Bringing us back into the world of Insidious, [Insidious: Chapter 3](tag:1117428) is a prequel to the original film in the series. It sees the directorial debut of Leigh Whannell, who takes over the duty from James Wan who helmed the previous two installments. Whannell also wrote the scripts for Chapter 3, as he did with the last two.
As stated before, the film takes place prior to the events of the first movie. Here, Quinn (played by Stephanie Scott) tries reaching out to her dead mother. She gets a hold of Elise Rainer, the psychic woman from the previous two films (played be a returning Lin Shaye), to try and help her make contact. Elise explains that she has long since given up contacting spirits, and that it is very dangerous to try to talk to ghosts because if one can hear you, they all can. Shortly thereafter, Quinn begins experiencing paranormal phenomena. A freak car accident then makes her bed ridden, as the supernatural occurrences grow more prominent. Soon, her soul is threatened by an evil entity and it's up to Elise to save her.
If the plot for Chapter 3 sounds eerily similar to the last two, that's because it is. Aside from a few things, the set up in the beginning is about the same as the first film. Things get a little more complicated by the end of the second act, but it's still not a solid departure. Also, the movie has a shift about halfway through. The majority of the first half focuses on Quinn, while the second is really about Elise. It becomes a story of her coming to terms with the evil of The Further and why people like her are a necessary defense against it. Aside from that however, the movie basically hits the same beats as the last two.
The cast are all decent, with no real complaints all around. Stephanie Scott is pretty good as Quinn, and Lin Shaye, who has basically become a cult horror star because of these movies, carries the majority of the film and does a good job. Dermot Mulroney plays the father. He's got a face you might know but a name you probably don't. He's alright too. The characters Tucker and Specs (played by Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannel respectively) are back as well. They're still cool, although they have much less to do this go around. This movie also shows how those two hook up with Elise, so that was kind of cool.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is a movie that makes no real strides towards anything fresh. It's more or less the same thing as the last two, however that's not necessarily a bad thing. Insidious 1 and 2 were pretty good, and while doing the same thing is definitely starting to grow stale, it's not quite expired yet. I enjoyed Insidious 3 well enough. It's not as good as the first movie and it's more subdued than the second, but it was still decent watch. For Leigh Whannel's first film, he did an alright job. The movie doesn't feel different visually and since it has the same writer, it carries a tone coherent with the last two. It certainly feels a part of that universe for sure. If he decides to do a fourth one, I'm not entirely opposed. And honestly, that looks where things might be headed. This movie, just like the others in the series, ends with a cliffhanger. One that actually ties it into the first film, which is pretty neat.
I guess overall, Insidious: Chapter 3 is a bit of a mixed bag. While it's definitely starting to feel repetitive, it doesn’t quite feel redundant. It's not at all a bad movie, but it is an unremarkable one. Because of it's repetitious elements, a lot of this film will blend together with the others in people's minds, and that certainly isn't a good sign. But I do think that there's life left to this series and room to grow with some new stuff. It all depends on where they take it from here. Considering that we'll probably see an Insidious 4, I remain optimistic. As far as Insidious 3, if you're a fan of the series, watch it. You might not be thrilled but you shouldn't be massively disappointed. If you've never seen them, watch the first one, it's much better.