Saturday, September 12, 2015

Film Review - Insidious: Chapter 3

Copyright: Stage 6 Films
No matter how I approach it, I have to conclude that Insidious: Chapter 3 is an okay film. As a whole, it lacks any serious problems, but also any cutting-edge twists on the defined formula to make the movie anything more impressive than a slightly average horror. If this film was a car, it would be a 5-year old Volkswagen Polo – sure, it’s a comfortable and reliable vehicle that doesn’t mostly leave anyone hanging because of an unexpected issue, but it’s still hard to get really excited about it.

Leigh Whannell, an old buddy of the Insidious/Sinister/Conjuring horror guru James Wan, got a chance to direct this film and he did a solid job. The film moves at a steady pace and like most Wan-like modern horrors, it builds up its tension quickly and effectively, mainly because all those Millennials watching it don’t have the time to sit through a prolonged introduction. Still, as a not-too-ambitious film, it keeps its viewers interested throughout.

With this approach, Whannell places the main character of the story, a teenager by the name Quinn, in a situation where she seeks out Elise Rainier, a spiritual medium who now stopped working. Quinn, who is experiencing strange things in her home, is desperate to come into contact with her deceased mother, and Rainer agrees to help her, suspecting that dark forces wait her on the other side. The session is unsuccessful and Quinn returns to her building apartment, not knowing are the strange things she previously felt her mother’s spirit or something more menacing (or shall I say, sinister).

With a nice and tidy runtime of 97 minutes, Insidious: Chapter 3 continues to follow the path of Insidious: Chapter 2 and moves the series to the Saw territory, where we can expect to see new installment pop up regularly. As the production values diminish and the lore of the story expands ("the Further", Specs and Tucker are back, and so on), I’m impressed by Wan’s ability to develop insanely financially successful films (Chapter 3 already grossed 110 million on a 10 million budget), but I also miss the edginess and gripping storytelling of the first film, now present in a really miniscule amounts. I fear that the same dimension of this film series will only continue to become more and more diluted.

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