Saturday, June 6, 2015

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) Review:

Sadly when it comes to prequels to famous movies, it is not the easiest to make this particular kind of entry the best it can be. That comes down to a big key point. The idea is that prequels cover the origins of initial franchise starters (most of which were praised critically and performed well at the box office). The problem with that is, most prequels only explain the backstory to what ended up happening in the first installment. It's more or less only effective in its factual delivery in a historical context. This is good for some areas but not all. The other drawback is that prequels do not add anything new to mix in execution. A good example of this was The Thing (2011) prequel which had spot on explanations to what events lead to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), but the execution felt nearly identical.

"Don't mind me,...just hanging out here"
The same goes for the directorial debut of James Wan collaborator Leigh Whannell. It's not that viewers will loathe Whannell's work in this entry but unfortunately it lacks a lot of originality. This is also some of the errors many filmmakers have when they end up crediting themselves as actor/writer/director. It is a lot of work and perhaps Whannell didn't have what it took to do all three tasks this time. The story is what unfortunately makes this prequel subpar. After a young girl named Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) tries to contact her mother who passed a year back, a demon hears her through the further realm and slowly begins latching onto her soul. As compared to the original, the story feels awfully similar. The only clear difference is that Brenner is not in astral form and can't reach her physical body. The only writing Whannell incorporates that actually makes any connection to the original is how Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye) meet up with Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), briefly referencing the Lambert Family and the crossdresser villain from Insidious (2010) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013).

That's the only part of the screenplay that actually works. For that, the fans can sit back and say "Ahhh ok, so that's where that came from". Anything dealing with the Brenner family feels almost non-important though. This is not to say they can't act however, they just feel like they come secondary to everything else, which is sad to see. All actors involved perform decently at portraying the appropriate emotion for each scene. Stefanie Scott as Quinn and her father (Dermot Mulroney) feel believable in their roles but it is frustrating to see that a lot of the time daddy doesn't believe her daughter (even though the situation would be difficult to understand). Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell maintain their chemistry from the first two films but they do come in rather late in the running time.

Lin Shaye looked like she enjoyed her role again and even shows some unknown strength later on. The only character that isn't very creative in personality is the ghoul who latches onto Quinn. Played by Michael Reid MacKay (who has also played other horror creatures), the demon he plays here is quite generic looking. The only thing that defines him are his bloody footprints (like the bloody handprint from the first movie) and making gurgley noises through a gas mask. Sure it's creepy, but as the main villain....not exactly memorable. Actually, from what the ending of Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) gave, it seemed as if this movie would be the prequel about the ghoul that Elise saw behind the girl in the wheelchair. Guess not.

Lin Shaye
Even with this cliched character however, there are a number of effective jump scares and some cringe worthy gross scenes. As cliche as the jump scares are, Whannell at least was able to throw in some tricks here and there, which would have audiences believe the scene is prepping for a jump scare when in fact it's happening at a different time. As long as that works, that means something’s working on the scare factor. The cinematography on the other hand was rather a disappointment. Shot by Brian Pearson (best known for Final Destination 5 (2011)), his view of the further is just as clean cut like the other films but sadly the further is barely used in this movie until the final act. The whole point of the Insidious (2010) franchise is going into the further realm and this entry doesn’t do enough of that. The only other good element to the film is composer Joseph Bishara's film score. Unlike the last two scores which entailed more screeching and whispering violins, this time Bishara actually uses more soft emotional tunes. It's different because normally Bishara doesn't compose tracks like these in such volume. However, this shows Bishara has the talent to produce some really beautiful music when required.

It still has its moments of being creepy, the backstory to all the original characters are nicely explored and Bishara's film score impresses a little more than usual. Even with that said however, the main plot isn't much of anything new, the further realm is not really existent in the running time and the villain is far from memorable.

Points Earned --> 4:10

No comments:

Post a Comment