Movie review: Insidious Chapter 3 - 'Mulroney is as wooden as the furniture in the Brenner apartment'
Set a few years before the Lambert haunting in the first Insidious, Leigh Whannell’s sporadically scary prequel reaches into the grab bag of old tricks to jolt the audience out of their seats.
Whannell, who makes his directorial debut with this third chapter, does achieve one moment of delicious skin-crawling terror. Sometimes, stark simplicity makes the spine tingle. The third instalment centres on grief-stricken 17-year-old Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott, pictured right), who reaches out to gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) following the death of her mother (Ele Keats) from cancer.
Soon after, Quinn is involved in an accident and becomes housebound in the apartment she shares with her father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) and younger brother Alex (Tate Berney).
A demon with an insatiable hunger for human souls — known as The Man Who Can’t Breathe (Michael Reid MacKay) — latches onto Quinn and attempts to possess the teenager’s body and soul.
Shocks are predictable, tapping into universal fears of the dark, and Sampson and Whannell offer light comic relief to distract from Mulroney, who is as wooden as the furniture in the Brenner apartment.
Unsurprisingly, writer-director Whannell leaves the cellar door ajar for a potential fourth descent into the ghoulish gloom.