Written by J. Weagle
This is how you die.
The original Insidious was a great horror film with an intriguing premise. Insidious: Chapter 3 attempts to jump back in time a few years and tell the origin story and explain how everything came to be. Unfortunately however it plays out like being in one of those cheap haunted houses where every few steps you take a monster jumps out and says boo.
Chapter 3 is a prequel set before the original haunting of the Lambert family that attempts to reveal how the dream warrior Elise Rainer got back into the game of demon-busting thanks to a very unlucky teenage girl who tries contacting her dead mother but gets a dangerous entity instead. The girl is hit by a car and spends the rest of the movie alone in her bedroom, unable to walk and taunted by this entity.
The problems start early with Insidious: Chapter 3 thanks to what I thought was the weakest script in the series so far. Perhaps the most disappointing thing about it however is just how unnecessary it feels. It attempts to give us an origin story but none of the events in the film really seem to mean anything, and thanks to it being a prequel (and we know that characters survive) all of the threat is removed from the film. Also we get no backstory or history to anything that happened in this movie, making it seem like now we need a prequel to the prequel to fully understand what the hell is happening in this movie as the plot is so paper thin it’s almost nonexistent.
The second major issue is that aside from one scene in particular Insidious: Chapter 3 isn’t that scary. The jump scares become tiresome quickly and a lot of them become predictable and over the top bringing no real sense of dread. Perhaps this has always been the Insidious series weak point, in that the films topple over into unbelievability a bit too far. Over the course of three films they’ve managed to make Elise a complete badass, which is fine. I have no issues with badass characters in horror movies, they just don’t work in the type of movie Chapter 3 is attempting to be and left me laughing at the end.
Somewhere in Insidious: Chapter 3 there is a good movie, but the one Leigh Whannell delivered is not it. At times I got hints of early Nightmare on Elmstreet and in those moments the film clicked but the second half became a tedious game of how many times can we jump out and scare you followed by a few one liners. Usually I’d say there is probably something here for the die hard fans of the series but in this case I think it is okay to skip Chapter 3, as it adds no real value to the overall story and in terms of scares is the weakest of the bunch.