The third installment of the Insidious Trilogy may not be its strongest outing, but it certainly provides a fitting end to a collection of films filled with memorable moments and colorful characters. Best of all, it basically ends the series where it all began.
Insidious 3 takes place several years prior to the events of the first two movies. The story begins with newcomer Quinn Brenner (played by Stefanie Scott) visiting psychic Elise Rainier (played once more by the outstanding Lin Shaye). Quinn asks Elise to reconnect the teenager with her dead mother, since she hasn’t been able to do so on her own.
We discover that Quinn’s earlier attempts have caused a dangerous entity called “The Man Who Can’t Breathe” (played by Michael Reid MacKay) to take notice of her. This malevolent spirit spends much of the remainder of the film trying to torment Quinn and force her deeper into The Further so that he may feed upon her soul.
Quinn’s father (played by Dermot Mulroney) must now trust that Elise’s abilities will save his daughter. Fortunately, Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (played by Leigh Whannell, who is the writer and director of this film) return to assist our psychic friend. Well, technically, this would be the first time they actually met. And being my favorite characters of the original films, I truly enjoyed seeing Spectral Sightings come together for the first time. It was also nice to see Steve Coulter return as Carl, who was apparently there to establish the groundwork for the events depicted in the first movie.
Returning to the film also are The Bride in Black (played again by Tom Fitzpatrick) and The Lipstick-Face Demon (Joseph Bishara). If you look close, you may even notice James Wan, the director of the first two films, making a cameo as well. Wan was obviously unable to direct the film this time because he was working on Furious 7.
In true Insidious fashion, this movie has its loud moments filled with predictable (and by now “gimmicky”) jump scares. But, like the other films, there were moments of lasting terror as well. The knocking on the wall scene for example was amazing. Granted, this scene was highlighted in the trailer, but it was still pretty eerie to discover that you are not communicating with the person that you think you are.
I also loved the bloody footprints in many of the scenes in the movie. It leads your mind into the darker recesses of anticipation. And speaking of anticipation, that scene with Quinn getting closer to Specs, Tucker, and Quinn’s father was very spooky, because of the rising anticipation level that was in the scene.
But I must say that one of my two favorite scenes in the movie is the one where the Wheezing Demon is pushing Quinn around in her wheelchair. The dark sense of helplessness in that situation was intriguing, refreshing, and nerve-racking. The second scene is when Elise kicks the snot out of her nemesis spirit. I almost did a one-arm fist pump in the theater after that satisfying showdown.
My biggest gripe for this film is that a few characters seemed forgotten once introduced. Characters like Maggie (Hayley Kiyoko) and Hector (Ashton Moio) for example appeared for a while, but then are not seen again. Even Quinn’s brother Alex (Tate Berney) seemed unimportant to the story. I mean, the character’s only purpose seemed to be to give Quinn an excuse to blame for not being able to follow her dreams. He also give their father the idea of using Spectral Sightings.
In the end, I give this installment of Insidious a 2.6 bowties out of 5. If you are following the story up to this point, you will definitely want to watch it at least once. But if you are new to the series, you may wait for it to come out on movie rental first.