horrifying moments to scare the audiences away.
The Bottom Line
My final verdict for Insidious Chapter 3 is that it is by far the best in the series. It elevates the atmospheric, somber quality of the original and combines it with the jump scares the horror, and the pure dread of the second installment. This is a film that you need to add to your Saturday Horror Film Nights, as it’s not just another horror film to run in the background. This movie deserves your attention, and it does a decent job at keeping it too.