Director Adam Robitel spills on Insidious: The Last Key
Things continue to go bump in the night in fourth Insidious movie, The Last Key.
“Elise Rainer is a superhero,” suggests director Adam Robitel. “She has this superhero ability wrapped in a sweet old lady form. It’s a fascinating character.” He’s referring to Lin Shaye’s demon-bustin’ clairvoyant and hero of the paranormal jump-fest that is the Insidious franchise. In new fourth instalment The Last Key, things take a personal turn when Robitel sends Elise on her most terrifying case yet, one that will reopen old wounds and take her deeper into the ghostly realm of The Further.
“We pick up about a month or two after chapter three,” Robitel tells Red Alert. “Elise gets a call from her hometown and her very dark past. She certainly doesn’t want to take the call and go back to these powerfully painful memories but of course she’s always there to help, so against her better judgement she takes the job and heads back to New Mexico ultimately to help a man who’s being haunted.”
With Elise reluctantly returning to her childhood haunts, it’s not long before she discovers this new evil runs a little deeper than anything she’s previously encountered. “Her father was very abusive,” says Robitel on Elise’s troubled past. “He was a correctional officer at a massive prison and he was a God-fearing man. Elise exhibited gifts early in her life and those psychic abilities really scared her father. At a very early age there was this rift.”
All this negative energy certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by a new spirit that puts Elise’s supernatural superpowers to the test. “If the Lipstick Demon and the Bride in Black are minor demons, this is a major demon,” says Robitel, stacking The Last Key’s threat against Elise’s previous adversaries. “It’s got abilities that some of the other entities may not have
had,” he adds, before hinting it may have also played a pivotal role during Elise’s formative years. “There’s an atrocity that this particular demon commits and it’s really the crystallisation of the Elise we know in the present. From rocky beginnings comes this person who will spend the rest of her life helping others who are less fortunate.”
To defeat this new evil, Elise will have to once again delve into the haunted afterlife world of The Further. “We kept coming back to this idea of a prison, keys and locks,” says Robitel of scripting the movie with screenwriter and series creator Leigh Whannell. “That became the idea behind this version of The Further. It’s a little deeper than we’ve gone before and it’s a metaphor for limbo. We’re imprisoned by ideas, we’re imprisoned by our secret desires and we’re imprisoned by The Further. At its core, the movie is about self-acceptance and empowerment, even in the face of a hatred from somebody who loves you.”
As for whether Elise will live to solve another case? “Well I couldn’t imagine an
Insidious movie without Lin Shaye so I’ll just say that,” he smiles, “Lin’s character is so beloved that people just want to go on journeys with her – and death is not the end as we know it in the Insidious movies...” Fingers crossed.
The new panto got up close and personal.
“What bright and shiny teeth you have!”