Insidious: The Last Key – USA, 2017 – reviews

‘Fear comes home’

Insidious: The Last Key is a 2017 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan and an actor/editor on the 2001 Maniacs films) from a screenplay by Leigh Whannell, the writer of the first three Insidious instalments. Paranormal Activity‘s Oren Peli and Jason Blum returned as producers, alongside James Wan.

insidious-4-2017-horror-movie-lin-shaye-tessa-ferrer

After 56 days of release, the film had accrued $167,448,870 at the box office worldwide against a reported budget of $10 million.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …director Adam Robitel’s questionable handle on the tone gives the impression of a film that was shot blindly, literally as each page of the script was printed out. There are many puns. Worse, the ghoulish revelations never land as they should, because they come out of nowhere.” Emily Yoshida, Vulture

” …The Last Key proves itself to be equal to its predecessors. And by that, I mean I’d be hard pushed to tell you it isn’t a carbon copy of Chapter 3. It’s so frustratingly similar. Elise is reluctant to help; she helps. The demon has a silly moniker. Specs and Tucker provide the comic relief, whilst doing very little. There’s a few jump scares before we all go home felling hard done by.” John Noonan, Horror News

“Director Adam Robitel elicits some decent jump scares from time to time, but we can see them coming from around the corner […] In the end, it’s left to Shaye to carry the film, and she does so with aplomb. The Insidious franchise may be running out of places to go, but Shaye appears to be just getting started.” David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

“If you aren’t familiar with the Insidious film s, you might find this lantern laden, modestly budgeted ghost-fest intriguing. But if you are a diehard fan of the genre and are looking for some spine-chilling thrills and a well-made horror mystery, please look ‘further’. The Last Key is more of a final nail in the coffin for the Insidious series.” Renuka Vyavahare, The Times of India

“I was thoroughly impressed by the final chapter in the Insidious franchise. I loved the spotlight on Lin Shaye’s character and I think she stands strong as one of the most badass women in horror films ever. If you’re looking for a creepy film to add to your collection, Insidious: The Last Key is perfect for you!” Pop Horror

“Thankfully, the build-up to several major scare scenes in The Last Key is relatively subtle. There are even several moments where the filmmakers psych you out, and make you believe that something’s going to jump out at you … but then nothing does. Which is usually when something really jumps out at you. But in this film, you have to wait a little longer.” Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

“There’s a grittiness and griminess to The Last Key‘s story, and its investigation into Elise’s origin, that promises to evolve the franchise into new territories and occasionally it gets close. A particularly thrilling second-act reveal nudges The Last Key towards the crime genre in compelling way, and that throughline pays off with an elegant resolution.” Hayley Foutch, Collider

” …there’s not much going on below the surface of The Last Key’s garbled screenplay, which adds subplots about child abuse, serial killers, and psychological trauma into the familiar mix of “don’t open that door”s and “it’s right behind you”s. The end result seems misguided at first glance, but, upon closer examination, doesn’t make a lick of sense.” Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club

Insidious: The Last Key isn’t an especially scary picture, least of all during a protracted climax in a mysterious netherworld that suggests a blackout rave at Alcatraz. But to its credit, it isn’t an overly assaultive one, either. Its cheapest and most indelible effect is that strange glimmer in Shaye’s eyes as Elise steps gingerly but fearlessly through a house that she knows to be full of unfriendly visitors.” Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“The film is riddled with irrational characters, story ideas that don’t land the way they should, and the cheap loud noise jump scares that put audiences on the defense rather than lure them in. Still, the best decision that the makers of Insidious: The Last Key made was to give Lin Shaye a lead role.” Norman Gidney, Film Threat

” …The Last Key throws in plot surprises and superficial character shading as ways to stave off the franchise’s inevitable demise. The weight of the past is heavy on Elise’s shoulders, and the same could be said for this strained series.” Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

” …even Shaye’s dominance on-screen is not enough to save a film which plays within the ambit of previously worked horror tropes. From old abandoned houses to possessed children to long mangled fingers tearing through walls; we’ve been spooked by them all.”Kennith Rosario, The Hindu

“The one thing the otherwise forgettable film has going for it is Shaye, who over the course of the Insidious quadrilogy has miraculously created a real flesh-and-blood character with Elise. But at this late point in the series, that’s just not enough anymore. Let’s hope The Last Key isn’t just the film’s title, but also a promise.” Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

” …lazy and sometimes even loathsome. Robitel occasionally adheres to Wan’s tested blueprint for setting up scares, characterized by what you might call “The Long Withhold,” in which the inevitable fright is excruciatingly built up, often in near-silence, intensifying the jolt through a deferment so extended you start to wonder if it’s a psych-out.” Henry Stewart, Slant

” …a formulaically middling but ultimately entertaining prequel solely meant, as far as I can tell, to fill Blumhouse’s money-making January calendar slot. Or to give Lin Shaye her just due. Over-seasoned horror heads ought not fall for the bait entirely, as The Last Key, by its own well executed design, goes backwards in time, it does not care to progress or push the mythos of the franchise far enough… Jake Dee, Arrow in the Head

Main cast:

  • Lin Shaye – The Black Room; Director’s Cut; Grace: The Possession
  • Spencer Locke – Landmine Goes ClickResident Evil: Afterlife and Extinction
  • Josh Stewart – Discarnate; The Neighbor; The Collection
  • Bruce Davison – The Mystery of Casa Matusita; Corbin Nash; The Lords of Salem
  • Ava Kolker as Young Elise Rainier
  • Hana Hayes as Teenage Elise Rainier
  • Angus Sampson – Mad Max: Fury Road; Insidious and sequels100 Bloody Acres
  • Leigh Whannell as Specs
  • Josh Stewart as Gerald Rainier
  • Caitlin Gerard as Imogen Rainier
  • Spencer Locke as Melissa Rainier
  • Kirk Acevedo as Ted Garza
  • Tessa Ferrer as Aubrey Rainier
  • Javier Botet as KeyFace – ITAnnabelle 2; The Mummy; et al
  • Joseph Bishara as Lipstick Red-Face Demon
  • Ty Simpkins as Dalton Lambert
  • Rose Byrne as Renai Lambert
  • Patrick Wilson as Josh Lambert
  • Pierce Pope as Young Christian Rainier
  • Thomas Robie as Teenage Christian Rainier

Lin Shaye spoke to Daily Dead about her role in the movie:

“It’s a fantastic story and it took me back into what made Elise who she is. You meet my family, my mother, my father—we go back to my hometown, which is in New Mexico. And so that’s where this takes place and her quest to find the bad guy that’s been haunting her. It’s a really wonderful story. I think the fans will really, really enjoy it. And it’s scary on levels they’re not going to expect.”

Filming locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

Release:

Released globally on January 5, 2018.

 

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