The Insidious franchise knows how to make sequels. I found the series original film to be less than stellar, and still have a few issues with it. The Second Chapter was an improvement and Insidious: Chapter Three continues to raise the bar. With Leigh Whannell doing an amazing job stepping into the director’s chair.
Insidious: Chapter 3 focuses on Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott), who’s grappling with the loss of her mother. In an effort to contact her, Quinn visits Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). Elise is currently retired from being a medium as she’s also dealing with loss of a loved one. Elise warms up to Quinn and agrees to help as a kindness. But, Elise feels the presence of another spirit and warns Quinn to never call out to or try to contact her mother again, as when you call out to one of the dead all of them can hear you. That night Quinn does just that, calls out to her mother after hearing some strange noises. Quinn skips school the next day to audition for a NY preforming arts school and while auditioning, she notices a strange figure watching her. That evening while fearing she had blown her audition, Quinn gets distracted by the same figure waving to her. This results in Quinn being hit by a car as she stopped in the middle of the road. At the hospital suffering sever injuries Quinn dies and passes into the Further. Inside she see’s the figure again, The Man Who Can’t Breath (Micheal Reid MacKay), before she’s pulled back into our world thanks to a shot of adrenaline. Once Quinn returns home, she is bed bound having suffered multiple breaks in both legs. The paranormal occurrences pick back up and start happening more frequently and after being attacked by the spirit repeatedly, Quinns father, Sean Brenner (Dermot Mulroney) seeks the aid of Elise, who turns him away. So, he turns to a pair of ghost chasers Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), who quickly realize they’re out of their league. Luckily, Elise has changed her mind after visiting with Carl (Steve Coulter). She quickly enlists both Specs and Tucker to save Quinn from the Man Who Can’t Breath.
I like that this movie is a prequel of sorts and its placement within the franchises mythos. I liked seeing how Spec and Tucker came to work with Elise, as well as Elise’s character arc over the course of the film. Beginning with her being scared and afraid, and transitioning into the calm and confident Elise of the films.
Lin Shaye’s performances just keep improving and I really enjoy what she does with her character. But as great as she is, the actress that knocked her role out of the park is without a doubt Stefanie Scott. I was completely unfamiliar with her before this film and I really hope she does more horror films in the future as I feel she would make an outstanding scream queen. Sadly that’s where the good acting ends, as the rest of the cast being lack-luster with Dermot Mulroney’s performance being the worst. He came off more as an asshole, than a father who’s stretched thin and trying to deal with the loss of his wife.
Final thoughts, even with the weak performances this film is worth seeing. Lin Shaye and Stefanie Scott do a splendid job carrying this movie to the point where the poor performances fall to wayside as you’re watching them. The pacing and tone delivered by Leigh Whannell are both consistent and sublime and I find Micheal Reid MacKay’s performance to be genuinely unnerving . Easily my favorite entry into the series, Insidious: Chapter 3 deserves a score to reflect his. 8.5/10