Overall Grade: (B-)
A solid third entry in what has turned out to be a entertaining horror franchise.
Before the haunting of the Lambert family, a gifted psychic will reluctantly contact the dead to help a young girl being attacked by a dangerous entity.
I will be honest in saying I was close to passing on this third entry in the horror-franchise. After seeing the trailer, and knowing James Wan was missing from the directors chair, first reactions were, this is the first of the B-movie entries in the series much like the fourth and fifth installments of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise should have been.
After hearing a couple positive comments on it I decided to give it a chance and I can honestly say I was highly surprised by what Leigh Whannell was able to deliver in his first time directing the trilogy he wrote. There is no doubt Whannell learned from Wan when working on the first two films and with a shot to direct the third “Insidious” he definitely did not waste his opportunity.
Despite the headliners of Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson missing the cast was still very enjoyable. The character of Elise Rainier played by Lin Shaye was given much more screen-time in this one as the story-line follows her as the focal point and she delivered a strong performance for a lead. Shaye was a likable character and you could feel her torment and inner conflict over deciding to help the young woman who is that target of the evil spirit.
The story takes things back to before the events of the first film to further build on the story Whannell created and it was entertaining to see some of the foundations built for events we are already aware of. Dermot Mulroney and Stefani Scott both came in with some believable performances and while they may have not had the same impact as Byrne and Wilson in the prior films they made for strong enough characters to vest your interest in. Scott was very good an conveyed the innocence needed to make her a true sympathetic character, thus creating interest in what will happen to her.
After three films into a franchise you would think the effects would start to feel stale but I was surprised that this film still managed to deliver some great jump-scenes. There were a collection of creatively dark moments that certainly elevated the tension and pull the viewer into the story. Routinely I was pulled up in my seat as moments in the film captured the truly dark world that is referred to in the script as ‘the further’.
Like the other films this one still brings the stark score that adds the to mood of Whannell’s creation. The pace was a great mix of story and genuine horror filled moments to make this a surprise hit for the genre. Even if you are not expecting much from this one still give it a shot, if you liked the first two. Whannell was able to use great camera angles, lighting and make-up effects to create a very solid horror film and in the end, “Insidious: Chapter 3” will entertain and surprise you.