Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) Review

Horrorific content by Ciarán Coleman on October 04th, 2021 | Movie Review | Possession, Supernatural, Demon

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It’s about a teenager who’s plagued by demonic visions after trying to contact her mother in the spirit world. Her father goes on to enlist the help of a retired demonologist, Elise Rainier. It’s a prequel to the first two ‘Insidious’ films.

Insidious’ and ‘Insidious: Chapter 2’ are great films that suffer from being too similar and ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ isn’t a great film that does offer a bit of expansion on the ‘Insidious’ universe. The first notable change is Leigh Whannel taking over from James Wan in the director’s chair. Though Wan’s unique flair and captivating shot choices are gone, Whannel proves himself more than capable, thriving at making his jump-scares matter and utilising silence better than the vast majority of horror directors out there today. Starring Stefanie ScottLin ShayeDermot Mulroney and Corbett Tuck among others.

This is how you die

Insidious: Chapter 3 Review

The emotional basis and beating heart of the first two ‘Insidious’ films was the family relationship. It drove the plot, invested us in the characters and added drama in with the horror. Whannel made the right decision keeping a similar theme with ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’; not only does it keep the films feeling connected but the father-daughter relationship at the core of the film is one of its best parts. It adds a sincerity to the film I was afraid might be lost after moving on from the Lambert family.

The real star of the show is Lin Shaye, who’s magnetic on screen performance in the first two ‘Insidious’ films allowed her to pretty much have her own. Few horror heroines, or heroines in general, are as unique as Elise Rainier, a kind, old woman who also happens to dabble heavily in demonology and visits the spirit world every now and then. Her character gets a lot of room to flourish and grow in ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’.

The film is surprisingly scary. Some of Whannel’s writing and direction comes across a little jarring, but he makes up for it with genuinely hair raising imagery and precise pacing. The film has an almost punk energy bubbling beneath the surface that gives it an intense energy. I found myself fully invested from the first few minutes which is a testament to Whannel’s skill as a filmmaker.

Despite how well this film expands on the ‘Insidious’ universe it isn’t incredibly original. Don’t expect any groundbreaking cinematography or inventive scares. With that being said, the film does approach each scare and plot point with an aggressive confidence that not only masks a few of the by-the-books spooks, but is actually pretty refreshing too.

Overall, ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ doesn’t quite hit the highs of the first ‘Insidious’ film but it’s an impressive feat for the third film in a horror series to be as engaging as this one. The characters are easy to sympathise with, the directing and scares are all really solid and a lot of the imagery, though sparse, is pretty effective.

Worth Watching?

Yep. It doesn’t take as many risks as some horror fans might like, but even so it’s a well executed horror film that’s oftentimes both engaging and scary.

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