Main cast: Lin Shaye (Elise Rainier), Stefanie Scott (Quinn Brenner), Dermot Mulroney (Sean Brenner), Leigh Whannell (Specs), and Angus Sampson (Tucker)
Director: Leigh Whannell
Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel. There’s no mistaking that it is, as Elise Rainier is well and alive in this one. Basically, this one explains how Elise gets into business with Specs and Tucker while also showing how she gets her groove back after complaining repeatedly that she is no longer cut out for the hello, dead people business. The catalyst for all this is a teenager, Quinn Brenner, being attacked by a demon – something she accidentally unleashed on herself as a result of her own attempts to communicate with the spirit of her late mother.
This movie is a good example of why I generally stay away from “big time” horror movie these days, preferring low budget ones as I believe that “big time” horror movies no longer have anything interesting to say or show. At least, with low budget flicks, there are occasional new ideas or, at the very least, clumsy but genuinely scary moments. Insidious: Chapter 3, like other horror movies aimed at the big screen, relies heavily on CGI that is often too clean, too polished to be even a little scary. And there is a lot of CGI here.
Worse, the movie relies on really tired tricks. Oh, a camera pans slowly across a room – come to think of it, the camera always moves at a painfully slow pace – and then, ooh, a monster’s face! Since people may not be scared enough at that moment, every scary moment is accompanied by a painfully loud sound. Monster – CRASH! Ooh, a door opens – BA-BA-BOOM! Half an hour in, this annoying reliance of slow camera work interrupted by abrupt loud sounds becomes tedious and predictable. Even the monsters and the people start to do stupid things to facilitate this slow-motion LOOK, A SCARY SOUND THUMP CRASH CRASH WOO ARE YOU SCARED YET! BA-DA-BOOM! nonsense.
So, Quinn believes that yes, it really is her mother breathing heavily down at her through the air vent in her room, so of course she slowly climbs up to peer into the vent. BOOM! Scary! The monster decides to attack Quinn, so he jumps out and runs into small tight spaces so that everyone can – again – slowly, painfully slowly move to peer into those spaces. These people are all stupid. Who on earth believes that a spirit would communicate through heavy breathing and weird taps on the wall? And what kind of low rent demon has to haunt people by hiding in air vents? That’s so pathetic.
And, as usual, despite repeated demonic attacks, Quinn’s father still leaves her alone for the first half the movie. Oh, Quinn has both her legs and her neck in cast, and she manages to fling herself out of her wheelchair into a room one floor above. But is Quinn really sure that the whole thing isn’t a nightmare? Yes, that kind of idiocy. Oh, and dear Elise, who knows that a ghost is trying to kill her, so she walks around the place without taking any precautionary measures or anything like that.
The “story” is nothing more than just one-dimensional stereotypes at work. It’s actually a good thing that Specs and Tucker show up in the second half or so to provide some comic relief, as everything else is slow-motion cliché in action. Every thing that comes out of every character’s mouth is tired and boring. I’m still not sure how the last half hour manages to morph into some weird angels and purity and love banish evil nonsense, but by that stage, my brain is numbed from the relentless stupidity.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is nothing more than a tired boring played-out excuse to make more money out of this franchise in the most dreary by-the-numbers way. You may want to watch this anyway if you have already watched the previous two movies, but I’d suggest waiting until it’s available for rental or at a lower cost through less legal means. It’s really not worth the price of a movie ticket. But don’t tell me I didn’t warn you that this movie is an utter waste of time.