The Good: Director, writer, and actor Leigh Whannell was intent on giving us more background story about the psychic Elise Rainier (played by: Lin Shaye) and her cases fighting ghosts. The goal was accomplished because the backstory does give more depth into Elise's character. The plot overall did a nice job of tying in the previous 2 films and keeping the story relevant. Since this movie was a prequel to the previous Insidious films, the plot explains just enough to the point where this film can stand alone. You can expect plenty of jump scares and suspenseful moments from beginning to the very end. Some of the best moments are probably in the bedroom scenes where the creepy levels are probably at their highest. It's also nice to see that the film stayed true to its explanation of the "Further" and the horror universe that makes this film unique.
The Bad: Unfortunately this film strays away at key moments to capture the true essence of what made the previous films truly creepy. The ghosts are not eased into the movie as they were in the first film, and that kind of takes away from the mystery that would shroud them. You know what the ghost looks like, so it's appearance becomes less shocking the more it appears on screen. Next, the camera angles kind of make the scary parts a tad bit more predictable. Instead of centering the camera on the character, and then hiding the ghosts in the background (to mess with your mind), the camera is purposely angled to the side which compels the audience to look into the background and expect something to pop out. While the film does have a good amount of jump scares throughout, they are bit predictable. Overall, the creepy factor(which made Insidious so good), just wasn't there.
The Reason: I think the best way to describe this movie is not to compare it to other horror films because the Insidious franchise has transcended the horror genre and raised the bar. So it's only fair to judge and compare it to the previous films. Of all 3, this movie is probably more scary than it is creepy. It's important to understand the difference between scary and creepy though. "Scary" means that it will have moments that shock you with jump scares. "Creepy" is all about the overall feeling and atmosphere that sticks with you well after the movie is over. Unfortunately for this film, even though it will scare you, it will not linger afterwards and the fear will wear off rather soon. It's not a bad movie at all. However, it does fall victim to going back to formulaic scare tactics rather than staying consistent and evolving the horror genre as it did with the previous films. I'd say it's still well worth the watch because it's still an above average horror film and MUCH better than Poltergeist. -_-
If you're in the mood for a scary movie, this makes for a good watch either for the matinee price or at home.
The Rating: 7/10