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Insidious: The Last Key

January 18th, 2018 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Dagnabbit, the unthinkable has happened. They finally made an INSIDIOUS installment that yours truly has zero gumption to rally behind. We must be trapped in an alternate dimension because I had more fun watching a football game (Go Eagles!) this past weekend than a horror movie (a sign of the Apocalypse?). It’s not that the fourth horse in the INSIDIOUS parade is terrible or anything. It certainly has its heart in the right place but geez Louise, I found it dishwater dull. In fact, at some point in the middle, I got up to go to the restroom and instead of rushing in a frenzied panic, worried I’d miss an important beat; I found myself leisurely strolling knowing that it was unlikely. There are such long, drawn-out, static moments of non-consequence in this movie that I think I could have dropped by the concession stand as well. I’m all for quiet junctures in horror that build up the tension but I’m not down with empty stalling. I’d think I’d be the perfect audience for a film concerning a mature woman confronting a childhood of abuse in a dwelling chock full of demons but you have to throw me a semi-fresh bone to gnaw on periodically. This trudging rehash is creakier than the house it takes place in.

Things start out promising enough with the immensely likable and sympathetic psychic Elise Rainier (the blameless LIN SHAYE) experiencing a nightmare/flashback of her youth. It seems poor Elise is haunted by memories of her brutal father who tried to quell her clairvoyant talents by beating them out of her. After waking up she receives a phone call from a man looking for her assistance in ridding his home of malignant spirits only to find out the address in question is that of her childhood home. This is an intriguing premise and I’m all on board but as soon as she and her henchmen Specks and Tucker (LEIGH WHANNELL and ANGUS SAMPSON) arrive at the (barely changed in 60 years) haunted abode things begin to slide towards the mundane. Even worse, the characters of Specs and Tucker who have been consistent sources of amusement in the INSIDIOUS series are regulated to leering at Elise’s nieces and repeating painful dad jokes. The closing scene of INSIDIOUS 3, which involved the trio teaming up and facing a future of ghostbusting together was so promising, it seemed the sky was the limit as far as what they might encounter next. Disappointingly, even with Elise’s personal history attached, we still end up in the increasingly less interesting phantom zone “the further.”

I think INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY might do the trick as a rainy night time-killer. It’s a respectable enough attempt and a little SHAYE goes a long way. Still, it seems like there were more than a few potentially profound moments involving Elise’s reconciliation with her parents and her rejecting the urge to empower the evil with her rage that fall much flatter than they should. Maybe I’m experiencing INSIDIOUS fatigue or maybe it’s the fact that horror fans have been gifted much more lively and exciting fare to devour as of late. In any case, this movie has done well enough financially that a fifth installment is not unlikely. Here’s hoping that next time those in power are creative enough to take us someplace we don’t expect, someplace further than “the further.”

Tags: General Horror




4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dylan Donnie-DukeNo Gravatar // Jan 18, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    While I have had many issues with the later insidious “Insidious” installments, I do have to take issue with this review. I mean, seriously? You had fun watching football?

  • 2 Ben SNo Gravatar // Jan 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Oh dear! A bad review from you is the kiss of death–especially for an INSIDIOUS movie. I have to say that I was worried. INSIDIOUS 3 had a lot of elements that I liked, and it made me jump and scream a bunch of times. But unlike INSIDIOUS 2 (which I adore), I was starting to feel fatigue creeping in. An unwelcome creakiness with the series’ conventions. I was afraid that come part 4 the air would be out of the balloon. This is a shame because the concept is BRILLIANT!!

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 18, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    DDD, Haha- I’m alarmed as well. And now I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday and I think it’s partially INSIDIOUS 4’s fault. If it makes you feel better, although I enjoyed watching football, I can’t say I fully understood what was happening.

    Ben S, If part 3 was pushing your patience, you might want to stay clear of this one. SHAYE is great but the story really chains her to the ground and her poor sidekicks are given the worst dialogue. It’s too bad because this installment would have been the perfect opportunity to steer the series into uncharted territory.

    I actually hate writing bad reviews so much. I feel like a teenager writing in a slam book.

    The good news is that the movie started so late that the theater gave everybody in the audience (all 3 of us) free passes to use on another movie in the future…so it wasn’t a total loss.

  • 4 Cousin WILNo Gravatar // Jan 24, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    The flashback/dream in the beginning actually gave me physical goosebumps. Even though you know what is going to happen, the anticipation is great and creepy. After that it is all down hill. Sad, because I really liked the 3rd, even though I didn’t like the first and skipped the second.

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