Insidious (Franchise)

4 – Insidious: Chapter 3; Of this franchise’s four films, Insidious: Chapter 3 is the worst. The problems are evident but what stands out the most is how out of place this entry is. The story that was left off at the end of Insidious: Chapter 2 is disregarded completely here. “Why?” – you may ask – to make a prequel. Insidious’ prequel is one that is very by the books. Its acting isn’t fantastic and the new stars pale compared to Patrick Wilson. The characters are brand new and therefore much more difficult to care for. In the aspect of horror itself, Insidious: Chapter 3 also lacks power. By time you get to the third flick, most jump-scares are predictable and they become overused. Even the base story feels so generic with few real surprises and mainly pleases in bringing characters we knew (Elise, Specs, and Tucker) together. Really, Insidious: Chapter 3 lacks the charm or ingenuity of its predecessors. Cinemaster Score: 4.5/10

3 – Insidious: The Last Key; While it is the fourth entry in the Insidious series (and third on our list), Insidious: The Last Key is by no means a bad film. If anything, it is a major improvement over the third in many many aspects, but also a step down from the first and second in some regards. For instance, we no longer are following the Lambert family while they deal with the supernatural – but we are following Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). Shaye does well as the lead but her supporting characters are somewhat lacking in their performances. They come across as either too campy or too serious. The story as well does get a little convoluted with multiple plot lines and resolutions, but it is handled well regardless. Perhaps the only major issue is the lack of a compelling villain, and while there is one present, they aren’t memorable enough to include as a positive. These are really the only distractions of the film, and yet, Insidious: The Last Key is worthy in the horror franchise. Cinemaster Score: 6/10

2 – Insidious: Chapter 2; As the immediate followup to one of the most genuinely scary films of the past decade, Insidious: Chapter 2 had some big shoes to fill. While it doesn’t quite reach the highs of its predecessor, Insidious: Chapter 2 has just enough going for it that it works better than its sequels. The Lambert family is again exposed to an inexplicable evil that haunts them and the strong familial interactions that accompanied the first film are ever present here. Each character is well acted and serves a purpose, while also strengthening the arcs of their characters. Sadly, the freshness of the original is not felt here and the main villain is not quite as memorable or terrifying. Still, the general tone and mood set by its predecessor is felt throughout this film and it makes the movie all the better because of that. Overall, Insidious: Chapter 2 is a faithful sequel to the much loved original, providing us with a new story full of characters we care about. Cinemaster Score: 6.5/10

1 – Insidious; The peak of these movies is the first release: Insidious. Insidious is one of few paranormal horror flicks in the subgenre to work well. All the characters are fairly likable and realistic. Structurally speaking, Insidious isn’t nearly as complex or convoluted in timeline as the films to come. In the acting, nobody stands out too much beyond the competition other than Patrick Wilson due to being a bigger name in cinema than Dermot Mulroney (Insidious: Chapter 3) per se. James Wan (Director) puts together a story that is not only interesting but also frightening. There are twists and scares built into the tension and mystery. The villain is stronger and strikes more fear into viewers than some of the silly ones in the franchise’s future movies. While Insidious isn’t some all-time great, it is a good movie in a subgenre that’s half-filled with duds. Cinemaster Score: 7.5/10

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