Film Review: Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Insidious: Chapter 3, 2015

Directed by: Leigh Whannell

Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye


In my previous review for Insidious: Chapter 2 I noted about how I was apprehensive about Insidious having three sequels, fearing they all may be copy-and-paste versions of the first film. Chapter 2 surprised me as it expanded on the universe they created but unfortunately Insidious: Chapter 3 has fallen into the territory of a copy-and-paste sequel. Chapter 3 is set before the events of Insidious (an unspecified amount of time) as a new girl, Quinn (Stefanie Scott), hunts down Elise (Lin Shay, Insidious: Chapter 2) to try and connect with Quinn’s recently-deceased mother, Lillth Brenner (Ele Keats). Elise, who is retired at the time, gives it a go and accidentally encounters one of the darker spirits from the further. Quinn is soon involved in a car accident (breaking both of her legs) and is then chased down by a spirit who wants Quinn to join her in the dark-side of the further.

This is pretty much the exact same storyline as Josh’s in Chapter 2, whereby a darker spirit is slowly taking over a body while trying to force it out of our world. Elise’s coming out of retirement storyline doesn’t serve a massive purpose, and there’s still tension between Specs (Leigh Whannell, Insidious: Chapter 2) and Tucker (Angus Sampson, Insidious: Chapter 2), and even three films into the series it isn’t necessarily stated why.

Leigh Whannell, who took over the director’s chair for this film from James Wan (Leigh Whannell also starred in and wrote the film), maintains the same style of recording as Chapter 2, continuing the steady cam but switching to a hand-held version when necessary, which works really nicely on Quinn’s accident, using the hand-held camera to put us in the viewpoint of Quinn’s friend, Maggie (Hayley Kiyoko). Although on a side-note, who on earth was driving that car? Quinn spends some time on the road, starring out at a waving person, before she is hit. Surely the driver must have seen her. And as for Maggie, she, along with a few other characters (mainly Alex Brenner (Tate Berney)) come and go in this film, and it seems the script seems to forget about them from time-to-time. Alex, Quinn’s younger brother, seems to be largely absent from the early part of Quinn’s ordeal before returning to be sent away again, and Maggie is only seen once more on a laptop screen and is never mentioned again, the same with Hector (Ashton Moio) who is made out to be a pretty major character (and a possible love interest for Quinn) and features quite a bit early on, but then he’s never mentioned again. Whether they’re placeholders for the time before Elise, Specs and Tucker arrive or whether the script can’t logically and sensible write a way to have all of them in, it isn’t a sign of a good script.

There was also too much comedy added to it where it felt unnecessary; near the beginning there’s a joke about quinoa’s pronunciation and whether or not it’s food, and the bickering between Specs and Tucker seems to be more so on the side of comedy in this film. It was so out-of-place with the tone of the film. While it was a satisfactory-at-best sequel, it does fall into the category of copying off its predecessors, and it introduced more jump-scares, which are always terrible. The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 are fine films, but Annabelle, a prequel to those films, was terrible. Unfortunately that’s where Insidious: Chapter 3 falls.


Plot: * *               Acting: * * *       Writing: * *         Presentation: * *

Overall Rating: * * ¼


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