The "Insidious" trilogy is the rare exception to the aforementioned characteristics. In fact, not only do each of the films produce scares without an ounce of blood, but they also improve in quality, scares, and story. The first "Insidious" had a great setup, but it ended up getting a tad bit silly towards the end. Still, it was worth watching and was a solid horror film, even if it wasn't quite as scary as people had been saying. "Insidious: Chapter 2" dug a little deeper into the Lambert Family's history with The Further (where the dead live), producing creepier demons/spirits and an altogether creepier story. In both films, the underrated Lin Shaye of "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary" fame plays Elise, a woman who is able to communicate with the dead and help those who need assistance with demons, spirits, and other disturbing entities.
In "Insidious: Chapter 3," she is given the most screen time, one of the many reasons why this chapter is the best so far. Taking place a few years before the events of the first film, Elise is no longer communicating with the dead for a reason which I will not spoil. 17-year-old Quinn (Stefanie Scott) comes to Elise in hopes of being able to communicate with her mother who has passed on. Elise informs her that she does not help with this anymore. After Quinn leaves, she begins to sense spirits around her and becomes haunted by what she at first believes to be the spirit of her mother, only to realize later that this is a much more dangerous entity. Even though she was reluctant earlier, Elise realizes the only way to help Quinn is to use her gift to communicate with the dead and go to The Further.
As mentioned above, the "Insidious" films do not rely on blood and gore for scares, instead generating genuine scares, chilling imagery, and jump scares that don't feel forced. The entity in "Chapter 3," known as The Man Who Can't Breathe, is the stuff of nightmares, the kind of horror villain that keeps you up at night and worried when you hear an unknown noise in your home. I saw the film with a buddy late at night, and we walked back to his place since it was so close. I will say that I was glad I wasn't alone. It also didn't help that the street was pitch black.
Now, let's talk about Lin Shaye. Her performance as Elise has been the real highlight of all " Insidious" films. You can feel the pain and suffering she has been through, as well as the terror. She is so convincing and real, she makes me want to find her and contact the dead. She is like an old friend you want to invite over for dinner.
"Insidious: Chapter 3" is a great way to set up the first two films, as well as end the series. I just hope that they do stop here and keep it as a trilogy. The only further (no pun intended) "Insidious" film I would pay to see is one that goes back to when Elise first realized she had the gift of communicating with the dead. That would be interesting. Otherwise, leave it alone.