Insidious Chapter 3 (Blu-ray Review)

Insidious Chapter 3Let’s start this one off with act of admission.  Insidious Chapter 3 isn’t exactly going to get any brownie points in the original title category.  That much can be determined without even sitting down to witness the feature on Blu-ray.  And unlike the first and second films, this “third” chapter does not follow the timeline nor does it mesh with the conclusion set up in the second installment (although that’s not completely true, but still boo).  Instead, it’s one of those dreaded prequels!  Boo on that if not done right!  However, let’s not be too hasty and judge a book by its cover.  Every movie is subject to a trial and that’s what we are here today for.  It’s the critic in me versus Insidious Chapter 3 coming to Blu-ray on October 6th courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.  Who will prevail?  Read on to find out.  Bwahaha…

Insidious Chapter 3


Like the first two, Insidious Chapter 3 is written by Leigh Whannell, who’s also making his directorial debut here.  Put your hands together for Leigh Whannell, ladies and gentlemen.  Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and my favorite, Lin Shaye, all reprise their roles here from the previous two films.  After all, it’s a prequel.  Why the hell can’t Lin be in it?  She can be in any damn thing she wants, that’s all I have to say.  The fresh faces to this outing include Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott.

So this prequel is set before the haunting of the Lambert family (by a few years indicated by the onscreen titles), which we are all familiar with from the first two films, and reveals how psychic Elise Rainier (Shaye) reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement and use her gifts to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl.  We all know why right?  Well this teenager, Quinn Brenner (Scott), has been targeted by a malicious supernatural entity.  All in all, it’s kind of a repeat of the first one when you think about it because all these spirits really want to do is take over her body.  Foolishly, this girl just thinks they are bad dreams, mommy flashbacks so to speak (the conflict added of dealing with a recently deceased parent in the storyline and the daddy taking care of the kids as best as possible).  Seen it, been there before, huh?  That’s kind of how I feel about this film.  It was fresh in the first film, but by the third go around now the novelty completely starts to wear off a bit especially when so much time is reinvested explaining what the “further” is.  I understand why we need to rehash, but come on.  Bring on the demons already!

If you’re going to see Insidious Chapter 3, then there’s no better place than in the home front on Blu-ray for your first time.  I don’t know what’s more entertaining, the movie itself or the scares and screams it elicits from the reluctant viewers you may have in the room with you.  Make no mistake about it, Insidious Chapter 3 only exists to scare more dollars out of you and every chance they get for a “make you jump moment,” they take it!  That being said, cheap scares don’t always go hand and hand with equating to quality in a story.  I enjoy the world of Insidious and allow myself to go under with it so to speak, but I can also see why so many people just don’t like this latest chapter that much.  In my opinion, it’s definitely the weakest of the three.  It’s not the Insidious film we need, but it is the prequel we deserve thanks to the chops of Lin Shaye, who pretty much carries the weight of this entire film on her back (in a good way though).

Lin Shaye has that charisma or “Magic Touch” as KISS’ Paul Stanley would say.  This franchise has survived this long because of her and I am sure the filmmakers really had to think long and hard about what fate they mapped out for her in Insidious Chapter 2, but thankfully, much akin to the Saw films and their main villain, Jigsaw, Shaye’s character, Elise, has a legacy all her own in this franchise that seemingly will live on forever no matter if the next chapter is a prequel, midquel or sequel.  Much to their credit, the filmmakers have set her up well and I gotta be honest, without her, I don’t think I would go under for a fourth chapter.  Also like Saw, this latest chapter of Insidious, despite it being a prequel, follows closely in its predecessor’s shoes in bringing the events that happen within full circle with the other films.  As a lover of all things continuity, I love that, but it also, like I said up above, means you have to rehash a lot of moments of re-learning the further world, seeing how the ghost hunting team came to be (this part is cool though) and forgo more time that could be spent with the very wicked, malicious and mouth breathing spirit in this one.  Like Darth Maul in the first, this guy is a bad-a$$.  I wanted more scares with him!

Yes, you can say I have a thing for this newest malevolent spirit the team tangles with here.  He’s very cool, but not enough time is ever spent properly developing him.  I wanted more time in the further with him, but such is life.  Wish in one hand and poop in the other, right?  Correct!  I guess the most disappointing thing here is there’s absolutely nothing new or ambitious.  It’s all about the jump scare moments and little to nothing else development wise (although there are some really good scares).  It’s like a George Lucas prequel, not as good as the original films and we all know what’s going to happen anyway.  I want creepy.  I want tension.  I want more of what the first Insidious provided, chills (there were “Tiptoe Through The Tulip”-like moments here).  Heck, I’ll take more films with Elise in the afterlife working with the team like set up in Chapter 2.  At least that premise is new, unexplored territory.

