Combustible Celluloid
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With: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye, Tate Berney, Michael Reid MacKay, Steve Coulter, Hayley Kiyoko, Corbett Tuck, Tom Fitzpatrick, Tom Gallop, Jeris Poindexter, Ele Keats
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, frightening images, some language and thematic elements
Running Time: 97
Date: 06/08/2015

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Further Girl

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

With regular Insidious director James Wan moving to Furious 7, screenwriter and actor Leigh Whannell takes over the helm of the horror series he helped create, and makes his directing debut. Fortunately, he takes several cues from his colleague and focuses on character interactions, well-defined space, and intriguing use of rhythm and timing, as well as a spooky musical score.

Set before the events of Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, our story begins as teen Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) seeks the help of psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). She wishes to contact her dead mother, but Elise has quit the psychic business, afraid she has gone too far and that she is in danger. But meanwhile, things with Quinn get worse, she is run over by a car and must now recover with both her legs in casts. Plus, it seems that a malevolent demon, not her mother, is now after her. Quinn's father (Dermot Mulroney) is at his wit's end, and decides to hire a couple of paranormal investigators, Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell). With time running out, Elise decides she is actually the only one that can help.

On the downside, like the second movie, Insidious: Chapter 3 doesn't have much new to offer, and virtually all of the scares are of the jump-shock variety, with monsters appearing suddenly, and frequently shrieking as well. But Whannell at least tries to change the timing of the shocks, delaying and subverting the expected. He also creates a very Lynchian version of the Further, with nightmarish imagery that can cause just as many tingles. Finally, his characters are sympathetic and easy to like, and Lin Shaye is especially touching and powerful in her role.

Sony Pictures released an excellent Blu-ray edition that also includes a digital copy. It comes with several little featurettes, and a few short deleted scenes, as well as trailers.

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