I like the Insidious films so I was pretty excited to watch the third chapter last night. And Jordan I’m sorry, but I didn’t throw any popcorn. At those prices?! I’m not wasting it.
So the first Insidious movie, released in 2010, scared me a lot. It was the first ‘typical horror film’ in a while that actually had an effect. I can watch a scary movie, not be scared and still enjoy it – but Insidious made me feel like a frightened kid again. I really rate James Wan and Leigh Whannell and they’ve already made some great films for this generation. Insidious 2, whilst not as good or scary as the original was still a decent film and better-than-average sequel. There was a coherent plot which tied in with the first movie but also told its own story.
One of the fun things about a movie franchise is following it until the end, even if at times it does get a little silly or complicated (Saw 4 – 7). Me and my friend Becky have now watched all three Insidious films together and it’s almost turned into something of an event!
So anyway, this is the first of the series to be directed by Whannel who also plays hapless ghostbuster ‘Specs’. He and his partner Tucker provide some really good laughs – I like a bit of character in any film I’m watching and genuinely enjoy their presence. They are funny!
It’s nice to have decent characters in a supernatural horror film. How often does it happen nowadays, really? And let’s not forget the Ghost Hunter General herself – Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye who unbelievably is 71!)
Insidious 3 is a prequel (yep another one), set before the events of the original film. There’s a whole new family and a whole new bad guy. You don’t need to have watched the first two films at all, there are references and recurring characters but it matters little and this is still a strong stand-alone film.
The story centres around a young girl called Quinn who lives with her dad and brother in an old apartment block. Quinn begins to attract the wrong kind of attention whilst trying to contact her deceased mother and finds herself in a battle against evil. You know – the usual.
I won’t bother droning on too much about the plot, what do you really need to know? Most of these films have a fairly generic storyline but it’s the scares and atmosphere that make it so enjoyable.
Quinn soon finds herself being stalked by the disturbing Man Who Can’t Breathe. He has a real physical presence in the film, more so than your average entity and sometimes came across more like a real life predator. He also looks totally freaky and sounds really horrible – the sort of creature that nightmares are made of. Well mine are anyway, maybe you’re scared of bunnies like Anya from Buffy – that’s up to you.
The tone of the film is Insidious all over and though a lot of the scares do come via shock tactics and suspense it’s important to mention it IS still scary. Last night I fell asleep with my lamp switched on and this wasn’t a coincidence. But that’s just what I love about these movies! They invoke childlike irrational fears of the bogeyman hiding under my bed – they’re a fun kind of scary. Demonic faces, misty corridors, horrible eyes, things that go bump in the night. I do love most types of horror but admit I’ll always be the most scared by some ugly, raspy fucker that walks like a weirdo and hides in the shadows. Or a kid that’s been possessed by the devil. Obvs.
Of course it’s not a perfect movie. The kid brother is pointless, so are some of the neighbours and parts of the storyline seemed rather irrelevant or the other end of the scale – too convenient. But this is a horror film, what’s new? I certainly won’t split hairs over a film that made me keep my light on.
As the three films go, this might actually be the stronger sequel though the family are less memorable than the Lamberts. It does rely heavily on jumpy scenes but jumpy is good! Isn’t it? As I watched the scariest moments (through my hands) I knew something would happen. It did happen and I still jumped. It’s a really tense, atmospheric film but happily, the visual scares are also in big supply.
You can probably tell I enjoyed this movie and I’m not sure if it’s because I had low expectations and was pleasantly surprised – but in any case, it was fun.
It won’t be for everyone and I’ve already read some meanie reviews from stuffy critics (bore off) but in my opinion, which is far more important than stuffy critic opinion, these films are a great modern franchise! They’re good, old fashioned horror movies with strong characters, decent dialogue, terrifying bad guys, clever suspense and of course the fantastically scary music the Insidious films are now known for. And they’re made by people who actually give a shit about the genre.
Will there be a chapter four? Who knows. But I’ll be there!