Insidious: Chapter 3, film review:

Leigh Whannell, 98 mins Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye

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The Independent Culture

The latest Insidious film had this reviewer jumping out of his seat at least once or twice. Its scariest moments are the quietest ones, because that is when you know that the demon is just about to come screeching back into your frame of vision.

Given the ingenuity with which the director Leigh Whannell orchestrates the stunts, it is a pity the plotting is so creaky. This a humdrum tale about possession. Sensitive teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) is still getting over the death of her mother. Quinn wants to speak to her mum but, as we quickly find out, “If you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you.” Psychic communication is presented here as if it’s CB radio for the undead. Thanks to some malignant jamming, it’s not Quinn’s mum who is knocking on the wall but “the man who can’t breathe, the man who lives in the vents”.

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Patrick Wilson, left, and Ty Simpkins in a scene from "Insidious: Chapter 2."

The only one who can protect Quinn from this ghoulish bogeyman is sweet-natured but very steely old psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), who is like a cross between Van Helsing and Miss Marple. The film works well enough as a fairground ride but it is also an exercise in diminishing returns, in which the film-makers say “boo” so often that we eventually become inured to their shock tactics.

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