Set a few years before the Lambert haunting, teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, so she seeks help from gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). However, Elise’s tragic past makes her reluctant to use her abilities.
After a car accident leaves her immobile, Quinn is attacked by a malevolent entity as her father (Dermot Mulroney) pleads with Elise for help. With support from two parapsychologists (Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson), Elise ventures deep into The Further — where she finds a powerful demon with an insatiable craving for human souls.
Orchestrated through a combination of creepy atmosphere and precise pacing, first-time director Leigh Whannell (whose writing credits include “Saw” and Insidious”) exploits Quinn’s vulnerability in a way that has viewers on the edge of their seats. Even the film’s quiet moments prove to be unsettling, frequently catching cinemagoers off guard.
In her role as Quinn, Stefanie Scott delivers a competent performance for the duration of the film’s 103 minute running time. Her natural presence allows the audience to easily identify with her character.
Disappointingly, her role becomes increasingly marginalised as the plot progresses, as her sub-plots (including a romance with her next door neighbour) being abruptly stranded.
Despite shifting the focus away from the Lambert family, Insidious Chapter 3 still feels very much a part of the franchise. This is largely down to the inclusion of Lin Shaye who, having been a supporting character in the predecessors, is given a more prominent role in this latest outing.
She brings a warmth and depth to her character, as she brilliantly reinstates her role as the best in the paranormal business.
Bumbling parapsychologists/YouTube stars Specs and Tucker (portrayed by Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson) also return, providing some highly comical moments amongst the scares.