Star Rating:

Insidious: Chapter 3

Actors: Dermot Mulroney, Hayley Kiyoko

Release Date: Saturday 30th November 2013

Genre(s): Horror

Running time: 97 minutes

Insidious has become one of those horror franchises that's somehow managed to worm its way into the popular consciousness, even though it's never very good. For one, the film's has a completely daft premise that involves something to do with a psychic demon that enters people's dreams and kills them there. Doesn't that remind anyone else of Freddy Kruger? Children, talk to your parents about Nightmare On Elm Street if you didn't get that reference.

Insidious: Chapter 3 sees Dermot Mulroney as Sean Brenner, a recently widowed father of young Quinn (Stefanie Scott). Attempting to restart his life and move on from losing his wife, Sean seeks the help of Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), an OAP with psychic abilities who can contact the dead. When Quinn convinces her to use her powers to make contact with her mother, it naturally brings forth a demon that will kill them all because, y'know, this is a horror movie.

Director Leigh Whannell, who previously scripted the first two, is smart enough to know that he's working with material that is severely constricted by people's expectations. After all, we've seen this order of events several times over and we know what to expect. Jump scare. Death. Exposition. Looks like it's gone away. Another jump scare. Death. Exposition. Mild applause at the end, everyone goes home a little scared and so forth. That's absolutely fine, but we're living in a cinematic world which sees the likes of It Follows and The Babadook changing our perception of modern horror can be.

Therefore, something like Insidious: Chapter 3 is ultimately going to be viewed against not only what came before, but what else is out there for the viewing public. Don't get us wrong - Insidious: Chapter 3 is a perfectly acceptable horror movie that delivers a decent amount of shocks and is, for the most part, reasonably entertaining. It's just a shame that Whannell makes no attempt at pushing out the boat and trying to subvert our expectations. It's like watching a very good cover band, playing your favourite song. You know it all, beat for beat, and you're enjoying the experience - but you're not going to tell everyone about it, are you?