Insidious: The Last Key (Blu-ray Review)

Just when movie going audiences thought it was finally safe to go back into The Further.  Surprise!  It is NOT!  I bet you never saw a fourth Insidious film coming, did you?  Given the low budget and success of the first three this was actually a no-brainer.  I wish there were more surefire guarantees like this in life.  I’d be a rich man, but I digress.  Insidious: The Last Key is yes the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise, but if you’re going by chronology of the in-story timelines this is actually second in order.  Confused yet?  Don’t be!  You just need to refresh up a bit down below before venturing into The Further blindly.  Come on!  I’ll show you around here.


Once again this newest Insidious entry is written by Leigh Whannell, but directorial duties are passed to Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan).  Insidious: The Last Key stars series regulars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell along with Spencer Locke, Josh Stewart and Caitlin Gerard.  The most interesting thing to me about this fourth entry is the fact it was originally slated for October last year, but got bumped for Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day.  The latter I want to see really bad based on so many positive reviews, but I digress once again as we’re not here to chat about that one.  We’re gathered here today talk about Elise Rainier’s (Share) next adventure where she dives even deeper into The Further down in New Mexico.

Our movie here begins with parapsychologist Elise Rainier receiving what is probably a usual, everyday kind of  morning phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted.  However, what creeps her out is the fact that this address is 413 Apple Tree Lane, Five Keys, N.M.  What’s so odd about that you ask?  Well that’s the home where Elise grew up in.  We learn through a lengthy flashback that Elise didn’t have an exactly happy childhood.  Accompanied with her two fan favorite investigative partners (Whannell and Sampson), Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront a demon she knows all too well.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  This sounds ultra familiar, huh?  Well, it is and it isn’t.  The isn’t part is due to the twists they throw at you here, which are very welcomed, and the is part refers to what you would expect.  Yes, we have to go into The Further here to resolve things.  Let’s chat about the isn’t part first.

The praise I would give Insidious: The Last Key is two-fold.  The tension, score and sinister atmosphere of it all really got under my skin in a good, tension-filled kind of way.  The jump scares were plentiful and I’m not ashamed to say two of them actually got me.  No movies do that to me anymore so kudos to Insidious: The Last Key for at least that much.  What I also liked an awful lot about this fourth entry is how they threw a couple game changing monkey wrenches in for twisted play.  It was much welcomed since it wasn’t all just a complete rehash of the first three films that have come before.  They actually brought some twists into play that I didn’t immediately see coming.  I guess I would describe it as Stir of Echoes meets Don’t Breathe.  I won’t say anymore than that, but I loved how they brought some new things into the mix and my lips are zipped.

With the good usually comes some bad and with Insidious it all has to do with familiarity.  I had no qualms with the cast, especially the antics of Elise’s two guys.  They as usual never cease to crack me up.  What bothers me is how familiar things are.  Without the twists I mentioned up above this one nearly follows in the same footsteps as its predecessors.  First you have the haunting setup.  Then you have all the fun and games of the scares followed by Act 3 which takes you into The Further.  I don’t know, but The Further was so much cooler the first couple films.  I almost feel a bit cheated here.  And don’t even get me started on the hypnotism thing here.  My oh my.  Can it be done any easier?  It’s almost insulting.

All in all I had fun with Insidious: The Last Key, but that’s not to say there aren’t lulls and some unmemorable scenes you’ll have to contend with.  It wraps up pretty conveniently, as they all do, but for the first time ever I felt a sense of closure.  The Last Key pretty much comes full circle with events in the franchise and I’d be really surprised if they go on with a fifth entry.  I think the crowds would be there for it, but given our current cast I’m not sure where else there is room to go story-wise.  However, bear in mind this one is really just an average entry.  They never get any better than the first.  They may be a tad more “sinister,” but never better.  IMO of course!


