Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Insidious: Chapter 3

Director: Leigh Whannell
Screenplay: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Dermot Mulroney
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rating: 15

Although it seems a little too daring to attempt to create another horror movie series as successful as the terrifying Saw films - which grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide – the mastermind producer-writer team behind the revolutionary franchise (Leigh Whannell, James Wan) here push forward with their second chain of horror films: Insidious, and the third instalment – Insidious: Chapter 3. Daring it may be, disappointing it is not, as this film makes for a fantastic horror that gets your heart racing and your body trembling.

The movie serves as a prequel to the Lambert haunting from the first two, telling the story of Quinn (Stefanie Scott), a bright, sparky teenager who tries to reach out to her late mother with help from psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) but instead attracts a demon spirit whom attaches itself to her soul, with the aim to take her to join it in the darkness of The Further. Whilst the tale of Shaye’s character is established in the earlier films, Whannell here lets the well-esteemed actress take her rightful spotlight, by allowing her more screen-time and presenting her to have a much more important role. Shaye tackles this with brilliance, showcasing a surprising range of emotions for the usually vapid horror movie heroin – whether these be feelings of terror and haunt, grief and loss or strength and resilience, Shaye does them well.

The helplessly bedbound Quinn is played astoundingly with a vulnerability that helps the audience to empathise with her terror, but also with a powerful integrity that manages to defy any silly damsel-in-distress stereotypes that women often face in the horror industry. In fact, Insidious: Chapter 3’s strength comes mainly from its two female leads and how skilfully these actresses attack their roles, written so complimentarily by Whannell.

Whannell is exceptional not only with his haunting script, but also with his directing debut. His scare-factor timing and eerie pacing are so efficiently done, teaming well with silent, creeping camera shots and a jolting score from Joseph Bishara to create a film with so much mounting suspense that it is hardly watchable at times. Typical of any horror movie, there are twists, turns and bumps in the dark aplenty, however what is not typical of any horror movie is a story so profound, and characters so likeable, that the audience feel like they are really involved in this tale. This, of course, makes the scary moments (there are many) all the more terrifying.

Insidious: Chapter 3 may be one of the best horror films I have seen in a long while. This story is so real that it sticks with you and will still make you shudder as you lay down to sleep that night, which is what scary movies were set out to do. Perhaps, then, Whannell and Pan’s attempt to create the next best horror series is not as farfetched as we once thought. Watch this space.