I’ve been on a huge giallo kick lately and while the films of Fulci, Argento, and the rest of the maestros of the golden age of horror will forever be held in high regard, it is nice to get back into something more modern. I have really enjoyed this franchise ever since the first installment and I am happy to finally view its latest chapter, directed by Adam Robitel, Insidious: The Last Key.
Master clairvoyant, Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), is called by a man who needs to get rid of something haunting his home. The home just so happens to be the place that Elise grew up as a child, one that has left her with many scars. Along with her loyal partners, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), Elise must once again travel into The Further and conquer demons from her past and save those who she cares about most.
Ever since the release of the original Insidious, the franchise has been a pretty large piece of American horror. The combination of James Wan and Leigh Whannell is a genius pairing and, in my eyes, can do no wrong. By the third film in the series, Wan left the director’s chair, allowing writer, Whannell, to take his place. While Whannell is still attached to this newest sequel, Insidious: The Last Key, as writer and actor, he has left the directing duties to another — Adam Robitel. Some people may know Robitel’s first film, The Taking of Deborah Logan, which is one of the best found footage film to date. With his sophomore release, Robitel has done another fantastic job.
Fans of the franchise will be happy to see that the iconic Lin Shaye has once again returned to her role as Elise. Joining her, of course, is Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, as Specs and Tucker, respectively, who happen to add just the right amount of comedic relief to this terrifying world that Whannell and James Wan created over eight years ago. There are some newcomers this time around, as well; Bruce Davison (Willard, X-men), Tessa Ferrer (Excision), Josh Stewart (The Collector, The Collection), Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife), Caitlin Gerard (Smiley), and Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) are thrown into the mix and all do remarkable with their respective roles as Elise’s family members, from the past and present, and new characters in need of Elise’s special gifts. I really enjoyed all of their performances, watching as their chemistry on-screen seemed natural and authentic, in a day where this isn’t always the case.
Insidious: The Last Key is another prequel in the almost ten-year-old franchise, taking place between chapter three and chapter one. It does a wonderful job exploring Elise’s past, as a child and then a teenager, giving fans a more in-depth look at this powerful, heroic female character. It’s amazing to think that even though her character was killed in the first film, she has managed to make it this far, in one way or another. Her story is truly impressive and I hope to see more from Shaye’s rendition of Elise in future installments to the series.
The Insidious universe is vast with seemingly infinite stories to tell. With each film, the demons become more and more engrossing, able to cause nightmares in most of the films’ viewers, I’m sure. The make-up and special effects have always been top-notch and The Last Key is no exception. Contortionist (and actor/director), Javier Botet, plays the antagonist this time around, a demon named KeyFace. His mannerisms and twitchy movements will have you turning from the screen at all times, while keeping one eye open to be sure you don’t miss anything. He is a genius when it comes to frightening people and being covered in the beautifully horrifying make-up by Fractured FX makes the seven-foot tall performer that much more believable.
If you are a fan of the series, you already know Insidious: The Last Key is a must see. I enjoyed it greatly and hope the film did well enough to allow the filmmakers to create more sequels in the future. I would love to see the universe stretched and expanded even more, for years to come. Be sure to pick up your own copy of the film, available now on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
I give this one 4.5 Spectral Sightings “Winnibaghosts” out of 5.