"Insidious: Chapter 3" is the third film in the now-"Insidious" trilogy. This third installment stars Stefanie Scott, Dermot Mulroney, and Lin Shaye, reprising her role from the first two films as Elise, and shows the audience an event which took place before the start of the first two films. Does it work? Read on to find out.
Lin Shaye stands out the most in this film as the psychic Elise. We meet her in retirement, now too scared of the demons which she could face by calling out to spirits in the Further. The thing which stood out in the back of my mind throughout the film was that Elise is in the first "Insidious" film a few years after the events of Chapter 3, so the audience knows she'll get out of this scrap just fine and likely get her mojo back for helping people. It's something many movie prequels have to deal with since established characters can't really be killed without some really good explanation for how they're "alive" in the next chronological installment. That said, Shaye does a really nice job in the role of Elise. I enjoy how informed and knowledgeable she is about most demon situations, something seen in the first two films more so than here.
Stefanie Scott is the "lead" in the role as the girl who is being harassed by demons. I say demons more out of habit, but it's really just one demon throughout the whole film, unlike with I1 and I2 where there were a bunch of spirits which complemented the main evil entity. The level of mystery that brought to I2 is gone from here as it really just felt like a basic demon-haunting-girl movie. That's not to say that Scott doesn't do a good job in the role. Her fear is believable and she's somewhat relateable; the character just doesn't really do a lot besides get beaten up by a really mean demon.
The CGI in this trilogy continues to work well. Both scenes in the Further and the demons work together nicely and look realistic to a non-cheesy degree. The use of costumes and make-up for the actual actors portraying these creatures looks nice as well and really allows the demonic creatures to come to life.
The film is ridiculously slow for about the first hour with very little story progression. As I said, the point of the film is to show how Elise got back into the psychic game, so the father and daughter are pretty helpless against anything supernatural which is thrown at them. The last 30-40 minutes bring the film back into the swing of the first two films, as we see a face off against the demon haunting Quinn. This is definitely the best part of the film, but the somewhat bland ending scenes do kind of leave the film on a weird note.
There are some cool things which flesh out small stuff from the first two films and add some neat connections, but the film stands out so far away from dealing with the first two films at all that these little extra bits don't really help a lot.
There's also a love interest which is brought up early on in the film. Quinn has a neighbor who has a thing for her and it seems to set that up for something later on in the movie. But after an accident befalls her, we never really see him again, making the whole purpose of introducing him seem entirely unnecessary. Same with the best friend who is around for two scenes than never shown again. You'd think one of them would get worried when communication just stopped happening.
The last thing to tie up this slightly spoilery review is the lack of dealing with the end of Chapter 2 at all. I figured that they'd at least go back to it to some degree at the end of the film, showing one of the demons from Chapter 3 as the one haunting this new person, in turn setting up Chapter 4, but no; nothing ever comes of it. We never see what Elise sees at the very end of that film and for a film (I3) who's last film (I2) tied in so damn well to its predecessor (I1), this one just let me down a lot. Check it out if you're a big fan of the first two films, but don't be surprised if it's something really different by the end.
So those are my thoughts on "Insidious: Chapter 3." I'm honestly bummed that I disliked this movie so much since I watched the first two films over the weekend to immerse myself into this world and loved the first two films a lot. This one just doesn't hold up in my opinion. But those are just my thoughts. Leave your thoughts on "Insidious: Chapter 3" in the comments below!
Check out my video review of "Insidious: Chapter 3" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4SN17zeNkA