Even ‘Insidious’ fans, if they’re out there, don’t have much to dig into in the series’ latest chapter


The “Insidious” series isn’t the freshest or most revelatory horror franchise on the block. Dark interiors, loud, sudden screeches, jump scares, you know the drill. If you’ve seen one “Insidious,” you’ve seen them all.

That doesn’t say much for “Insidious: The Last Key,” the series’ fourth installment, and if you’re banking on that “Last” in the title being a binding end to the series, tell it to 1984’s “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.”

This “Insidious” — a sequel to “Insidious: Chapter 3,” itself a prequel to the first two movies in the series — settles in on Lin Shaye’s Elise Rainier, a parapsychologist who helps people with their hauntings. A lengthy intro focuses on Rainier’s early years in Five Keys, New Mexico, and her personal demons in her childhood home. Jump to 2010 when a call brings her back to that residence, where she must confront the evils of her past, as well as those that still haunt the home today.

That means a visit to “The Further,” the nether-world that is sort-of like “Stranger Things” Upside Down, which is filled with creepy ghosts and ghouls, including one with keys for fingertips. Along for the ride are the goofus Spectral Sightings bros, Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell), whose main function is to provide comic relief while leering and acting pervy toward Rainier’s long lost nieces.

There isn’t much of note in “The Last Key,” a typical entry in the early-year horror sweepstakes. Director Adam Robitel lays the loud-orchestral-cue-hey-look-at-that-shadowy-figure-scurrying-across-the-screen! thing on thick, but comes up short on real scares. “The Last Key” turns the lock for “Insidious” die-hards only.


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‘Insidious: The Last Key’


Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content, violence and terror, and brief strong language

Running time: 103 minutes

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