Director: Adam Robitel
Cast: Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell
Release Date: April 3, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
The creative minds behind the hit Insidious franchise bring you the most horrifying chapter of the series, INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY. In this gripping Blumhouse film, Lin Shaye reprises her role as parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier, who returns to her family home to face the unrelenting demons that have plagued her since childhood. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Specs and Tucker, Elise must delve deeper into the Further to unlock the mystery and destroy her greatest fear.
The fourth entry in the popular horror franchise, ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ follows the events of the third film (therefore a sequel to the prequel, yet occurring prior to the first film) and takes us deeper into the mystery that is Elise (Shaye) as she is forced to return to her childhood home and all of the unsettling and terrifying memories that accompany it. Now Elise, accompanied by her faithful sidekicks Tucker (Sampson) and Specs (Whannell) must confront the malevolent spirit that she herself unwitting unleashed so many years ago; but she won’t be able to finish the job and put the demon to rest before facing the unpleasant family memories that come with it.
Directed this time around by first time director to the franchise Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan) from a screenplay once again written by Leigh Whannell (Insidious 1-3, Saw), Robitel does a more than competent job at the helm of ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ capturing the gloomy mood and general atmosphere of the series quite well. The film also benefits from a pretty decent cast comprised of new and returning individuals to the franchise, including Lin Shaye (Ouija), Angus Sampson (Winchester), Leigh Whannell (Saw), Josh Stewart (The Collector), Caitlin Gerard (Magic Mike), Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and more, the majority providing capable enough performances in each of their respective roles, although nothing truly exceptional.
‘Insidious: The Last Key’ is a competent sequel and certainly superior to the third entry, yet it never manages to achieve the true terror and passion of the first two installments. It provides fans with plenty of eerie moments and familiar jump scares as well as capturing the gloomy mood and overall vibe of the franchise remarkably well. Unfortunately so many of the intentionally scary moments thrown at the viewer relies primarily on previously utilized techniques that while still amusing are definitely lacking a substantial amount of their effect by this point. The film’s exploration of Elise’s past and the clever working of the bigger storyline and capable manner of tying many elements together though is to be commended and are surely the biggest positive elements within, the molding of previous moments from other installments into the overall scenario is reminiscent of the shocking and clever tools that took us for memorable journeys in the first two chapters of the series. First time director to the series Adam Robitel does a more than adequate job taking over the reins and his competent guidance is further boosted a cast including new and returning individuals to the franchise, with fan favorite actress Lin Shaye once again front and center. I would strongly encourage fellow fans of the franchise to try and make a point of giving ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ a whirl whenever you have the chance, it may not completely blow you away but it shouldn’t have much trouble keeping you thoroughly entertained throughout either.
Overall, ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ takes fans on another moody journey into the further and provides plenty of gloomy and eerie imagery and the random jump scares we expect, even if the effect of the scares we’ve become all too familiar with has waned significantly by this point. Fortunately a well-crafted story, a look at Elise’s unknown backstory and a clever way of connecting the pieces with previous installments results in a fairly solid sequel/prequel overall that fans should largely enjoy. ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ is definitely recommended, especially for fans of the franchise and genre fans that enjoyed the previous entries in the series. It may never reach the level of greatness the first two managed to achieve, but it’s undeniably superior to the third entry and if nothing else should be more than worthy of the time and cost of a rental for any fan.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up quite well even during the numerous darkly lit sequences, although there are a few brief instances of video noise and banding in some of the nearly pitch black environments. Overall, this is a fairly solid high definition video presentation from Sony that should largely satisfy fans of the franchise.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music throughout the various speakers, along with some calm and eerie ambience, plus both light and eerie, and hard hitting and aggressive audio elements when fitting, all the while never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and contributes some additional fun and scares to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ includes a few decent extras. Included on the release is a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 19 minutes in length altogether), along with an ‘Alternate Ending’ (running approximately 3 minutes) and a few brief Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include some behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The included Featurettes are: ‘Unlocking the Keys’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Going into the Further’ (3 minutes) and ‘Becoming Elise’ (5 minutes). Also included is ‘Dive into the Insidious Universe’ (approximately 5 minutes) which offers a quick recap of the previous three films and the various connections within.
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