I’m not gonna lie. I was blown away by the original Insidious, which was released back in 2011. Since then, I’ve become a Blumhouse superfan, not only of the production company’s individual releases and subsequent movie franchises, but for proving that filmmakers can create quality entertainment on a shoestring budget. Now, the quality of each Insidious sequel (and its prequels) is a totally different matter, which is why it’s taken me two years to finally watch this treequel. Let’s turn The Last Key, opening up My Guilty Pleasure.
In this, the fourth — but not the final — film of the Insidious franchise, Jason Blum, James Wan and Leigh Whannell reteam to create another story involving the ragtag team of Spectral Sightings. But honestly, this entire franchise is nothing without the great Lin Shaye. Her demonologist, Elise Rainier, has seemingly released an evil spirit into her childhood home. The storyline brings ghosts of her family into the spotlight and questions if she is actually cursed.
There’s some pretty good jump scares and nightmare fuel for a PG-13 film, depicting a complicated afterlife of The Further for its characters to deal with. It’s a pretty good movie, but my only complaint is the franchise’s convoluted timeline that goes here, there and everywhere in between… but that’s to be expected when you kill off your strongest and most interesting character by the conclusion of the first film. And then you bring more of her adventures to the big screen with the second, third and fourth films.
While I’ve kind of checked out of the overall franchise, one of the biggest reasons I enjoyed the first film so much was the presence of Patrick Wilson. He really is an underappreciated actor who brings a whole lot to each production he’s involved with. And I’m very happy to learn that Wilson will soon be returning to the franchise for Insidious 5, which is currently in pre-production, scheduled to be released in 2022. Wilson will be acting and directing the feature film, which will follow young Dalton, who’s now enrolled in college, unaware that he has the abilities of an astral projector. The movie has not been filmed yet; supposedly the screenplay is still a work in progress. But it would follow a pattern the production company has employed by raising and promoting homegrown talent.
Blumhouse Productions gave actor/writer Leigh Whannell his directing debut with Insidious: Chapter 3, which led to Upgrade and eventually The Invisible Man. Graduating from the Saw series to the upcoming Wolfman Universal Monsters reboot, that’s an incredible achievement! If Wilson, who’s been a longtime collaborator with filmmaker James Wan (Aquaman Proves That Horror Filmmakers Should Get More Opportunities) — and BOTH creatives have been longtime Blumhouse stars — can grow into the next great director in Jason Blum’s family tree of filmmakers, that’s a great sign for the franchise’s future, as well as the medium’s ability to bring in new voices to the craft.
COVID-19 has been a bummer in a number of ways, the least of which is delaying the filming and release dates for numerous feature films. I am hopeful movie theaters will reopen nationwide by the end of the year. Until then, I’ll be exploring other entertainment options for My Guilty Pleasure.