Insidious: The Last Key Review

I was a huge fan of the first two Insidious films, and the reason why were so good was because of the genius that is James Wan being involved in the film, directing those first two films. The third installment was weaker but still had good moments, but was not directed by James Wan and he only produced. He had no involvement with this fourth installment. Not a good sign.

Insidious: The Last Key follows the story of Elise Rainer as she continues to tackle demons and spirits. This time she gets a phone call from a man who is being haunted at a place with a lot of meaning to her, her old family home in New Mexico.

I was worried about this film going in, but horror has had a good couple of years with huge hits with IT, Get Out, Split and smaller horror films doing well too. This Insidious was actually supposed to be released at Halloween last year but moved out-of-the-way of another franchise, that was created by James Wan, Jigsaw. January is traditionally not a strong month for films, because it is seen as award season so you get a lot of those sort of films so it makes sense for a horror to go here for counter programming for the people who aren’t interested in the award films. Although, I do have to say that I think horror fans would actually appreciate it if the film was any good, which The Last Key definitely isn’t.

First, I still don’t really understand why it is called The Last Key. They were clearly trying to get Key in the title but keys don’t even really have a big part of the film. Even calling in The Lost Key makes a bit more sense.

Secondly, I just don’t care about Elise. Chapter 3 tied in the series in on the character and had a large focus on here and didn’t work for me. I don’t enjoy the Insidious films because of that character, you enjoy a horror film because you’re scared, not because of the character. The focus of this fourth installment is so much on her that it becomes a bit too much at times and the coincidences just become too much. Because the focus is so much on Elise it takes away from the scariness of the franchise, it is so busy trying to tie all the films together that and give characters that you don’t care about more time.

Thirdly, the disgusting, forced, nonsensical romance they try to make between Elise’s sidekicks and her nieces. It feels wrong, the sidekicks look so much older and there is no chemistry there.

Fourthly, the writing and the acting have got so much work. Some of the poorest acting, I have seen in a while happens in the opening scene. If you are acting as a parent in the film, you should at least act as if you care about the children.

Finally, it’s not scary. A horror film needs to be scary. I will give some credit to a couple of ideas in the film, but they don’t go the right way when there was a lot of potential there for genuinely scary moments. It relies too much on predictable jump scares using sound, instead of making the audience get invested in the story and being genuinely scared of what could happen next.

There are two moments that I liked, one I won’t go into because of spoilers but the other moment is in the trailer but is wasted. When the monster puts a key into the girls throat and her voice cuts out and you can’t hear her scream. To me, that is a great idea and something that should have been explored so much more, but it happens that one time. Wasted.

Overall, Insidious is a franchise I would like to see an end to. It had so much potential after the first 2 films and we still don’t really have the answer to the demon from the first film which everyone wants but at this stage I don’t mind if I never see another Insidious again.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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