I’ve been watching the Insidious movies since the first one came out in 2010. I remember going to see it almost on the day of release with one of my best friends from secondary school in Year 10. We went to a fairly late showing because we wanted to freak ourselves out and get really scared and that’s exactly what we did. For weeks I couldn’t get the image of that red demon standing beside Dalton’s bed, pointing at him in the dark with this really long, sharp and very sinister looking finger out of my head. It was just so unsettling and as a result, it had me pretty shaken up about sleeping in my room alone for weeks!
But that’s what you want from a horror film, especially when you love watching horror films as much as I do. There were lots of little things about the first film that made me jump. The old woman at the end who had come back to haunt Dalton’s father, the demon appearing behind Dalton’s father at the dining table and that awful cracking noise that always let you know when the demon was lurking around the house.
Unfortunately, I have to say that the rest of the films just really haven’t been as good. There are so many similarities between the plot of Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 that I feel the consequent films are severely lacking innovation.
In Chapter 3 an aspiring actress called Quinn gets hit by a car after her audition at a theatre school that she has been planning to go to for months. Several instances of paranormal activity occur before her accident, but she assumes that it is the work of her mother, who has recently passed, trying to contact her. Therefore she isn’t scared. After the accident, the old woman who lives in the same block as her tells her that there is a man waiting up in her room for her, which starts to scare Quinn.
The instances of paranormal activity that she experiences upon her return from the hospital begin to inspire fear within her, as she remembers what the old woman says and no longer thinks that it is her mother. Quinn has two broken legs and is completely immobilised, so when the demon attacks her, she is completely helpless. At one point the demon reaches through the ceiling and grabs her, suggesting that it is somehow linked to the empty apartment upstairs. However this isn’t fully explored and nobody ever really explains why it’s loitering up there. There is no explanation regarding anything to do with the demon really, which was disappointing.
I found that the film became somewhat boring after I realised that none of the important questions I found myself asking were being answered. We got a slight history of Elise’s work within the paranormal field and her relationship with her late husband. But, as interesting as this was, I just didn’t feel that it helped me understand why this particular demon was haunting Quinn. And that’s what I’m interested in considering the fact that this is now Quinn’s story.
The resolution to this plot followed the same formula from Chapter 1. Elise tried to help, but the same demon that later kills her in Chapter 1, tries to kill her in this film too and so she is forced to stop. Quinn’s father then enlists the help of two paranormal investigators (the same ones from the first film) and Elise comes back to help, but she can’t finish the job without calling on Quinn’s dead mother for help too. Unfortunately this reminded me a lot of her calling on Josh for help in Chapter 1, which was a disappointing resolution that lacked originality in my opinion. However I will commend the scene during which Quinn’s mother does arrive, as I thought that it was orchestrated quite beautifully.
The end of Chapter 3 was very disappointing. The red demon from the first film made an appearance and we still had absolutely no explanation as to why the demon in this film was haunting Quinn in the first place! I think the plot had a lot of potential, but I feel the directors failed to really pull it through. Perhaps if Quinn’s mother was involved a little bit more in the plot and we actually got to discover the history of the demon, then the film would have been a lot better. Revealing the history of the demon always helps to bring the plot of a horror story to life, I think. I just feel that that’s what this film was missing.