2 June 2015 | quincytheodore
Flaws from the past might still haunt Insidious, but this chapter of the old clairvoyant and new tormented souls proves to be adequately as well as intimately harrowing.
A scare is much like a joke, tell it too many times and it will lose its charm. The third chapter of Insidious aim to repeat the success of the original with new characters and old proved methods of distributing chill. It has different atmosphere than previous rural haunting plus screeching hymn, which is a nice change of pace. At times it might revert back to repetitive gimmicks, but ultimately the capable cast led by Lin Shaye as they witness the perilous yet private story of a haunted girl manage to fright and fascinate.
Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) is saddened by the loss of her mother. Out of desperation she seeks Elise (Lin Shaye) to make unworldly contact. Elise is reluctant to help the troubled girl as she is distraught by her own problems. Though unwilling she still senses that an entity follows Quinn, but it is the farthest thing from her mother. While this premise is similar to The Conjuring, or others of the genre, it still works simply because the characters in predicament are likable.
Lin Shaye is very good on drawing sympathy, she looks fragile yet her on-screen compassionate nature is infectious. She also has a way to convey dread as a sort of more neighborly psychic instead of outright doomsayer. The new cast of Brenner family is also presentable. Stefanie Scott as Quinn is believable as an ordinary teen girl, with her typical girl issues and aspirations. The way she might seem plain, not a scream queen, is actually a boon to the movie as she's so much more relatable.
Dermot Mulroney as Sean, Quinn's father is a great choice. He appears convincing as a father, especially as a single parent who must deal with raising two kids and now the addition of invasive entity. The chemistry between the two as father-daughter is solid, while other supporting characters build up the suspense or deliver a glint of humor between the dark days.
It all comes down to the how horrifying this third chapter is. The set-up for horror is exceptionally done for the majority of the film, at several scenes it has some clever ways or perspectives to raise the thrill. However, it's still plagued by the same flaws of the franchise, such as resorting to screaming jump scares or it might lose steam as it goes further like the original. These rehearsed stuffs are admittedly have worn out their welcome, whether they persistently linger of not.
What really nails the horror is the victim, Quinn, as she is gradually gnawed by this malicious existence. In an analogy of a young woman abused, both physically and emotionally, she is shown of losing herself bits by bits. It has a bit of oriental touch as some scenes reminded me of Japanese thriller, and they work very well in tandem with confident acting of the cast. It's much easier to invest to their ordeal as it looks so personal.
Before the story Lambert family, there is a tale of breathlessly unfortunate lady. Familiar her story may be though the private display of her trial is suitably eerie.