Insidious: Chapter 3

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Insidious: Chapter 3 Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Nothing new, but surprisingly effective, scary prequel.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Family members stick together, helping one another out in a time of need. Other characters put themselves at personal risk to help strangers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

After three movies, Elise Rainier is becoming a decent heroine; she's sometimes afraid, and she can seem frail, but she's also strong-willed and clever and refuses to give up.


Plenty of scary stuff, mostly jump-shocks with screaming demons. A girl is hit by a car; bruises and blood shown. Wearing casts on both legs, she's roughed up and thrown from her bed. A woman attacks a demon with a razor. A girl holds a box knife to her own throat. A girl beats up three men. Demon fighting. Talk of characters committing suicide and dying of cancer.


A neighbor boy seems to have a crush on the teen heroine. Teens joke about their sexual identity.


Infrequent; one use of "f--king," plus "bitch," "ass," and a middle finger gesture.


Apple computers shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel to Insidious (2010) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), with returning stars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and Leigh Whannell. There's tons of spooky stuff -- mainly well-timed jump-scares, plus images of a scary demon attacking a teen girl and a psychic fighting with the same demon. The teen girl is hit by a car and roughed up quite a bit while wearing casts on both legs. Knives are wielded, but only a little blood is shown. Infrequent language includes one use of "f--king," one "bitch," and a few uses of "ass," plus a middle finger gesture. A teen boy has a crush on the teen heroine, but nothing comes of it. There's a joke about two teen girls being lesbians. Like most horror sequels, it's not as good as the original, but it provides enough tingles that it should be a fairly sizable draw for teen horror hounds.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykevinkincaid1 May 7, 2020

Kinda inappropriate Spoiler alert

It has a demon who gets humans to kill their selves and you watch an attempted suicide
Adult Written byLUCY ANN CRAIN105 March 26, 2020

Great fun thrills

The third installment is just as good as the rest. Although it may have a little more violence it is still okay for young teens. I think this is how to get your... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byEliffgg June 30, 2019
Teen, 13 years old Written byTeenschoice June 23, 2019


not scary ! its kinda stupid

What's the story?

Set before the events of Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 begins as teen Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) seeks the help of psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). Quinn wants to contact her dead mother, but Elise has quit the psychic business, afraid she's gone too far and that she's in danger. Meanwhile, things with Quinn go from bad to worse. She's run over by a car and must now recover with both her legs in casts. Plus, it seems that a malevolent demon is after her. Quinn's father (Dermot Mulroney), at his wits' end, decides to hire paranormal investigators Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell). But with time running out, Elise decides she's actually the only one who can help.

Is it any good?

This time around, screenwriter/actor Whannell assumes the helm of the horror series he helped create; fortunately, he takes several cues from directing predecessor James Wan. He focuses on character interactions, well-defined space, and intriguing use of rhythm and timing, as well as a spooky musical score.

On the downside, like the second movie, Insidious: Chapter 3 doesn't have much new to offer, and virtually all of the scares are of the jump-shock variety, with monsters appearing suddenly -- and frequently shrieking as well. But Whannell at least tries to mix up the timing of the shocks, delaying and subverting the expected. He also creates a very Lynchian version of the Further, with nightmarish imagery that can cause just as many tingles. And his characters are sympathetic and easy to like, with Shaye especially powerful and touching in her role.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Insidious: Chapter 3's violence. How much is shown? Is there a real threat? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How scary is the movie? What's the appeal of horror movies? Are gory horror movies more or less scary than those with less blood?

  • How does this movie compare to its predecessors? How does it work as a prequel?

  • Some of the characters seem obsessed with technology (the main teen girl takes pictures of her breakfast for her blog). Does that seem realistic?

Movie details

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