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Summary / Analysis
Times of India
This prequel looks back at events that occur before the Lambert family hauntings that led to the first two parts of the series. Elise Rainier (Shaye) is coaxed into using her gift to help the young Quinn (Scott) reach out to her deceased mother Lillith (Keats). However, Quinn learns that contacting the spirit world has some terrible consequences.
The prequel to the successful horror series is helmed by a new director this time around, bringing you a mixed bag of treats, or scares, to be more appropriate. Surprisingly, there is even the odd joke or two (perhaps to ease the tension a bit during intense parts in the narrative) that might or might not work for you, depending on whether you prefer your horror fare to be dead serious.
Quinn's curiosity regarding the supernatural in general and contacting her deceased mom in particular leads her to Elise's home, where she tells the latter how much she misses her mother. Elise reluctantly agrees and tries a preliminary session, only to be terrified by a demonic voice that scares the living daylights out of her. She snaps out of it and warns Quinn, "You call out to one of the dead all of them can hear you."
However, Quinn's attempts to contact her mother have already caused a demon who wants her soul, to latch on to her. It gets more brazen in its physical manifestations till Quinn's very life is threatened. Her dad Sean (Mulroney), Elise and a self-styled ghostbuster pair have to rescue her before she is finished.
Whannell certainly takes his time to create a sense of dread. This is in contrast to the latter part of the film, where there are some overly loud moments. The film is high on ominousness, especially those dark atmospherics when Elise slips into the 'Further', a place fraught with danger. With the prequel and the subsequent two films now covering the gamut of scares, it's clear that the next one in the series will have to have some new ideas to keep the franchise fresh.
In exploring the more physical aspects of confronting demons and The Further, Insidious: Chapter 3 kept everyone on their toes, even the many members of the crew who were veterans of the previous Insidious movies. “We had a talented crew, and a committed cast,” marvels Whannell. “I felt lucky to be so supported on my first directing job.”
The writer/director himself is at times on-screen opposite Mulroney and the other core cast, encoring as parapsychologist Specs alongside another series staple, Angus Sampson as Tucker. “They’re everyone’s favorite ghost hunters, and they always add a little bit of humor to the Insidious movies,” smiles Peli. “In Insidious: Chapter 3, we see how they got their start – and we see them get in over their heads.” Whannell confides, “For Elise, I feel that Tucker and Specs are like the sons she never had. Angus is an old friend of mine, and we’ve spent years perfecting the back-and-forth you see on-screen. I wrote Insidious with him in mind, and a lot of what you’ve seen between Tucker and Specs in these movies is improvisation between us; we know the characters so well.
Scott found her director’s attention to emotional detail most welcome. “In the story, Quinn has kept a diary,” the actress explains. “Leigh gave me a blank diary – and a huge box of stuff to decorate it with: jewels, markers, paint. I decorated the cover – and then I wrote in the journal every day as Quinn, about what she’s going through with losing her mother. Leigh also gave me a book about dealing with that kind of loss, which is how I truly started to get an understanding of what it must be like.”
Oren Peli, who shares producer redits, comments, “I think that fans value the Insidious movies because these are not typical horror movies that rely on gore; the scares are methodical and effective. “I myself am drawn to the core concept of something lurking in your own normal home, something that you can’t reason with and don’t know how to fight against – but you must, for your family’s sake.”
Due to clash of dates with the schedule of Furious 7, James Wan was unavailable to direct the movie.
Only when Van Etten was notified by a fan on Twitter, legal action was taken against the trailer which featured the song ‘Afraid of nothing’, as no rights were acquired for it. Filmmakers had to pay her for illegally using her music.
Insidious Chapter 3 is meant to be a prequel to the first two movies. This time, it is positioned before the Lambert family find themselves being affected by the supernatural. We see the supernaturally gifted Elise Rainier who hesitantly goes along with her friend Quinn Brenner, a teenager whose mother Lillith has died recently. Quinn strongly feels that her mother Lillith is trying to connect with her from the Other World. Keen to get in touch, she heads out to meet Elise for a session with the supernatural. However, some sinister scenes happen and for some strange reason, Elise's session is cut short when she hears a demonic voice that threatens to kill her. Quinn also gets a warning, telling her to She warns Quinn to stop her amateurish attempts to contact her mother via occult means. If "you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you," she is warned.
