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Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)

A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.


A prequel, eh? Seeing Leigh Whannell's name as the titles ran was a good sign. I didn't have preconceptions of Chapter 3, but prequels starring written out characters seems a little desperate. I don't know how to make this a franchise. And as we know, these days everything has to be  a franchise. But Whannell has been ingrained in the writing of the series since the beginning and has since directed the excellent Upgrade. So no complaints there. The film actually stacks up pretty well. As far as franchise fodder goes it does a solid job, but it is a good stand alone horror film. It's full of what you would expect from a franchise which looks more and more like a spin off of The Conjuring franchise - and better than most of those. So it is pretty scary. It's lighter on gore, but these films have never been about that.

Helming the cast is Lin Shaye (A Nightmare on Elm Street - Yes, the 1984 one), returning with her franchise character Elise. I've always liked Shaye, but she usually has a background / supporting role. I've only recently seen her having far meatier roles in films such as Jack Goes Home. She does a good job here - better than in Jack. She suits the role of Elise well in a doting Gran who is psychic, weird, and yet cool sort of way. The other main part falls to Stefanie Scott (I.T.) - the hauntee of the piece. Career wise she still seems to be finding her feet, but she's a good actor and one to watch. Her up and coming films look to be more horror than not, and she could be a  scream queen in the making.

There are light touches of humor from the usual inclusion of Whannell and Angus Sampson (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Specs and Tucker - keeping the tone light when it's needed.

All in, Chapter 3 is a good, old fashion haunting movie. It's well written and directed, with solid performances. Of course there's a forth, and fifth...franchise gotta franchise, right?

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