“Insidious: The Red Door” Is A Satisfying Conclusion

Insidious The Red Door, patrick wilson, movie review

Since Blumhouse Productions was founded 23 years ago, they have set the bar high for the horror genre with the “Insidious” franchise. Frightening audiences since 2010, James Wan was initially at the helm as director. Wan moved into the producer’s seat, while Patrick Wilson makes his directorial debut for the fifth installment and the conclusion to the popular paranormal franchise. 

The series of films follow the Lambert family as they undergo their experiences with the paranormal and horrific findings in ‘The Further.’

Serving as a direct sequel to “Insidious: Chapter 2,” Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson are back as Josh and Renee Lambert, and Ty Simpkins and Andrew Astor return as Dalton and Foster Lambert. Rounding out the cast is Lin Shaye as Elise and Barbara Hershey as Josh’s mother, Lorraine Lambert. 

insidious the red door
Ty Simpkins in Screen Gems Insidious: The Red Door

Wilson and Simpkins’ father and son dynamic remains the primary focus of the film as they struggle with their misunderstandings, weakening bond and turbulent past. In the fifth and final chapter, nine years have passed. Josh and his now-grown son, Dalton, are heading off to college for his Freshman year. Attempting to be the best Dad that he can be, Josh struggles with a divorce and connecting with his now rebellious son. Dalton’s terrifying childhood memories (or lack thereof) inspire his art and he continues to paint the very red door that we see in the first film. 

Dalton’s artistic ventures are encouraged by his professor (Hiam Abbass) as well as his college Roomate (Sinclair Daniel, who confidently provides moments of much needed levity). Horrific memories unfold in the eeriest of ways for Dalton. 

insidious the red door, rose byrne
Rose Byrne in Screen Gems INSIDIOUS: THE RED DOOR

They journey back into the dark atmospheric world of ‘The Further,’ whether they choose to or not. Although their Astral-projection abilities have been therapeutically wiped of any terrifying memories from the previous fateful year, Dalton’s family remains fractured by the past. The restless spirits in ‘The Further’ find their way into reality and again raise the stakes for both Dalton and his father, who is barely holding it together. The exploration of these vivid and misunderstood fears thrust these characters back into a visceral world of death, encouraging them to “open the door” to close it forever.    

As a director, Wilson successfully combines high stakes family drama with the film’s supernatural elements executing a fine tuned, yet simple display of the horrors that audiences came to know and love from the franchise. One particular moment involving an MRI machine can easily be considered one of the scariest parts and is effectively used. 

patrick wilson, insidious
BTS of Director/Actor Patrick Wilson and Ty Simpkins on the set of Screen Gems Insidious: The Red Door

Being the fifth film in any franchise can be tricky, yet the popularity of a simple ‘jump scare,’ although lightly overused, fuels this moviegoing experience. This film holds very little back, pushing the audience to anticipate these said moments, adding that much more tension, atmosphere and fright. 

When audiences step into ‘The Further,’ it’s hard to trust your own eyes watching the screen. It makes for a great time at the movies making unopened doors scary once again. Punctuated by great sound mixing and editing lead by Jessey Drake and Michael Infante, this visceral story, although predictable at times, gives many opportunities to revisit and explore the open ends of the previous films.

“Insidious: The Red Door” is a satisfying conclusion to the franchise. 

Insidious: The Red Door releases in cinemas on July 7th, 2023.

Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, frightening images, strong language and suggestive references. 

By Justin Gerald for LATF USA

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