Insidious: The Last Key

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Insidious: The Last Key Movie Poster Image
So-so sequel has jump scares, compelling main character.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 14 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Champions concepts like courage and forgiveness. The demons feed on hate and revenge, and the heroes realize that they can triumph by not feeding into those things, by forgiving and showing compassion and understanding.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Elise Rainier is a most remarkable heroine in the horror genre: an older woman who's both vulnerable and brave. She's not afraid of ghosts, though she is endearingly human, with her own personal fears and faults.


Jump-scares. Scary stuff/creepy monsters. Young women are kidnapped, chained up, and held prisoner. A young girl is whipped and locked in the  basement by her cruel father. A teen girl uses powers to assault her father in self-defense. Character brandishes a gun. Single gunshot. Character bashed in the back of the head, skull smashed by falling bureau. Monster smashes a woman against the wall; minor bloody head-wound. Monster stabs key-fingers into throats, chests. Mentions of prisoners dying in the electric chair. Woman hung by loose cord. Scars on back. Arguing.


Flirting. A kiss.


A use of "f--king," plus "hell," "screw this."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A bottle of whiskey and a glass on the table next to the father's chair. A character drinks from a bottle of beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth movie in the Insidious horror franchise, which focuses on paranormal investigator/psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) and her sidekicks. A young girl is whipped and locked up by her father, and women are kidnapped, chained, and locked up. A woman is smacked across the room by a monster, and a man's skull is smashed by a falling bureau (he also gets a blow to the back of his head). There's some blood, and a gun is brandished, with one shot fired. Other violent events are mentioned. Language includes a use of "f--king," as well as "hell" (spoken by a child). There's a little flirting and a brief kiss. A bottle of whiskey is shown, and a character drinks from a bottle of beer. This installment is less inspired than its predecessors, but it's not terrible and has some decent scares.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGood G. May 27, 2018


Its an Ok movie . There are plenty of scary scenes but there's also several abusive scene that sorta ruined the film for
me . There's a kid merciless... Continue reading
Adult Written byCasey R. March 17, 2018


I've seen all of the Insidious movies so I expected this one to be super scary. It is not as good as the rest for sure. The ending was stupid and for some... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byreview77 January 6, 2018

Very scary and fun for a group of friends

I saw this with a group of friends and we had fun . We all got scared at some parts,and screamed our lungs off .But ,
since we were all together it was fun and... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHithereilikemovies January 5, 2018


I loved this movie. I am 13 so my mom didn’t want me to go but my dad took me late at night. It was my first scaryish movie besides happy death day which is gre... Continue reading

What's the story?

In INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY, psychic/paranormal investigator Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) has recently wrapped up the Quinn Brenner case (from Insidious: Chapter 3), but nightmares are plaguing her sleep. Memories of her dark childhood in Five Keys, New Mexico, with an abusive father (Josh Stewart), keep coming up. Before long, Elise gets a call from a terrified Ted Garza (Kirk Acevedo), who lives in her old house and is being terrorized by malevolent spirits. Joined by her intrepid/knucklehead sidekicks Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), Elise begins her examination. More dark secrets from her past turn up, including memories of her younger brother, guilt over her mother, a lost whistle, and a gaggle of ghosts. But Elise makes a startling discovery: There's something different about these ghosts.

Is it any good?

The fourth entry in this successful horror series is an example of diminishing returns; though the characters are still interesting, it's clear that less care and attention were given to this movie. Filmmakers James Wan (whose first Insidious was the best) and Leigh Whannell (a writer on the entire series and director of Insidious: Chapter 3) have hired a second-stringer, Adam Robitel, to helm Insidious: The Last Key, and it shows. Robitel gamely tries to follow the playbook and comes up with one or two great, spooky scenes -- including one in which Elise makes a startling discovery inside a tube-shaped air duct. But the director mostly relies on loud noises and jump scares.

He's not so great with the emotional scenes, either, including Elise's reunion with her long-lost brother, Christian (Bruce Davison), and Specs and Tucker's awkward flirting with Christian's teen daughters. The movie's theme of "family" doesn't quite click when all those scenes are awkward and soapy. Frankly, the best reason to see this is Shaye, a wonderful character actress who embodies sweetness and vulnerability and also has a weathered, fearless quality; now in her 70s, Shaye has come into her own only recently as a horror star. Insidious: The Last Key has finally elevated her to leading lady status, and that's exciting to see.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Insidious: The Last Key's violence. How much of it is directed against women? Is it shocking? Does the fact that the main character is a strong female affect the impact of that kind of violence?

  • Is Elise Rainier a role model? Why or why not?

  • How scary is the movie? What's the appeal of horror movies?

  • How does this film compare to the three previous movies in the Insidious series?

  • What does the movie have to say about courage and compassion? Are these things championed? Rewarded?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Themes & Topics

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