Insidious: Chapter 3 is a Supernatural Horror film directed, starring and written by Leigh Whannell, the film is the third instalment of the insidious series, serving as a prequel to the other two Insidious films. The film sees the return of the old team including James Wan, Oren Peli and others all having a role behind the scenes. This chapter follows a family that recent lost its mother, the family includes the father, Sean Brenner (Dermot Mulroney), daughter, Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) and younger brother, Alex Brenner (Tate Berney).
Quinn struggling with the loss of her mother, Lilith Brenner (Ele Keats), decides to seek out help to communicate with her. This leads to Quinn coming across a retired Elise Rainer (Lin Shayne) that has given up communicating with the dead and reaching out to the ‘further.’ After hearing Quinn’s story she decides to attempt communicating with Lilith and this leads to Elise abruptly stopping the process and warning Quinn about reaching out to the dead.
The film assists in developing Elise’s character and story which has positives and negatives, it’s successful in adding some new dimensions to her character however it takes away from the story that is unfolding, throughout the film the other characters in it become irrelevant. Additionally Elise is dead in real time, which poses the question why is this series not moving forward, it seems as if the team realised that the best character from the original film was Elise and are now doing anything they can to keep that character involved. The concerning thing is that Whannell has expressed his desire to explore more stories between this instalment and the first film.
Regardless of those negatives the film does deliver on some aspects, as always when I watch a James Wan film, the cinematography is fantastic, whether this is due to all of his cinematographers being great or his direction, it’s brilliant and I would feel confident saying he had an influence on it despite not directing this particular film.
What Insidious: Chapter 3 does well (mostly) is link and tie things together, whilst developing Elise, the films shows the origin of Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell) the two internet fake ghost hunters, well at least they are until they meet Elsie. The audience also get to the see the start of the Elise’s clash with the Parker Crane/Bride in Black (Tom Fitzpatrick), where Elise is told that her life will be ended by the Bride in Black. One attempt at a link that wasn’t needed (or fitted with the continuity of the film) was the appearance of Darth Maul, known as the lipstick faced demon outside of the Star Wars films, which fails to link due to the fact that originally the demon was haunting Dalton (Ty Simpkins), which is in the future of this third instalment.
In terms of how scary this third instalment is, the majority of the film relies on cheap jump scares to entertain the audience with little tension building compared to the other Insidious films. In the horror genre it is vital to have a scary main figure, Insidious: Chapter 3 has this, arguably better than the first film, the man who can’t breathe (Michael Reid MacKay) is fantastic and is the only aspect of this film to provide some creepiness and fear.
Overall Insidious: Chapter 3 is a solid all around film, characters making up for an irrelevant story that was designed to develop previously known characters. Good cinematography makes up for the rushed jump scares and little suspense by providing shock with the angles and movements of the camera. Elise continues to be an interesting and pleasant character whilst also kicking butt at the same time, Specs and Tucker take a smaller role this time around and I felt the film lacked their humour at times which is why this is arguably the weakest of the three films so far. If there is too be future films it would be more interesting to have Elise as a ghost (like at the end of Chapter 2) and Specs and Tucker having a larger role with her assisting in solving the hauntings.