  • 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 nicely detailed such as pores, hairs, tears, complexion imperfection, wrinkles and whatnot in the actors’ faces during moments of closeups.  I’m a big fan of textures though here such as in the sets, materials and the environments such as worn down pieces in the house where the bulk of our story takes place.
  • 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 all about what we all crave here on the Blu-ray format.  For the most part the characters all have a three-dimensional pop to them as well as within the tight constraints of the house.  Outside landscapes, however, is where it’s at.
  • Black Levels: Like the last one, 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 for the most part.  There are areas where they falter a bit.  I want to get into banding a bit, but I’ll save it for down below.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are moderately accurate in my opinion despite the bleak visual presentation that tries to haunt your viewing areas in the many dark sequences.  Colors pop out exceptionally well in the brightly lit moments (daytime, outside) and when the black levels get extra inky in certain scenes, the colors contrast very nicely to guide our way through the further.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all possess a natural view onscreen throughout the many lighting conditions such as being outside, in the house in daylight or in the dark.
  • Noise/Artifacts: In the darker moments when Elise is trudging through you can see onscreen events of banding in the image.  It just is what it is I’m afraid.


  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Like the previous three entries on Blu-ray Disc 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 poo out of you.  Everything that happens onscreen and off has a wide sense of directionality and nothing really ever gets lost in the shuffle when things go bump in the night.  It handles the burst of scares quite nicely.
  • 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!) and even an oil fracking machine.  You have to love this in a horror surround track!  Other examples where I felt the LFE was strong with the Force include light flickers with the nearby electric chair usage, creaks, a generator running in the basement, the house rattling when Elise is under demonic forces and so much more.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: You’ll instantly notice the spooktacular spatial dimension in the surround sound presentation here.  There are a lot of examples of creative surround use like the creepy score or the eerie effects unfolding around you, voices, that whistle, which is pretty much everywhere you look here, thunder and the overall malevolent atmosphere when we’re in the Further.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words are strong, clear and intelligent for the most part.  I had no trouble hearing or understanding any of the dialogue although occasionally lines do waiver a bit level-wise here.


Insidious: The Last Key on Blu-ray comes packed with never-before-seen special features, including an alternate ending, more than 20 minutes of chilling additional scenes, a franchise recap and three all-new featurettes.  In addition to all of that you get a Digital HD redemption code, which allows you to redeem it in Movies Anywhere and play it back in a digital retailer of your choice.  Let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll find on this Blu-ray Disc.

  • Alternate Ending (HD, 3:02) – This one is basically what the name indicates, albeit a Further Prison.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 18:52) – There are a total of 8 deleted scenes here: Elise Won’t Take the Garza Job, Keyface Needs to Feed, The Great Prayer Robbery, Elise Tells Tucker a Childhood Story, Imogen Attacked, Monkey Speak, Baby Kill Behind Red Door and Electric Chair Scare.
  • Franchise Recap: “Dive Into the Insidious Universe” (HD, 4:38) – This is rather quick, but it’s that piece I mentioned up above that goes over the whole series.
  • Becoming Elise (HD, 5:29) – This one goes into the mythology of Elise’s origin story and how this “sequel to the prequel” fits into the Insidious-franchise.
  • Going Into the Further (HD, 3:30) – This extra examines what the Further represents to the cast and crew and how the production design in the film differs from the previous films.
  • Unlocking Keyface (HD, 2:35) – The final extra in this list here introduces fans to the newest iconic demon in the Insidious-franchise and explores the symbolism behind its creation, recaps the plot and themes.


The creative minds behind the hit Insidious franchise bring you a mediocre, but sometimes scary chapter of the series, Insidious: The Last Key.  In this Blumhouse outing, Lin Shaye once again reprises her role as parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier, who returns to her family home to face the demons that plagued her childhood.  Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Specs and Tucker (the highlights of this film for me), Elise dives deeper into the Further to unlock the mystery and destroy her greatest fear.  With a mediocre video transfer and above average surround audio Insidious: The Last Key on Blu-ray is a no-brainer purchase for fans of this franchise or just this movie in particular.  It is light on extra and clearly not the best entry the franchise has to offer.  I must admit that I found myself a tad bored experiencing this one a second time around here.


Insidious: The Last Key

Unlocks Every Door on

Blu-ray Disc

April 3rd





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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