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Insidious: The Last Key movie review - Having your Aadhaar details leaked is a more fun experience

Insidious: The Last Key movie review: Like even the worst horror movies, chances are that it’ll play infinitely better with an enthusiastic crowd – but it’s definitely the worst of the series.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 12, 2018 08:32 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
Insidious: The Last Key,Insidious: The Last Key Review,Insidious: The Last Key Movie Review
Lin Shaye returns as Elise Rainier in the fourth installment of the Insidious franchise.

Insidious: The Last Key
Director - Adam Robitel
Cast - Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Caitlin Gerard, Spencer Locke
Rating - 2/5

2018 has got off to a fine start, hasn’t it? Not a week has passed and already, two world leaders have threatened nuclear war on Twitter, everyone’s Aadhaar details are being sold online for the price of a pizza, and like clockwork, a terrible horror movie has come and parked itself at the cinemas.

But it’s January, and the arrival of Insidious: The Last Key shouldn’t come as a surprise. By now we should be accustomed to this ritual abuse that we’re made suffer at the beginning of every year, when movie studios don’t know what to do with stuff they impulsively bought and then promptly forgot on the shelf.

So this year it’s the turn of a franchise that has been good for exactly an hour across four movies. James Wan’s original was a creepy little movie with an exciting premise, but little ambition to do much with it. For its fourth go-around, series’ writer Leigh Whannell (Wan has long since dove into Atlantis), has crafted an origin story of sorts. Elise Rainier, the demonologist plagued with visions of a ghostly realm she likes to call The Further, is called upon for help by a man living in an old house in New Mexico.

The phone rings and Elise jumps, because how could even the slightest sound in movies such as this not be played for scares. No sooner has the man on the line whispered the words ‘New’ and ‘Mexico’, Elise slams the phone down. No one told her this, but Elise’s sixth sense kicked into sixth gear and informed her that this haunting is happening in the same house that she grew up in. She calls it a ‘house’ and not a ‘home’ because it was in that creaky old building that she was tortured by monsters – both real and metaphysical.

In Insidious: The Last Key, Elise must exorcise the demons of her past and together with her sidekicks -- Tucker and Specs, still the best thing about this series – she gets to work.

The problem with The Last Key is that it simply doesn’t have the slightest enthusiasm to muster up something fresh for its fans. Nothing about the manner in which it is directed, or shot, or scored; or the way in which its scenes are constructed or they way in which its characters interact with each other is effective in the least. Anyone with even the most basic understanding of horror movies could safely predict not only the next twist, but even certain characters’ replies. In fact, that is exactly what the man sitting next to me at the screening was amusing himself by doing.

To be fair, Insidious was never quite as generic as it has now become. Think about it -- its main protagonist is an elderly lady, its mythology is rather imaginatively developed, and The Further is a strikingly designed place. There is – or, more accurately, there was – potential here.

But as we’ve seen with the Conjuring and Saw franchises – both originated by James Wan – the directors who’ve taken over are more than satisfied simply pandering to their audience. So they pile on the jump scares and ominous ambient music, they assemble a line of young children perfect for a possession, and for somewhere between 90 and 100 minutes, they pound you over and over and over with shadowy figures running across screens, with ghoulish faces popping up from behind locked doors, and with idiotic young women tiptoeing into empty basements.

Insidious: The Last Key might not be as mind-numbingly bad as it could so easily have been – and like even the worst horror movies, chances are that it’ll play infinitely better with an enthusiastic crowd – but it’s definitely the worst of the lot. You can only hope that the title proves prophetic.

Watch the trailer for Insidious: The Last Key here

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

First Published: Jan 05, 2018 12:31 IST