THE three protagonists in director Leigh Whannell's Insidious: Chapter 3 share the same pain of not
Whannell, who appears in this film and also wrote it, not to mention writing the two previous ones, uses the usual fright tricks to get his story going.
There are seances to speak to the dead, trips to the underworld, cracks in the wall, ghosts haunting a corridor, funny characters appearing unexpectedly behind humans, and a spirit wanting to possess the heroine.
Some viewers may find comfort in checking off the list of Horror Film characteristics, but others, like me, will find it tedious.
We met the virginal Quinn (Stefani Scott) going to visit psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) to speak to the former's mum, who died more than a year ago. She misses her mum dearly and thinks that the latter is communicating with her in her room.
Elise, whose husband committed suicide a year ago, warns her against ever communicating with the dead.
Quinn lives with her electrician father Sean (a miscast Dermot Mulroney) and younger brother. Sean is often flustered and can't control his family. He, too, misses his wife, but no one bothers to ask the brother about his feelings.
Sean is uncertain about a next-door Hispanic boy liking his daughter, and the former doesn't appear to have his own circle of friends, unlike his daughter. Most of the action happens in their apartment and Elise's house.
A few moments of humour break out with the arrival of two ghostbusters who purportedly know how to capture and record evil spirits.
Elise is keen to enter theatre college but can't muster the determination to finish her reading. She is later distracted to the point where a car knocks her down in the street and breaks her legs.
Her casts and use of a wheelchair remind me of Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window (1954). In fact, the only time when viewers feel Quinn's helplessness and fear is when the evil spirit messes with the incapacitated girl.
Otherwise, it's a leisurely walk in the other world.
1½ stars out of 5