As we gracefully enter the new year of 2018, I remain hopeful that we’ll get plenty of insightful and clever films. Unfortunately, January is often the worst month for films, and a horrible way to begin the year. Cited as being a “dump month”, January is host to a slew of poor-quality, bottom of the barrel leftovers from last year.
And this time we’re kicking off January with the not-so-anticipated Insidious: The Last Key.
The film stars Lin Shaye, reprising her role as the friendly neighborhood psychic named Elise. This time we delve deep into Elise’s tragic backstory (how typical), as we learn how her powers to talk to those beyond our world developed. Introducing new characters and settings important to Elise’s traumatic past, Insidious: The Last Key takes us deep into The Further for one last time (at least, one can only hope).
The Last Key was about as tiresome and worn as the title may suggest. Once a film series that attempted to bring creativity to the dying genre of horror, Insidious finally gives into the cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers methods of most modern-day horror flicks. Just look at the entity of the film, which was conjured in a corporate board meeting. Indistinguishable and lame, he’s basically just a spooky locksmith.
Not even jump scare enthusiasts will enjoy watching The Last Key, as it was surprisingly void of any scares at all. The few jump scares that did occur were much more annoying than frightening, but overall The Last Key didn’t have much going on in the horror department.
Lin Shaye as Elise gave the best performance she could under these circumstances, but many of her scenes meant to be emotional and heartfelt came off as laughably cheesy. Even her two sidekick friends, who gave much needed comic relief in the previous installments, were written in the most obnoxious way imaginable. Lighthearted moments involving both these characters were all too cringeworthy, and made me and the audience I saw this with groan more than laugh.
In multiple instances The Last Key drums up plot points that it leads the audience to believe are important, then decidedly never revisits them. As if the writer just forgot.
Speaking of poor writing, in a rather distasteful maneuver the film attempts to tie itself in with the previous Insidious movies. As if to remind the viewer, “yes, the film you’re currently watching is somehow related to this better film”. This comes at the tail end of The Last Key, and actually has some hilariously messed up continuity between the films. It’s in fact so blatant that I’m not even sure if the director saw any of the previous Insidious films.
Filled with tired clichés and unintentionally funny scenes, Insidious: The Last Key is unlikely to hit the bull’s-eye for anybody. The inconsistent rules and poor continuity surely won’t please fans of the series, and those who actually enjoy jump scares will probably find this film overwhelmingly dull. With no new scares and no new ideas, I hardly feel this was a story that was necessary to tell.
The Verdict: D-