By Aneal Singh
Anticipation. Smiles on faces. Entering the doors. Jump scare. Saw it coming. Exiting the doors. Disappointed to see a great series end. All these words describe what it feels to see Insidious: The Last Key, as it was a tragic ending to a brilliant series.
Anticipation. Smiles on faces. Entering the doors. Jump scare. Saw it coming. Exiting the doors. Disappointed to see a great series end. All these words describe what it feels to see Insidious: The Last Key, as it was a tragic ending to a brilliant series. As explained in the trailer, parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even more disturbing is the address -- 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M. -- the home where Elise grew up as a child. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear -- the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier. Furthermore, even though ratings for the Insidious series decreased since its first instalment, critics and viewers alike agree that Insidious: The Last Key was among the worst. In Rotten Tomatoes critic consensus states, “Insidious: The Last Key offers franchise star Lin Shaye another welcome opportunity to take the lead, but her efforts aren’t enough to rescue this unsurprised sequel.”
Achieving an all-time low 31% on Rotten Tomatoes and 5.8/10 on IMDb the core problem the movie faces was its composure of blending its horrific factor while maintaining its storyline. By maintaining a PG13 rating, the series was restricted to infrequent and moderate violence; however, Insidious 1, 2, and 3 were able to accomplish this factor through meticulous screenplay accompanied by suspenseful music. Nonetheless, in Insidious: The Last Key, it failed to do so by using a repetition of ghosts in places such as the kitchen, bedroom, and overall throughout the house. Along the same lines, whether be it, a creature, ghost, or demon, they were never fully developed (even if a minor character) and lacked the scare factor as seen in former movies. Freshman Jonathan Chamu said, “Looking at the trailers there was a lot of jump scares, and it seemed like it would a good movie. However, when seeing the movie, it was practically the same jump scares and nothing else.” Nevertheless, though the production of the movie failed as a whole, the production elements create a “spooky” atmosphere. This was accomplished using a new style for cutting scenes and making the house appear as if it was untouched from Elise’s childhood; yet, it was ruined , again, when the protagonist finds herself walking in knee deep fog that appears as if it was generated by a dry ice machine. Freshmen Vivianna Duarte said, “The atmosphere gave me a certain spooky tone but was destroyed from the amount of jump scares that didn’t even make me jump.”
Despite all dislikes made towards the movie, producer James Wan believes that the film ties together due to Lin Shaye’s, Elise, “undeniable appeal”. As a veteran character actress, James Wan and Variety Magazine movie critique Andrew Backer both agree that Shaye clearly knows how rare it is to have a role as this at the age of 74, and sinks her teeth into every scene. Watching as the simultaneously vulnerable and fearless Elise throws herself into one perilous entanglement after another, Sun Times critic Richard Roeper said, “you have to tip your hat to the “Insidious” brain trust for giving the character the starring role.” With similar views sophomore, Adelmo Ortiz said, “One of the movie's strengths was the backstory of Elise and the actor who portrayed her. Without her, I would have not of seen any strengths.”
As the first three Insidious films were met with decidedly mixed reviews, they collectively sported a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes. With few film genres as unaffected by the critical consensus as horror movies, the trio combines to rake in over $371 million at the box office. However, Insidious: The Last Key resulted in more tedious than frightening moments where comic relief was unseen. By the time it ends you may find yourself agreeing with Elise when she says, “I should never have come back here.”
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