I was a big fan of the first Insidious. It wasn’t exactly game changing, but it had a few good scares (walking past the window anybody?), and some very interesting lore surrounding the events in the film. It was certainly interesting enough to warrant a sequel. Unfortunately, the sequel was quite poor, and comparable to the Taken franchise in terms of quality between the first and second instalments. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that I hope Insidious: Chapter 3 is better than Taken 3.
When I heard that this was a prequel to the first two films, it gave me hope. An expansion of the world that Insidious is set in was much more interesting to me than finding out what happened to that exceedingly normal but very good-looking family. Plus, a lot of the supporting cast came back, and horror film veteran writer Leigh Whannell was on directing duty for the first time. How could this possibly go wrong?
Let’s look at this another way. The third instalment of a franchise that’s been decreasing in quality was given to a first time director, and you really can tell. Recent horror films are often accused of having no substance, and relying on jump scares. I often defend modern horror, and while I have to admit that a lot of them do have cheap jump scares and needless violence, Insidious: Chapter 3 is hard to defend.
Firstly, this film takes a long time to get going. There’s one small moment near the start, but apart from that, around quarter of the film goes by before anything happens. Some films can get away with that if they have either good characters and dialogue, or set up a lot of story threads that come back later in the story. This has neither of those, and really ends up being quite boring.
And the boredom doesn’t stop there. One of the best, and certainly most interesting moments of the first film is when they visit ‘the further’. It had an interesting look, and was automatically creepy, so why is it so hard to recreate? How can two films in the same franchise and with the same production company and crew not be able to recreate the look of this scene? It’s either a conscious choice, in which case, what were they thinking? Or perhaps it’s to do with the film’s budget, but that seems unlikely, as it has the look of a cheap sequence to create.
There are some good things about this film. If you’re a big fan of the franchise you will probably enjoy this film. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT of Easter eggs and nods to the other films, which were for the most part welcome. Erm… did I say things? I meant thing. One thing I liked, and even these are far outweighed by the terrible script, which spoon feeds the audience throughout.
My final point is a minor spoiler, so read ahead at your own risk. Ok, here goes… It annoys me when a horror film uses the final shot as a chance to squeeze in one last jump scare. Don’t the people making the film realise that as soon as the jump has happened, the tension is gone? It this film had ended mere seconds earlier, I would have come away saying ‘at least the end was good’, but no, they had to go there.
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