Well I couldn't sleep, no idea why other than it was a little hot in my room so I decided that rather than just lay there and look at the ceiling I would watch a horror film. I figured that I would do this in order to kick start my new/moved blog.
I looked at the backlog of films I had waiting for me and decided for no real reason that I would watch Insidious Chapter 3. Now first things first I have seen both Insidious and Insidious Chapter 2, in fact I started writing a review for the first one and don’t think I ever finished it but the short version would be I really enjoyed it, yeah it wasn't the most original of films but it was well done and worth watching. I remember the second one being more of the same but it seemed a lot less impact, I watched it and then more or less instantly forgot it, I still don’t remember very much about it other than a sense of mild disappointment. Coming in to this film I did not even realise that it was a prequel as I hadn't really read around it or thought about it much, it was just sat with Ouija, Oculus and a few others waiting for me to come along and grab one.
Basically despite being called chapter 3 (which I hate and will talk about latter) it is a prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family apparently two years before the start of the first movie. The films main character is a teenage girl whose mother has recently passed away, now she lives with her father and her younger brother, the father seems to be having a hard time as well and sort of relies on her to help take care of her younger brother. She has also found her mother’s passing hard and has been trying to talk to her and contact her. She visits Elise Rainier the spiritual medium from the first two films who reluctantly agrees to use her spiritual abilities to try and contact the girl’s mother. Elise is unable to complete the reading due to a demonic presence but she sends the girl away warning her to stop trying to contact her mother by telling her that when “you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you." Soon after the reading, she begins to notices more and more supernatural events occurring.
OK now I have set the story up and given a hint of the kind of film this is I will try and talk about how I felt about it without giving to many spoilers away. First the main thing people probably want to know is if this film is scary or not. This is not always an easy question to answer as what terrifies one person might have very little effect on another. Now bearing in mind it’s a fifteen you instantly know not to expect Evil Dead style buckets of blood but this film certainly uses what it can to try and catch you off guard. Yes some of the scares are jump scares which some people love and others hate but it doesn't purely rely on them, it uses a mix of tools to create an uneasy atmosphere. There are jump scares but then there are fake moments where the tension rises and rises and you can almost feel a jump scare coming and then nothing, this means that when it does pull a quick scare you will really fall for it as you never know which are the real and which are the fake. There are also scenes where one moment you can see the main character and the next the camera shots become the view from her eyes, you can see what she is seeing as if you are in her place, you can see things darting from the shadows or crawling towards you and it is done in what I feel is a very interesting way. Some of the situations it puts the lead in are things which are based on child hood fears many of us have had, the creature in the shadow, the thing you cannot see but you can hear, sure some of it might not be original but in my opinion what is there is really well used.
The standard of most of the acting is not about to win any Oscars but I do think that for a film like this it is very good, there is an excellent use of light and the sound is also brilliant, there was literally a moment where the sound alone had me cringing. I would give this film a 7.5 out of 10. I don’t think seeing it is going to change anyone’s life or make them rethink what a horror movie should be and for that reason I don’t feel I can give it a higher score but if you want something to watch to entertain you, something you can put on turn the lights off and just enjoy with a bowl of popcorn then you could do a lot worse than this.
I could end things here but I need to say that I hate the title though. Insidious Chapter 3, why do we need the Chapter word? Wouldn't Insidious 2 and Insidious 3 have worked just as well? Do they really think that the word chapter does anything? Maybe it is an attempt to make us think of it all as one giant story instead of multiple connected stories? Or to make us think of it as some kind of higher art, closer to a great book perhaps? I suppose I would have called this film Insidious: Origins but I guess that would prevent them from making a film set before this, no idea if they will ever try that but maybe they just like the idea of keeping their options open. All I can hope is that if they make another one it’s as good as this and that they don’t hit the well too many times.