On the very fringe of the neighborhood there sat an old sagging house. Painted a long time ago in dark colors, it now looked like it was freckled and wrinkled. All the kids who lived around the area had heard an old witch lived in the house. When I would have to walk by the place I always did so at a faster pace. There were some kids who had a defiant streak in them. They would run a stick along the rungs of the long metal front gate, letting the staccato clanking noise talk for them. I had heard some kids late at night would throw stones at the front door then take off running before the witch would storm out to scream at them. As far as I could remember she was the only occupant of the house, though there were rumors that some unsuspecting children who lingered too long by the property were never found again. As time went by and I began high school, all the stories and rumors I had heard about the owner of the haunted house went to sleep in my mind. Years later I found myself at a party and struck up a conversation with a another guest who was familiar with my old neighborhood. As we were talking she mentioned her grandmother used to live near where I grew up. You know what I am going to say; it turned out her grandmother was the witch who lived in that old house that us kids were afraid to go near. I really wished I knew how the story about her grandmother being a witch had started in my old neighborhood. HOPING to make contact with her deceased mother; a young Quinn Brenner, played by Stefanie Scott (No Strings Attached, A.N.T. Farm-TV), paid a visit to psychic Elise Rainier, played by Lin Shaye (Take Me Home, There’s Something About Mary). Elise had to explain why she no longer gave readings and warned Quinn what could happen if one tried to contact the dead on their own. This third installment’s story in the horror film franchise was a prequel, before the Lambert family’s time. With Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding, About Schmidt) as Sean Brenner, this film festival winner did not have the same impact like the 1st one did for me. Lin was the strongest character out of the cast; it was understandable since she was reprising her role. Except for a couple of good fright scenes, I did not find this movie particularly scary. There were scenes that had stereotypical horror tricks like a sudden sound or quick appearance. The directing was okay, but I found the script somewhat generic with its plot. I was more afraid of that old woman from my childhood than this film.
1 3/4 stars