Insidious Chapter 3
There’s a simple reason why the story driving successful all films continued in subsequent movies; audiences love them and they are profitable. In the case of the movie, ‘Insidious’, initial film was budgeted for a year $1.5 million return of the 4 million during its initial theatrical run. Its sequel followed suit with an estimated budget of $5 billion bringing in a box office gross approaching $84 million. Nicely increasing figures such as this it was inevitable that the studio executives would give the go-ahead to move on to the trilogy level. Considering the phone considered here, ‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ course about $10 million filling the studio’s coffers with over $52 million it is reasonably certain that the story will be expanded into the holy Grail, films, the franchise. So far the story has followed the usual pattern of chapter 2 continuing the story directly as a sequel leaving the third film to go back in time as a prequel, establishing the origins of the persistent evil that plagues the characters in each of the previous two movies. And also many cases this is the point where horror stories tend to lose their momentum relegating the installments that follow to a pattern of diminishing returns for both studio and the fans.
After seeing this pattern repeated all too many times I approach this third chapter considerable amount of trepidation. I was pleasantly surprised that although some of the luster had worn off of is not overly disappointed in the results. In fact, I found ‘insidious: Chapter 3’, to be suitably entertaining one of the better horror films released on Blu-ray and DVD during this year’s pre-Halloween offerings. Of course it is helpful that this installment was written and directed by the co-creator Leigh Whannell ensuring the much-needed and always appreciated continuity that binds the three firms together. Most importantly is the filmmaker adeptly avoids the usual tendency of trying to outdo the previous films by approaching this movie is one that is capable of standing on its own. It is based in such a fashion that there are numerous lulls in the action that effectively builds the suspense creating an atmosphere that is suitably spooky. I still have my doubts as to potential subsequent films after this but at least at this point you have a solid horror trilogy that can either serve as a solid foundation going forward or nice the self-contained, complete story.
The timeline for this movie is several years before the events of the original film. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) is a parapsychologist currently retired. Against her better judgment she agrees to contact spirit of Lilith, the mother of Quinn Brenner's (Stefanie Scott), who has been dead for just about a year. Elise admonishes Quinn not to make contact on her own spirit she summoned having great trepidation that was not Lilith but potentially could be a very malicious spirit. Considering the genre of film the chances that it is a compatriot of Casper the friendly ghost exceedingly slim. Occasions that Quinn’s mysterious figure increase with the specter calling for her attention by graving at her. The apparition takes its toll on Quinn leaving the distracted and on edge. After Quinn is rejected from a very prestigious acting program she is hit by a car, falling into a coma that this is for several months. When she wakes up a leg is still in a cast as she is living with her father, Sean (Dermot Mulroney), and younger brother, Alex (Tate Berney). Apparition becomes increasingly prevalent and proactively malevolent as it is now able to physically attack Quinn with one assault tossing around her bedroom like a rag doll resulting in a severe neck injury. Of all the makes contact with Elise was just lost her husband Jack (Adrian Sparks). Elise agrees once in the last ‘crossing over’ placed in contact with an entity does trying to kill her. She is convinced by a fellow parapsychologist, Carl (Steve Coulter), who reminds her that she is stronger than the dead due to the obvious fact that she is living. It turns out that people have this ability to open a portal to the other side run the risk of allowing something from their entry to the real world. And Elise again refuses to continue causing Alex to bring in a pair of ghost hunters, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). The situations exacerbated is now Karen is completely possessed allowing her to break free of the leg braces she had to wear. Ultimately Elise has to go into the spirit world to fight the demonic force possessing Quinn.
The main drawback of the film is that the story is overly convoluted and relies too heavily on ancillary characters. Most fans of horror want to just go into the movie sit down and be scared. Requiring viewers to consistently rely on the reasoning part of their minds just the whole story together greatly detracts from the focus on the effects of scary situations on the more primitive part of our brain. The story sets up the audience for such an effect; spirit controls young woman proceeded to break her down in both body and spirit. Is it really matter that the precise origin of the spirit is never discussed. It is sufficient just to allow the audience to accept that there is amorphous evil presence determined to latch onto any person it can so that it can more directly affect the people and objects in this world. There is a trait of being more receptive to entities from the ‘other side’ but as they open up a conduit for living energy attracts evil seizes the opportunity for possession.
The film does allow for sufficient character development to retain your interest and the situations that as constructed overly convoluted but if you are able to take yourself out of the frightening mindset the story requires you will be able to glean the great understanding of what’s going on not only here but in the remainder of the timeline as depicted by the first two movies. Many of the jump cut moments are telegraphed by a highly contrivance silence. Whenever things get too quiet you can be certain that unbelievably loud sound is about to follow. This predictability only serves to take you out suspenseful mood you need to be in to completely enjoy the film. There is potential here is unfortunately never achieved. The first two chapters of the story have demonstrated that the filmmaker is adept that telling a scary story and the previously cited indicators of popularity to bear this out. The bottom line is the movie doesn’t work as a scary film but it does require the viewer to perform two mutually exclusive things; surrender to the primordial fear of the unknown while simultaneously remaining sufficiently alert to detect, analyze and correlate the numerous clues that are provided pertaining to the true nature of the evil.