Insidious: The Last Key Movie Review


Jake Ditto, Staff Writer

Every year the first weekend of January, a horror movie is released. Usually that that movie ends up one of the worst movies of the year. Surprisingly, Insidious: The Last Key isn’t at the worst-movie-of-2018 level of terrible…but it still isn’t captivating. The first Insidious is one of my favorite horror movies, the second Insidious is mediocre (not great), the third was decent and this was just bad. Insidious: The Last Key is about Elise as she goes back to the house she grew up in to get rid of the demon that haunted her when she was a child.

The only thing I can really praise about this movie is Lin Shaye’s performance as Elise. This is the first movie that is solely about her character. We see that Elise is a very disturbed woman and had a terrible childhood. After seeing this movie, I care more about her character and can watch the other Insidious movie and think about the events in this one. Shaye carries this movie and for a lot of it is the only thing keeping it from being terrible.

I also think that the first act was surprisingly scary. This movie doesn’t just rely on jump scares to be scary, but adds a story that is about something truly horrifying — what happened to Elise when she was growing up. When a horror movie doesn’t have to rely on a cheap jump scare to create horror, is when a horror movie can be great. For example, in Rosemary’s Baby, there aren’t any jump scares used, but it has a big reveal at the end that is scary to think about. Unfortunately, the rest of this film doesn’t hold up to the promising first act.


One of the biggest sins a horror movie could have is becoming less scary as the movie continues, and that happens here. The movie ends up becoming a predictable mess, with no suspense and, eventually, a reliance on jump-scares After that, the movie doesn’t even add jump-scares in, but just shows events happening. In a series known for being very scary, it was disappointing that this wasn’t.

The thing that upsets me the most is that this film completely gets rid of James Wan’s creepy atmosphere set up in the first two Insidious movies. The third movie doesn’t have that creepy atmosphere, but at least there were creepy sequences that were suspenseful and scary. This movie has none of that. In the first movie, I was scared whenever Renai would walk through a hallway in the middle of the day. Here, I didn’t even get remotely scared when a demon was crawling toward a helpless woman on the ground in a dark basement where people were tortured. Something else that wasn’t scary was “The Further”. In Insidious, when the last act took place primarily in “The Further”, I was terrified and it was one of the scariest scenes I have seen in a horror movie. Here, their time in “The Further” I found as a time to catch my breath as nothing scary or interesting happened.

Something else that was awful was the humor which helped make the movie not scary. Instead if having Specs and Tucker be funny comic reliefs, they were annoying and barely did anything of use in the movie. There was only one or two things that the two characters did that were useful. The first two films never had comedy, which made those movies as terrifying as they were. In the third act, the two characters end up giving off very rapey vibes that the filmmakers were trying to play as comedy, but only became uncomfortable and weird.

There are also a lot of nitpicky problems I have. My biggest pet peeve in horror movies is the false jump scare. It is the cheapest way of scaring the audience. In case you don’t know what a false jump scare is, it is when there is a jump scare, but the thing that scares everyone isn’t what is scary. For example, if you have someone walking through a dark hallway, all the music cuts out and all of the sudden the lights turn on with a loud sound added in editing that makes the audience jump; it’s an event that isn’t scary itself, but it scary for its noise and flash. This movie has some, not many, but it is the thing I hate more than anything in a horror movie and this movie still has it. The film also does what Insidious Chapter 3 does, which is have a stupid jump scare from the Darth Maul-looking demon from the first movie.

If you like the third Insidious then you will more than likely enjoy The Last Key, but if you are really only a fan of the first two or don’t like the series in general, then you will not like this movie.

Grade: D+