HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Insidious Chapter 3
HTS Overall Score:87
It’s that time of year again, and luckily just tipping into the month of Halloween, where we get to see an onslaught of horror movies from the DTV market and from the summer blockbuster arena as well. Back when I was a kid there were only a handful of bigger horror movies, while the rest of them were cheap and schlocky. Taken from the confines of slashers and the like, we had a new change of pace with “The Exorcist”. Supernatural thrillers have once again taken the main stage, as series after series has plagued us with nasty ghosts. Some have been utterly fantastic (think “The Conjuring”), and others have been total abysmal (think the “Paranormal Activity” series), Sandwiched in between those two extremes is the “Insidious” franchise. No one thought that a PG-13 horror movie would make it, but somehow 2010’s “Insidious” did just that. It had a gripping story, some good jump scares, and a nice twist halfway through the film. The sequel was…..well…… a bit of a letdown. It wasn’t BAAAD, but it wasn’t really scary. “Insidious Chapter 3” does an impressive job of pulling itself out of the mire and getting back on track. I won’t go so far as to say that it is as good as the original, but it comes pretty stinking close at times.
Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) is trying to make her way in the world after suffering the loss of her beloved mother. She’s living with her frustrated father, Sean (Dermot Mulroney) and her younger brother Alex (Tate Berney) in their family home, all the while pining for her mother. Going to a psychic named Elise (Lin Shaye), Quinn accidentally unleashes a terror in their lives that has only one goal. Quinn’s demise. According to Elise, when you contact the spirit world, not only does the spirit you are calling hear you, but the ENTIRE spirit world. Thusly evil can latch onto you and follow your back into the regular world. Starting to see strange things, Quinn is involved in a car accident that breaks both legs and leaves her bedridden. As Elise warned, something HAD followed her back. A creature from the blackness of the otherworldly realm is hunting her, calling her, stalking her.
No one seems to believe her, but Quinn starts experiencing strange occurrences that soon turn believers out of sceptics. Her father goes back to Elise and begs for her help. Elise has already seen the danger, but refuses to help due to the fact that SHE has been haunted by a spirit of her own. A spirit that feeds off of her “gift” and threatens to haunt her until death (some of you may recognize this woman from the first “Insidious” film). Overcoming her fear of the damned, Elise comes to the rescue in the nick of time, along with a set of ghost hunters who lend of their own expertise (or lack thereof) in an effort to pull Quinn back from the pit that she is hanging over.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=54562[/img]I wasn’t exactly expecting a whole lot from the film after watching “Insidious 2”. Most series only get worse and worse, but I actually ended up enjoying chapter 3 almost as much as the first film. The writing was more grounded and director (and actor) Leigh Whannell changed up the pace enough to through off my usual jump scare detector. Yes, there are plenty of jump scares in the film, and while normally that’s not exactly a positive, the scares were offbeat and unpredictable enough to cause me to levitate off the couch more than once. The first half of the movie was so good, in fact, that I was almost expecting it to be BETTER than the first. I was engrossed in the plot and the scares were creepy enough that I was doing a double take over my shoulder more than once.
However, the second half of the movie started to sputter a bit after the spirit has “taken” Quinn to the dark side. The already cheesy horror dialog just got worse and the inclusion of the two ghost hunters was less funny and more stupid. The finale itself stumbles more than anything as it falls into a stereotypical cliché that feels more than a bit rough around the edges. The happy go lucky ending that ties itself directly into the first movie (oh, did I mention that this is actually a PREQUEL to the first one?) was a bit too saccharine sweet for a horror movie.
If you watch and remember back a few years, there are more than a few tie-ins to “Insidious”. Elise is a there for sure, but so are the two ghost hunters as well as the famed screaming lady that is so important in the first film. The one that felt REALLY forced though was the last 10 seconds of the movie where you see the villain from the first. I kind of rolled my eyes at that point, as it blatantly screamed “we did this to make sure you know that it’s a prequel”!
Rated PG-13 for violence, frightening images, some language and thematic elements
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=54570[/img]The 2.39:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray stands out as being just THIS shy of perfection. The stunning 4K shot film looks incredibly despite the dark and moody environment. The black levels are deep and inky, with no sign of black crush or greying blacks. Shadow detail and facial detail are both immaculate, with excellent skin tones and a very natural color grading for the most part. There are tones of deep blacks, but also some heavy blues, grays and earth browns as well, with splashes of primaries thrown in for good measure. I was amazed at the crisp clarity of the image, as you can see every pore and every facial detail of the characters. Elise looks a bit older this time around, but that is to be expected considering the age gap of the films, and the only time I noticed a feeling of “fakeness” to the picture was the death scene of the evil spirit (you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about). The only real complaint I have with the encode is that I noticed some banding in the fog when Elise when into the dark realm. It happened only for a brief moment, but repeated every time the fog wisped up around her.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=54578[/img]While the video encode for “Insidious Chapter 3” was just shy of perfect, the 5.1 lossless audio track does NOT suffer from any imperfections that I could hear. The ambiance and “tone” of a horror movie is set mainly by the score and the effects in this genre, and chapter 3 delivers the goods in spades. The surrounds and the mains blend seamlessly with fantastic directional sounds that keep the listener looking over their shoulder to pinpoint a jump scare, or to hear the creaking of a board from somewhere undisclosed in the house. The jump scares roar with impressive authority, blasting heavy LFE at unexpected (and some expected) moments with deep, throaty bass. Dialog is still crystal clear, and even the most minute of whispers can be heard with exceptional clarity.
• Origin Story: Making Chapter 3
• Stunts: The Car Crash
• Macabre Creations
• Cherry Glazerr: Tiptoe Through the Tulips
• Being Haunted: A Psychic Medium Speaks
• Deleted Scenes
“Insidious Chapter 3” has certainly managed to turn the helm of the ship around, and I am certainly glad of that fact. The franchise has made a name for itself with the fairly unique characters on screen as well as some cool twists regarding the spirit world. The third entry does great with half of the cast replaced (it IS a prequel after all), and I really enjoyed the performances, despite some silly lines from Elise. The audio and video is TOP notch, and certainly gives the disc a wonderful home theater experience. We even have some pretty solid extras as well as the obligatory Ultraviolet digital copy, leaving me with no choice but to give this a solid thumbs up.
Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Sony Pictures
Runtime: 97 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 6th 2015
Buy Insidious Chapter 3 On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Good Watch
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