Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Film Review: Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)

Insidious: Chapter 3 (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's more of the same from the series..."

Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) visits parapsychologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) in order to contact her deceased mother. To her dismay, she opens the door for a wicked spirit...

Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel to the original film. The film follows Quinn, her father, Sean (Dermot Mulroney), and her younger brother, Alex – like the sibling in the previous films, Alex is in this for two, maybe three scenes. Anyway, Quinn visits Elise in hopes of contacting her recently deceased mother. Elise tries, but she ultimately fails. Before splitting ways, Elise warns Quinn about contacting the dead – don't do it. Of course, Quinn still does it. Quinn goes on about her life, followed by a ghost who can't breathe and worrying about being accepted to a school of theater, then she's hit by a car. From there, the film follows the Insidious formula. Yes, you end up in 'The Further' again. I usually enjoy The Further segments, but these scenes felt a bit underwhelming and cheesy. I wasn't a big fan of the final act.

Insidious: Chapter 3 is about what you'd expect from the series – which can be both good and bad. If you're a fan of jump-scares, this film has plenty of them. These jump-scares aren't as creative as those in the first film, but they are certainly jarring. There's also a bit of suspense, so it's not just loud noise at all times. There are also some creepy visuals here and there, like the scenes where the ghost stands and stares from afar – good stuff. There's a pinch of humor tossed into the mix, too. It's not hilarious, but I chuckled at least once or twice. In terms of horror, though, I did feel like the jump-scares were a little 'cheap' – for lack of a better term. These are the type of scares that often come from unnatural angles in order to surprise and scare. It creates an illusion of horror, though. I suppose you can say that for most jump-scares, but I digress.

Although it can often be an entertaining horror film, Insidious: Chapter 3 also suffers from the usual. In this case, the plot and the characters felt very underdeveloped and disjointed. Throughout the entire film, I felt like large chunks of the plot were missing. It also moved in a very predictable fashion. It felt like I had seen this movie before – but better. The characters, especially the dialogue, felt stiff and awkward. Much like The Visit, you have characters who don't feel real. These are caricatures of people. Several times while watching this film, I said: "No one talks like that." I figured some people might talk like that now, especially with the Twitter/hipster era, but I was teenager when this film took place and I know teenagers didn't act like this. I'm rambling, though. I'll stop.

Stefanie Scott is decent as the leading lady. She didn't dominate the screen with her presence, but she was more than serviceable. Sean Penn Dermot Mulroney and Lin Shaye also deliver great performances. Of course, it's not Insidious without Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell. Hate it or love it, they inject their brand of humor into this film. The film is shot well and the music is creepy. I've always enjoyed the soundtrack in these films. The film is written and directed by Leigh Whannell. Whannell does very well in the direction, using moderate suspense to create effective jump scares. The writing, on the other hand, could use some fine-tuning and a pinch of originality.

Overall, Insidious: Chapter 3 is an entertaining horror film. It's more of the same from the series, though. It's a roller coaster of suspense and jump scares. Unfortunately, the narrative feels like a rehash and the characters feel unnatural. I'm afraid if the series continues with the same formula, we may have another Paranormal Activity in our hands, which would be a shame considering the quality of the first film.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

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