When saw Insidious: Chapter 3 at the theater, it just happened to be playing at the exact right time. I had two hours to kill & Insidious 3 was conveniently positioned to kill it for me. Having not seen the first two films in the franchise I had absolutely no idea what to expect outside its pedigree as a horror sequel. Since then, I’ve caught up with the entire trilogy & I’m surprised to admit that the third “chapter” has held up both as an appropriate entry point & my favorite film of the series so far.
A prequel to the events that take place in the first two “chapters”, Insidious: Chapter 3 is a straightforward, no frills ghost story. A haunted teenage girl starts to get dragged into the afterlife (known here as “The Further”) by a super creepy specter with a terrible attitude. Character actress Lin Shaye (who was absolutely terrifying as the overbearing mother in Detroit Rock City) is expertly employed here as a medium who tries to drag her back to the physical world before it’s too late. Straightforward genre fare has been the Insidious series’ forte since the beginning, but this is the most successful entry so far both in terms of how fun it is and how successfully creepy-scary it can be.
Although Insidious: Chapter 3 doesn’t bring all too much new to the table that wasn’t in the first two films, it’s hard to shake the feeling that it’s the most successful of the three. Its ghost looked cooler, the tension was built better, it was much goofier on the camp scale (without the icky crossdressing phobia of the second entry), it spent more quality time in “The Further” realm, etc. The basic components of the first two films have merely been switched around & dusted off a little here, but it still managed to be my favorite entry to date, a rare feat for a horror sequel these days.