Saturday, June 6, 2015

Insidious: Chapter 3 or Leigh Whannell Makes an Impression

10 of 10 viewers "Liked" "Insidious: Chapter 3" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Leigh Whannell, champion of modern ghost stories. Imagine you're on a haunted house ride. You know the kind - metal bumper car that seats 2, uncomfortably rolling along a winding track. Now imagine you're in the same ride, but after a new owner has taken over. He's put in comfortable seating and, instead of the winding maze-like track, leads you in a straight path down a large hallway. The hall is unassuming at first but as the ride moves on you start to feel like something is approaching, and it also doesn't help that it's slowly been getting darker... Before you know it, something unsettling happens and, as you're processing what you just saw, the slow boring atmosphere that you mocked earlier is taunting you. As you realize that this is just the beginning of the ride, there's no foreseeable light at the end of the tunnel. Surmounting terror, that's what Insidious 3 feels like." - 5 Stars

KillDozer - "Sometimes you forget how amazing it is to sit in anticipation with a full theatre of movie goers. Last night my fellow members of the Overlook and I were reminded thanks to writer/director Leigh Whannell. Just when you think you've seen it all a movie like Insidious Chapter 3 comes out and makes you jump with intelligent and fun scares. I can honestly say that I got over the $12.50 ticket fee 30 minutes into the film. Likable and believable characters, practical effects, old school camera tricks, great acting, and an awesome ghost story. It did have what I like to call a "cheesy moment" or two but those are easily forgiven as they add emotion and humanity where needed. I highly recommend seeing this with friends and I can't wait to own it. A solid addition to the franchise, I am excited to see where "The Further" takes us next! - 4 Stars (Collection worthy)

The Impostor - "Effective scares and a likable main character, Insidious Chapter 3 is a tension fueled ride. Without James Wan attached I of course was skeptical about this chapter, but instantly let that go as the film got rolling. The evolution of Elise was nice to see and the acting from the rest of the cast was amazing. Jump scares were cleverly placed and came out of nowhere which was fun and kept me on edge. Overall I extremely recommend this well crafted horror film." - 4.5 Stars

Math Mage - "When battling ghosts, one should head boldly into the dark. The dark gives the dead an advantage but remember; they need that advantage because they fear you, because they are weak." - 3.5 Stars

B4DK - "Great! Had me jump 3 times. Awesome series that hasn't disappointed yet. Looking forward to the 4th movie. Creepy!" - 4 Stars

Huntress - "Insidious Chapter 3 answered questions I didn't realize I had along with all the ones I couldn't wait to find answers to. It added some great content to the overall series in a way that fit beautifully with the first two movies, but also had its own flavor. Luckily for us, Leigh Whannell was involved throughout the whole series, as a writer in all three films. He was the perfect fit for a new director when James Wan stepped out of the picture. Knowing all of the story, and obviously caring about its progression, really payed off in this prequel." - 5 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "Everything a ghost story should be. Follows classic horror movie cues  and tropes in all the best ways. Though I have stated before in previous reviews that I am not at all a fan of jump scares, I feel they are a cheap trick to induce a scream, I tolerated them in this film. In my opinion, this was the scariest demon within the series. His terror is pure and simple enough to creep into the back of your mind and stick, not needing over the top character design or fancy weapon as a gimmick. Fans of Grave Encounters should enjoy this film. My favorite out of the trilogy." - 4.5 Stars

Ice Giant - "This series was already my favorite new series and I thought it would be hard to surpass 2 but chapter 3 has done just that. Rather than mainly focusing on the family we finally get to learn more about Elise which was a smart decision because as usual her and her bumbling sidekicks stole the spotlight. How they revamped the villain was the best thing they could have done, if it was just a new ghost trying to live again it ran the risk of feeling really stale, but they managed to give him new motivation and make it even scarier than having your body stolen from you. It also gives PLENTY of jump scares to keep even the densest of movie goers happy. I really hope this is a sign of things to come and the Insidious franchise just keeps getting better and better." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

Insidious Chapter 3 is very Conjuring-esque, in the sense that we have two stories evolving and intertwining. One follows Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) who is struggling with not-so-unusual teen problems when she starts trying to seek counseling from her mother who's passed on. The second narrative is of Elise, who we know from Chapter 1&2. Both stories follow women in different stages of their lives dealing with grief and looking for answers on how to continue. This sounds like a Conjuring clone right? Well other than the fact that both films are technical monsters, employing amazing editing and brilliant acting (both of which Ch 3 excels at), the similarities end there.
Faith and fantasy are two very different things and thank god (pun intended) Leigh Whannell has finally managed to separate them! Death, ghosts, the soul, these are subjects that film often explores only to be limited by christian beliefs. *Spoiler* Look at the possession scenes in both films and see how they are dealt with, they've purposefully side stepped religion at every turn and it frees the film immensely.
 I can not explain how much I love these films for not only breaking the religious stereotype but creating their own lore. I had touched on the world building in this series when Insidious Chapter 2 was reviewed (back when you were spared my ramblings) but I feel the need to emphasize how much I love the way red doors mark the entrance of a demons lair. Not specific doors either, any barrier blocking a portal would turn red, how do I know this? Because James Wan and Leigh Whannell have stood by their rules strongly and as an effect of this they've taken on their own life. I would not be surprised if we see a table top game released in the future that makes it possible to explore The Further.
There is a dividing rift among horror fans or perhaps just two sides to a coin. It has to do with how we find ourselves entertained by horror. The group (or side) I and the fiends that haunt the Overlook belong to would be the one that enjoys cinema as an art. Able to watch mostly anything as long as it is entertaining or interesting (this explains all the found footage we watch). The other group consists of people who refer to horror films as "Scary Movies." These film viewers enjoy the large crowds and opening night atmosphere block buster movies provide. Those who belong in this group are found asking the questions "Was it scary though?" or my favorite "What's the scariest movie you've seen?" 
 Both groups want to ride the ride I described earlier, but each is looking for something different. The second group looks for the adrenaline rush conjured up by the scares. The first group looks to compare the changes put in-place and weigh the positive and negative effects of the choices made. Neither group is right or wrong and both love to experience horror, yet the groups are still totally different. The Insidious series may be the best example of both groups meeting under a single banner, repeatedly. This series is so solid that the most pretentious of film lovers could sit next to the most odious FF7 fan (not Final Fantasy, Fast & Furious) and they are guaranteed to both jump together. Bravo to Leigh Whannell for keeping the flame alive, it couldn't have been easy to carry on without James Wan.

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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