Insidious: Chapter 3
Missing the first two films in a series of horror flicks isn’t anything to worry about. I figured it would be all the horror tropes and clichés we get in all these types of pictures. Imagine my surprise when I actually jumped out of my seat many times. Sure, a lot of those are jump-scares where the volume is cranked so high you can’t help but get frightened.
Since Insidious was well-received in 2010, a second was made. These movies didn’t get as gory as recent horror films had, and didn’t just rely on the “found footage” technique (although this did have a few shaky-cam scenes that were annoying). These are PG-13 and fun for the whole family. Okay, that last line was a joke, although somebody needs to explain why the screening I attended had about 30 children under the age of 10. That’s just bad parenting.
I’d also like an explanation for why so many in the crowd made this a Mystery Science Theatre. They’d talk to the screen, add lines of dialogue, or discuss plot points with each other. My guest and I were both annoyed, and wondered if it was because we are in our mid-40s. I always thought that unless it’s a midnight movie or something overly campy, you sit quietly in the theatre and let others enjoy it. Perhaps that’s not the case with horror flicks.
Leigh Whannel is the writer/director, and he did the previous films (as well as The Mule, and the Saw series). He gives us a story about demons that want souls, and some that haven’t gone to the other side. Yet it does have a bit of heart, too.
Quinn (Stefanie Scott) is a teenager girl that’s always texting, and trying to help her dad with household chores, since her mom has recently passed. Quinn shows up at the house of a psychic Elise Rainier. She’s played by character actress Lin Shaye (remember the old coot in There’s Something About Mary?). She’s been relegated to a lot of horror films these last few years.
Quinn wants to have a few last words with her mother, and the psychic helps her. Problem is…other spirits came to chat. The mighty Quinn now has a demon following her, although he has a rather friendly wave. That doesn’t help when she’s trying to audition for a play, or walk across the street when cars are speeding by.
The demon is called “The Man Who Can’t Breathe” because he wears an apparatus over his face like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet.
There’s an alternate plane called “The Further” and of course, the psychic will end up going there at some point.
Watching the demon attack, especially after Quinn is relegated to a wheelchair with two broken legs, reminds you of what it was like watching horror films as a kid. You’re on the edge of your seat.
The clichéd comic appearance of ghost hunters that run a website (and are obviously fake), doesn’t work as well as it should (one of them is played by Whannell).
The third act is its weakest. It tries too hard for sentimentality (borrowing from a scene right out of The Sixth Sense).
The dad is played by Dermot Mulroney. He’s fine in the role that he probably took for an easy paycheck.
One thing I’ve always wondered about the teenage girls in these movies. We understand the casting. They have to be cute and know how to scream (remember the fun audition scenes in the Brian De Palma/John Travolta flick Blow Out?). Yet their room is always plastered with the hippest stuff. There were lots of Pixies and PJ Harvey posters. In real life, the teenager girls I meet all like Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj. Well, I guess if you can have her reading A Clockwork Orange while she hears pounding on the walls of her bedroom…she becomes the dream girl of the director.
Horror films aren’t my genre, but I have to admit, it was fun having a bunch of scares that got me. I imagine horror fans will like it as well.
It gets 2 ½ stars out of 5.