Memory Lane with the 'Insidious' Franchise
There is something about the 'Insidious' franchise that is ridiculously entertaining even though they can be extreme and over-the-top a lot of the time. However, I can honestly say that I’m guilty of not only seeing all the 'Insidious' films in theaters, but purchasing them as well. For example, I will be seeing Insidious: The Last Key in theaters and, once it’s out on DVD, I will be buying it as well. Now, because the new 'Insidious' has recently been released, I thought I’d go down memory lane when it comes to the franchise. I wanted to start with the beginning, the original, the first 'Insidious' film.
All right, I’m going to be your typical horror fan and go ahead and claim that the first film was the best and that no sequels were needed. Don’t get me wrong, the sequels now fit and work with the storyline. However, the first 'Insidious' as a standalone film was entertaining, creepy, and interesting. I think it takes a special film to be able to carryover and gain fans while releasing unnecessary sequels. From the cinematography, to the acting, to the writing, 'Insidious' was a one-of-a-kind horror film in 2011. I remember going to the theaters the morning after it was released. It’s definitely a better film to watch in theaters, as opposed to just watching it in your living room. I knew that there was going to be a second film, because of how they ended the first one. However, I was still not too excited about the sequel. I thought the first film was a good enough film to be a standalone horror film.
The second film and I have a love-hate relationship. I love how they connected the first film to the second one throughout the film’s timeline. I thought showing how both films interconnected was a cool aspect of the film. The tone was the same as well which made the film memorable. The acting was great, and the same cast returned for the sequel. In my opinion, it was also obvious that Lin Shaye was the main character of the franchise because she was in the sequel even though she was killed off in the first film. The second film goes back in time before the first film even happened. It goes back to when Josh (the father) was a little boy, and how he was haunted. The reveal of Parker Crane was huge in this film as well. Crane’s story was one of the creepiest in the franchise. Insidious: Chapter 2 was a little all over the place. From the police interrogation, to Parker Crane, to Elise and Josh’s haunted past. The film felt a little jumpy. Yes, it was interesting and entertaining. It held my attention and I was engaged in the film the whole time. However, as far as the film flowing as one, it wasn’t too successful. This film ended with a hint to another sequel as well. Most of the audience knew it was coming. I could say they should have stopped there, but they already made a sequel. So why not do a whole franchise?
The third film, Insidious: Chapter 3 was something else to say the least. This sequel was in the past as well staring Lin Shaye. Chapter 3 was even more all over the place than the second film. There was a new cast and family on screen. There was past trauma, tragedy, familiar locations, and Lin Shaye fighting off entities of course. A young girl who tries to communicate with her dead mother opens the door to a greater evil causing herself to become possessed. This film seems so left field because it is simply just another case that Lin Shaye’s character has dealt with. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the first or the second 'Insidious' films. While it was still greatly entertaining, it seemed even more unnecessary than the prior sequel. The ending of this film is definitely my favorite scene out of the film. It does bring back and tie together the first 'Insidious' film. I will be honest, there was no real cliffhanger at the end of the film. So no, this time around it was not obvious that yet another sequel was coming. When I heard about the fourth 'Insidious' film, I was surprised but confused as well. What was going to be revealed this time around?
Insidious: The Last Key is claiming to be the last film in the 'Insidious' franchise. I have not seen the film yet, so I have no opinion on the film. However, I hope the franchise sticks to its word. I truly hope this is the last film. I’m sure this one will be just as entertaining and fun to watch as the last three. It would just be so unfortunate for them to keep pumping out these films and spreading them thin, making them less entertaining. Like I said before, I will definitely be seeing this film in theaters.
About the author
After founding her production company ItsFearHerself, solely writing, producing, and directing horror films. She’s made a wave in reviewing horror films, books, and TV as well.