Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Insidious: The Last Key

Grade : B Year : 2018 Director : Adam Robitel Running Time : 1hr 43min Genre : ,
Movie review score

I missed “Insidious: Chapter 3” in theatres, but I caught up with it courtesy of Netflix later, and I wish I had watched it again before seeing the latest chapter of this franchise. I remember liking it, but don’t remember much of the story, and I feel like I should have refreshed on it. No matter- “The Last Key” is an entertaining new film in the franchise, and brings it full circle in a way that (hopefully) shuts the door on it.

The film begins with a flashback to 1953 New Mexico, and the childhood of Elise (Lin Shaye), the psychic who is acutely aware of the Nightmare world known as The Further, which writer Leigh Whannell (who also plays one of Elise’s helpers, Specs) and director James Wan introduced us to in the 2011 original. She has just been put to bed with her brother, Christian, by their mother, and she has a vision which frightens her. By the end of the night, her father will have beaten her as punishment for her visions, which her mother believes her about, locked in a fall-out cellar, and her mother will die at the hands of a malevolent force that she unleashes. It’s a nightmare of Elise’s in 2010, and a predecessor to a call she gets that will lead her back to her childhood home to try and rid it of the spirits that haunted her as a child.

I like how Whannell has managed to turn this franchise into one that has Elise at the center rather than the people who are being haunted. Shaye is wonderful in the role, and Elise and her assistants, Specs and Tucker (Angus Sampson) are a fun trio, although the fourth time around, Specs and Tucker’s routine doesn’t work quite as well. The film deals a lot in coincidences and predictable decisions in screenwriting that make this an obvious horror entry in what felt like a very fresh concept at the start, but Whannell, director Adam Robitel and their cast (including Bruce Davison and Caitlin Gerard in key roles) do a lot to make this bringing of Elise’s story and purpose come full circle, and feel satisfying as a fan of the series. There’s not really a whole lot more that one can say about the film, except that, if you’re a fan of what came before, you won’t be disappointed.

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