Insidious: Chapter 3 – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

insidious 3Insidious: Chapter 3 – 3/5 – Horror films; what is to say about them.  I have mentioned it many times before (so I’ll keep this prologue short); a horror film sole purpose (outside of everything else that defines it) to scare/creep you out.  This third chapter in the Insidious saga, while not as brooding as the first or creepy as the second, does have enough frights and moments that make it worthy to carry the name.  Insidious: Chapter 3 creates a decent horror experience.

Premise: Where the insidious tale begins, we follow psychic Elise Rainier as she agrees to help a teenage girl who attempted to contact her dead mother.  As a new supernatural entity causes havoc, will Elisa be able to save her, while coming to terms with what will define the Insidious Saga.

There are two storylines present in this film.  The two stories play as much importance as the characters.  In the film, you have some new comers:

Dermot Mulroney as Sean Brenner (father)

Stefanie Scott as Quinn Brenner (Daughter)

And returner:

Lin Shaye as Elisa Rainier

You have a few other characters from the original and some ‘paranormal’ stuff; but the focus is on these three.  As the new comers, Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott do a decent job in created another family dynamic for this saga.  For the added worth, they are as cliché as any other character you find in any horror film.  Even for the caricatures in their one-dimensional appeal, you still feel the terror they are fraught with throughout.  Where the newcomers add some new stuff, the heart of the film is the character Elisa.   Lin Shaye creates a character (as the first two), who is a conduit between both worlds, but the depth comes from why and how she goes about using her gift.  You get to see a deeper aspect of what ‘drives’ her as well as how everything plays in the insidious tale came to be.  With the rest of the cast, it isn’t anything special.  The secondary cast doesn’t take away from the enjoyment, but don’t add a whole lot of dimension to the overall purpose of film.

The direction takes on a two stories approached.  We have both an ‘origin’ and ‘horror’ tale that parallels through the film.   In the beginning, we get introduced to both sequences.  Through the quick setup, we see that Quinn has been trying to contact her dead mother.  This causes some interesting ‘parties’ to latch onto her life force.  This forces her to reach out to Elisa.  Elisa is a form psyche, but has retired from using her gifts to contact the other world.  After a quick setup, the stories diverge in a parallel fashion.  We get to see a depth add to the insidious saga while also playing to the basic heartbeat of a traditional horror within the Brenner story.  We get a very subtle approach, where the ‘ominous’ use of camera movement, sounds and stationary focus on characters draw out the aura of the tone..  This builds up both stories as you see how this new demon/spirit begins to terrorize both Quinn and Elisa.  The film (through the first two acts) starts to show the ‘insidious’ flavor.  This is where it mixes tension and slow burn, creating a very ‘creepy’ present.  Even for the subtle flavors, there is one thing that brings it from being a complete.  The downside is the fact that it is a prequel.  With that aspect, you get an obvious ‘know’ factor with all the elements happening within the story.  This (in turn) causes a predictable hearsay on where and what will happen.  This takes away from some of the enjoyment of the film.  Another aspect that is glaring weakness is the pacing.  With the film’s predictable nature, you have to ‘force’ certain things to happen.  With that, the direction fragments the ‘this will happen’ with the ‘what is happening’ when the origin and horror tales collide.  The offbeat and sometimes ‘odd’ aspect of the terror elements clash with trying to define everything, you start to lose some of the creepy nature of what is horror, causing it to come across campy.  Once the film reaches its third act and climax, it settles down into a ‘one linear’ tale.  This (in turn) creates a sensation that recaptures the brooding and creepy natures of the first two films.  Once we get to the end, you feel like you understand the ‘complete’ Insidious saga, but still have some enjoyment from the original tale that bleeds traditional horror tactics.

The visuals of this film are the ‘bread and butter’ of what made this film stand out.  From the ‘darkly’ lighting to the overall ‘paranormal’ character builds; you get a strong eerie sense of the imaginative world that forms the ‘Insidious’ stories.  Even when the film stays focused on the Brenner’s apartment; it captures the tension and terror that come with any horror film.  The score adds another depth to the horror elements.  With the resound nature of the bass and ‘long’ monotone feel, it adds to the terrifying feels of the film.

Insidious: Chapter 3 may not have a lot of what made the other two great, but it does enough to stand out on its own merits to make it a decent horror film.  With some pacing issues and very obvious predictable beats, there is still fun to be had here.  If you’re a fan of this series or horror films in general, check it out at a matinee.

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