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It's the Booze Talkin', Bring on Insidious: Chapter 4!

04.19.2016by: JimmyO

Let’s be honest, how many times do you see a promising horror trailer that ends with the unfortunate, “This feature is rated PG-13!”? While there are certainly solid ones, that rating has put a damper on a few potential views for many of us. Yet there is one PG-13 franchise that has proven to be entertaining, at least for this guy, and that is INSIDIOUS. What began as a low budget horror flick with heavy references to POLTERGEIST and CARNIVAL OF SOULS, soon had a haunted legacy of its own thanks to the impressive cast and the bizarro world of “The Further.” And with three films, all involving the great Lin Shaye as Elise Rainer - the nutty psychic who has too many close calls with demonic entities - the series has done quite well for itself thanks to it’s modest budget and funhouse thrills.

insidious, james wan, rose byrne, patrick wilson, chapter 2, chapter 3, dermut mulroney, leigh whannell, lin shaye, angus sampson

When a franchise continues to make money, you can bet there will be another film on the way. And with the recent announcement of INSIDIOUS 4, I have to say that I’m actually looking forward to it. A lot! Frankly this is a bit of a shock as I wasn’t completely in love with the first film until after a couple of viewings. The same can be said for the INSIDIOUS brand in general. What is even more strange is much of what you find in this series is something that can get on my nerves in horror films. You have the loud music that has you jumping, even with the slightest of scares, and you have a goofiness that can be off-putting if not done correctly. Yet somehow I’ve become invested in the series as a whole.

insidious, james wan, rose byrne, patrick wilson, chapter 2, chapter 3, dermut mulroney, leigh whannell, lin shaye, angus sampson

The main reason why these films work is the casting. Starting with the enjoyabe Lin Shaye, you have a very strong and fascinating character. Her Elise is a colorful woman who has seen her fair share of frights and loss. The fact that INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 decided to begin before she  met her sidekicks, Tucker and Specs (Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell) was a good choice. Considering the fate Elise suffered in the original film, they’ve found a good way to keep her in focus. Even in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, she was a huge influence in the story. While the first film was really about the Lambert family, they smartly gave credit where credit was due. It’s about damn time that Ms. Shaye was given a little credit for being such a unique figure in horror.

insidious, james wan, rose byrne, patrick wilson, chapter 2, chapter 3, dermut mulroney, leigh whannell, lin shaye, angus sampson

Aside from Lin, Angus and Leigh, you also have strong performances from the families being haunted. In the beginning we had both Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne who absolutely nailed it - seriously, Rose is freaking great in comedy and horror. Their relationship, as well as the young actors playing their children, helped raise the stakes for the audience. Even in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 when James Wan went all THE SHINING on us, I was still having a blast with it. And when it came time for the third installment, it was Whannell who continued with a new but familiar haunting. Oftentimes I find that doing a prequel doesn’t have the impact of simply continuing a story, but for me this worked. And while Chapter 2 was intensely wacky and wild, Chapter 3 was arguably more grim than the first two and it featured talented character actor Dermut Mulroney. Either way, I appreciated tiptoeing through the tulips for all three films.

insidious, james wan, rose byrne, patrick wilson, chapter 2, chapter 3, dermut mulroney, leigh whannell, lin shaye, angus sampson

For some, the INSIDIOUS franchise isn’t quite as respectable as say THE CONJURING - the OTHER recent Wan horror project. That said, the three films work partially because both Wan and Whannell have a deep love for horror. And here is the caveat, if Whannell continues to take on directing duties for what is presumably CHAPTER 4, I’m fully on board. Having anybody else besides the two involved could change everything about why the series works. Even if they try and stick with the aesthetics of the original three, it won’t be the same without the creators involvement. They have remained a part of it with Wan continuing as a producer on the last feature. While I loved what the FURIOUS 7 director did with the visuals, his partner clearly has a handle on the material to continue on with Elise and her terrifyingly dangerous occupation.

insidious, james wan, rose byrne, patrick wilson, chapter 2, chapter 3, dermut mulroney, leigh whannell, lin shaye, angus sampson

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but bring on the next chapter in the INSIDIOUS franchise. As a fan of the first three films, I only hope that it stays in the capable hands of Leigh and James. Sure the exaggerated bursts of loud music to emphasis a scare tend to annoy me, but they sort of work in this haunted funhouse of a series. And now that we have been reintroduced to Elise Rainer and her partners Tucker and Specs before their time with Josh and Renai Lambert, I’d love to see another adventure. While it is unclear how long they can continue to create something truly special and worthwhile as they once again journey into the Further, I’m happy to see a least one more film in this continuing saga.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think? Are you ready for INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 4?
Source: AITH

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