Director: Adam Robitel
Run Time: 1h 43m
There’s nothing so terrifying as going home.
Before Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) was battling demons in the Insidious franchise, she was a young girl with a dark past. Elise (Ava Kolker) had an abusive father who was afraid of her abilities. Her mother did the best to support Elise but when tragedy tore them apart, it was too much for the family to forgive. She left that house with no intention of ever returning. Until she gets a cry for help. 50 years later, the new resident of Elise’s childhood house is experiencing something paranormal. Of course Elise resists for five seconds before giving in. Comedic/tech-savvy duo Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) join her on the most personal case she’s had yet. A demonic spirit with the keys has all the power and he won’t be locked away so easily.
If there’s one thing the world didn’t ask for, it’s more Insidious movies. Chapter 3 was pretty terrible. Somehow this managed to be slightly worse. Lin Shaye was previously the best thing these films had going for them. However, she managed to become the worst in her own origin story. Her acting was terrible. It was like she was reading her lines off of cue cards. And her sidekicks are caricatures of themselves in this one. Their original purpose was to provide a bit of humor in an otherwise dark franchise. Now they’re just delivering the worst jokes possible — without punch lines — expecting us to still love them. Sorry, but no. There are other actors playing other roles too, but their screen time is minor and they serve little purpose to the plot. Except the mom because “Martha!” (BvS reference, if you must know. Apparently moms fix everything in Hollywood now.)
Speaking of plot, this one had potential! Like…ACTUAL potential. Elise’s story was interesting on its own. There were revelations to be had — of both past and future — that were actually intelligent. But it was all packaged up in the worst way. They cheapened the delivery with sub-par acting and predictable jump scares.
Oh yes. The Last Key is 99% jump scares. There were exactly two instances where something appeared in passing that vanished when the camera swept by a second time. I love that kind of subtle unease. Like, “Wait, wasn’t there just a…something?” Makes you second-guess what you’re seeing, but in a good way. Wonder about the truth and the context of the horror we are witnessing. Instead this movie just made me wonder why I wasted my time. The first Insidious actually had a lot more of the good wonder. Not a ton, but more than most horror films give you. Unfortunately The Last Key got lazy and decided not to care. Jump scares all around!
Now, something stupid that bothers me that is of no consequence to anything: the key demon is credited as “KeyFace.” KeyFace!? First of all, his face had zero keys. The keys were on his fingers. But I guess KeyFingers had a more risqué connotation? Second, I really want Rocket Raccoon to meet KeyFace like he did TaserFace. Even if it was just the one scene for 90 minutes, it would have been better than this. Because it’s such a stupid name! (Sorry, moving on.)
The only thing this movie did well was the opening. When we are introduced to young Elise, she is very nonchalant about ghosts and death. After she and her younger brother go to bed one night, she encounters what she believes to be a ghost. Of course that’s not exactly true. I really enjoyed that scene in particular. So that, coupled with the two smart horror attempts, made this movie slightly better than a total loss.
Honestly, you could skip this one. It’s nothing special, nor is it remotely original. Or scary.
Seriously, just watch Ghost Adventures. It’s funny as hell if you’re not into this stuff. Or it’s pretty creepy if you’re a believer.