Insidious Chapter 3


  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Clarity suffers a bit in the darker moments, but other times things are razor sharp from the pores and wrinkles in the actors’ faces to the intricacy in brick buildings downtown and various other set environments.
  • Depth: Obviously your results may very because of all the darkness here, but once we’re in the light and hell yeah outdoors the characters pop and the depth of field is what we all crave here on the Blu-ray format as the alley and city seem to go on forever in the distance.
  • Black Levels: This is a dark, dark movie.  When you’re not outside and it’s not daytime in the film, which isn’t a whole lot, there is blackness and shadows to be found pretty much everywhere here.  Thankfully the black levels are strong, solid and inky when they need to be.  I have no qualms here.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are spot on accurate in my opinion despite the bleak visual presentation that tries to haunt your viewing areas.  They obviously pop out in the brightly lit moments (candlelight, daytime, outside) and when the black levels get extra inky in certain scenes, the colors contrast very nicely to guide your way in the further.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all had a warm, healthy glow to them in their natural form onscreen.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Besides the darkness, there’s nothing visually that will distract you from enjoying the looks of this solid presentation.  There is no noise, artifacts or degradations in the print…other than the demons that is!  Haha.

Insidious Chapter 3


  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: This is your typical horror surround track in my opinion.  It’s quiet when the scares aren’t present, but bumping when the horrors onscreen ensue and of course when the filmmakers want to scare the living poo out of you.  I would have to say one of the coolest sound effects employed in this one is hearing the girl walk on broken legs and those bones grinding.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE is present equalizing things throughout with its haunting pulsations, but kicks you in the rear whenever an onscreen scare jumps out at you or knocks down a door, throws you into a wall (THUD!) or even when a speeding car runs you over (BAM!).  You have to love this in a horror surround track!  Even the main antagonist demon clapping his hands sounded spectacular.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The one thing that I instantly took notice of here is the spectacular spatial dimension in the surround sound presentation.  Take for example when our main protagonist is given a bell to sound whenever she wants something.  Let’s just say something malevolent rings that bell one night.  I loved how it sounded from the front right speaker only  and really put me into the mix of night frights.  There are a lot more obvious examples like the creepy score or the eerie effects unfolding around you, but I’m sure you expected those anyway.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words are strong, prioritized and concise.  I had no trouble hearing or understanding any of the dialogue.

Insidious Chapter 3


Bonus materials on the prequel Blu-ray of Insidious Chapter 3 include five featurettes, some deleted scenes and a redeemable voucher good for the Digital HD version of the film in UltraViolet.  So as you can see below, we’re kind of light here on supplemental materials.  I deep dive into each of them down below so before we get started I just wanted to make note of the Play All option as it relates to the five featurettes.  Enjoy!

  • Origin Story: Making Chapter 3 Featurette (HD, 19:04) – Here you get to go onto the set to meet the cast and crew, and explore everything from Leigh Whannell’s decision to write and direct the third installment, to adding a new family to the mix, and to the decision to take us to the moment of Elise’s return to her work.  I love the fact that they talk about Elise’s demise in the last go around and the challenges of how to bring her back.  Obviously they had to play the prequel card.  This one really shows off Lin’s acting chops, not that I doubted them for a minute, but it’s cool to see her acting in front of the camera.  This one also shows off my favorite baddie demon too.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 5:16) – Here we have the following four deleted scenes with a Play All option: Quinn Finds Pictures, Hospital Aftermath, Spec Explains His Job.
  • Being Haunted: A Psychic Medium Speaks Featurette (HD, 11:34) – This one shows Leigh Whannell’s inspiration for the hauntings and a tour of a haunted location with Psychic Medium Michael J. Kouri.  Michael kind of gives us the 411 on what a medium is and what he all does, etc.  It’s actually not quite as exciting as I was hoping it would be.
  • Macabre Creations Featurette (HD, 8:58) – This extra follows the makeup process via time-lapse photography for the ghosts and specters and discusses the process of creating the things that go bump in the night.  I loved how they went more horrendous and sickly with the ghosts this time around compared to the traditional white gothic ones of the first two films.  This was probably my favorite of the five featurettes.
  • Stunts: The Car Crash Featurette (HD, 9:35) – This featurette explores the creation of the very painful to watch car crash scene from the stunts on set through the special and visual effects processes.  Ouch!  I absolutely loved this scene from the film so this one was of much interest to me.
  • Cherry Glazerr: Tiptoe Through the Tulips Featurette (HD, 5:16) – Actress Stefanie Scott interviews the band Cherry Glazerr here.  They did the cover of the Tiny Tim song here.  I did not care for this one and you want to know why?  Lame!  You can’t replace the creepiness of Tiny Tim.  Not in this universe!  Get out!

Insidious Chapter 3


If you want nothing more than a cheap scare or two and something on par with the previous films, then look no “further” because Insidious Chapter 3 is the scary movie you’re looking for on the Blu-ray format.  If you want more, then don’t hold your breath because I am sure there will be a fourth chapter thanks to the brilliant minds behind this, Leigh Whannell and the master plans laid by James Wan (who has a cool cameo in this one).  Despite all of this, I DO look forward to more adventures in the further with Lin Shaye and her hilarious tag team duo.  They are what make this franchise tick and the blast it is despite its shortcomings.  I am confident that there are some creepy tales to tell yet in the further with Elsie in the afterlife.  Let’s get cracking there.  In the meantime, grab your mate and have some fun with it all at home on Blu-ray October 6th.  There are some sinister moments, creepy looking demons and for the younger crowd and a teenager (17-years-old to be exact) main protagonist they can hopefully all identify with and rally around despite this being before the dawn of iPhones and Android devices.  In other words, flip to text cell phones are prominent in here!  I know!  How ghastly!  Oh my!  Enjoy!


Insidious Chapter 3

Scares on Blu-ray

October 6th!




Insidious Chapter 3


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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