Hollywood horror was once replete with meaty roles for older women. Now the Insidious franchise is resurrecting the tradition – but is this really something to celebrate?
‘To you, that’s weird. To me, it’s just a day job,” says Elise Rainier, professional psychic. In the first Insidious film, in 2010, Elise died in the final act. But, this being a supernatural horror franchise in which death means never having to say you’re gone for ever, she was resurrected as a ghost in the 2013 sequel before the series looped back in time for a 2015 prequel in which, still alive and kicking, Elise is brought on to tackle an earlier case of demonic possession.
Now, in Insidious: The Last Key, Elise has been promoted to protagonist for yet another prequel, complete with flashbacks to her origin story. “There’s something evil in that house,” she says, before metaphorically rolling up her sleeves and getting down to her paranormal Miss Marple duties, which inevitably means going down into the basement to face her demons.