It doesn't take long for Quinn to begin hearing strange sounds during the night time and strange things start to happen. For example, when she attends an audition, for a theater academy, she makes out a creature from the shadows making gestures at her. Unnerved at this, she makes a hash of her audition. This appears to be blamed on her taciturn father asking her to be more responsible around the home and pay more attention to her brother Alex. This apparently left her little time to memorize whatever lines that she had to memorize for her audition.
She confesses to her buddy Maggie that she is not pleased with her father's stern nature and the fact that he isn't unhappy with the lack of support she gets from him. However, Quinn notices the same figure from the theatre again and this time, tries to get a better look. She is hit by a speeding car and breaks both her legs and she is wheelchair bound. When her father gives her abell in her room to ring when she is in need of something, she gets woken up by the sound of the bell ringing by itself. This unnerves her. On another night, she hears a bumping noise on the wall, which she assumes to be a sound made by her neighbor. Curious, she knocks against the wall and receives a matching knock in reply. Later she texts her neighbor asking him what the incident was about. He replies saying that he was not at home at that time. Fearing for her safety and thinking that it was an intruder, she thinks nothing more of it and heads to bed. These paranormal occurrences become more frequent, and each time, Sean saves her. The demon becomes more visible: a corpse of a burn victim with a breathing mask, who makes a rattling noise. At one point, the demon brings Quinn up to the upstairs apartment, where she sees a faceless, limbless version of herself. Sean rushes up to the apartment and follows the bloody footprints to the broken window. A man is lying on the pavement below, as if he committed suicide by jumping out. As Quinn goes to observe the window, the demon grabs Quinn and tries to pull her over the ledge. Sean saves her, but her neck is injured in the process. Sean contacts Elise, who hesitantly enters the spiritual realm (which she calls "The Further"). She finds herself afraid and the spirit of Parker Crane/Bride in Black nearly kills her. She is brought back to living world terrified, and refuses to continue. Sean has no choice but to call in someone else, a pair of bloggers, at the behest of his son: Specs and Tucker. Meanwhile at a Chinese restaurant, Elise seeks solace from her friend Carl, who shares her "gift". Carl reassures her that she is much stronger than she believes because she is a living being.
After a terrifying experience with Quinn and the demon, Specs and Tucker attempt to withdraw from the case but Elise, now willing to help, appears, more powerful and confident. She reveals that the demon isn't like others she's encountered. Where most spirits from the Further seek to find bodies to possess so they can live again, this demon, chooses to drag pure living souls into the Further so it can torture them. In the Further, Elise sets free the spirit of a girl the demon had captured years before and overcomes the Bride in Black. The Demon takes the form of Elise's dead husband, Jack, who killed himself a year ago, in an attempt to trick her into killing herself so they can be together. After a tearful reunion, Elise realizes that it is actually the Demon, and easily defeats him, but it grabs hold of a faceless version of Quinn. This version of Quinn is revealed to be the half of Quinn's soul that the demon controls. Elise returns to the living world, and tells the group that this part of the battle must be fought by Quinn alone. However, Quinn is losing the battle, as her alternate version gains more of her features. Elise hears the voice of the wife of the Brenner's neighbor who had passed away the other night, leading her to Quinn's diary, which contains a letter that Lillith wanted her to read before she graduated. The power from this letter helps guide Lillith to save Quinn and banish the demon. Lillith leaves her with some parting words, and the family is finally reunited. Specs and Tucker decide to join Elise to deal with other supernatural disturbances. Elise heads home to find that her husband's spirit has left his sweater on the bed. Overwhelmed with emotion, she holds his sweater close. Her dog then begins to bark into the darkness, where an ominous face peers back at her. As Elise gazes at the small face, the Lipstick-Faced Demon pops out next to her