This is easily the best one. How ’bout that?
The first one was decent but plagued with pacing problems, the second one was well on its way to being the best one but then decided to be transphobic garbage instead, and the third one was fine. So that makes Insidious: The Last Key, which was legitimately great, the best kind of by default. But color me surprised that the best film of this series wasn’t one of the James Wan ones! (Granted, it easily could’ve been the second one if Stuff hadn’t Happened.)
Not only is this not one of the James Wan ones, it’s the second of two prequels. This is not how this is supposed to work! But this one has the best scares, the best character development, a “this time it’s personal” hook that doesn’t come across as tacky, and not one but two women who kick ass in the spirit world. I also love a film that can pull off a “wait, that isn’t a ghost” twist twice and catch me off guard both times.
Also, just saying? I high-key loved the scene where Ted Garza gave Elise his Bible because he thought she would need it to help fight off the evil spirits, and she thanked him and acted genuinely grateful and then as soon as he left the room she rolled her eyes and ditched it onto the bed behind her. I’m more than willing to put up with plenty of “yay Christianity!!” stuff in the Conjuring movies, but it really tickles me when a ghost/demon/whatever movie goes completely the other way on that one. (If Christianity is your jam, though, whatever. You do you, I’ll do me.)
One word of warning, though: there is a shit load of child abuse and sexual abuse of adults in this movie. Do exercise caution if depictions of either or both are likely to cause you any distress.