Universal Pictures & Blumhouse Productions provide us with the 2018’s first new release, Insidious: The Last Key. The fourth film in the franchise finds Adam Robitel taking on directing duties this time around, while franchise veteran Leigh Whanell returns to handle the script.
Set around 2010, Last Key serves as a sequel to the previous film and prequel to the first two films. New homeowner Ted (Kirk Acevedo) finds himself spooked by some strange shenanigans that are going on in his home. He decides to call Elise for help, who is always eager to bust some ghosts until she discovers it’s the house she abandoned as a young adult. Utilizing a non-linear narrative, the film may be a bit slow paced for some, but the payoff is worth it.
I was immediacy intrigued when I heard that Whanell’s script would be the backstory of the franchise’s real heroine Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye who makes her fourth appearance). Ava Kolker & Hana Hayes portray Elise as a child and teenager, and the casting is spot on, with Kolker & Hayes both capturing some of Shaye’s mannerisms. Part of what makes the film work is Elise’s relationship with her father Gerald (Josh Stewart) and younger brother. Stewart is downright mean and scary as a dad who would rather abuse his daughter than embrace her gift.
Fan favorites Tucker (Angus Sampson) & Specs (Leigh Whanell) also return to provide some comic relief as Elise’s sidekicks. For the most part, I enjoyed Insidious: The Last Key. As it is the fourth film in the series, by now I know what to expect. While Robitel’s direction isn’t as tight as the series former director’s, there is still enough jump scares to make the film enjoyable for fans of the franchise.
I also tip my hat to Blumhouse for utilizing the always enjoyable Shaye as Elise. The studio and franchise creators could have done away with Shaye’s character and cast someone younger or rebooted the series. Thankfully they decided to use the 74 years young Shaye who still proves to be an excellent scream queen.
With a proper ending for the franchise that wisely doesn’t leave it open for a sequel, The Last Key just may be the last time we see the franchise on the screen. As a fan of the series, I wouldn’t mind if this is the last one of the big screen. I would much rather see a TV series focusing on a young Elise and her battles with various entities from the further. If you’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned PG -13 scare fest then I recommended checking this one out.
Final Grade: B