Review of ‘Insidious: The Red Door,’ the 5th and last in the horror film series

July 10, 2023 Mario Bautista 624 views


Insidous2‘INSIDIOUS’ is a supernatural horror franchise that started in 2010 and had a sequel in 2013, both directed by James Wan (who also did the “Saw” series.) Both films focus on a couple, Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne), whose son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), became comatose.

The boy is haunted by demons from an astral realm known as the Further, so they got a paranormal expert, Elise Rainier (Lyn Shaye), to help them. Two more “Insidious” films were later made, but they are no longer about the Lamberts.

“Insidious Chapter 2” in 2015 and “Insidious: The Last Key” (2018), are more of prequels focusing on the psychic, Elise.

All the four films grossed a total of more than $500 million worldwide, when their combined budget is only $26.5 million. “Tubong Lugaw”, as we say in Tagalog, so it’s not surprising they now have another “Insidious” flick, “The Last Door”, which goes back to the Lambert family.

The fifth “Insidious” movie is directed by the lead actor himself, Patrick Wilson, in his directorial debut. The last film on the Lamberts was in 2013 so now, 10 years later, the boy Dalton is already a grown up, still played by Ty Simpkins who in between “Insidious 2 & 3”, has made such films as “Jurassic World” and “The Whale”.

The memories of both Josh and Dalton about their nightmarish experiences in the first two movies have now been suppressed by a hypnotist. But Josh is adversely affected by it as it has made his brain foggy and made him feel distant to his family.

He is now separated from his wife Renai and his relationship with their kids are strained, specially with Dalton. Josh drives Dalton to his college campus but instead of it bringing them closer, they only end up being more alienated from each other.

Dalton is taking up fine arts and in his first class, his teacher tells him to dig deeper into his subconscious and he strangely draws a picture of the red door which is the entrance to the Further, thereby opening it up again to wreak havoc on him and Josh.

Dalton has a black female roommate, Chris (Sinclair Daniel), who helps him when he encounters a ghost while they’re attending a frat party. She shows him a video of Specs and Tucker, spirit inspectors who helped Elise in the first two “Insidious” films, that shows Dalton that he is experiencing astral projection.

Josh, in turn, is haunted by a ghost who turns out to be his dead father, Ben Burton, who he finds out committed suicide while confined in a mental hospital. Father and son now have to join forces to fight back the demons that are haunting them.

Dalton is seen re-painting the red door with black paint and hopefully, this will seal it for good and will no longer bother them again. But in a scene after the end credits, the light on the red-turned-black door starts to flicker anew.

This indicates that, although they said this is the final chapter in the “Insidious” series, it won’t be surprising if they’d have a reboot or another sequel, specially now that “The Red Door” is such a big blockbuster. When we watched it at SM North, it’s being shown in four theaters and they’re all full, with so many moviegoers still wanting to get in.

For his first directorial job, Patrick Wilson doesn’t botch up his work. He employs the usual tropes done in horror flicks and does them well. The movie has its share of the usual jump scares, all perfectly timed.

The most effective ones are Dalton cutting his hand while painting when the ghost first appeared to him and Josh being trapped inside the MRI machine when there’s a sudden blackout and a ghost appears to him.

A sentimental angle in the film is the dynamics between Josh and his family and how their love for each other can lead to reconciliation, specially between him and Dalton. This definitely added more emotional depth to their characters as father and son.

Here’s praying that this movie offers a real closure to the Further and its spirits, to put them to rest for good and stop menacing the Lambert family. Both Patrick and Ty deliver well in their respective roles, making the audience invest in their tenuous connection and mutual vulnerability. Giving adequate support is Sinclair Daniel as Dalton’s sidekick of a roommate who provides some comic relief.