If you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you.

The Insidious trilogy has finally come full circle with the release of this third film, Insidious: Chapter 3. Horror buffs will be delighted to know that horrific flicks are back to the big screen, and hopefully brings about the same or even better scares.

This instalment acts as a prequel to the very first Insidious. It’s a new story all over, albeit a slightly lacklustre one.

Malaysian-born director James Wan (who helmed the first 2 films) takes a back seat as producer, handing over the reins to screenwriter Leigh Whannell in his feature debut as director. Whannell also happens to have a part as ghost hunter Specs in all the films, including this.

Insidious: Chapter 3 begins with another family and a fresh new story. Stefanie Scott stars as Quinn Brenner, a teenage girl seeking help to contact her deceased mother, and reaches for the assistance of psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). Elise warns her to take caution, and then reluctantly agrees to use her ability for one last time.

Dermot Mulroney plays Quinn’s father, Sean, the typical dad that brushes off her supernatural encounters until he experiences the horror himself. As a father-daughter pair, Quinn deals with the trauma while Sean acts as comic relief. In perhaps her first major onscreen role, Scott’s performance appears mediocre at best, as she tries to live the ordinary teenage life as Quinn despite an accident that leaves her handicapped.

Whannell balances the elements of plot and horror fairly, giving due attention to scare factors when necessary. The plot is paced consistently with few dull moments. In fact, it’s mostly suspense as viewers wonder what will happen to her next, or her next move given her handicap.

As a debut, Insidious: Chapter 3 is commendable for a first film, but still doesn’t live up to the quality of Wan’s work. Expectations are raised after the first two Insidious films, and thus the scares turn out less than satisfactory. Nonetheless, it still delivers good shocks for an enjoyable night out, and very predictable frights for the ordinary moviegoer and the faint-hearted.

Insidious: Chapter 3 opens in theatres today.

Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Genre: Horror
Running time: 97 minutes
Rating: 3/5

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