Director: Leigh Whannell
Run Time: 1h 37m
Insidious: Chapter 3 is the prequel that didn’t need to happen.
Apparently before Elise Rainier (Lin Shayne) was the badass psychic who helped the Lambert family from Insidious, she was the quiet recluse who refused to use her gift at all…mostly. When Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) initially visits her, Elise explains she doesn’t “do that anymore”. It’s not until Quinn explains she’s trying to contact her deceased mother that Elise tries to summon Lily Brenner’s spirit. But a dark entity who wants Elise dead gets in the way and the session ends. Elise warns Quinn not to try to contact Lily on her own because all the dead can hear her. Cut to the very next scene of Quinn calling out to her mom. Good job, Quinn!
Quinn lives with her father, Sean (Dermot Mulroney), and younger brother, Alex (Tate Berney), in the city’s creepiest apartment building. Sean will become Quinn’s only chance of survival, and Alex is only there to introduce ghost-fighting duo Tucker and Specs (Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell). There’s unnecessary tension between Quinn and Sean because he “needs her help raising Alex” while she just needs time to “focus on her future” (which happens to be acting). First world problems.
Quinn starts seeing this creepy man in a hospital gown waving at her. One night she stops and stares at him in the middle of the street when she is hit by a car. Let me pause here for a second. The car that hits Quinn is the only car to pass by her and her friend, Maggie, the entire time they are talking on the curb. It was also going way too fast to be driving down a side street. It had to be going fast enough to dramatically fling Quinn and break both her legs to add suspense for the remainder of the film, but truth be told the driver had plenty of time to stop. The headlights were obviously on, the street wasn’t that dark, and Quinn had been standing there for at least a few moments. Even if the car had hit her, it should’ve had enough time to slam on the breaks well before making contact. But accuracy is boring I guess.
So Quinn has two broken legs and is bedridden for a good while, giving her new ghost stalker plenty of opportunities to torment her. The haunting grows increasingly more severe. She’s thrown from her bed, and is even taken upstairs to the deserted apartment above them–where all the strange noises have been coming from. Needless to say, Elise is called back in a couple times, but it’s not until she teams up with Tucker and Specs that they are able to attack demon.
The only thing I appreciated about this movie is not unique or original, but at least it gave some depth to an otherwise flat film. The things that happen to Quinn actually happen. When she has strange dreams about being somewhere else, she is really in that place. For example, when she is brought upstairs in a dream that’s where her dad finds her. I’m glad it wasn’t all mental traveling and nightmares. It doesn’t make this a good movie, but it’s a good effort.
Everything else about Insidious 3 was laughable. The acting was right on par with B-rated horror films. Besides Lin Shayne, the only other talent came from actor/writer/director Leigh Whannell. The man was performing three jobs at once and still had time to make his performance watchable. Most of the jump scenes were descent, but were reminiscent of a funhouse attraction. And that’s the only kind of scare tactics this film had: jump scenes. There was no slow creep or dread. Just pop-out-from-off-screen scares. It gets old.
The premise of this film being a sequel wasn’t necessary either. This plot could’ve taken place anytime. The only pieces that fit together to lead in to Insidious was the fact that Elise met the guys at the end, and the bride in black character. The bride is the evil entity keeping Elise from using her gift, so this movie shows how she overcame that. Congratulations, but whatever.
Insidious 3 didn’t live up to the scares of the original, or even Insidious 2 for that matter. And that sequel sucked. If jump scenes are your thing, then Redbox this one. Maybe you will be more impressed than I was.