Despite some cool looking sets, there is little to enjoy in this film. The Last Key is a bland entry in a tired series.
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
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Despite some cool looking sets, there is little to enjoy in this film. The Last Key is a bland entry in a tired series.
Insidious : Chapter 3 wasn't enough of an unnecessary addition to the Insidious franchise, so we got this one. This one does have some good elements in it, and definitely more of the bad ones. All in all, the film felt like a below average "horror" film. This film really felt underwhelming to me, and I already had very less expectations. If the franchise is to proceed further (no pun intended), they need to change the direction or reboot it. But the best thing would be to stop it right here. On my own scale, I would give it a "4.1/10" score. And on the usual A+ to F scale, it would get a "D+".
(Discussion about how I personally felt about the movie)
Good : What this film does good is it adds some more depth to the character of Elise. They give the back story and all, along with some "origins" of Elise. Her character moments are quite good. Some jump-scares, particularly one or two, were good ones. And ... that's it.
Mixed : None of the parts were "mixed", just good or bad.
Bad : The remaining of the film, just like the third one, felt more like a typical "haunted house" story, rather than an "Insidious" film. The concept of astral projection they brought in the first film has been turned into a mere plot device ever since the third one, this fourth installment clearly isn't an exception. Honestly, I feel that is the thing that made the first two films what they were. And the way "The Further" works has been quite a bit ludicrous ever since the second one, the ludicrousness increased in the third one and now in this one, everything convenient to the plot can be done in "The Further". Just like astral projection, this is just a plot device now. And nothing is explained about how the things work to stop that demon. It was just "you're watching a horror film, so anything that we do for our convenience, you should accept it, no matter we build it or not" sort of bullshit. The jokes that the two "sidekicks" of Elise crack were CRINGE-WORTHY. Just some perverted moments time and again, some unnecessary bullshit, most of the comedic parts feel out of place and did not match the tone of the film. And even though the jokes and all that stupid stuff felt out of place, this film felt like a comedy more than horror. Speaking of horror, it just had jump-scares, none of which made a real sense. Remove them, nothing is "horror". Also, some predictable and obvious "Insidious" twists at some places, which no longer feel appealing. Also, "The Last Key" ..... I am still wondering what was so special about the key, except for Elise giving the demon the last key. It was just a demon who manipulated Elise's father and had fingers made up of keys which served some vague purpose not explained in the movie. The demon when appears in some jump-scares, it scares (at least). But when it really shows up, nothing is speacial about it. So, where's the horror? Scaring and terrifying are different things, and for a good horror film, most of us prefer the terrifying stuffs. The presence of demon serves no purpose? And he's the only demon?!! And how is that blowing a whistle calls Elise's mother to rescue her and a single kick kills the demon? (If only it had some purpose and some story added to the part of the demon like in the first two, it might have worked.) Also, what's with her Elise's dad's spirit dying in "The Further"? There are many such questions unanswered by the film and this is not obviously an "Inception-themed" or "Memento-themed" movie, this was just an incomprehensible mess of a movie. Then, there's a scene of Elise opening the boxes to realize the killings her father committed, where we were teased of jump-scares, and we didn't get a jump-scare at the first time, and after a couple of stupid teasings we get a jump-scare. And if the makers thought we won't be able to predict what they were doing in this scene, they're fools. See? A scene committed to an unnecessary jump-scare, but nothing done to give some actual horror. Doesn't that prove that horror film makers don't know what horror is? And where's that man dressed as bride in a black dress trying to kill Elise, which was supposed to follow her every time she went into "The Further"? The film ties up with the events of the first one, which clearly creates some plot holes as the entire film was about astral projection but the way this film ties it up shows as if it was something similar to this film, making this more of a nonsense. In fact, the best part of this film is that it had some scenes from the first Insidious film, which reminded me how good the first two were. Rest of all, unnecessary crap.
Brought to you by the same creative minds behind "Insidious" trilogy, this fourth installment, Insidious: The Last Key takes you back to the beginning, to the family history of renowned parapsychologist, Dr. Elise Rainer and how the haunting in her own family home has returned with a vengeance. It is up to Elise and her spectral sighting team to defeat this demon once and for all.
