Insidious: Chapter 3
A steaming pile of third
Release Date: OUT NOW!
15 | 98 minutes Director: Leigh Whannell Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye
The first of the recent
glut of slick haunted- house flicks, Insidious was, in places, genuinely unnerving, but ran out of story steam way before the last act. So what’s left for Chapter 3, the directorial debut of series scribe and co- star Leigh Whannell?
Set “a few years before” Insidious, it re- introduces medium Elise Rainier ( Lin Shaye) as a younger, sadder woman who’s given up on her gifts. When teenager Quinn ( Stefanie Scott) knocks at her door, asking for help communicating with her late mother, Elise warns her off: “If you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you.” Quinn’s soon in contact with something – but it sure as hell ain’t mommy.
Whannell’s writing deserves some kudos. Quinn breaks both legs and is effectively bed- bound while all manner of demonic nasties stalk her room – a smart set- up for a modern spook story. But what works on the page doesn’t quite translate to the screen: the chief antagonist is a memorably nasty creation, but his sudden appearances leave no dread, so the ( many) jump scares spike and dissipate almost immediately. Other aspects don’t work at all: the bland family dynamics, shaky acting, and out- of- place jokes. A final lift from The Sixth Sense reminds us it is possible to be scary, moving and funny, it’s just extremely rare.
When a horror film’s most shocking moment involves hurling a vehicle at us, something’s gone amiss. Shame, because the plot has real potential. Matt Glasby The film features a golden retriever by the name of Warren – a nod to Ed and Lorraine Warren from The Conjuring.
“Where are my flipping hairpins?!”