We kick off the new year with a familiar story. The Insidious franchise has managed to stay relevant enough to garner continuous deeper plot explorations. Labeling the additional movies as sequels or even prequels would be incorrect. Blumhouse has taken a very interesting approach with the supernatural horror franchise. Rather than a linear continuation that most movies take, audiences are treated to one big story that comes from different perspectives. Insidious: The Last Key promises to keep this enjoyable tradition going.
Insidious: The Last Key takes a step back in time to the childhood years of Elise Rainier. Young Elise (Ava Kolker) tries to cope with her ability to see the dead, and with a father that continuous punishes her whenever she speaks about her gift. This struggle eventually causes young Elise to leave her family home to find comfort, sanity and understanding elsewhere in the world. Jump ahead decades and the Elise (Lin Shaye) that we’ve come to know is about to get a call that send her back to her home where faced her most tumultuous moments as a child. Accompanied by Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) yet again, Elise goes home to face the terrifying demons of her past. Truths she could not imagine are awaiting her arrival that will change everything.
Just where does Insidious: The Last Key fall in the timeline compared to previous movies? That’s hard to definitively say but that’s only because it touches on some many areas. Do yourselves a favor and don’t try and define it in a “when category”, look at is as more a comprehensive summary while adding in important substance throughout. The plot of this latest feature is solid, as is the writing. Where it falls off though is in its attempts to frighten hopeful filmgoers. There are some seemingly scary moments, but not enough to carry this into a state of heart-pounding fervor.
While not a completely satisfying chapter, Insidious: The Last Key does provide some great context into its overall picture. Temper expectations of fear and go into this with an understanding that you will gain a much clearer picture of why Elise is the focal point of this franchise. This feels like more of a collection of deleted scenes of previous movies rather than a feature film. In theaters now.