Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Insidious: The Last Key

 7 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Insidious 4" (2018, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "Insidious 4 played great on its opening night. Tweens screamin', boys in the back row laughing to avoid looking scared, and Dabbles covering his eyes next to a creature wiping hers. That means the film was great right? Actually, it took an argument with Randy the Reverberator to make me realize (a couple hours later) that I actually didn't really like the film. For an Insidious installment, it had echoes of the franchise and follows several of the characters, yet lacks all of the flare and creativity the previous 3 were brimming with. Insidious 4 had the least amount of "The Further", the lamest monster lurking in the mist, and the flattest jokes. To me, the Insidious franchise always ran parallel with the Conjuring universe, juxtaposing the American tradition of religious haunted house movies with a modern fantasy take. To be fair, Insidious 4 did have had a literal stack of bibles in it, but that turned out to be the best joke." - 3 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "This is a legendary series, or so my friends tell me. I saw the first and the third one, I think. I can’t really remember, except that I always liked the older woman who communicates the malevolent demoni-ghosts or whatever they’re calling poltergeists in films these days. She, and her delightfully, absurdly off-tone Ghost Hunter duo are the focus of this film and, surprise, it worked for me. Sure, Medium Lady’s origin story is a clumsily orchestrated contrivance, but it’s wrought with enough dark fantasy flair and genuinely cringe jump scares that I forgave its almost pantomime parlor tricks. In fact, this movie really works best when it's going gonzo, as you may see when you encounter a charming stack of suitcases. This could have been a boring spookhouse horror, but well-drawn characters and creative set pieces left me satisfied enough. Thanks, Lin Shaye, for giving these films some character." - 3.5 Stars

Dabbles - "Honestly, I hate ghost stories and all the Insidious movies because I'm scared shitless. But this one was wholesome, it just lacked in the writing. There were many cop outs where they could have gone further, had good scary moments. In the end, it's because of the cringy dialogue and wording that it fell behind other movies.  All in all, I'm sorry to Huntress and Lord Battle for spending money on me to watch and review this lackluster movie. I was scared, the movie was cute, but it wasn't enjoyable as other movies." - 3 Stars

Wandering Panda - "The fourth installment in a horror franchise, you think it's gonna suck... but no!!! A strong lead and fun supporting cast but they're super cringy and just fail at their comedic relief. But they still kinda work... A great way to tie in all of the movies and I'm fine if the franchise ends here." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "As far as current franchises go, Insidious ranks pretty high on my list. I'm a big fan of the second of these films, how it managed to both explain and further complicate things, all while bringing me to the brink of anxiety with its imagery. Part three was also a well-written film filled with clever scares, although not nearly as memorable as the second. I was excited to see that into its fourth installment, Insidious still had some great tricks up its sleeve! There are a handful of scenes from this movie that I still think about but sitting here and recalling the whole story, I realize that Insidious: The Last Key had a lot going on. Too much, maybe, to be supported by the slightly weird dialogue or overly comical characters. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this movie definitely had a weak spot, but it’s still better than the fourth Paranormal Activity!" - 3.5 Stars

Midnight Bloom - "I’m really bummed out by how the last chapter of Insidious ended. It felt rushed and to me it was like watching an hour-long episode of a TV show. There were a bunch of pieces that were missing, and there was so much going on at the same time. Also, I was very disappointed that they didn’t thoroughly explain what kind of monster that creature was in the further, it felt like they only showed him fully in one whole scene and it ended there. There are so many questions left unanswered and I want answers! I want to know why there were a bunch of suitcases full of skeletons and a hostage that died in the basement! I give this movie a star rating of 3.5, didn't love it but I’d probably watch it if I was bored. Hopefully, 2018 will bring much better horror movies, I’ve got my fingers crossed!" - 3.5 Stars

Trash - "This movie was a bore. Although I’m endlessly amused that the Insidious franchise boxed itself in by killing off the character subsequently decided would be the star, there’s no fun to be had here. It’s dull and loaded with unnecessary exposition. I’m actually not sure there is a single scene in this that isn’t immediately followed by a character recapping the scene in dialogue. And to make things even more painful, the script is so dumbed down it’s as if it’s written by someone with a vocabulary of about 20 words. Unless the studio is going to loosen up and let filmmakers get very creative again, I hope there isn’t an Insidious 5."1 Star

Math Mage - "A movie that did not need to be made. Squeezing more time with interesting characters is an understandable desire but have a good story to tell too. At least have an interesting arc. And have people talk like humans! Also don't make an episode just to introduce new characters or villains (even cool ones, which neither of these are), unless that episode would be an interesting story as well. It doesn't work in anime and it doesn't work with a movie." - 3 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

I got into a weird defensive mode when discussing Insidious: The Last Key with Randy after the movie let out (he did not like it). I found myself using the audience reaction as the grounds for my argument. Then in the lobby when discussing what star rating everyone was going to give it, I was caught off guard by The Impostor responding with a 3.5. Clearly, I had turned to him to leach energy as he is often very enthusiastic about franchise films. Yet I just found myself confused. Math Mage, Trash, and Randy The Reverberator all hated the film openly, discussing why in the theatre as the credits rolled. I figured I was just trying to recharge on positivity. It wasn't until the following day when I was getting ready for work that some of what the Math Mage had said started to sink in. Other than Lin Shaye, the characters were feeling a little tired. Comedy sidekicks Specks and Tucker felt completely spent on material, and the obvious torch recipient Caitlin Gerard failed to reinvigorate the franchise's dimming light. Yet, The Berkeley Blazer enjoyed the film simply because he had fun watching the characters navigate the situation in a haunted house. I guess what I've learned from this experience is that I've always enjoyed franchise horror simply because it was fun watching characters evolve through different artists collaborating to make a film, often loosely tied to its previous installments. This, of course, has become the main weapon of film studios as they resurrect and wield context films like Star Wars, The Fast & the Furious, and the new Greek gods of cinema, superheroes of DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, and Image... Well, we'll have to see how Spawn pans out for that last one.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized at Century Theatres for an opening night screening on 2/1/2018
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

No comments:

Post a Comment