Uxbridge Gazette - - Film Reviews -

AS blood flows freely in the be­lated se­quel to the 2008 hor­ror thriller The Strangers, one vic­tim tear­fully pleads with her masked at­tacker to jus­tify their de­sire to kill.

“Why not?” coldly re­sponds the as­sailant.

Those words would surely tum­ble from the lips of di­rec­tor Jo­hannes Roberts to ex­plain why he felt it was nec­es­sary to re­turn to this grue­some, blood-smeared mi­lieu a whole decade af­ter the orig­i­nal.

This film makes no pre­tence at orig­i­nal­ity or in­ven­tion, pit­ting two des­per­ate par­ents and their chil­dren against a trio of mer­ci­less ma­ni­acs, who con­ceal their true iden­ti­ties be­hind creepy masks.

It trun­dles re­lent­lessly from one bru­tal skir­mish to the next, stitch­ing to­gether set pieces with per­func­tory scenes of fam­ily bond­ing.

The script is ef­fi­cient but de­riv­a­tive. IN­SID­I­OUS: The Last Key is a haunt­ing too far for the spooky fran­chise.

The fourth and fi­nal film in the se­ries un­folds chrono­log­i­cally af­ter the events of chap­ter 3 and brings the ter­ror to Elise’s front door. Lin Shaye, left, once again de­liv­ers a com­pelling lead per­for­mance but the plot around her creaks and groans al­most as much as the floor­boards of a haunted house.

■ Avail­able from May 7 on down­load and stream­ing ser­vices, avail­able from May 21 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99.

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