INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR opens July 7th
At a time when haunted house movies seemed to have lost their luster and director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannel were known best for pioneering the SAW movies franchise, the duo decided to give both the genre and their careers a refreshing new spin. The result was the terrifying, 2011 instant classic INSIDIOUS, which proved to be such a profitable success — making more than $100 million worldwide on a $1.5 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo — that it would spawn three sequels. One of the most anticipated horror movies of 2023 is the series’ fifth installment, INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR.
While the INSIDIOUS movies timeline would jump around a bit with the third and fourth films, CHAPTER 3 and THE LAST KEY — which primarily followed Lin Shaye as Elise Rainier, but also introduced new characters into the mix — this latest chapter is a direct continuation of the original two, which followed the haunting of the Lamberts. As fans of the franchise will learn when they see the new film — which comes to AMC Theaters in July — the family has been through a lot, but nothing will be able to prepare them for when the ghosts of their past return… literally. Before you see the terror unfold for yourself in INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR, prepare yourself with our spoiler-free guide for what fans can expect.
Haunting, Buried Secrets
When we last saw the Lambert Family in 2013’s INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and his son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), made the decision to repress their ability to astral project through hypnosis and, hopefully, ensure that they could never make contact with malevolent spirits and endanger their loved ones ever again. Unfortunately, when we become reunited with them in INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR — which was written by Scott Teems from a story by the original scribe, Whannell — we discover that the repression has still managed to have some damaging effects on the family.
Josh is no longer married to Renai (Rose Byrne) and the divorce appears to have since put a strain on his relationship with his children — including middle child, Foster (Andrew Astor), and his daughter, Kali (Juliana Davies) — but especially between him and Dalton, who reluctantly agrees to let his father drive him to college. Later, as Josh seeks answers to his own recent mental health struggles, he begins to fall prey to a series of strange and disturbing visions, while Dalton’s freshman year becomes interrupted by similar situations. What the father and son will come to discover is that these nightmarish visions are all too real and part of a long-hidden secret they have to face together.
Indelible, Dreamlike Scares
On top of introducing the concept of astral-projection to modern horror audiences, the INSIDIOUS franchise is famous for having a healthy collection of its own scariest moments — such as when we first see the Lipstick Face Demon (played by the film’s composer, Joseph Bishara) appear behind Josh. When it comes to frightening encounters with malicious spirits in the Further, INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR is certainly no exception.
What has always made the series a unique addition to the horror genre is its visceral approach to freaking out moviegoers with an otherworldly, dreamlike atmosphere — courtesy of our characters’ trips to the aforementioned, extra-dimensional realm known as the Further. When Josh and Dalton find themselves returning to that horrible place they once forgot long ago, they come face-to-face with entities — some familiar and some entirely new — that will be hard to forget about long after the credits roll.
Patrick Wilson’s Directorial Debut
After years of playing famed paranormal investigator Ed Warren in the CONJURING Universe, taking on savage cannibals in the brutal 2015 western BONE TOMAHAWK, or giving a smaller, but memorable, performance in Netflix’s IN THE TALL GRASS it seemed like a perfect fit for Patrick Wilson to start his career as a director with a scary movie. Furthermore, what better way to put his own mark on the genre from behind the camera than helming an installment of the franchise that first made him into one of modern cinema’s most prolific scream kings?
Indeed, Wilson had never even directed a short film, let alone an episode of a television show, before taking the reins of INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR. However, we imagine it must not have been so taxing a job with his old INSIDIOUS cast members and the people at Blumhouse and Screen Gems working with him again. Wilson’s ability to craft a skin-crawling horror sequence and maintain a convincing reprisal as Josh Lambert hints at great promise in his future behind the camera.
Wilson is also expected to return to the role of Ed Warren in 2024 for THE CONJURING: LAST RITES. For now, see him shine once again in another one of his most iconic and darkest characters in INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR. Prepare to re-enter the Further when the horror sequel comes to an AMC Theatres location near you!
INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR opens July 7th