Insidious Chapter 3 parents guide

Insidious Chapter 3 Parent Review

By horror movie standards, this film is one of the smarter ones in recent months. The problems with "Insidious: Chapter 3" are with the subtle messages the film promotes.

Overall C-

Before the Lambert family faced its horrors, as depicted in the first Insidious movie, psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) had her own challenges with the dead. These are recounted in this prequel.

Violence C-
Sexual Content A-
Profanity D+
Substance Use A

Insidious Chapter 3 is rated PG-13 for violence, frightening images, some language and thematic elements.

Movie Review

Lin Shaye is the recurring thread in the Insidious franchise. She plays Elise Rainier, a slight, almost frail looking psychic who has a knack for contacting the dead and exorcising evil spirits. Now in the prequel Insidious: Chapter 3, audiences get her back-story.

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Elise always had a “talent” for talking with the deceased. Still, she hasn’t used the ability since trying to summon her dearly departed husband (Adrian Sparks). Instead of contacting him she invoked an angry spirit (Tom Fitzpatrick) that frequents her dreams and threatens to kill her.

However, the secluded psychic reconsiders her promise to leave the dead alone when she meets Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott). The troubled teen has been attempting to speak to her late mother (Ele Keats), and now is being haunted by a grisly specter (Michael Reid MacKay). Confined to a wheel chair after being hit by a car, Quinn can’t even run from the ghoulish spirit. After Quinn’s father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) pleads with Elise, she finally agrees to help drive out the demon before he takes over Quinn’s body.

By horror movie standards Insidious: Chapter 3 is one of the smarter films in recent months. Leigh Whannell, who wrote all three Insidious scripts, now takes the director’s chair. He draws out the story rather than revealing the phantom too soon. And he uses comedy, in the form of two fake ghost-busters, to tone down the tension before building it up again. Of course there are the obligatory squeaky doors and floors, as well as lots of dark shadows and ominous sounds coming from the other side of the wall. But unlike horror films that rely on an ominous score to let viewers know when to prepare for a scare, Whannell turns the music off and leaves audiences waiting in eerie silence for the jump scene. It is both effective and a little unsettling for those familiar with the rudiments of the horror genre.

The real problem with Insidious: Chapter 3 is the subtle messages the film promotes. Suicidal thoughts and actions are depicted as one character is driven to take his life and another is given a razor blade and encouraged to kill herself. Although these deaths are not as graphic or prominent in the storyline as they were in the movie Ouija, the idea remains. The script may also incite curiosity for the occult among young viewers—especially ones that want to contact a recently deceased friend or family member.

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest concerns in this production is violence. Expect the portrayal of a startling car accident with bloody results, physical altercations with immortals and attempted choking. Other issues include profanities and a strong sexual expletive. Yet even more disturbing may be the dark and gruesome depiction of an afterlife where those who have expired wait in the shadows to snatch you.

Directed by Leigh Whannell. Starring Dermot Mulroney, Lin Shaye, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko . Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release June 5, 2015. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Insidious Chapter 3 here.

Insidious Chapter 3 Parents Guide

Talk about the movie with your family…

How does the director make the situation scarier by having Quinn in two casts? How does being unable to run away make her more vulnerable to the specter that is haunting her? What other elements does the moviemaker used to increase the scare factor? Screeching violins? Flashlights? Muddy footprints?

How does the film use technologies and social media (like texting, blogging, computer conversations) to make the story appear current?

How can horror movies like this one affect the way an audience may view an afterlife? Does the script give any positive options as to what happens after death?

Quinn’s friend sucks on a helium balloon at a party. Learn more about the science behind this occurrence. Are there health dangers associated with it?

From the Studio:
The new chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. (C) Focus