Insidious Chapter 3 marks the directorial debut of series veteran Leigh Whanell. The film is a prequel to the insidious franchise, offering a look at Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her decision to use her gift, long dormant to help people in need. We get a brief history of Elise's past, her husband, her gift, what brought her to become a recluse in her home. It's all explained and told very well. Elise gets a visit from Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) who recently lost her mother due to a fatal illness. Reluctantly, Elise agrees to help Quinn contact her mother. During her trance, Elise is confronted by the female specter that has been haunting her and, haunts her into the rest of the Insidious series. Shaken and scared, Elise swears off her power, leaving Quinn with more questions than answers. Elise warns Quinn not to try to contact her mother because, all the dead can hear her when she is trying to make contact.
Indeed, Quinn attempted contact on her own and has become the target of an unknown demon known as the breathing man. Quinn's father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) tries to help Quinn deal with the loss of her mother but, it is becoming clear, Quinn is being pursued by a demon who can't be stopped.
Sean contacts a group of television "paranormal Investigators" Specks (Whanell in his returning role) and Tucker (Angus Sampson, also returning). The duo set up cameras and other equipment in hope of capturing the demon on footage. They do so but, it is clear they are in over their head. The film has a lot of very good jump scares. PG-13 rated horror films often worry me. Somehow, the film works very well and, really pushes the rating and can be really scary.
With a production dream team that includes James Wan, Oren Peli and Jason Blum, the talent is there and, really delivers.
Unable to help, Elise is coaxed back into active duty and agrees to help the possessed Quinn break free of the grips of the demon. Still pursued by her own personal demon, Elise battles the other side to find Quinn and rescue her from the breathing man who hold total control over Quinn and numerous other young women. One problem I had was the demon was fascinating but, never fleshed out as a character. I would have loved to learn his back story, instead he was an unknown demon and, for unknown reasons collected the souls of women.
The film works very well, the characters are so well written, the film is a joy to watch. The end makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and hope to see more of Elise, Specks and Tucker. I know I look forward to their next romp in the paranormal.
Insidious Chapter 3 rated PG-13
Directed by Leigh Whannell
Written by Leigh Whannell