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Insidious: The Last Key Review – Finally We Learn Elise’s Backstory

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Starring Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Ava Kolker, Pierce Pope, Josh Stewart, Tessa Ferrer

Directed by Adam Robitel


Since the first Insidious movie came out in 2010—Wait… what? Eight years ago?!—the character of Dr. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) has become one of the few iconic heroes in the genre. Usually our horror idols are the villains, from Norman Bates to Leatherface; but sometimes we just want to root for the good guys. And there’s no one who does more good than Elise. She’s a brilliant psychic, clairvoyant, and demonologist; but above and beyond all that, she’s a kind and gentle empath.

Elise genuinely feels the emotions of those haunted by evil entities and fights for them with all her might. Insidious: The Last Key is a prequel, in which we learn how Elise got to be the way she is. The story starts with Elise shortly before she goes to supernatural bat for the Lambert family (though having seen Insidious or any of the sequels isn’t necessary for enjoying Chapter Four). She’s just recently teamed up with her paranormal investigator partners, Specs (Leigh Whannell, who also wrote the screenplay) and Tucker (Angus Sampson); and their first case as a team is her own: the house of horrors where Elise grew up.

We’re transported back in time to meet young Elise (Ava Kolker); her brother, Christian (Pierce Pope); mother, Audrey (Tessa Ferrer); and dad, Gerald (Josh Stewart). Dad rules the household with a proverbial iron fist, and everyone cowers in his presence… except for a certain demon, accidentally conjured by Elise.

The demon, dubbed Key Face, is still there lurking in the derelict structure Elise once called home. When she and Specs and Tucker are hired to vanquish him, their kickoff case could be their last! (Spoiler: It ain’t.)

James Wan and Whannell created the Insidious world, and up until now one or the other has been at the helm. So here fans get a different—yet reverent—take from director Adam Robitel. Robitel started as an actor (you may remember him costarring with Shaye in the 2001 Maniacs horror-comedies) but really came into his own as a filmmaker with his critically-acclaimed directorial debut, The Taking of Deborah Logan. I’m no fan of found footage, but I really enjoyed that film. And this one. While Robitel’s style differs from Wan’s—there’s less suspense and more horror in The Last Key—the story still fits into the canon nicely.

The main actors already have their roles down, and so their chemistry is great. The comedic relief from Specs and Tucker is as expected, and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with Shaye. The newcomers to the franchise are all great; character actor Bruce Davison (remember him in 1971’s Willard?) is an especially welcome addition.

The movie looks grim and gritty thanks to production designer Melanie Jones (The Purge) and cinematographer Toby Oliver (Get Out). As ever, composer Joseph Bishara’s score evokes chills.

My only complaint about the movie is the demon, Key Face. He’s just not relatable. However, the premise is clever: Since the town Elise grew up in is called Five Keys, and the entity has five fingers on each that that end in keys that can open any door and lock away any soul.

Whether you’ve seen the Insidious movies or not, if you like haunted houses and paranormal investigations, you’ve got to see The Last Key on the big screen.

  • Film
4.0

Summary

Find out the origins of Elise Ranier’s unique supernatural gifts when she returns to her haunted family home in this emotional and gripping prequel.

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User Rating 5 (1 vote)

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Oats Studios Cancels FIREBASE Feature

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A few weeks back we let you guys know that director Neill Blomkamp and his indie production company Oats Studios kicked off a fan-funding campaign to bring us a feature-length version of their killer short film Firebase.

But we have some sad news today as it seems the campaign was unsuccessful and all contributors will be getting their money back. Damn.

Oats Studios broke the news on Twitter saying, “To all backers of Firebase. Oats will be refunding everyone who contributed completely. Unfortunately, we didn’t raise enough to do something truly awesome. We would rather over deliver than create an average film. We thank the thousands of people who did back us- hang in there.”

Are you bummed there won’t be a feature-length Firebase flick? Make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Read our full interview with Blomkamp HERE.

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Which Comes Next THE CONJURING 3 or THE CROOKED MAN?

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This September we will finally see the release of director Corin Hardy’s The Conjuring spin-off, The Nun. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, today we have word via Warner Bros. that another entry in The Conjuring Universe will hit July 3, 2019.

There’s no word on which film this might be, but it’s safe to assume it will be either the recently announced The Crooked Man spin-off, or the long-awaited third entry in the mothership franchise The Conjuring 3.

Last year, Wan spoke about both films saying, “We’ve been working hard on Conjuring 3. Of course, that is something that I am not neglecting. The Conjuring films are still the mothership and the mothership needs to be strong. The mothership needs to be strong for all these other jet fighters to shoot out of. So, we’re in the midst of working on the script, and still hashing [it] out. We want to make sure that the script is in a really good place. With how much people have loved the first two Conjuring, I don’t want to rush into the third one if possible.”

Speaking about The Crooked Man spin-off, Wan explains that the film is in, “…early stages, kind of like cooking away. But we think we have a really exciting story. What we want to do, with The Conjuring universe, is we want each of our little offshoots to have a very different flavor, right? So, for example, Annabelle is the classic sort-of haunted doll subgenre. And with The Crooked Man, I would love to push it more down somewhat of that dark fairytale, and more whimsical, subgenre. I love the idea that, within the Conjuring universe, each of our little movies all have their own flavor, so that way they don’t feel like they’re the same films.”

Which film do you HOPE is next up in The Conjuring Universe? Personally, I really want to see more of this crooked fellow before diving into the further adventures of the Warrens. But all the same, make sure to hit us up and let us know what YOU think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

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Will There Be STRANGER THINGS 4?

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Yesterday we brought you guys the news that Netflix’s Stranger Things 3 began filming and today we already have word on whether or not there will be a Stranger Things 4.

Producer Shawn Levy spoke with Collider about the upcoming third season and eventually, the conversation moved to a possible fourth season.

I mean I will say we have a good sense of stuff that happens in Season Four,” Levy replied. “Season Four is definitely happening. There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided.”

Nice! Are you excited to hear there will be a fourth (and possibly fifth) season of the Netflix original series? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

This thrilling Netflix original drama stars Golden Globe-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

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