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Movie Review

There's something in the vents.

Or maybe it's in the ceiling.

Is it both?!

As young Quinn lies in her bed, immobile, with both legs broken, she's coming to understand that the psychic lady, Elise Rainier, was right. There's a very bad thing going on in her room.

The pretty high schooler's initial motivations were understandable, certainly. She only wanted to talk to her mom who had died from cancer. Only wanted to say all the things that hadn't been said. But when she made those efforts to reach across to the other side, it wasn't her mom who reached back.

Soon after, Quinn went to see Elise, and found out that she had likely opened the door to something terrible. Something that was anything but motherly. "If you call out to one of the dead," the woman informed her. "All of them can hear you."

Elise herself had once tried to cross over into a place called "The Further" and speak with her deceased husband, and in so doing she riled up a dark entity. Even with all her special gifts, she's decided to never venture to that realm again.

Of course, with Elise unwilling to aid her, that left the beleaguered Quinn on her own. Her stretched-to-the-limit dad couldn't help. Neither could her little brother. And it wasn't long after visiting Elise that Quinn started seeing a strange shadowy figure waving at her from a distance. Then she was hit by a truck. She almost died and ended up back in her bedroom, stuck, all alone, with two thigh-high casts tying her down.

Now, as the apartment lays silent, empty, vulnerable, there are thumps in the walls ... the vents ... the ceiling. There's a shadow by the window curtain. And as Quinn holds her breath and waits helplessly, she senses that something truly terrible is just beginning its wicked work.

(Quite unlike this film franchise, incidentally, which is now up to its third squirmy effort.)

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Positive Elements

Quinn's dad may be feeling overtaxed in his new role as a single father, but he's still a loving figure. When he realizes Quinn is truthfully being hounded by something otherworldly, he does everything he can to fight for her safety. And even though Elise is horribly afraid of her own dark spiritual stalker, she eventually throws her fears aside, risking her life to help Quinn survive.

Spiritual Content

The Insidious movies have always revolved around a particular spiritual world definition and set of tenets:

Elise tells us that outside the living realm there are two spiritual ones¬—light and dark. The dark realm, which is of course what this film features, is called The Further. It's a netherworld of nasty and tormented souls, and its inhabitants are always trying to make a way through the spectral membrane separating the quick and the dead. If any living person ventures there, they'll likely return carrying malevolent spiritual baggage.

That's where all of Quinn's and Elise's woes are emanating from, as you've already guessed. We see Elise take several séance-based "trips" to the gloomy ghetto. (A pair of online "ghost hunters" join her in this effort.) Quinn's ghoulish, ectoplasmic attacker turns out to be a former emphysema patient covered in cancerous sores. It's revealed that this creature is slowly sucking away Quinn's soul—as it has done with numerous others. We see that partially torn-away soul as a deformed version of Quinn herself, with no hands, feet or face.

"Light" souls can get in on the action, too. Two different "good" spirits chip in to help Elise rid Quinn of her torments.

On a completely different note, two boys who spot Quinn and her good friend Maggie hugging say, "Oooh, les-be friends!" Maggie quickly shoots back, "Where's the nearest Jesus camp?"

Sexual Content

Beyond that last quip about lesbianism, Quinn wears silky boxer shorts along with a tank top to bed.

Violent Content

We see Quinn step into the road and get hit by a speeding vehicle. She's sent careening and ends up badly battered and bloody, flatlining on the operating table for a moment or two. After she's brought back, she's wheeled home with full casts on both shattered legs.

But that's actually the easy part for her. We watch a demonic entity throw her out of bed and jump on her back. (After which she needs a neck brace, too.) The creature also attempts to pull the girl out a 12-story window. It ultimately takes full possession of her body, bloodying her dad and two others with her casts and a wrench. When the creature breaks off those plaster casts and forces the girl to walk around on her broken, bloody legs, her bones crunch and crack.

In The Further, Elise is repeatedly attacked and choked by a large female spirit. Quinn's cancerous demon attacks Elise as well, slamming her into walls and throwing her down a hallway. Elise meets a spirit that appears to be her deceased husband. It invites her to join him by committing suicide with a straight razor. (She declines and slashes its throat.)

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word. Two or three uses each of "a--" and "b--ch." God's name is combined with "d--n" once. Quinn flips her middle finger at her brother.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Other Negative Elements

While describing the grief of losing a loved one, Elise opines that "loving someone is just delayed pain."

Conclusion

By the time you get around to talking about installment No. 3 in a series of horror pics like this one, it's often more than appropriate to simply say ditto. Indeed, Insidious: Chapter 3 works from pretty much the same screeching, creaking, cracking-plaster and demonic-entity-leaping-from-the-shadows template that its two predecessors used.

The slight difference here is that this jump-scare fest doesn't revisit the Lambert family's spook-tortured time, preferring instead to set itself up as a prequel focused more on how Elise Rainier and her team of, well, ghostbusters came to be.

There's a new abused youth in the mix, in the form of a teen girl who's broken, tortured and possessed. There's a former emphysema patient ghosty that specializes in grasping innocents with long cancerous limbs, sucking at their souls and coating things in coal-black goop. And there are repeated astral projection travels into the inky depths of a spiritual netherworld.

You might say this pic is something of a warning against dabbling in that darkness. Spiritualist Elise cautions young Quinn to never reach into that black void, telling her that a call out to the spirits can pull in unexpected and dangerous entities. And so we see that disastrous result played out.

But you could only say such a nice thing with a straight face if Insidious: Chapter 3 didn't go so far out of its way to make all that dusky spectral torment so heart-thumpingly exciting, maybe even enticing. (In the worst of ways, of course.)

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Genre

Horror

Author

Cast

Lin Shaye as Elise Rainier; Stefanie Scott as Quinn Brenner; Dermot Mulroney as Sean Brenner; Angus Sampson as Tucker; Leigh Whannell as Specs

Director

Leigh Whannell ( )

Distributor

Focus Features

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

June 5, 2015

On Video

October 6, 2015

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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