Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray Review
Probably not the last Insidious though
Insidious: The Last Key Film Review
The fourth chapter in the massively successful Insidious haunted horror franchise is a sequel to the prequel that was the third movie, but can't escape the law of diminishing returns.Suffering the Saw-like effective of what to do when you want your main star to continue after you've already dispatched them (Lin Shaye being the Tobin "Jigsaw" Bell of the Insidious franchise), the James Wan-produced (Wan had the good sense to graduate to Furious 7 after directing the first two films) series went down the prequel route instead, putting Shaye's retired demonologist Elise front-and-centre in the reasonably effective third movie, the success from which unsurprisingly led to a further film being commissioned. The Last Key purports to take things full-circle, back to Elise's childhood home, to unlock some old demons.Shaye really is the backbone of the series, which found little further use for the main characters played by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne in the first two films and instead shifted to focus on the more interesting demonologist. Here surrounded by fresh blood, coming in the form of Elise's estranged relatives (played by the likes of Spencer Locke, Caitlin Gerard, and Bruce Davison), Shaye tries her best to elevate herself beyond the constraints of flagging fourth chapter tedium, but Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimenson's Adam Robitel is a poor man's James Wan and there's no escaping the law of diminishing returns here.
Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray Picture QualitySony investigates Insidious: The Last Key on a UK Blu-ray complete with a solid albeit unexceptional 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. Digitally shot, the image is rendered with the consummate crispness and clarity that you would only expect from a modern production, but the gloomy corridors and creepy shadows aren't always handled as impressively, which would be fine were it not for the fact that this is a horror movie which derives much of its scares from exploring the shadows.
Creepy shadows aren't handled as impressively, which would be fine were it not for the fact that this is a horror movie which derives much of its scares from exploring the shadows.
Detail is certainly strong enough, looking infinitely better during the daytime shots, but still revealing some pleasing nuances in the doom and gloom, giving texture to the characters and the haunted house setting and largely avoiding any distracting signs of softness. The colour scheme is noticeably different from day to night, with outdoor sunlight allowing more naturally vibrant tones to come to the fore, whilst the often heavily graded interiors are sometimes slightly washed out with murky blues and greys - intentionally, but not without its own drawbacks which, occasionally, result in limited black levels. There's also a hint more banding than you might expect from a modern release, and so whilst this is a decent enough video presentation - at times even very good, and never really coming close to robbing you of your enjoyment of the movie - it's hardly demo territory.
Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray Sound QualityInsidious: The Last Key comes to Blu-ray complete with a suitably jumpy DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which hits all the right notes expected for a haunted horror like this, affording prioritisation for the dialogue but making its name with jump scares and creepy noises coming at you across the surrounds.
Perfectly suited to the material.
Atmosphere and environmental nuance afford some decent dynamics, as creaking floorboards, shuffling creatures and even sudden drops to sheer silence are all wielded to tremendous effect, drawing the LFE channel into the fray where necessary, whilst impressing with the surround usage.
Hardly a bombastic affair, it's still reasonably heavyweight when it needs to be, getting further under your skin with the LFE rumble, and bringing the jump scares with gusto, often playing them for all they're worth in a film that doesn't always have much more to offer. It's a very good track, not exactly reference and not quite demo, but perfectly suited to the material nonetheless.
Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray ExtrasAlthough it's far from bare bones, there actually isn't really very much meat to the extra material adorning the Blu-ray disc of this fourth chapter in the Insidious franchise, with the heftiest extra being the additional footage that - if you include the Alternate Ending - comes to well over 20 minutes of further material. There's nothing revolutionary here, but the eight Deleted Scenes are likely worth checking out if you're a fan, and the further Alternate Ending is certainly worth a once-over.
There isn't much to the extra material.
Although there are further Featurettes, they are all-too brief, less than 5 minutes for the Dive into the Insidious Universe which recaps the previous films, a couple of minutes Unlocking the Keys that dips into the Keyface villain, just 3 minutes Going Into the Further which looks at the other world, and the longest over-5 minute salvo Becoming Elise, which looks at the character Lin Shaye has made her own. The disc is rounded off by some Previews.
Insidious: The Last Key Blu-ray VerdictFlagging fourth chapter tedium.
Insidious: The Last Key hits UK Blu-ray courtesy of Sony, who afford the fourth release in the franchise solid video and audio and a salvo of short extras, leaving it a strong package for fans of the film or of the series.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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