6/14/2015

Insidious: Chapter 3

 

Title: Insidious: Chapter 3
Director and writer: Leigh Whannell
Cast: Dermont Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Tate Berney, Michael Reid MacKay, Steve Coulter

Set some time before the occurrences of the first movie, this prequel begins when we meet pretty teen Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) who goes to visit psychic Elise Rainer (Linn Shaye) to help her contact the spirit of her dead mom, Lilith (Ele Keats). Quinn believes that she has been trying to contact her from beyond. Elise at first refuses, but then agrees to do so. But, when she attempts to contact the girl's mom, she stops, when instead she hears a demonic presence. Elise warns the young girl to never attempt to contact her mom alone again, as when you call to the dead "they all can hear you". She, though, refuses to go any further in helping her.

Later, Quinn, who lives with her widowed dad (Dermont Mulroney) and little brother (Tate Berney), calls to her mom, who thinks replies to her. After, an audition for an acting academy, she gets hit by a car. She is put at the brink of death. And, an evil, wheezing, and demonic spirit fully attaches himself to her, when she's bought back by the medics.. Soon, his haunting of her gets more physical and terrifying, causing her loving dad, to go and ask Elise for help, who is still unwilling to do so.

It's really, I mean REALLY amazing just how damn good this film is. Most of the times third installments in horror franchises are just not that good. Just witness crap like Alien 3, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Amityville 3D, and Jaws 3D for how bad they can be. Especially, when you take into consideration that the last one was OK, but mostly easily forgotten. Director James Wan let his Saw Leigh Whannell take over this one, and it ends up being a very wise move. Not because Wan couldn't have done it (quite the contrary he's one of the best genre directors out there), but because it's talented hands.

Insidious: Chapter 3 is genuinely scary and nerve-jarringly intense. One of it's major benefits is that it doesn't drown itself in shitty CGI, a major fault of most haunted house/ ghost flicks. Instead, it remains quiet and ratchets up the scares. The villain is quite creepy, and in that sense, it does top the original which sort of falls apart when the villain is revealed to be a Darth Maul rip-off. This movie also uses jump scares effectively as they are the actual demon doing the scares and not something stupid like an asshole friend or a fucking cat. God, I truly hate shit like that, and it is so fucking overdone in horror nowadays!

Aside from being scary, the film has a lot of heart and emotion. That goes along way in making us care, and, thus, being more scared. This is anchored by excellent acting from all involved, in particular the heart of the film: its' two female leads. Linn Shaye gives one of the very best performances of her career, and one of the finest, of the year. Shaye is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best horror actresses of the modern era. Meanwhile, young Stefanie Scott is incredible in her role. I see a very bright future for this young lady. And, kudos to actually casting a teenaged girl and not a 20 or 30-something year old.

I really had very little desire to see this, until I began to read and hear some good reviews. This movie far surpassed my expectations and ranks as one of the very best horror sequels (and, certainly, prequels), ever made. For a film that didn't need to be made, it far surpasses many a genre film out there. A prime example, that when there is true talent in front and behind the camera a smashing installment in a franchise can be made.

***1/2 out of ****

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