The story of the Lambert family came to a close with Insidious: Chapter 2, the third installment taking us back to a case earlier on in the career of famed parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye), as well as her two sidekicks of sorts, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Simpson). The Last Key picks up shortly after Chapter 3, where Elise, just shy of taking on her infamous final case, receives a chilling phone call from a pleading owner (Kirk Acevedo) of a haunter house. And this house just so happens to be the same one she once called her own, back when she was just a child.
Her past is dark and twisted, as made evident through an opening prologue, which manages to be one of the more frightening sequences. A lot of the acting is… well… bad, but the scares are effective. As an older Elise then goes back and unravels the truth behind this situation, however, a lot of the fear is removed, falling into the trap the second film fell into where they over-explain the plot to the point where it’s no longer scary. Once they do move beyond the exploration of this haunted house, everything from there on out becomes somewhat of a convoluted mess.
During this extended sequence, the scares are often undermined by the truth, never as interesting or freighting as earlier sequences were. A mysterious key-fingered villain is set up well, but then forgotten about for most of the runtime. There’s more subplots at play here than an actual plot, forcing tie-ins to the other films left, right and centre. It all becomes lost within its own world, unable to escape and failing to deliver on any effective scares. One moment involving a briefcase got me good, but, even then, it’s a scare you’ll see coming a mile away.
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