Even though Insidious: The Last Key is directed by somebody new to the franchise, Adam Robitel, much of the style follows suit with its predecessors, so in a way, this movie is very formulaic, the objective is the same which is to present to you a big bad villain in a form of a demon at the end of the story and that's not really a spoiler because the other movies did the same thing. Because this is a prequel, it takes its time in setting the whole thing up in terms of Elise's family and the abuse she and her brother endured when they were kids. This part, these flashbacks are just as creepy, if not creepier than what's happening in the present day with Elise trying to communicate with spirits in the dark.
By the way, actress Lin Shaye has been in this business and specifically has been part of this genre forever, so as a fan, it really is cool to see a movie like this that allows her to showcase her all, that gives her room and space to do what she does best, in a way, they might as well have titled this movie, Insidious The Lin Shaye lifetime achievement award.
I actually enjoyed how the film presents Elise's background, the whole theme of it kinda resonates with any kid who grows up feeling different and the parents try to beat it out of you instead of helping you embrace your specialty and uniqueness. So that approach does help in making you empathize with Elise which is an effective strategy in any horror film because the jump scares can only do so much, what's truly scary is when you feel scared for the safety of the characters whose journey you've been following, and that's what Insidious: The Last Key offers. I'm also mildly amused by the comic relief of Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson who play Elise's sidekicks, granted some of the humor does feel a bit dumb but they mean well, so it's one of those that just make you shake your head and dismiss them as immature children. Insidious The Last Key is scary enough, it's entertaining enough for the fans, it's a popcorn horror thriller you'd want to take your girlfriend to see just so that she can curl up next to you when she feels squeamish, this really is a movie just for the fans of the franchise, and despite some of its few ridiculous scenes, I think overall they're going to be grateful that this installment exists.
-- Rama's Screen --
The contemporary action is interspersed with flashbacks to Elise's childhood, the strange death of her mother and her teenage years when she finally fled from her abusive father. There is far more than haunting going on in the house and a serial killer is uncovered as the malevolent spirit continues to persecute Elise. Elise has a difficult reunion with the brother she abandoned 50 years ago and his daughters also come under attack from the demon. Other demons have to be faced up to as the true story of her younger life is revealed.
Some shocks, a bit of gore, good special effects and a coherent script lined with a vein of humour makes this a solid Horror Film. 7/10
Bad: Some of the worst writing I have seen from the convoluted story with confusing plot points to the unfunny humor. The movie tries to pull twists and turns, but most of them do not make sense logically and end up being confusing. For 103 minutes, the movie tends to drag due to a lack coherence and ineffective scares.
Overall: Shaye cannot hold up the messy and sloppy writing. As a fan of the Insidious series, I felt this to be an outlier and desperately fail at being an adequate entry into the series.
Horror/Mystery/Thriller: 7.5 Movie Overall: 6.0
Characters Story Creep Factor
Dislikes: Dropped plot points Anticlimactic Ending Missing Trailer scenes
Summary: A fourth installment usually means a low-quality movie that is strictly for merchandising and money making. However, Insidious 4, while not the best of the series, keeps the tradition of horror storytelling alive by focusing on plot and character development rather than just plain old scares that the genre is famous for. Elise's backstory is fascinating, and helps connect some elements that were once shrouded in the mists of the unknown, and is presented nicely as past is integrated with present. In addition, while not the scariest, the group does a fantastic job utilizing shadows, make-up, and sound editing to establish a creep factor that will keep you on edge. All of this come together to make a nice mystery/horror that is worthy of the series. Yet, the fourth installment still has its flaws primarily in the scare tactics, (e.g. jump scare tactics) have gotten old despite their attempts to tune it up. In addition, the plot had some dropped and rushed elements, alongside an anticlimactic wrap up, that took away from the story overall. In addition, there are a lot of scenes from the trailers missing, some of which really could have added on to the story, or allowed for more creepy makeup to be used. Overall, this movie is a solid entry in the series and answers some of those lingering questions we have had since the whole prequel component was started. Yet, it does establish new questions and drops on the finish that could have really made the story exponentially better. And while the scare tactics are getting somewhat stale, Insidious is at least managing to keep things creepy and relevant to a point instead of just a super scare fest that this genre is famous for. It's worth a trip to the theater for the franchise fans, however, you can wait this out for the home cinema to save yourselves money.
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Nothing about it was scary at all save for the mild "suitcase" jump when we were all expecting the baddie to be behind the case not in it.
I have no idea how some people can say this was scary unless they've never seen another "horror" movie in their lives.
Absolute and utter rubbish.
