The Horror Honeys: INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 and the Man Who Just Can't...

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 and the Man Who Just Can't...

A Monster Honey Review by Jennica

Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)

"It's not the house that's haunted. It's your son." Those chilling words uttered from the lips of iconic horror actress Lin Shaye are what first drew my attention to James Wan's Insidious (2010). I've had a passionate love affair with films about possession, and hauntings, and the occult for many years, but to call a human being "haunted," well, that was something unexpected. 

Insidious borrowed a lot of characteristics from older films of the same nature and made them new again, and perhaps more sinister. When I saw the title appear across the screen in big red letters with the sound of those scratchy, high-pitched violins, it was as if The Omen (1976) and The Exorcist (1974) got together and created a demonic love child hellbent on striking me down with fear. Of course, I've heard endless stories about Heaven, and Hell, and Purgatory, but this place called The Further was a completely new dimension that opened up another level of questions and a restored fear of the unknown. However, the best part: Insidious was the first film in at least the last five years to restore my faith in the horror genre.

By the time Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) rolled into theaters, I was already deeply invested in the Lambert family and I was ready to get acquainted with the Bride in Black. While I enjoyed this follow-up to the first film, I did miss seeing psychic Elise Ranier (Lin Shaye) and her dynamic duo Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell) share more screen time, as they were just as much stars in the first film as the family they were rescuing. Unfortunately, since Elise is technically no longer with us after the first film, the only logical way to revive the team completely was to crank out a prequel and ironically call it Insidious Chapter 3.

Although Insidious Chapter 3 had some noteworthy moments and ideas about the afterlife, this will likely be the last time that I tiptoe through the tulips.

The Plot: Set a few years prior to the Lambert haunting, Elise has thrown in the towel on her psychic readings after being struck by the tragic loss of a loved one. When she receives a knock at her door by a distressed Quinn, who is desperate to make contact with her recently deceased mother, Elise is at first reluctant to get involved. But when it is discovered that the thing Quinn has contacted is a parasitic entity, Elise is forced to battle her own demons in order to help Quinn battle hers.

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?
Throughout this third installment in the Insidious franchise, grief and the need for closure seem to be obvious themes. A few characters in the story lose someone near and dear to them whether it's by physical illness or their own hand and the film follows those left behind in the world of the living as they struggle to say goodbye to the dead in their own ways. You might need to reach into The Further of your pockets for a tissue here and there. 

As death acts as a centerpiece connecting everyone in the film, I was able to peer into the life of Elise Ranier for the first time. She is more than just the omnipotent psychic who swoops in to save the day; she becomes a real person with her own personal memories, feelings, and insecurities. And her life is just as crucial to the story as the life of the girl she is fighting to save.

I wanted very badly to love this movie as I did the previous two movies and despite the overall cringe-worthy generic feel of Insidious Chapter 3, I was able to find comfort in the nostalgia dished out toward the end of this installment. The true reason for Elise's anxieties caused by the Bride in Black are revealed as she prepares for a potentially lethal reunion. And seeing Tucker and Specs bicker like an old married couple with Elise as their referee almost made me forget that I was watching a prequel.. Those "Hey, remember this?" moments were wisely sprinkled throughout the last half hour or so-- I assume-- to soften my feelings of being underwhelmed.

Shut up, Tucker. It's just a glorified Etch-a-Sketch.
Staying on the subject of nostalgia, although no longer in a warm, fuzzy kind of way, where the hell was Tiny Tim and his nightmarish cartoony medley? Upon my initial viewing of the trailer, I was bracing myself for perhaps the most bone-chilling rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" yet. The first two movies where frightening enough but that song crept into my dreams long after I fled theater. Maybe Tiny Tim has lost his grasp on some moviegoers by the third movie, but I believe his diddy has become a trademark of the franchise and it's not quite an Insidious movie without it.

If it wasn't obvious from the trailer, it was definitely apparent in the movie itself that Leigh Whannell was desperately seeking the approval of the average moviegoer also known as the teenage demographic. Quinn was the biggest hipster cliche that I have seen in any horror movie, or any movie in general. She struts around in a Pixies tank top, she sits in bed reading A Clockwork Orange, takes photos of her food, becomes a vegetarian... blah, blah, blah. Okay, Mr. Whannell. Dude. Sir. I get it. This is what today's teens supposedly act like. Thanks, but no thanks.

I was possessed before the Lambert family made it cool.
Setting aside the minor annoyances of the music (or lacktherof) and the dumbed down audience appeal, the largest letdown of Insidious Chapter 3 is the demon attempting to possess Quinn's body. You know, before it's cool. The Bride in Black in the first two films was simple but effective with a mysterious name. But I just can't with The Man Who Can't Breathe. No, I didn't just make that up. That is seriously the sinister parasite's name in this movie. He's a demon who needs an oxygen mask to survive. On what level of The Further is that supposed to pose a threat? My grandma is more terrifying! 

Monster Honey Rating: 3 Steps Into The Further out of 5

If you're a hipster teen in search of some background noise while you post photos of your popcorn on Instagram, Insidious Chapter 3 will be in theaters starting June 5th. However, if you're anything like me and infatuated with the first two films, it might be a wise decision to let this one go and hold on tight to your fond memories of tiptoing through the tulips into The Further. Or just wait for Netflix. 

Will you be seeing Insidious Chapter 3 in theaters?
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