We’ve finally made it to the finale of the Insidious franchise. What began in 2011, as a story of a family whose house wasn’t haunted but rather–they were the ones haunted. Insidious: The Last Key takes place in 2010, after the events of the third movie but before the events of the first two.
Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) lived in New Mexico with her family as a child, but when her mother is killed by a demon, she has to deal with the wrath of her father (Josh Stewart) until she grows older and leaves, abandoning her younger brother Christian (Bruce Davison). Many years later in 2010, she and her team which consists of Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson) get a call from Ted Garza (Kirk Acevedo) claiming that his house is haunted. Upon realizing that it is her childhood home, Elise agrees to help.
The childhood home is indeed haunted, but not just by the supernatural but by the memories that cling there. Memories of her loving mother and her abusive father, it is no secret why she didn’t want to return to such a place. While in town, she runs into her brother who is still furious with her for abandoning him. He has two daughters now, Melissa (Spencer Locke) and Imogen (Caitlin Gerard). Imogen has inherited Elise’s abilities, and we watch as the story continues to unfold. Elise finds out that the woman she saw when she was younger in her house wasn’t a ghost, but rather a girl that her father had kidnapped and later killed.
Elise ends up having to go into ‘The Further’ in order to rescue her niece Melissa, and this is where she finds out that the demon she calls ‘Key Face’ was controlling her father, and later Ted Garza and feeding off the hatred and fear of the women they kidnapped. He pushes Elise to beat the spirit of her father as he did to her, but Imogen, who has gone in after her tells her to stop, and to not give Key Face more power. Key Face attacks Elise but her father Gerald stops him and his spirit is destroyed in the process. With the help of the spirit of her mother, Elise, Imogen and Melissa all end up being able to get out and back to safety, but not before we see them open a door where we see Dalton Lambert only to realize it is the wrong door and they leave to find the right one.
Elise says her goodbyes to her mother, and makes amends with her brother. Later, as she sleeps, she sees Dalton and a red-faced demon. Waking up to a call from Lorraine Lambert, who we recall is Dalton’s grandmother, who has worked with Elise before to help her son Josh with his astral projection problem. All the pieces fall together and we now learn how everything was connected.
In terms of ranking, I’d have to put the first movie at the top, followed by the third, fourth and then the second. The second one was lack-luster for me, personally. This series is a strong contender in the genre of modern horror, where there is a good balance between scares and story. It doesn’t have an unnecessary abundance of jump-scares and it gives the actual story sufficient time to play out and not feel rushed. While not part of the official Conjuring Universe, it fits the same vibe as the others. It would have been awkward for it to actually be in the same universe since Josh Lambert’s actor, Patrick Wilson, plays Ed Warren in the Conjuring movies. I digress. Patrick Wilson, as a brand, has made a name for himself in horror movies recently–with the outlier being his role in Aquaman.
What has always interested me about the Insidious movies is there ability to connect everything without going in chronological order in storytelling. A lot of franchises do this (Star Wars, The Fast & Furious) but it’s interesting to see a horror franchise do this and do it successfully.
The first series of spooky season is now complete! What did you guys think of it?