The acting and writing is truly terrible... I seriously struggled to stay awake. If you enjoy a wafer thin plot, cheap jump scares, and horrible attempts at humor, this is the "horror" movie for you.
Picking up right after the events of "Insidious: Chapter 3", this fourth entry further (pun intended) explores the backstory of demonologist Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), who was murdered in a memorable twist at the end of the first film. Here, Elise is first introduced as a young girl living in a foreboding two-storey house on the outskirts of a New Mexico prison in 1952 where her stern father (Josh Stewart) works as a prison guard. Turns out that Elise already had a gift (or curse, depending on which way you look at it) for seeing ghosts then, but when she disobeys her father's order to deny her paranormal abilities, he locks her in the basement. It is there she first encounters this movie's demon - a tall lanky beast with old-timey keys for fingers - and unknowingly unlocks a mysterious red door for the monster to cross over into our world.
Back in the present day, Elise receives a phone call from a stranger who asks for her help with the ghosts in his house. That house turns out to be her childhood home, and despite her initial reservations at literally revisiting past demons, she eventually musters up the courage to confront what she recognises she had previously unleashed. It helps that she isn't alone; thanks to the events in the last movie, she is now accompanied by a pair of dopey sidekicks Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell). To be sure, their signature high-tech gizmos aren't of much use (certainly much less than they were in the first two movies), so their presence is really as comic relief - like Tucker loves to repeat, "She's psychic; we're sidekick."
What distinguished "Insidious" from other haunted-house movies was its creation of 'The Further', a terrifying place between life and death that exists on a different realm from ours where evil spirits trapped not just the souls of the dead but also those who were able to project themselves astrally while asleep. Elise was established to be one such individual, and it isn't reasonable that she would quickly return to 'The Further' in order to seek out the entity which had terrorised her and is terrorising the house's current inhabitant as well as the spirits she sees around the property. But Whannell, who had written every one of the "Insidious" movies, has other intentions; in fact, the middle act sees Elise come face-to-face with a different real-life horror, which while well-intentioned, is not nearly as developed as it needs to be and is hardly as interesting as the ghouls of 'The Further'. Only in the final act does Elise finally return to that purgatory, but that homecoming is over too fast, too soon and too conveniently, almost as if it were simply an afterthought to form a narrative bridge into the first movie.
Even though the earlier 'Insidious' films had similarly spare scripts, they benefited from the taut direction of James Wan, who knew how to build perfectly good scares with icy dread. Unfortunately, series newcomer Adam Robitel doesn't quite have the same knack. Not only is he able to generate the same atmosphere as Wan did, Robitel often betrays his own lack of confidence by resorting to the sort of jump-cuts which quickly tire out. This being his sophomore feature, he also lacks the experience to properly smooth over the rough edges of Whannell's writing - in particular, the parts intended to be poignant, such as Elise's estrangement from her skittish younger brother Christian (Bruce Davison), come off feeling contrived and sit awkwardly with the rest of the parts designed to frighten.
Ultimately, it is Shaye who holds the rickety film together, portraying Elise with just the right balance of vulnerability and fearlessness. While it may seem opportunistic that the "Insidious" series goes down the same road as "The Conjuring" (by using the same parapsychologist(s) across its entries), Shaye very much holds her own as the film's septuagenarian heroine. That said, it is not quite nearly enough to reinvigorate the franchise itself, which seems imprisoned in its own creative limits and cannot quite go any further (that's another pun, fully intended). Perhaps its title is ominous of its fate, and even if 'The Last Key' isn't the last we hear of "Insidious", then the next chapter better have a much more compelling raison d'être.
Great ending to a fun series.
"Insidious: The Last Key" is another spooky and scary film of this successful franchise. This ghost story is entwined with family drama of Elise and startles the viewer in many scenes. The touch of humor to break the tension is given by Tucker and Specs. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Sobrenatural: A Última Chave" ("Supernatural: The Last Key")
A better metaphor for this film would be to say:
They were cramming too much slop into this movie. And, just when you thought they were actually going to pull it off and seal the lid with a satisfactory ending...they slipped and all the sloppy corny cheese spilled everywhere. A vomit-worthy finish to the series!
A shame too, because with another rewrite there was definitely some good elements in here.
When it wraps up, you won't even know how to feel about certain characters in this movie. Villain or victim? Who knows? Who cares.... this franchise has lost me at this point. As much as I like Elise...I don't like all the cheese!