Insidious is a franchise that I’ve been following since the release of the first film back in 2010. This franchise had an extremely strong start and the first installment was actually a favorite horror film of mine for quite some time. I still love watching that film, but each connective film has gotten progressively worse each time, building a franchise that’s slowly fizzling out. Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth film to hit theatres in this franchise and quite frankly, even though it has its moments of terror, it’s really not that great of a film. If you’re a fan of the franchise, there are aspects that are worthy of fans seeing, but I wouldn’t say the movie impressed me on many more levels than that. Let’s dive into the story.
Taking place not too long after the events of the first two films, Elise explores her past and how it interconnects with everything that has happened throughout the franchise so far. Having to face her dark past, while trying to save the lives of everyone around her, this film still has this likable character in the forefront. That being said, this is a film that suffers from trying to connect itself to previous films, making certain scares feel incredibly forced, taking me out of the overall story.
Without spoiling it for fans, there are certain sequences that directly relate to past films, right down to actually showing old scenes, but they felt out of place, due to the nature of the story at hand. This film felt the most distant from anything else in the franchise, so when it connects itself to previous story threads, it felt unnecessarily complex. So yes, this is the weakest installment and it very rarely feels like an actual Insidious movie, but I must admit, there are some really solid scares scattered throughout this movie.
If for nothing else, horror junkies will get a kick out of some really terrifying moments here. Whether it’s a figure standing in the background in a unique way, a creepy conversation happening between children, great uses of sound effects to make you squirm in your seat, or just slowly taking its time to build tension for a nice payoff, Insidious: The Last Key is pretty impressive. If you’re in it simply to have a few great scares, then this will probably satisfy you just fine; However, scares are not everything when it comes to horror films.
I want to be transported into a unique world when I watch a horror film. The majority of horror films deal with supernatural aspects and therefore require you to open your mind to strange possibilities. Sadly, I felt as though each one of the previous films had far more interesting ideas sprinkled throughout them, that this just felt like one big disappointment. I found myself wishing that the premise itself was better, especially when the twists occur, because many of them are just average slasher flick surprises.
In the end, Insidious: The Last Key is impressive when it comes to genuine scares, but lacks in almost every other aspect. Yes, I jumped out of my seat on multiple occasions, but that’s not enough to make me recommend this movie. Hardcore horror junkies will get a few kicks out of it, but the screenplay is derivative of so many previous horror movies, it does nothing new to expand on The Further, which was so interesting in the first two films, and I left this movie feeling slightly cheated as a fan. It didn’t have the special feel that the others did and if it didn’t have the few direct tie-ins that it showcases, it really could’ve been titled anything else. I'm not tearing this movie apart, it's just incredibly mediocre.