Cheap chills

OUT NOW! INSIDIOUS 3 propels the series on, this one cheaper and more offensive than the last.

Part three of Blumhouse Productions’ Insidious franchise acts as a prequel of sorts, an effective if unsurprising genesis story for spiritual medium Elise (Shaye) and her fanboy ghosthunter sidekicks Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (played by the director).

The trio cross paths for the first time here as they come to the aid of a young lady named Quinn who finds herself being terrorised by a demon with some sort of respiratory problem, after a car accident leaves her on the brink of death. What’s more, Quinn recently lost her mother and her mourning family are apparently feeling the mighty strain. Her bro lazes about. Her dad can’t pronounce Quinoa. It’s all apparently about to blow.

As one might expect, this is a lazier effort than the first outing. The well constructed atmosphere of the 2010 original is gone, as creaky floorboards and shrill strings take its place. A racially stereotyped couple live next door, and there’s a worrying odour of rape fantasy permeating in the air. But still, this crowd know how to set up a decent scare. Cheap, offensive, effective.

So the shrewd folk over at Blumhouse studios remain adept at squeezing every last dollar from their lucrative horror creations. Paranormal Activity made $12,000 for every dollar spent. Insidious co-creator James Wan (acting as producer here) is currently responsible for the fourth most successful film of all time. Such are the way of things.

These particular entities are usually held for the Autumnal spooky season, or the box office no-man’s-land of Spring, so if you fancy a few cheap thrills on a balmy summer night, Insidious 3 might just be for you.

Insidious 3 | Directed by Leigh Whannell (USA, 2015) with Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye. Starts July 2