Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Lin Shaye – Elise Rainier
Angus Sampson – Tucker
Hana Hayes – Teenage Elise Rainier
Bruce Davison – Christian Rainier
Spencer Locke – Melissa
Caitlin Gerard – Imogen
Leigh Whannell – Specs
Josh Stewart – Gerald Rainier
That’s it. I firmly believe Insidious: The Last Key was the final deciding factor in bringing the franchise to an end. It certainly brought my enjoyment to an end. Not only does this movie converge around the timelines of its lead characters (therefore leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination and using up every possible avenue for story), but it squeezes every last drop of surprise out of the plot until it’s as dry as Theresa May’s hoo-har. This is a movie taken too far; an idea which seems to have spiralled from a modern ghost story powered by juicy jumps and frights, to the tale of a tired old lady (Shaye) and her vow to stop ghost hunting. Then give it one more go. Then stop. Then do it one more time, before offically stopping.
And then something happens which inspires her to begin again.
It’s really not intriguing in the slightest and far from entertaining watching the movie’s lead hop between jobs with the story of Insidious as a whole turning into a documentation of a psychic’s career turmoil. The plot and its characters become just a backing for this. And its the third film that is the base for this crap too. But just as I started to grow tired of these movies, Insidious: The Last Key brought something worse. This instalment takes the viewer back to Elise’s childhood days when the young girl starts her spiritual journey. Viewers get Elise as a young girl. A teenager. A young woman. An older woman.. it’s like a televised photo album. But I wouldn’t have minded if any of this story involved frights. On the absolute contrary, viewers are ‘treated’ to moments of diluted tension.
Elise hears a noise.
Walks over to the bed.
Slowly lifts up the duvet which hangs over the side..
..lowers herself to the floor, looks under the bed..
..and finds an item that was lost years before.
Nothing else there.
Nothing else happens.
Insidious: The Last Key also breaks off into a story of family woes and quickly becomes less about ghostly visits and paranormal investigation. In fact, it becomes more about domestic abuse. Sound strange? That’s what you get I’m afraid; the physical and emotional abuse inflicted upon a young Elise, her mother and brother. A good chunk of the movie shows an aggressive father swaggering about the place, hitting and whipping his relations. It’s not great. And by the end of it, I was ready to run. This feeling certainly wasn’t helped by the worst duo I have ever seen on screen:
Sampson and Whannell play Elise’s investigative sidekicks Specs and Tucker. I think I’ve written about them in each Insidious review I’ve written, so I’ll make this brief:
They are irritating, almost completely irrelevant and offer absolutely nothing to the movie in terms of energy or entertainment. Sampson seems to be more irritating than Whannell, to look at as well as his delivery of very flat (not funny) dialogue. And this isn’t just from my point of view; I noticed hardly any of the audience in the cinema reacting to his ridiculous wisecracks. Awkward silences followed certain things he said. These two men destroy the entire sinister atmosphere the Insidious movies create. The director clearly wanted comic relief but this should have been left to Shaye, rather than two actors whose talents are obviously confused. The woman can actually deliver comedy moments herself without these failed idiots. Christ only knows where they came from – or why the producer thought them ‘talented’ enough to put in a movie needing strong performers. But here they were, offering one-liners so spectacularly eye-rolling that sitting there in the cinema I must have been the human example of the well-known phrase, ‘eyes in the back of your head’. I hated every second Specs and Tucker were on screen, especially as their stupid antics took away any feeling of horror or intrigue. Not good. Terribly mis-cast.
Insidious: The Last Key has to be the final one, it has to. They cannot keep dragging it on and on. The producers have stretched the concept out so tightly that it has practically snapped, and down came the story at the same time. Whatever viewers gained from the first and second movies is practically non-existant now; the horrifying demons and brilliant jumpy moments, the exploration of the afterlife, likeable characters caught up in gripping situations.. all those sinister elements used as the structure to build Insidious on have gone. And the modern twist on a haunted house story has vanished, being replaced with a dull tale of family life instead.
There are of course one or two freaky moments, but nowhere near the scale of the previous movies. Remember years back, watching that black and red-faced demon sharpen his nails to the sound of Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe Through The Tulips? Remember the devilishly sinister atmosphere it created? And the supernatural mystery of the Lambert residence as little Dalton and his father ran through the parallel afterlife?
You get none of that here, and I strongly suggest leaving the Insidious series at the second movie. Enjoy those first two and pretend the third onwards do not exist, because something has gone tits-up which is proven by this most recent and terribly uneventful instalment. You can leave this movie in the Further, I wouldn’t watch it again if you paid me.
Avoid at all costs if you enjoy horror movies.