Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Insidious: Chapter 3

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A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

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Cast

Lin Shaye – Elise Rainier

Stefanie Scott – Quinn Brenner

Dermot Mulroney – Sean Brenner

Ele Keats – Lillith Brenner

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Bored

Insidious: Chapter 3 was nothing like the previous two installments. In fact, I got bored somewhere near the beginning – and continued being bored throughout. Firstly, its plot was a slow burner; young girl living with father and brother who desperately wants to contact her deceased mother. Although the story kicks off soon into the movie, its build up is painfully slow. Sitting watching Insidious: Chapter 3 was like watching any other American drama, where a teenager and her father spend most of their time channelling their pain into arguments at breakfast time – with the younger sibling popping into the kitchen halfway through to grab a bagel, before walking out shaking his head. It wasn’t enjoyable at all, and I hoped it would deliver the scares I was expecting sooner rather than later..

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Of course, the scares did come – but mainly in the form of cracks appearing on Quinn’s bedroom ceiling. Sounds random, but is true unfortunately. After the lead character is involved in an accident and left housebound, she spends a lot of time laying in bed or on the sofa. And quite literally all that happens are cracks making their way across the ceiling, and a few noises from the apartment above. I think there were two moments involving ‘the dead’ that made me jump during the entire movie, which left me very disappointed considering how brilliantly jumpy some of the scenes in chapters 1 and 2 were. Insidious: Chapter 3 is very tame compared to those, radiating an atmosphere of drama rather than horror.

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Exit Elise

What I found most irritating about this movie was the fact it’s main protagonist seemed to fade in and out. Elise is the striking element of this franchise; brought to life brilliantly by Lin Shaye. The actress plays her superbly, using her off-the-wall characteristics to deliver a character who makes it enjoyable to be scared. For example, each movie sees her blend funny situations and dialogue with total terror. Slightly creepy, Lin is talented enough to be able to come across as scary herself, whilst maintaining a solid ‘safe grandmother’ style personality. Whenever I sit watching the actress cackle her way through a script, I shudder slightly at her witchy vibe. She’s great to watch, a bloody nutter – but excellent at delivering a captivating character.

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..hence my surprise at her stage exits during Insidious Chapter 3. She first appears when Quinn goes knocking at her door. I was pleased at her reappearance as Elise – great. After a short scene, it was back to Quinn and her father.

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 21.04.25This continued for a while, to the point of me wondering when the movie’s dynamite would return – and she did. Which was enjoyable again.

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Then she was gone. Back to Quinn and her father, battling strange going’s-on in their apartment and lengthy scenes involving their neighbours and the apartment owner.

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And then back to Elise, who then resurfaces to pull the movie together and steamroll her way towards the finale, where she tries to save Quinn from dying.

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By the time Elise’s main final scenes hit the screen, I already had my arms folded. I was bored. Insidious: Chapter 3 seemed to center around the girl and her father – fair enough, they were the main characters involved in a haunting. The only problem was, it wasn’t scary enough. Wasn’t freaky enough. The scenes between Scott and Mulroney were that of a soap opera you’d find on the Hallmark Channel at 7 o’clock in the evening. Bickering father and child, she missed ‘mom’, other sibling wandering around in the background being ignored, etc. Oh, there were parts during scenes which made the audience jump of course – but the way in which the movie was playing out didn’t match the jumpy bits. Like watching Two and A Half Men with doors slamming shut randomly.

Elise’s absence during much of the movie disappointed me. It needed her to be consistent, but used her sporadically.

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Poor thing.

Jump

Where there were jumps, the jumps were good. One actually made my arm fly out in front of me slightly, it was enjoyable. And during the scene where Quinn hears something in her bedroom and performs the classic stupid ‘slowly check under the bed’ thing, I sat there squinting vocalising my tension in bursts of, “ohhh…no. No, no, no..”

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 21.07.09 But like I’ve mentioned, this one isn’t as scary / freaky as the others – it is very tame. Tame to the point of the deceased man haunting Quinn actually holding her in his arms, stroking her hair softly like a loving parent during one scene. Perhaps the director thought, “wow. Creative twist here where the demon displays slight emotion – something the audience did not expect!”

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..didn’t have much effect really.

On the contrary, it was just plain boring; wind blowing things around the room, objects falling over, people screaming..

..and then Quinn sitting on the floor being ‘petted’ by the undead gentleman who is well within his rights to be scaring the shit out of her. Talk about an anticlimax. And not to be picky, but –

..okay, I’ll be picky.

The dead seemed very alive during the movie. Unlike Insidious and Insidious Chapter 2, the people Elise met as she entered ‘The Further’ were (although acting upset) quite perky. One such woman stood soaking wet, moaning to our protagonist whilst gleaming with either great lighting or great makeup. This diluted the ghostly atmosphere somewhat. Not great.

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Insidious: Chapter 3 wasn’t great. It is one of those movies that just shouldn’t have been made, and its earlier installments left on the shelf as a great first movie and sequel. Instead of delivering the (horror) goods, it focuses more on story – which is a boring one. Following a father and daughter, the movie becomes something of a mystery soap opera with a few jumps thrown in to keep the audience aware it is one of the Insidious films. On the plus side, if you’re (very) easily scared this movie will have an effect – because whilst the scary moments are rare and minimal, Insidious: Chapter 3 delivers a few “WHOA!” moments. It was great to have Lin return to carry the movie, because without her it would have nose-dived spectacularly (into The Further no doubt). The addition of a lesbian best friend of the main character was a bit random, but hey – who doesn’t like a lezzer every now and then?

(except when they have really short hair, wear masculine clothes, and look like men. This is just fucking weird – confuses me at how they manage to get girlfriends; surely the other girl likes girls, not guys – so her girlfriend looking like a guy would mean she’s attracted to men? Strange world). Perhaps I was a little too excited for this third movie, because it wasn’t as great as I’d hoped it would be. You ever done that? – walked into the cinema in anticipation, had your ticket torn in excitement, took a deep breath as the ‘this movie contains scenes of sexy time and a bit of butchered horse’ warning comes up..

..then exited the cinema feeling completely deflated? Welcome to Insidious: Chapter 3. It is nowhere near the level of horror the other two were on, and left me wondering why they had bothered making it. I swear to god though, if there’s an Insidious: Chapter 4 it’d better be good. And I think the only way of that happening is if Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye return to really shake it up.

What a waste of time this was.
Still. Looks like Lin enjoyed herself at the premiere.

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This entry was posted on June 20, 2015 by .
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