Caution: Massive SPOILERS ahead for Insidious: The Last Key! You have been warned!
A proper horror movie is all about appropriate pacing and timing of scares, jokes and every other narrative element that comes together to make a story. This means finding a balance for everything, which also sometimes means cutting parts of a scene that initially seem cool. In that regard, Adam Robitel's Insidious: The Last Key was no different, as a significant set piece involving an army of escaping souls from the film's climax had to be cut. When we asked Robitel about the sequence at the Insidious press junket, he explained:
Absolutely. I mean we took out a couple of jump scares that just felt cheap and were not earned. There was some stuff in the later half of the movie, initially when Elise defeats the demon, all of these other people came out of the cells. It was like this massive sea of bodies and stuff and I wanted us to say that maybe she unleashed thousands and thousands of souls. The problem was you had young Elise's niece arresting, so it was like this one little hiccup that slowed the movie down and so the editors felt like it just slowed it down so we took it out. That's one example.
The climactic showdown with the KeyFace Demon in Insidious: The Last Key is already incredibly unnerving, but this would've elevated it to an entirely new level. The prison motif that inspires the early portions of the film plays a key (pun intended) role in the final sequence of the movie, as Imogen Rainier (Caitlin Gerard) ventures into the recesses of the franchise's trademark location, The Further, to rescue Elise (Lin Shaye). In the theatrical cut of the film, they simply walk out of the otherworldly realm once they (or rather, the spirit of Elise's mother) have vanquished the monster, but in the original cut of the movie, the moment caused a series of doors to open so the trapped souls of the spiritual prison could rush out.
As for other moments from the film that had to be taken out, Adam Robitel makes it sounds like there were scattered scares and jokes from all over the movie that wound up on the cutting room floor. If nothing else, this just shows how much fine-tuning goes into the process of perfecting the pacing of a horror movie, and the hard decisions that a filmmaker must face when he or she ends up in the editing booth.
For a closer look at CinemaBlend's chat with Adam Robitel about Insidious: The Last Key, check out a clip from our interview below!
Ultimately this is important because tightly-paced thrills are the key to getting horror right. Films like Get Outand ITarguably defined the last year, and elsewhere in our conversation with Adam Robitel, he explained that horror is having a moment right now because it's one of the few genres that can compete with more spectacle-oriented franchises like Star Warsand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Scary movies like Insidious: The Last Key aren't quite as big or bombastic as comic book blockbusters, but they need a director who knows how to trim the fat and make a lean, mean story.