Insidious: The Last Key, Reviewed

Casey Stavenhagen, Staff Writer

On a Saturday night with nothing to do, I decided to go see a movie, despite not really wanting to see anything currently in theaters. Having not seen a horror movie in awhile, I picked Insidious: The Last Key. I hadn’t seen an Insidious movie since the first one, many years ago, but it was one of the better modern horror movies, so my hopes were high.

To say the least, I was disappointed. A dependence on jump scares to make the atmosphere of the movie was its main downfall, as the movie was only scary seconds before a jump scare. During this time though, the movie did do well at building up tension, which was, more often than not, all for nothing because the jump scares were weak with a couple exceptions.

Holes in the plot, poor character choices, and weak attempts at humor, were other huge issues for the movie. Characters would ignore many warnings given to them and walk directly into a situation that was certain danger. An area where the movie excelled was centralized around a large plot twist in the middle of the movie, and if this path were more drawn out the movie definitely could have turned out better.

Giving a spoiler warning now, I will jump into an overview of the plot. The movie begins as a flashback to the past of the main character, an older woman named Elise. It is discovered quickly that Elise can channel spirits, which causes violent reactions from her father who sees them as unholy. Shortly into a look at her past, Elise’s mother is killed by a demon in the most visceral scene of the movie, as Elise was responsible for her death but was unable to prevent it.

After awakening from her nightmare of the past, Elise receives a call to take her business, where she resolves paranormal cases from the home she was raised in. Elise and her two assistants set off to help a single man living in this home, and after a night of investigation, they discover through a really well-made plot twist that the man who owned the house was kidnapping and killing young women. Following this revelation is a fight with the owner of the house that is intended to be suspenseful, but more so comes off as not well thought out and unrealistic. This ends in the death of the owner of the house, and no real trauma is seen on Elise’s assistant that killed the man.

Before the night where the kidnappings were discovered, Elise encounters her younger brother that she hadn’t seen since she ran away from her abusive father as a teenager, and along with him are his two daughters. Failing to listen to the father’s multiple warnings that Elise brings trouble, they decide to investigate the house again, the night after the owner’s death. In the scariest scene of the movie, Elise’s niece is attacked by a demon that puts her into a coma.

After a chain of characters enter “the further” to save one another, a scene follows that entirely kills all intensity the movie had built as what is intended to be the grand finale. 

Overall, the movie had many disappointing scenes that leave the viewer wondering how much more it could have been. Rating the movie a 4.5/10, based solely on the really good plot twist that had me intrigued in the movie for a bit, only to kill that by forgetting that plot and going back to poorly done jump scares.