Let a horror sequence run lengthy sufficient, and ultimately, it turns into essential to discover new avenues of its timeline. Adam Robitel’s Insidious: The Final Key, the fourth installment on this fashionable saga, has achieved the exact same by giving audiences a deep dive into the private historical past of demonologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). The consequence? A film that works on a deeply-visceral stage, however would not supply the emotional punch that it ought to, contemplating the private connection to the story’s constant hero.
The second film on the Insidious timeline, canonically talking (as a result of half three was a prequel to components one and two), Insidious: The Final Key focuses its consideration squarely on paranormal knowledgeable, medium, and de facto franchise hero Elise Rainier as she lives her days coping along with her personal demons — each within the literal and metaphorical sense. Her deep-seated private points along with her previous and her mother and father proceed to hang-out her effectively into maturity, however she finds herself pressured to lastly confront the nightmare of her youth when the present resident of her childhood residence contacts her and begs for assist with a haunting. Unable to let the previous die simply but, Elise, Tucker (Angus Sampson), and Specs (Leigh Whannell) make the journey and stumble onto a haunting that has plagued Elise’s life ever since her youthful years.
Not like one thing like Annabelle: Creation — an analogous, James Wan-produced horror franchise prequel that not too long ago hit theaters — Insidious: The Final Key is the kind of movie that is positively improved in case you have a broader data of the franchise. With out diving too far into spoiler territory, it actively acknowledges its standing as a sequel to Insidious: Chapter three, whereas additionally very clearly framing itself a prequel to the haunting of the Lambert household within the first two Insidious motion pictures.
That mentioned, what would possibly finally stop you from having fun with your self with Insidious: The Final Key is the ultra-thin plotting. The movie strikes at a brisk tempo and takes us by way of the story fairly rapidly, however the added draw back to that velocity is the truth that we don’t discover many characters or narrative threads to correctly latch onto and empathize with. Regardless of some stable creature design, KeyFace just isn’t a very fascinating monster (particularly in comparison with the Lipstick-Face Demon), and the movie’s try to search out some catharsis for Elise along with her brother (Bruce Davison) and her alcoholic, abusive father (Josh Stewart) finally would not repay. Elise stays a likable, badass hero that we wish to observe, however she deserves a greater film round her.
A part of that is because of a tonal imbalance in how Insidious: The Final Key approaches comedy. Tucker and Specs present the movie with its lighter moments as Elise’s infinitely loyal assistants, however additionally they are inclined to drive the story too far into goofy territory, which is partially a results of Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell’s on-set improv. Comedy and horror arguably can go hand-in-hand, however The Final Key generally emphasizes it a bit an excessive amount of, and because of this, we find yourself with some fairly creepy jokes — particularly in how Tucker acts round Elise’s long-lost nieces. Going for laughs principally boils right down to a stylistic alternative, and is not inherently good or unhealthy, however for the story that Insidious: The Final Key is attempting to inform, it would not really feel fairly proper. Possibly Tucker and Specs ought to’ve stayed residence for this one?
If issues like character and plot don’t essentially matter to you, nevertheless, and you’re merely on the lookout for thrills (which is a good demand from a movie like this), then Insidious: The Final Key positively delivers. The MVP of the complete film is director Adam Robitel, who is aware of how to attract pressure out for so long as potential and misdirect viewers consideration to be able to enable a scare to come back from left subject. Two sequences that stand out among the many relaxation are the movie’s opening scene (set towards the backdrop of a home adjoining to a jail) and a sequence during which Elise opens a sequence of suitcases mysteriously positioned in a sewer pipe.
In fact, die-hard horror followers will acknowledge a number of the methods at play right here. Between a first-person evening imaginative and prescient sequence, and a flashback following a pair of children being scared in a bed room (one thing Annabelle: Creation did significantly better solely six months in the past), Insidious: The Final Key tends to lean in the direction of the acquainted. Whereas the scares are well-handled from a filmmaking viewpoint, it could’ve been good to see this groundbreaking franchise proceed to aim to freshen issues up with some daring, new concepts.
Although skillfully directed, Insidious: The Final Key is inferior to earlier entries. Scares come onerous and quick, however they’re underserved by its paper-thin plot and characters. The fourth movie within the Insidious tetralogy is value your time if you’re an avid horror aficionado, a sequence completist, and a fan of Adam Robitel’s work on The Taking of Deborah Logan, however in case you’re not, this positively will not be the movie that wins you over to the spooky style.