Quinn (Stefanie Scott) is a teenage girl who misses her dead mother so much she visits psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) to attempt communication.
Elise, who is retired and reluctant in her efforts, is unable to make contact. She sends Quinn home, where shortly thereafter the girl begins seeing an ugly spirit, “the man who can’t breathe,” waving at her from the beyond, getting closer and closer.
When Quinn’s dad Sean (Dermot Mulroney) begins seeing the spirit and what it is doing to Quinn he calls in Elise to do battle with the man who can’t breathe.
We say, “It’s similar, but less stylized than the previous Insidious-nesses.”
TAYLOR: The first two Insidious films involved the same family, being haunted by different, but thinly connected, demonic spirits.
Insidious: Chapter 3 (great title) is a prequel, where our sweet, old psychic Elise is tired of battling demons and has closed up shop. She’s also afraid of one particularly nasty spirit that always finds her while she’s searching the ghostly realms for someone else. To not go into that realm, ends the torture, ergo Elise retires. However, she gets pulled back into the game by poor Quinn, who’s being tormented by the ghost of a gasping jerk.
All the films are basically the same: Elise wanders around in the creepy spirit realm, which is always dark hallways and rooms, slightly off, like Barton Fink, doing battle with disfigured, disturbing, angry or crazy humanoids, trying to bring somebody back. The thing that’s different with this film is that it wasn’t directed by James Wan, who did the previous film. Instead, it was first time directed by writer (of all of them) Leigh Whannell. Thus, similar, but less stylized. I prefer Wan’s treatment. It was creepier.
HOWE: I think the important question to ask is, how scary is Insidious: Chapter 3? The answer is, a little bit, if you are under the age of 12 and have never seen a horror movie before. The scares are cheap, lazy in fact. The special effects and make up are some of the worst I have ever seen. For example, let’s put a head on backwards, cover the face in hair then pull the hair apart like curtains, and voila, that will be scary. No, it’s not scary, it’s just weird and maybe funny.
Honestly, what a waste of money for nearly nothing. I wish the movie makers would give me something new rather than being lazy and cashing in on what was a semi-decent original horror concept. Plus the first two had Rose Byrne in them!
TAYLOR: Well, I’ll agree that the scares were cheap, as were the effects, but that was also true of the previous two films. There is nothing new or original in this entire series. It’s simply an angry ghost story, call it a demon if you like. The thing that made it semi-decent was James Wan’s style. Without Wan at the helm, Chapter 3 is just another jack-in-the-box in a dark room. I’m tired of winding…
HOWE: One thing I enjoyed about Chapter 3 was how it tied nicely to the first two films by showing how Elise found her ghost-busting partners. But my favourite part was that it was only 90 minutes long.
– Taylor gives Insidious: Chapter 3 1.5 black eyes out of 5.
– Howe gives it 1.5 ghost shows out of 5.
– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon.