REVIEW: Chilling ‘Insidious’ prequel ‘The Last Key’ is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride

In Insidious prequel 'The Last Key' Elaine Rayner (played by Lin Shaye) confronts the demons of her

In Insidious prequel 'The Last Key' Elaine Rayner (played by Lin Shaye) confronts the demons of her past. - Credit: Archant

The final chapter in the ‘Insidious’ series is an edge-of-your-seat psychological thrill ride full of jump scares and suspense that delves into the protagonist’s emotional back story for the first time.

Insidious: The Last Key

Insidious: The Last Key - Credit: Archant

From the creative minds behind supernatural franchise ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘The Last Key’ delivers on bump in the night scares, creaking doors, spooky sounds and ominous cinematography - all ramping up the tension.

But where this finale - written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell - impresses and surprises most is in its ability to contrast the typical horror tropes of unwanted presences and spooky happenings with a genuinely heart-aching plot that uncovers parapsychologist Elise Rainer’s scarred childhood.

Though beaten and afraid (mentally and physically), she’s determined and confident in battling, and ultimately, defeating the demons that have haunted her for decades since she was a young girl.

Effortlessly portrayed by Lin Shaye, she saves her best performance till last, creating an immediate empathy for character through convincing emotions and pained facial expressions.

Then there’s the comedy relief of Specs & Tucker, a ghost-busting pair of helpless romantics that accompany Elise on her jobs; “she’s a psychic, were her sidekick”, they jokingly offer at the doors of the haunted houses they visit. Essentially, they’re employed as the comfort blanket when things start getting genuinely scary on screen.

Cleverly, ‘The Last Key’ manages to tie up all the loose ends and chronologically acts as a chilling prequel to Dalton’s hauntings in the original Insidious, released in 2010.

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Spooky, heart-racing and affecting, ‘The Last Key’ is a worthy finale for the series.

‘Insidious: The Last Key’ is now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech. For screening dates, times and tickets visit

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