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Insidious Chapter 3 is a slight departure for the series in terms of continuity taking place before the haunting of the Lambert family and the traumatic events of the two previous movies. Still, the hungry approach to horror remains firmly in place, and with its stripped-back story, it’s arguably the most focused film in the series to date.
The Insidious series has always opened for different horror traditions. For instance, its mythology blends the spectral and the demonic, or its jump scares are valued just as much as more subtle effects. That willingness to combine traditions has allowed creators to put a new spin on one of the most used horror tropes – a haunted house.
Insidious Chapter 3 full movie is connected to the previous instalments by Elise Rainier. Still this is a very different Elise to the one we know – she isn’t a powerful psychic but an unhelpful hermit reluctant to use her powers to help those in need. She’s visited by Quinn, a teenage girl who has recently lost her mother. Strange things have been happening since her death, and Quinn suspects her mother might be trying to contact her from beyond the grave. Of course, this being Insidious, so the spirt isn’t her mother and its intentions are less than benevolent. Soon after visiting Elise, Quinn get a serious accident leaving her with two fractured legs, and she has to stay at her bed for pretty much the rest of the movie. It’s a great set-up, and it answers the always-being-asked question for every horror movie protagonists “why don’t you just run away?”. Quinn is nearly paralyzed, and that gives rise to some of the most effective scares and sequences in Insidious Chapter 3 movie .
First time being director, Leigh Whannell have done a fantastic job of exploiting Quinn’s vulnerability. While the idea of a haunted room sounds like a more manageable proposition for a first-time director, the ways Whannell manipulates perspective and finds scares within those four walls make it no less terrifying than when the series had a whole house to play with.
Insidious 3 movie also benefits greatly from its streamlined story. By its conclusion, the haunting of the Lambert family had become so intricate it would be impenetrable for a latecomer. In contrast, Quinn’s story has a refreshing simplicity. Her mother has died, her father is struggling to cope, her brother is annoying, her best friend is cool and rebellious, and the boy next door has a crush on her. These stock characters allow Whannell to cut to the chase and concentrate on scaring his audience. That inevitably means most of those characters get pushed off to the sides as soon as the haunting begins.
This fresh start doesn’t make Insidious Chapter 3 movie feels totally disconnected from previous movies as the main line of continuity lies in the way it conceptualizes the afterlife. This alternate plane of existence remains an eerie place to traverse, and Whannell delights in taking us there and populating its darkened corridors with twisted inhabitants. The treatment of Quinn once she’s been partially-imprisoned in this nightmare realm is particularly effective, the weird victim of a spiritual attack.
Insidious Chapter 3 does a great job of putting to one side the complicated haunting of the Lambert family and focusing on its weird mythology and entertaining supporting characters. The diretcor delights in finding inventive scares and dreaming up a variety of disturbing ghosts in The Further. This is the same world of Insidious, but under Whannell’s direction, the hysteria and frenzy that fueled the previous movies has been replaced by a darker, more sinister sensibility.