"If you call out to one of the dead," cautions retired psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), "all of them can hear you." It is a warning that teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) fails to heed after showing up on Elise's doorstep with a plea to help contact her deceased mother. In exactly the next scene, she is lying in bed, the chains from a dangling ceiling lamp casting eerie shadows on her wall, when she thinks nothing of asking out loud if her mom is there. She isn't, but something else, it turns out, is. A prequel to 2011's super-scary funhouse ride "Insidious" and 2013's plodding "Insidious: Chapter 2," "Insidious: Chapter 3" has bursts of jittery inspiration and a first half that pays surprising attention to its characters even in the moments when specters aren't hanging from ceilings or hiding in wait behind curtains. Leigh Whannell (making his directorial debut, taking over for James Wan) displays a stylistic precision as a filmmaker, but is let down by his own screenplay, throwing in too many extraneous characters that he doesn't know what to do with and going slack during a syrupy denouement that loses grasp of its frightful hold.
A few years prior to the Lambert hauntings portrayed in the earlier installments, 17-year-old Quinn is struggling to make do following the painful loss of mom Lillith (Ele Keats). Living in a fourth-floor apartment with electrician dad Sean (Dermot Mulroney) and younger brother Alex (Tate Berney), she is torn between choosing to remain at home to help raise her sibling and leaping at an audition for a prestigious NY-based theatre school. With so many changes forthcoming, she desperately wants to know that her mom is looking down on her. What she gets in return isn't quite so loving. Freaky visitations begin to permeate her everyday life just before she is violently hit by a car. Returning home weeks later with two broken legs, Quinn quickly discovers that her convalescence is going to be anything but peaceful. A malignant, otherworldly parasite has latched itself onto her, gaining strength as it gradually pulls her into a dark, ghostly alternate plane that Elaine tells the family is called The Further.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review