TRAILER REACTION: “Insidious: The Last Key”

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a trailer reaction, but since this week has a heavy horror theme with “It” hitting theaters I was more than excited to see the timely reveal of the new trailer for “Insidious: The Last Key”. The fourth film in the “Insidious” franchise, the film is scheduled for a release on January 5th, making it one of the first hyped films for the new year. Lets take a look at what the trailer offers shall we? Be sure to leave your reaction in the comments below!

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One thing that can be confirmed before even watching the trailer is that this film will take place prior to the original duo of films and after “Insidious: Chapter 3” and it will depict events prior to the third film as well, showing us a bit of Elise’s origins. The trailer opens with Spencer Locke, whose character is named Melissa Rainier, coming into contact with a creature with only the creatures hand visible. That hand happens to have key-shaped fingers, immediately presenting us with the demonic essence that will likely be the centerpiece of the entire film.

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Melissa is then attacked by the being, which proceeds to insert one of its key-like fingers into her throat, silencing her and turning her screams into muffled noises. Now it should be noted that Melissa’s last name is a familiar one, it’s the same as Elise Rainier, played again in this film by Lin Shayne who provides a voice over about how she is still helping people in need after the events of “Insidious 3”. We’ll get back to why these two characters being connected is important in a second, but this voiceover serves as a reminder to viewers that Elise has been essential in every one of the series’ films so far for her ability to detect and defeat paranormal entities.

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Establishing shots show that Elise is entering Five Keys, New Mexico, a place she apparently called or calls home. We see her walking through a home along with numerous shots of her previous encounters with demonic beings before she reveals that her latest mission to rid a home of paranormal evil will be her toughest yet. “The haunted house is my family’s house” she says. So, getting back to the previous revelation, this means that Elise’s newest case is one she will take to heart. It appears her family is now the target of a being she may or may not have faced in the past. And we’re only halfway through the trailer at this point.

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We then see our familiar paranormal crew, including allies of Elise, going through the home using EMF detectors and cameras to try and capture some kind of activity. We’ve seen this trope play out in these films before, and it never ends well, but the way these characters are carrying themselves you can already tell there’s a deeper sense of purpose and more confidence in their approach to this particular case. They’re much more trained and ready than they were in “Insidious 3” and the fact that Elise’s family home is the target clearly adds meaning to their mission. Elise implies that there is a curse, telling her allies and possibly her family that “if we can find out what it is we can stop this curse”. So we can assume we’ll get some background on Elise’s extensive history with the paranormal and learn about why this curse is impacting her family specifically. Elise has been the target of the paranormal for her meddling before, but never quite like this. This seems specific and looks to date back to before her deeper explorations into The Further.

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We get some shots of what appears to be Melissa in distress, clearly injured physically and mentally by her experiences. One of those shots is shown above with her face presenting the scars of recent attacks and her sitting in the fetal position. Melissa is apparently the main target of this evil. So we have to question, why? It might depend on Melissa’s relationship to Elise, which has yet to be made completely explained. She may be a niece or even her daughter, we don’t know yet, but it’s possible Elise could have done something in the past to bring on this curse. The origins of the affliction are kept pretty well under wraps in the trailer leaving us with some enticing questions we will want answered in January.

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We get an amazingly intimidating shot of the demon with the key fingers dragging his claw along the metal of a hallway or staircase, bringing memories of Freddie Kruger to mind and emphasizing just how threatening this being will be on screen. Elise says she will have to go deeper into The Further in order to get the answers and “end this evil”. This introduces us to some pretty creepy looking new additions to the supernatural cast of the franchise who, while ugly and ghastly in image, seem to be welcoming of their guest showing her a way deeper into The Further…but Elise is not alone. We get a one-off shot of Melissa holding the familiar lamp of The Further, meaning Elise’s ability, and willingness, to go into The Further to solve the situation is not exclusive to her. It may run in the family. Of course this could just be a misleading shot of her holding a normal lamp as the setting is dark and she could be anywhere holding, well, any lamp really that happens to LOOK like the lamp in The Further.

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A montage of shots containing creepy elements and scenes from the film are overlaid by Elise promising to end the torture once and for all. Admitting that she has “scars”, once again hinting at a past connected to this key demon, Elise say’s she is going to finish whatever was started years ago. An interesting shot from this montage is the one shown above, which echoes the now famous scene from the original film that featured the lipstick demon showing up in a single shot behind a character. Here it appears to be Melissa, but it’s hard to tell as the female figure is rotten and clearly suffering from some kind of affliction. Whatever the case the woman seems to be trying to scream and his holding her throat, maybe indicating the aftereffects of the opening shots of the trailer where Melissa was silences by the key demon.

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The final moments strike the most fear, with Elise walking through the home and only her partners can see what is in front of her thanks to night vision cameras. She sees a teenage girl standing motionless and bug eyed. While Elise can’t see what’s there she nearly touches the girl before a demonic creature appears beside her head, adding one final jump scare to the trailer to close things out. The woman in this scene doesn’t look too familiar, but again the lighting and other elements obscure it so it’s tough to understand what is occurring without context. I think that’s what makes this trailer so great is that it keeps a lot under wraps and doesn’t give away too much, enticing us with little tidbits and even some callbacks to the previous films to bring us in for another fright

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Overall I think this will be a great addition to the “Insidious” franchise if it lives up to the mysterious and spooky themes and characters presented in the trailer. There are some more subtle and smaller details I didn’t mention in this write up, but I don’t want to spoil everything. See it for yourself. Watch the trailer below and let me know if you’re excited for a new “Insidious” movie. “Insidious: The Last Key” hits theaters January 5th.


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