Set before the the events of Insidious Chapter 1, Chapter 3 is another tale of a haunting of a twisted entity preying on a family, and its up Elise Rainier to help.
In this chapter, Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) has been trying to contact her decease mother to find closure after her recent death. Her father Sean Brenner (Dermot Mulroney) is struggling to raise her and her brother Alex (Tate Berney), and also come to terms with his wife death. After a series of mysterious events, Quinn seeks at a recently retired Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) in an effort to understand what is happening to her. Elise realizes that Quinn hasn’t been contacting her mother, but has drawn the attention of something else.
Chapter 3 also reveals the backstory of Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Spec (Leigh Whannell), the two paranormal investigators that would later team up with Elise. Tucker and Spec are introduced as internet paranormal Vloggers that are trying to prove the existence of afterlife entities. Their paranormal adventures will bring them to the Brenner family where they first encounter Elise.
Insidious: Chapter 3 boasts that its the most “terrifying” and “darkest” chapter in the series, and it tries to deliver on that premise. This story contains the surreal silence and pop-up frights that made the first two movies scary, with the additional of a new ghost monster named “The Man Who Can’t Breathe” that violently haunts the Brenner family and has a habit of leaving a trail greasy foot prints behind.
Insidious: Chapter 3 offers a decent entry as a stand alone tale in the Insidious sage. The movie contains the same frights you’ve come to expect from a James Wan flick. but sitting in the director chair this time was Leigh Whannell, a veteran of horror films and does a good job of keeping the source material consistent. While slim on the plot and character development, there were plenty of jump scares and eerie visuals to get the hairs standing on the back of your head without pushing anything harder than the PG-13 rating. Dermot Mulroney plays the rationalizing father figure who steals the movie for me. Watching him juggle his family duties while realizing something horrible is happening was a neat contrast to the story. Out of all the characters in the story, he knew nothing of the paranormal and has to deal with the situation the best he can in a clumsy fatherly blue collar way.
This movie helps filling a little of the gaps between chapters 1 & 2, and leaves it open for a eventual 4th chapter. If you are a fan of the series, it definitely worth a viewing to get some backstory on Elise, Tucker and Spec, and see Lin Shaye get into fisty cuffs with a ghost. It may not be a solid of a story like its previous movies, but its nice to have a family that doesn’t keep traveling to the astral plane accidentally.