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Insidious: The Last Key Movie Review: The Insidious Franchise Creaks  to A Halt

Insidious: The Last Key
Insidious: The Last Key

Starring Lin Shaye,

Directed  by Adam  Robitel

Rating: * ½(one  a  half stars)

 Really, now. The  American horror genre has run  out of ideas. The last really gripping horror movie from Hollywood’s hectic  haunted repertoire was Don’t Breathe which came  a  year ago. There have been  numerous shiver givers since then , all following with  a religious regularity the terror trope  about the devil in a  possessed  house.

The fourth film  in  the Insidious franchise is even more formulistic  than its predecessors, relying entirely on  creepy corridors and spooky shadows to enrapture us with the eerie. But largely failing to grip us as the narrative changes gears  from standard horror to a gothicnightmarish vision of  an infernal landscape  with child abuse running on as an onging  leitmotif in a tale that purports to seem far  more weighed down by existential issues than  it ought to.

The  plot abounds in absurdities  some  of which are pointed  out by the characters themselves to let us  know that the  film’s makers are smart enough to know they are being stupid.

 The film begins  lightly enough when we are introduced to our feisty 70-something heroine  Elise Rainer(Lin Shaye) and her two assistants who introduce themselves  as the  sidekicks to the psychic.

 Ha ha. Through the characters  of  the two assistants played like Elvis and Costello by Angus Samson and Lee Wanell, the  narrative keeps swerving  into  a kind of comic relief that is the equivalent of song breaks in Bollywood films.

The film also purports  to be a parable on family values with an alcoholic abusive father using the leather belt on  our heroine  when she is a  child. I don’t know how the violence nurtured psychic tendencies in Elise.Perhaps  the  film , through  its hectic haze of horrific images wants us  to believe that families splintered  by domestic violence are prone to hallucinate  about satanic  images.

Too ambitious for its own good, this film keeps tripping over its owngothic  images  trying to make sense out of an inchoate world built on the marshland  of diabolic horror.  Alas, Insidious: The Last Key is neither   scary  nor funny enough to  entertain us   with its reverence to the horror formula.

The  performances are purely functional,  with  the veteran Lin Shayegrimacing  really hard to convey intensity. The rest  of the cast  doesn’t even try. The only serious aspect of this fatigued  horror film  is  the cinematography  by Toby Oliver which is sinister and sleek, suffused in  dark dystopian hues that the  films’s mood  and tenor just cannot watch.

Pray really hard that the  fifth film promised at  the end  of this bland scare-farce  doesn’t materialize.

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