Insidious: The Last Key

Director: Adam Robitel
Screenplay: Leigh Whannell
Production companies: Blumhouse Productions, Entertainment One, Stage 6 Films
Producers: James Wan, Oren Peli, Jason Blum

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I’m a fan of the series and I’ve noticed that we have come to a very interesting part of the franchise.

As a kid I loved horror movies. Every time my family would go out to rent a movie, I would run to the back to where they kept all the gruesome horro film VHS boxart. I watched the original Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Sleepaway Camp and dozens of other franchises when as I was growing up and this somewhat stemmed into horror being my genre of film choice as an adult.

One particular aspect of all these movies that I didn’t get to really view with matured perspective was how they were *all franchised.* Everything horror movie became shlock and turned into a property (as they do) and inevitably they either go off the rails or bend to the tropes they tried to defy.

**Insidious is one of these now.** I think its worth discussing as we are at the midway point. It hasn’t yet been run into the ground with sequels but it also starting to show that sequential production companies and directors don’t understand what made the first two great.

If you have seen the third movie then you know what I mean. Chapter 2 and 1 have a very surrealist vibe to them heading towards the third act. Chapter 1 has very few startling moments and is almost entirely atmosphere and tension. Chapter 2 has less of it but ultimately does improve on the established lore that existed in the first film while remaining frightening. It keeps the spooks at a high but doesn’t stop aspects of what we discovered about or villain (in this case its the residents of The Further and the Black Bride) in the first film. *Its a good sequel.*

The first problem with Chapter 3 is that it isn’t a true third act to the series. Its a prequel. While Elise was an engaging supporting character she wasn’t what made the first two great. It was the performances of Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrn. Chapter 1 it was really about a mother at the end of rope. Her family breaking down around her, a husband that avoids confrontation and looming threat of an ethereal intruder that she cannot break. You can feel this in so many scenes. We care about this character. In Chapter 3 this isn’t the case. We don’t see any grief or logically reasoning behind any of her decisions. We can excuse irrational thought, in Chapter 3, the main character decides to try and contact her deceased mother even after Elise (admitting to her that she drove very far for her council) advised her to *not* seek contact. This and a plethora of unlikable cast members, startling scares caused by loud noises and the typical “Blumhouse F**k-You-Its-Halloween” horror movie plot just absolutely liquefies Chapter 3 compared to its predecessors.

You can really tell by how much they plaster James Wan’s name on the title cards that they don’t feel they can emulate what he created without him.

Just my 2 pennies.

 

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