I am a huge fan of the Insidious franchise. The first film is high up my list of all-time favourite cinema experiences and although the second instalment had some issues it was still great fun. When the prequel was announced I was sceptical as I thought that it was the performances of the lovely Rose Byrne and the even lovelier Patrick Wilson that made the Insidious films so good. The trailer looked fine and by the time opening weekend rolled around I was excited to see it.
PLOT: After trying to make contact with her late mother Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) is left seriously injured in a seemingly unrelated accident. While she is at home recuperating Quinn is stalked by a ghost and it is up to Elise (Lin Shaye) to slay her own demons and save Quinn. END PLOT
The plot feels very much like the plot of an Insidious film and although it had the potential to be rehash of the haunting of the Lambert family Insidious: Chapter 3 manages to make the familiar appear refreshing. The main reason for this is because Insidious: Chapter 3 manages to hold the tension very well and although the payoff was always a jump scare they were earned. My eyes were constantly looking around the characters to try and second guess were the scare would come from which is considered a win in my book.
Gone are the Lambert family but Lin Shaye and the always entertaining double act of Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson return. I thought the film would miss the Lamberts but watching Elise, Specs and Tucker team up for the first time made me realise how much I love these characters. This bodes well for further insidious hauntings.
Having spent the first two films following the Lambert family I couldn’t help but feel that the Brenners were a bit bland. The dead mother, stressed father, annoying little brother who only seemed to be of concern to his family when he was late for breakfast and the put upon teenage daughter with hilarious aspirations of being a stage actress were all a bit paint by numbers. Stefanie Scott and Dermot Mulroney do a fine job looking wide-eyed while panting heavily but their characters were probably the weakest part of the film.
This is the first of the Insidious film not to be directed by the brilliant James Wan but to be honest you really can’t tell. Leigh Whannell’s directorial debut has been a success and is actually an improvement on Insidious 2 which was hampered by the inclusion of the time-travelling element. Insidious: Chapter 3 had some genuinely creepy moments and is well worth a look in the cinema to get the full benefit of the jump scares. It gets 8/10. If we were to tiptoe through the tulips one more time I would not be unhappy.