My brother and I decided to see Insidious 3 this week. It was a rather last minute decision and one I was a bit hesitant to embark upon. Minus a few outstanding exceptions, the third movie in a series is generally a disappointment.
Little did I know that the greatest disappointment in the entire movie watching adventure was the actual theater we visited.
The theater is a small 1940's gem tucked away in the University District of Seattle. It is now privately owned, and holds many fond horror movie watching experiences for me as well as a few Rocky Horror Picture show experiences.
I was sad to see that the carpets and walls were falling apart, the bathroom decaying, and they didn't even have butter to put on my popcorn. "We have none" is all the one employee said regarding the buttery topping.
We were the only people in the show (and I suspect the entire three screen theater). This all made me very sad. It also gave me chills to think of the direction that theaters, especially privately owned ones, are going.
Support your local independent movie theater (and movie stores - for that matter), people. Don't let these little beauties fade away!
Okay, on to the actual show.
Like I said, my brother and I were the only people in the theater and we took full advantage of it. Talking loud, not turning our phones off, running around trying to scare each other, and so forth. We had a pretty good discussion about what type of horror movie style the Insidious series has become known for. Jump Scare is a term pretty typically used, but I prefer a style of my own invention: Fun House Horror.
Like a carnival fun house, the participant's/viewer's attention is purposely directed and guided through a horror experience, room by room and step by step. You absolutely know something is going to jump out and scare you, you just don't know when. For instance, in Insidious 3 (like the previous two), the viewer is never really given a sweeping view of the scenes ahead, you're only given a flashlight to follow, or a sound to pay close attention to.
Also like a fun house, the dialogue is pretty limited to the necessary elements in order to spook you. Much like a guide would welcome you to a haunted corn maze or haunted house. True to a fun house, the participant jumps, screams, laughs, and has the good feels once the ride is all over - BUT IS IT? There's one last scream right at the very end. In all you had a pretty good ride and will remember what areas made you scream the most, but when you really think about it, there absolutely is no solid reason why certain ghosts or creatures were there except for the explicit purpose of scaring you. That's it.
That all said, Insidious 3 is a pretty good visual fun house! I had a pretty good time and was pleased that I saw it. It's no better or worse than the last two - right on track as far as I'm concerned. The acting does it's purpose, the scenery and setting is very unnerving, and the ghosts and demons are Pretty Pissed Off For No Logical Reason Whatsoever. Which of course makes it mighty easy to make frightening for all involved.
If fun houses are your thing then I recommend adding this one to your list. The jump scare tactic is not for everyone, however. If you don't particularly enjoy the Getting Excited to Get Scared At Random Moments feeling then you might want to shelve this one.
Recommended pairing: freshly popped buttery popcorn - lots and lots of buttery topping. If you have a Jack In The Box toy sitting around then play it from time to time (during the quiet scenes of the movie would work best). Watch with a best buddy or with family. Be sure there is someone who can come up behind you and say "BOO" then laugh at you because the way you jumped and screamed was hilarious.