Review: Insidious The Last Key | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Review: Insidious The Last Key

Film Critic Megan Whitehouse discusses whether Insidious: The Last Key has unlocked any new potential the fourth time around

For anyone who has seen the Insidious movies it will come as no surprise when I say that the fourth instalment is about as ridiculous and bizarre as the franchise’s previous efforts. Although this is the fourth film that has been released it acts as the second film in the franchise’s chronology, making it a direct prequel to the original Insidious movie, and a sequel to Insidious 3. So just to run through, the order is Insidious 3, then 4, then 1, then 2. Glad we got that all straightened out. Anyway, this film follows everyone’s favourite parapsychologist Elise Rainier (played by the wonderful Lin Shayne) as she returns to her childhood home to confront the demons and spirits that continue to haunt it.

It will come as no surprise when I say that the fourth instalment is about as ridiculous and bizarre as the franchise’s previous efforts

Flashbacks to Elise’s childhood make up the first twenty or so minutes of the film and in all honesty these scenes are pretty terrifying. Elise’s mother attempts to reassure her daughter that she is special and that she has a gift, her father on the other hand attempts to beat this gift out of her: it’s pretty hard to watch. After being locked in the basement one-night, Elise finds herself communicating with the various spirits and ghosts that reside down there. One thing leads to another and she unwittingly unleashes the demon that will haunt her for the majority of the film.

Flash forward 60 or so years and Elise is a working parapsychologist come ghost hunter complete with two comic relief sidekicks, who if anything come across as rather creepy themselves. She is called to action after receiving a phone call of a haunting that happens to be, shock horror, taking place at the house where she grew up. Cue road trip to Elise’s childhood home in the town of Five Keys, New Mexico (Five Keys, see what they did there?). Elise’s home remains almost unchanged even down to the toys Elise and her brother played with as children, surely over 60 years someone would have redecorated? The film builds nicely though with some pretty impressive jump scares as Elise roams around her old house. There’s also a pretty awkward family reunion with Elise’s brother and his now grown up, very attractive daughters, who Elise’s sidekicks take every opportunity to flirt with, even in the final act when there are probably more important things to be thinking about, like you know the fate of everyone’s souls, I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.

In typical Insidious style, the film’s final act follows Elise and her also psychic niece wandering around the ‘further’ in search of the big bad demon that’s been giving them grief for the whole film. Some pretty laughable moments ensue as well a frankly ridiculous resolution involving a whistle, which I won’t even go into.

This film is ridiculous, the writing is pretty poor and some parts are really quite laughable, but, and this is a big but, it is fun

The whole thing is a strange blend of funny and bizarre, although that doesn’t take away from the fact that the monster is in fact quite scary, having keys for fingers is actually kind of creepy, who knew? The film ties into the original Insidious, with some cameo appearances and some flashbacks thrown in, that would probably be quite clever if you can remember anything about the original movie. I mean it came out 8 years ago now, which is kind of terrifying in itself.

This film is ridiculous, the writing is pretty poor and some parts are really quite laughable, but, and this is a big but, it is fun. You know what you’re going to get and I’m telling you, you will not get through it without jumping at least once. What more do you really want from a standard scary movie? Plus you might as well get used to them because based on the amount of money these films make at the box office, they’ll keep churning them out regardless.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a truly terrifying, intelligent horror then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you don’t mind a fairly enjoyable but average scary movie with a far-fetched storyline and some pretty decent jump scares then Insidious: The Last Key will not disappoint.

Rating: 4/10

2nd Year English Lit Student // Birmingham



Published

5th February 2018 at 9:00 am



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