‘Insidious: Chapter 3’ haunted by the problems of the first two films

The horror prequel and”Insidious: Chapter 3and” is a simple origin story, laying out, in somewhat ho-hum fashion, the details of how everyoneand’s second-favorite ghostbusters — steely spiritual medium Elise Rainier and her clownish sidekicks, known as Specs and Tucker — got together.
Does anyone really care?
Leigh Whannell apparently thinks so. The writer of all three and”Insidiousand” films — who also plays Specs — takes over the directorand’s chair from horror maestro James Wan (and”The Conjuringand”), moving Elise (Lin Shaye) and company a little bit more front and center.
Thatand’s fine by me. Along with Shayeand’s supernatural exterminator, the characters of Specs and Tucker (Angus Sampson) were the best things about chapters 1 and 2, proving popular enough to spawn their own series of tie-in webisodes. But the two characters, whose role as providers of comic relief is reminiscent of and”The X-Filesand’and” Lone Gunmen, are also somewhat polarizing. As Whannell explained to the fan site Dread Central in 2012, and”There was this hatred that spewed out from fans saying, andlsquoI hated those guys! They sucked! They ruined the [first] movie!and’and”
For the record, Specs and Tucker are not what ruined the first — or, for that matter, the second — movie. That was both filmsand’ over-the-top depiction of a fog-shrouded underworld populated by soul-sucking zombies and ruled by a Mephistophelian demon made up like Darth Maul. But as much as I and some others like them, they are not enough to save and”Chapter 3and” from the same things that sunk the first two films.
Set a few years prior to the haunting depicted in the original film, the third installment centers on a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a new stalker from the afterlife, a realm known in all three movies as and”The Further.and” This restless etheric entity — referred to, in rather clinical fashion, as The Man Who Canand’t Breathe — is just what he sounds like: an old dude in a hospital gown with an oxygen mask.
I guess, to Whannell and his under-40 cohort, there is nothing scarier than the geriatric wing of a hospital.
Anyway, TMWCB haunts the apartment building where Quinn (Scott) lives with her widowed father (Dermot Mulroney) and little brother (Tate Berney), feeding off Quinnand’s soul, which he appears to nosh on, in nibbles, the way an old man might take a week to finish a snack-size bag of chips. His half-finished meal is rendered, in one of the filmand’s stupidest — and most literal-minded — visual effects, as Quinnand’s body without a face, and with a couple of extremities missing.
For no apparent reason, TMWCB also leaves oily footprints, which are there one minute and gone the next, whenever Whannell needs something to jolt the audience awake.
Thatand’s unfortunately often in this film, which is more silly and soporific than scary. Iand’m glad to see Shaye back after her character was killed off in and”Chapter 2.and” At 71, sheand’s still got what it takes to tangle with a poltergeist. And Specs and Tucker provide welcome fizz to the all-too-leaden proceedings. Even the reappearance of the ghostly and”Bride in Blackand” — the supernatural villain from the first two films — is a good thing.
Itand’s just that the and”Insidiousand” franchise, after three attempts to exorcise its real demons, still canand’t seem to shake what really haunts it: the ghost of B-movies past.
One-and-a-half stars out of four. (c) The Washington Post 2015

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman