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Killing Elise Rainier (Lyn Shaye) at the end of Insidious: Chapter 1 was a mistake. Thankfully its a mistake that has been somewhat rectified by her inclusion in both sequels. In Chapter 2 she returns as a spirit and Chapter 3 is a prequel, set before her death. It is set a deliberately vague amount of time before the events of Chapter 1, allowing for the possibility of another prequel with Elise and the gang.
Elise was one of the best characters to come out of the original movie and was the one with most potential for sequels. I’d like to follow the family from chapters 1 and 2 further as well, but Patrick Wilson is involved with The Conjuring franchise now. Although it would be interesting to follow Patrick and his son, who have the same gift – it seems that if we do see any more installments they’re likely to follow Elise.
The Insidious series has always excelled in creating realistic, likable characters and portraying them and their actions in a believable way. They successfully create an environment where the supernatural elements are both more disturbing and more believable because the characters they create are very human.
It is still a relief not to be bombarded with idiot teens and their disposable lives, as had become the norm for so much of Hollywood horror. We are able to invest emotionally in these characters and it’s such a pleasure. These aren’t stupid caricatures paraded before us in all their moronic splendour before their innate stupidity drives them to a grisly death.
What I’m saying is I’m really enjoying the James Wan stable of horror films and I’ve almost forgiven him and Leigh Whannel for giving the world the Saw franchise.
Insidious 3 is Leigh Whannel’s directorial debut. I think he’s done a good job. Insidious 3 is a solid addition to the Insidious family. Whannel knows his source material better than anyone, having penned chapters 1 and 2.
Here there is a tight story line which involves the recently bereaved Quinn reaching out to her dead mom. However, when she reaches out to the spirit world she inadvertently attracts the attention of a sinister entity. She turns to Elise for help but the psychic is struggling with her own demons (quite literally).
This time around our main spook is “the man who can’t breath”, who shuffles around the appartmemt block with a breathing mask. He is satisfyingly sinister and there’s lots of tension and some good jump scares abound. This time around the Further has taken on less of a Dr Seuss asthetic and opted instead for more traditional visuals.
The supporting cast are brilliant as the assortment of interesting characters occupying the appartment building.
I have no complaints about this movie. It is certainly superior to Annabelle which came out the same year, and which is another addition to the James Wan family of horror films. My only concern is that with so many similar themes and aesthetics running through these movies that they don’t start to ware a bit thin. Lipstick face makes a brief appearance at the end of chapter 3 which seemed a bit unnecessary. All that succeeds in doing is reminding us of a fantastic monster from chapter 1 that we can’t explore any further with Elise.
I hope another prequel is announced as I’d love to see more of Elise but they will need to come up with some more original ideas to the ensure they don’t rehash old ground.