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Insidious: The Last Key

Insidious: The Last Key

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Jan 05, 2018
Grade:
C-
Running Time: 
103 minutes

It’s no secret that Lin Shaye has been the backbone of the Insidious franchise. Her character, paranormal investigator Elise Rainier, has been front and center in all of the films, and Insidious: The Last Key takes things one step further by making her the actual focus of the story rather than just the hero who saves the day from whatever demon is lurking in the shadows. Still, four films deep into the franchise and while the story may have evolved a bit, the scares remain practically the same, resulting in another generic horror sequel.

 

Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) has no problems confronting demons with her two paranormal investigator sidekicks, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), but it’s her latest case that has her truly afraid. The supernatural occurrences aren’t just happening in some random house this time around but in her own childhood home she grew up in. In order to save her old home from the demonic possession that has taken over, she must confront her past and venture deeper into The Further than she’s ever gone before.

 

The Last Key does a good job at putting Shaye in the spotlight. The story isn’t so much about the demons haunting her home as it is about her past and growing up with an abusive father who not only dismissed her supernatural gifts but literally tried to beat them out of her. It’s telling when Elise won’t bat an eye at an evil demon but struggles to even so much as step one foot into her old home. The various demons, from the red-faced demon to the “man who can’t breathe”, have always been what’s scary about the Insidious films, but The Last Key flips it and makes people, namely Elise’s father, terrifying. It’s a great addition, but I wish the film would have focused more on her past rather than continue to use traditional jump scares for horror.

 

While the story is better, the horror aspect of the film remains stagnant. It’s just not that scary thanks mostly to some terrible dialogue and forced humor that doesn’t land at all. Specs and Tucker are there for comic relief, as they always have been, but it’s in The Last Key that the duo becomes unbearable. They’re just not funny, and the jokes do nothing for the film except erase any tension that might have been building up.

 

Insidious: The Last Key has some good ideas with its story but fails to follow through on any of them and instead relies upon the same tactics of the previous three films. That might be fine for fans of the franchise, but for those wanting a little bit more out of their horror films these days it’s not enough to keep the film from being simply mediocre.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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