Review: ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ Is An Unimaginative Horror

Insidious The Last key

The Insidious movie franchise has been one of the best modern day horror films to date. Wait, let me correct that. The James Wan directed Insidious movies have been some of the best modern day horror films. Insidious 1 & 2 were simply works of art within the horror genre, and they also created the essential framework for the following films. Unfortunately,  Insidious: The Last Key had a huge mountain to climb to compare to its predecessors (not including Insidious: Chapter 3)

Insidious: The Last Key Trailer

The Good:

One aspect of the film that I appreciated was the more in depth look into the character of “Elise”. Lin Shaye put on a great performance as she had her character addressing some past traumas. Thankfully, the background information on the character was incredibly integral to the overall continuity of not just this movie, but the entire Insidious franchise.

The writing for the overall story and its cohesiveness with the overall continuity of the franchise was very well done. There were a few plot twists that helped make this film stand out compared to the previous Insidious films. As we’ve seen before, dealing with “The Further” and time is something that is addressed in an interesting way. If you happen to watch the Insidious movies recently, or if you have a great memory, you’ll definitely appreciate how this film brings things full circle.

 

When it comes to the horror in this film, you can bank on a number of jump scares. More specifically, I liked how those jump scares attempted to be an intentional misdirect.  Simply trying to cover your eyes in anticipation isn’t going to help. (Not that I did that or anything.)

The Bad:

I think one of the biggest problems with this film is that it really didn’t transcend or evolve in some areas. For instance, while we get more of an experience in “The Further” we really don’t learn anything more about it. Even if the allure of the unknown about The Further was the goal, this film doesn’t evoke new questions about this strange place either.

Another stagnation in this film is found in the lack of creative scares. If you’ve seen Insidious 1 & 2 (or any of James Wan’s horror films) then you’ll notice some trademark scary scenes. I’m referring to those incredibly subtle elements of horror that made you think that your mind was playing tricks on you. This film not only uses some of those very same scare tactics, but it over uses them as well. I mean there are only so many times that the over-the-shoulder camera shot will be an effective jump scare.

Yet again, this film committed another problematic issue that was done in Insidious Chapter 3. That flaw was to show us way too much of the main ghost. There’s a notable scene where we see the ghost creeping and crawling around, and that is genuinely terrifying. The reason why that was effective was because the ghost was hidden in the shadows, and that allowed your imagination to terrify you. However, this film actually forces you to see the ghost up close and for longer than necessary. That completely reduces just how scary that ghost could’ve been.

The last issue with this film is the poor balance in its tone. On one hand, there are legit scary moments. On the other hand, we have some forced comedic scenes. While some of the scenes are intentionally corny, and probably will generate some chuckles, the humor is self defeating to the horror. The two tones clash and not in a good way. In movies, I think it’s fair to say that comedy acts like a bright light to the darkness that horror creates. So while the mood may be creepy and terrifying in one scene, the random inserts of forced jokes immediately wipes any sense of fear away.

The Verdict:

Insidious: The Last Key was not that bad of a movie. I think that it was slightly better than Insidious Chapter 3, however, it pales in comparison to Insidious 1 & 2. I mean it really doesn’t even come close. This film only showed just how much of a gap there is between James Wan and other horror movie directors.

Insidious The Last Key

After watching Insidious Chapter 3, I was under the impression that any James Wan spin-off film would be a disappointment. That proved to be true with Annabelle (2014). Although, Annabelle: Creation (2017) did redeem itself in a strong way. In a similar way, I was really hoping that Insidious: The Last Key would redeem the franchise. Alas, I don’t think it accomplished that feat necessarily.

This film was still entertaining to watch, but I highly doubt it will end up being memorable. To this day, I can still think of the crazy and scary moments of the first two Insidious films. I can’t say that about The Last Key no matter how much of a fan I may be with this franchise. If you’re also a fan of the franchise, then it’s worth watching for the story element to see how everything all connects at least. I’d probably say this is matinee worthy in theaters.

What did you think about Insidious: The Last Key? If you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought about the movie in the comments below.

Insidious The Last Key 

Genre:  Action| Adventure|Comedy
Directed by:  
Adam Robitel
Starring: 
Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson
Written by: 
Leigh Whannell

Insidious: The Last Key  is in theaters now.  Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He freelances as a writer and video content creator for sites such as MovieTickets.com. Be sure to join the other 33K+ fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]