As much as I enjoy Insidious and its franchise, I didn’t think it would be making any additional chapters, especially continuing the original story and still make it interesting. Alas, we now have chapter 4, another prequel to the first one but a sequel to chapter 3. My first review of 2018 is the latest horror movie in the franchise Insidious Chapter 4 a.k.a The Last Key. I did enjoy the film and it was creepy in some parts but you can tell that it is starting to lose some of its initial steam.
This latest entry follows the complex and layered life of Elise Rainier, our favorite seer into the other side. This time we see everything from her childhood dealing with her gift and the one case that hit so close to home it almost threatened her life and those really close to her.
It has become clear that Lin Shaye, who plays the leading lady Elise, is the central focus of this franchise. Just like Jennifer Tilly become the face of the Child’s Play franchise. As much as I love the ghost and the scares, centering on Shaye’s character is one of the main reasons why I continue to watch the sequels. She is such an interesting character and I just want to know more about her. After watching this film, she is even more developed than before. Shaye does a wonderful job stirring the movie further (pun intended) because you do care about her.
The movie isn’t just about her, we also get to see the development of her team, Specs and Tucker played by Leigh Whannell, the creator of these characters, and Angus Sampson respectively. Both with a different look and also the start of their signature looks with their Mormon’s on a mission clothes on. They get plenty more screen time this go around providing more of the comic relief which is starting to become a trend I think in horror. Balancing out a suspense with a bit of humor I think is okay and if done right doesn’t take away from the horror or tone. Other new characters are introduced in the film, they were also interesting as well in support of our leading lady.
The scares I thought were good. I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. This is where it’s losing a little bit of steam. The trailer showed almost all the scariest parts of the film. Also, the jump scares are starting to become a little predictable at this point. What was so amazing about the first one was not only did we watch something that was completely unexpected when it came to how these scares were executed but the fact that this pg-13 feature didn’t need blood, gore, or big R-rated tropes to get you all hyped up. This time though, I noticed a few repeated tactics I’ve seen in the previous films. Judging from the specific audience I saw the movie with they seemed to be into it but I think it was more of the self-hype they created for themselves as oppose to the movie that was playing on-screen. There are great build ups though that I witnessed that were clever, but one in particular you think you know how it will go and it doesn’t create more tension. When you see a bunch of briefcases, you will see what I mean.
While I enjoyed the story and the new information we discover about Elise Rainier, the movie seems to be stuck in its original story, no matter how tangled it is in the time line, I think its time it broke some new ground and started anew. They should definitely keep Shaye in the franchise but unfortunately, anyone who has seen the first movie knows that the options on where to take this franchise is very limited. Maybe this was the plan or maybe they didn’t expect her character to become so popular.
I don’t know what their plan is for this going forward. The way the movie wrapped up, I don’t think there will be any additional movies. At least with this particular story. So, it will be interesting to find out if they do continue it, will they reboot it or just go a different route with another storyline. Only time will tell, but in the meantime if you are a fan of the franchise and have been satisfied so far, this movie will not disappoint. As a standalone movie, this is something that can be watched without watching the others. I would say to get a full understanding of what you see from start to finish you have to watch the first one at least. You will still get what you need from the film. The movie is acted pretty well and even the additional characters are people who you genuinely like a fear for their lives. The mystery thriller is something that can be watched again but I personally don’t need to watch it again unless I am watching it with the rest of the franchise. I don’t believe this to be the strongest of the series but it is still effective and worth seeing at the movies. I also noticed a few scenes from the trailer removed from the movie itself. The disappearance of a specific scene makes me wonder if a specific plot point was taken out of the movie. I would love it if this serious, along with SAW, and The Conjuring all took place in the same universe. I think that would be amazing but they would have such a huge task keeping it from getting too gimmicky. The film is entertaining and still brings the scares but it’s treading a thin line and should be careful with its next entry should there be one.
3 ½ out of 5
Thank you for reading my review. Comment your thoughts on the film and how you like the franchise so far. Should the franchise continue after chapter 4? Remember to subscribe for future reviews throughout 2018. I’ll see you at the movies.