Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth installment to the Insidious franchise and boy does it fall flat. The problem with most horror films these days is the lack of plot and story; to make up for that, these movies provide us with some great scares but ultimately, do nothing to drive the story forward. Insidious has the exact opposite for a problem, too much plot and not enough scares! Imagine my frustration with this movie, especially when the story leaves a lot to be desired in the first place. Let’s chat.
Lin Shaye returns as Elise Rainer and she stars alongside Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Kirk Acevedo, Caitlin Gerard, Spencer Locker, Josh Stewart, Tessa Ferrer & a very brief performance from our boy from Get Out, Marcus Henderson (he played the groundskeeper/grandfather). The X-Men stan in me also peeped Bruce Davison (aka Senator Kelly from X-Men & X2) had a small role as well. All in all, the acting was quite terrible. I don’t usually expect much from horror movies when it comes to acting but I was very unimpressed by the performances witnessed in this film. The characters were unconvincing and Shay proved that her character Elise Rainer isn’t a strong lead, which is disappointing in a time where strong female-leads in film and television is on such a high right now.
The movie starts off with Elise’s tough childhood with an abusive father who wants very badly to suppress her gifts. This moment in time, the 50’s or 60’s, is the first ever occurrence in the franchise’s timeline. Fast-forward to where most of the film takes place, we’re in the early 2000’s. By now, the events of Insidious & Insidious Chapter 2 haven’t happened yet. In the present, Ted Garza (Kirk Acevedo) reached out to Elise about spirits in his house. Turns out this is the same home we saw in the beginning of the film that Elise grew up in.
By now we’re about halfway through the movie and the ONLY thing that was scary so far was an unnerving scene involving many corner turns and a gun, nope not even a demon. Like I said earlier, director Adam Robitel clearly wanted to focus on developing plot rather than adding unnecessary jumps and scares. Had the plot been thicker and more concise, this probably would’ve worked for Insidious: The Last Key. Viewers are left wondering why certain characters behaved a certain way or why this person has the ability to do this and the others don’t.
It’s essentially a story about coming to terms with the ghosts of your past and childhood, which really could’ve been brilliant in the hands of another writer but ultimately fell flat. This wasn’t Leigh Whannell’s best attempt at writing but hey, the franchise seems to be doing rather well at the box office. There is an amazing scene with suitcases in a tight space that just leaves the viewer on edge and this was the only time I was truly frightened in all 109 minutes of this movie’s showtime.
I give it a ghastly 3/10 and I wouldn’t recommend seeing this, even if you’re a long-time fan of the franchise, but do what you must! Let me know what your thoughts are!