Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

(On Cable TV, February 2016) The first Insidious was a welcome throwback to straightforward horror; the second one kept some of the thrills but presented a much duller result. With this Insidious: Chapter 3, however, we’re well into the logic of diminishing returns. The first warning sign is that it’s a prequel, forced to go back in time in order to keep Lin Shaye’s character alive and kicking. What we laboriously discover is that this third Insidious is meant to show how the demon-hunting team came together: No one apparently stopped to consider whether we cared. It’s not as if the nuts-and-bolts specifics of this third film’s plot actually matter a lot: Insidious 3 is routine even by horror standards, and has almost entirely dismantled what made the first-and-a-half Insidious so special. I forgot good chunks of the plot mere days after seeing the film even as I can still quote chunks of the previous instalments. Lin Shaye is good as the lead demon hunter, even if the rest of the film is unremarkable. But whoever expected a third instalment in a horror series to be actually any good?

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