If there’s anything that can be said about the Insidious franchise, it’s that they found a working formula and boy did they decide to stick with it. This is the fourth installment of the film series and…well…it’s remarkably like the previous installments. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? Still, I got much more déjà vu instead of déjà-new© out of this movie. With all that being said, it’s still a damn good sequel.
We are presented with the story of Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), the lovable old lady who is also a paranormal psychic and is constantly haunted by ghosts. We met her in “Insidious,” then we lost her in “Insidious,” followed by meeting her ghost in Insidious 2, then onto seeing her alive again in a prequel, “Insidious, Chapter 3”, which actually makes no sense because Chapter 3 should naturally follow Chapter 2, but instead it is a prequel to Chapter 1, and now we see her in a post-quel to the first prequel, but it is still a prequel to Chapter 1, and it’s also kind of an origin story within itself, which technically should fall before the original prequel but is actually a post-quel to the prequel. Are you crazy confused yet? Well get this, Insidious Chapters 1 and 2 star Patrick Wilson, who also stars in “The Conjuring 1 and 2” and that series had its own set of prequels. I totally forget which series I’m watching. You know what? Life doesn’t make sense anymore. I completely digress!
So just so you know, here’s the formula for ALL the movies. Haunting happens. Old lady and her quirky sidekicks show up. Old lady travels to ghost-world and we find out who the ghost really is (like an M. Night Shyamalan twist mixed with Scooby Doo), and then old lady does something in this ghost-world to save the people being haunted. You can expect this storyline in ‘Insidious: The Last Key‘.
Also of note, this is called “The Last Key.” The movie actually loosely deals with a physical key, although it is such a minor plot point that the whole title seems silly. I’m trying to figure out if they meant to imply that this is the last “Insidious Universe” movie we’ll see, but come on; these movies usually gross at least 10 times what they cost to make, so I’m sure they’ll figure out how to make another one.
All that stated, if you’ve invested as much time as I have into these movies, you have to watch this one. And it’s actually pretty good. Of all the Insidious “plots”, this one is the most developed. The first half has some genuine scares, the second half (just like it has the other three times) falls pretty flat in ghost-world, but then you realize you like this old lady and man, you’re happy to watch her hunting ghosts regardless. And of course, quirky sidekick comic relief characters are afoot too. So long story short, go see this if you’re a franchise fan; if you haven’t watched any of the other movies and you find yourself sitting through this one, this movie will make no sense and may god have mercy on your soul.
Written By: Fernando Martinez