Insidious: Chapter 3


Insidious: Chapter 3

Critics Consensus

Insidious: Chapter 3 isn't as terrifying as the original, although it boasts surprising thematic depth and is enlivened by another fine performance from Lin Shaye.



Total Count: 124


Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,411
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Movie Info

The new chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. (C) Focus


Dermot Mulroney
as Sean Brenner
Stefanie Scott
as Quinn Brenner
Lin Shaye
as Elise Rainier
Tate Berney
as Alex Brenner
Michael Reid Mackay
as The Man Who Can't Breathe
Corbett Tuck
as Danielle
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Critic Reviews for Insidious: Chapter 3

All Critics (124) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (73) | Rotten (51)

  • As middling, somewhat serviceable horror fare, it delivers its own share of jump scares, but whatever visceral effect it might have had wears off the instant the credits begin to roll.

    Jan 21, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Whannell does a creditable job with the film. He's not as bold as Wan about mounting a sequence, but he's no slouch about the psychology of screen horror.

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The quiet stretches actually serve their purpose here, creating a sense of intimacy with the characters as opposed to simply marking time between the shocks.

    Jun 11, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Tepid ghost story Insidious: Chapter 3 tries and fails to emphasize character-driven drama over cheap, jump-scare-intensive thrills.

    Jun 11, 2015 | Full Review…
  • You sort of want to give the movie a pass. But given its distinguished forebears, Insidious: Chapter 3 doesn't quite live up to expectations.

    Jun 5, 2015 | Full Review…
  • They say the third time's the charm. Not with the Insidious series, it isn't.

    Jun 5, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Insidious: Chapter 3

  • Feb 05, 2017
    Certainly the lowest, dumbest point of the franchise thus far, but not *so* bad that I won't be willing to watch the 4th entry touted for a 2017 release. Also does that super annoying thing where it is 100% a prequel, but still called "Chapter X".
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2015
    I'm really happy to say that this film is a vast improvement over Chapter 2. Dare I even say that this film is, as a whole, better than the first Insidious. The problem with the first Insidious is that the third act felt rushed and didn't really fit in with the rest of the film. Don't get me wrong I think the first Insidious would be better if we're looking just at the horror elements. As a complete with film, one with narrative and compelling characters, Chapter 3 would definitely be the best. It doesn't compare in the horror department, but I think it does a better job at making you care about the characters than any of the two previous films did. I think the time between the scares themselves is better utilized in adding some sort 'depth' to the actual characters that inhabit this film, where as in the previous two films, and many other horror flicks, the time between the scares is mostly filler. So it's refreshing to see a film that actually makes proper use of its total running time. Plus, it also means that we get to see a lot more of Lin Shaye being great and that's always a positive in my book. The film definitely benefits from a shift of focus from the Lambert family to someone completely unrelated to them. Another positive would be the fact that the film has a simplified compared to Chapter 2, which did some really convoluted things that detracted from the film. This film sees Lin Shaye's character being brought back to a business she had left behind after death of her husband in order to help a teen that's being haunted by a demon, who wants to enslave Quinn, the teen in question, in order to use her body as a vessel. It's not like the film has as many good scares as the first film in the franchise, but I think it does have quite a good number of them. I think they're enough to warrant a rental if you're someone that's just looking for some thrills, but it also works on a more complete level than that. Though, honestly, most people who watch this movie won't really do so because there's some good character work in this film, that's an added bonus for the people this film will appeal to, particularly during this Halloween season. I don't know though, like I can see how some of these scares might get to people, but I'm not suggesting that the scares are lazy, I actually think that they're good as a whole, but they just don't feel that inspired. I don't really know how to explain it without suggesting that the scares are lazy, which is not what I'm trying to say. I'm just trying to say that they do the bare minimum in order to get by. To be fair, though, the bare minimum is just enough in this case, since I'd still say that the horror elements are good. In many ways this film overachieves, since Chapter 2 was so bad, but it also falls short of the first film in terms of horror. This film benefits from a stronger focus as it relates to narrative and character and that, combined with the horror, does add up to the best entry in this franchise. It's not like it's a must see horror movie, but I do think it offers enough to satisfy both the horror geeks and the more casual fans looking for a few thrills. Solid rental.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2015
    You've got to love a script that includes the line 'The wheelchair's just until the bones in her legs heal.' Thank you, Doctor Obvious.
    Charles B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2015
    More Insidious by definition than the other installments, this beguiling, but ultimately rueful, prequel features a lot more backstory but much fewer thrills than its much scarier predecessors. This is not to say that Chapter 2 deserves a re-evaluated round of rousing cheers, mind you, but that sophomore slump at least raises quite a few hairs. More of a thinking man's ghost story, Chapter 3 brings moviegoers up to speed on the past of one of the franchise's most compelling characters, Rainier. Filling in these gaps provides a bridge to the frightening forebears, it doesn't really inform the series much outside of providing some Insidious trivia. This character and the performance behind it prove to be the most compelling part of the flick, however, anchoring an otherwise rote spook tale. In this PG-13-rated horror flick taking place before the Lambert family hauntings, gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lyn Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. The synopsis and other marketing materials wrongfully lead you to believe that she gets elevated to main character status. Perhaps, series writer and, with Chapter 3, first-time director Leigh Whannell should've reconsidered this decision. Lyn Shaye always gives an excellent nuanced performance amid the blood-curdling moments ... only there are very few of the latter here. Jump scares and jump cuts provide the so-called horror in-between winks and nods to the first chapters. Oh, recent widower Dermot Mulroney tries protecting his fresh-faced daughter Stefanie Scott from an otherworldly demon, but it's mostly window dressing to show the first team-up of a certain psychic with the discount bin Ghostbusters (Angus Sampson, Whannell) she's already working with in Chapter 1. As director, Whannell just doesn't possess original series helmer James Wan's almost supernatural ability to conjure up terror more organically and the leaving cheap thrills and torture porn to the hucksters of the Saw series. Bottom line: The Ghost & Mrs. Meh
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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