Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Blu-ray released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Directed by Adam Robitel
Written by Leigh Whannell
2018, 103 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on April 3rd, 2018
Lin Shaye as Elise
Angus Sampson as Tucker
Leigh Whannell as Specs
Josh Stewart as Gerald
Caitlin Gerard as Imogen
I love Lin Shaye. She’s like an unheralded heroine in the horror genre, and it’s always a pleasure to see her pop up in a film because it’s guaranteed she’ll elevate the enjoyment of whatever she’s in just by showing up. So, naturally, when I found out she’d be the centerpiece in Insidious: The Last Key, I was pleased.
Insidious: The Last Key is a somewhat of a prequel to both the entire franchise and the first Insidious, with Shaye reprising her role of psychic/ghost whisperer Elise Rainer. Starting with Elise’s as a young girl, the movie delves into not just how jacked up her childhood was, what with living in a haunted house with her special set of skills, but also what a monster her father was. About 10 minutes into the film, I couldn’t tell what scared me more, that creepy ass thing in the closet or Elise’s dad’s beat down of her when she said she saw ghosts.
But that was then and this is now, and while Elise still has nightmares about her childhood, at least she’s safely far away from that house of horrors, right? Well, yeah, up until she gets a phone call from the current resident of her childhood home asking for her help with some strange goings on within the residence. She reluctantly packs her bags, tries to tell Specs and Tucker (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, respectively) that they can’t go, it’s her fight (they ignore her), and the team heads to Arizona to do some demon slaying.
I have to come clean here. I really dig the first two Insidious films (although I will never forgive the Darth Maul makeup), but the third one, for some reason, I simply have not watched yet. And some of my favorite moments from those first two movies in the series involve Elise and her team. Some of that carries over well in Insidious: The Last Key and, unfortunately, some doesn’t.
First, Shaye is a tremendous actress, and Whannel (who also wrote this one) and Sampson obviously are comfortable with their roles. When the two men meet some ladies in a diner, and subsequently attempt to flirt, it’s hilarious. These two knuckleheads have always been one of my favorite things about the series and they deliver here as they have throughout. Shaye knows her part too. She is the straight man in this group, and she handles it with ease, looking at the two’s antics as if she were a parent watching her socially awkward children try to make their way in the world. The three’s synergy is such that when it’s all fun and games for the characters, it’s amusing as hell, but when it’s time to work, everyone gets serious and takes on the task at hand, there is an obvious switch being thrown, and it’s all quite believable. I would watch a TV series with these cats in a second.
The story itself, however, is a bit weak. There are a few head-scratch moments, be it questionable decisions from the characters or just a weird storyline that you are forced to accept. The scares almost cover up these issues; aside from the main antagonist, who is just fricking terrifying, there are some decent goose pimple-inducing moments (one of my favorites involves a police uniform). Naturally, I’m not including the jump scares – seriously Blumhouse, you are better than this, at this point, one is too many.
The title Insidious: The Last Key implies that this might be the last film in the series, and I for one hope it is. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed them all (save part three because, like I said, I haven’t seen yet), but it’s clear from this script that the well is all but dry. The film is far from an embarrassment, and extremely enjoyable, but let this go out on a high note, and end it with Elise’s beginning.
Video and Audio:
Insidious: The Last Key’s presentation is shockingly bland. The finer detail is present, but colors don’t pop, and there are times, especially during the cellar scenes, where things are just…gray. Plus, there are times where the CGI just looks bad (admittedly, that might actually be a credit to the picture.)
The audio, on the other hand, is great. The subwoofer gets a healthy workout, as do the surrounds. When that jerk ghost kid is talking to Elise, he really gets around the room.
- Alternate Ending
- 8 Chlliing Deleted Scenes
- Dive Into The Insidious Universe
- Going Into The Further
- Becominig Elise
- Meet The New Demon – Unlocking The Keys
The alternate ending, “Further Prison” (3:02) is worth a watch, if only to be thankful it wasn’t used.
There are eight deleted scenes (18:52) that, to be blunt, are better left cut. None add anything to the film or mythology and would do nothing but slow the pacing.
If you are looking to catch up with the series, "Dive Into The Insidious Universe" (4:38) is a quick and spoilerific way to do so, as it provides a fast recap of the films.
“Going into the Further” (3:30) centers on the mysterious "further" from the films. If you are familiar with the series, it can be skipped. There are some cool shots from filming, but its running time is too short to get into much depth.
Lin Shye’s character is the focus in “Becoming Elise” (5:29). Like the other featurettes, it’s nothing more than an EPK used to promote the film. Fair warning, there is a major spoiler in the first 20 seconds of the piece, so you’ll want to skip it if you haven’t seen all the films.
Unlocking the Keys (2:35) is nothing more than a fluff piece with very brief talking points from the cast and crew explaining what the film is about. It’s only worth the brief watch to see some glimpses of the main big bad behind the scenes.
Rounding it out are trailers for other Sony titles.