‘Insidious: The Red Door’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: What Happens To Josh And Dalton?

It’s time to revisit the 13-year-old franchise that, frankly, shook the horror world when it began. Does the new movie have a similar impact? Not really, but there are some positives to it, and maybe, just maybe, it’s setting up the franchise for new things. It is lovely to see the same kids grow up and play the same roles again. Ty Simpkins is particularly good in this, but a standout character is Sinclair Daniel’s “Chris Winslow.” Her comic timing is perfect, and we almost forgot the lack of Specs & Tucker in the movie (almost). While it is said that Dalton and Josh go deeper into The Further this time around, it looks like the franchise has gotten lost in the deep and fails to impress. Still, as a drama, it’s pretty fun, still has the sinister eeriness of an Insidious movie, and also carries the same jumpscares forward. If you haven’t seen the trailer for the film, we’d highly recommend keeping it that way, or maybe you’ll have the whole movie in 2 minutes.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Insidious: The Red Door’?

Nine years after Dalton and Josh returned from The Further, things are foggy for Josh. He can’t keep up with his memories; he’s failing to be there for his children, and now his mother has passed away too. Josh and Renai are divorced after a long time of Renai having to lie to her children and hiding things from Josh, and Dalton is estranged from his father. With Lorraine’s death, things spiral further for Josh, and Renai suggests he drive Dalton to college for some bonding time. At first, he says he can’t, but he realizes he wants to remind Dalton that he’s a good father. Josh meets Carl (yeah, the same Carl that made them forget The Further) at the funeral and feels like he knows the man. At the art school dorms, Josh confesses to Dalton that he’s been feeling a little off. Dalton thinks it’s necessary that his dad get some help for what he’s feeling, but Jush brushes it off, saying he’s dealing with it himself. While talking, things escalate rather quickly, and Josh keeps reminding Dalton that at least he’s got a father, unlike Josh himself. Dalton is tired of Josh’s excuses and tells him that he needs to stop using something that happened 40 years ago as an excuse for his estrangement from their family. They have a huge fight, and Josh walks out crying while Dalton stays in the room. Josh leaves for home and doesn’t look back until he leaves a voice message for him, saying he will get himself checked.


Meanwhile, Chris, Dalton’s roommate, who is a woman, tries to get to know Dalton better before she moves rooms. Her small talk is about finding out if there’s something weird about Dalton. He tells her that when he was 10, he was in a coma, but he doesn’t remember anything about that whole year. Great way to start a friendship. Now, on the first day of class, Dalton’s teacher makes her class tear up their best work and then reach out to a memory or thought that is deeply nested in them. As she counts down to 10, Dalton has a euphoric thought and begins to draw viciously on his canvas; as he’s about to finish drawing what looks like a door, a clawed hand appears, crushing his hand on the canvas and making it bleed right at the center of the door. In the meantime, Josh gets an MRI scan to figure out if there’s anything physiologically wrong with him. But the drawing has unlocked the door, and frightening things happen to Josh while he’s getting the scan. This prompts the doctor to ask Josh if there are any cases of mental illness in his family, but Josh says he doesn’t know of any such things.

Chris takes Dalton to a frat party that he really doesn’t want to go to, but in the end, he ends up going. At the party, he sees a kid who had died there, and the boy tells him to “close the door.” The boy scares Dalton so they the party immediately after. Soon Dalton realizes he can astral project himself, and with the help of Chris, he finds out what that is and why he’s able to do it. Of course, they find a video of Specs and Tucker, which leads them to a video of Elise. Things start to get really dark and scary for both Dalton and Josh. Josh is visited by a man who slams him into The Further to show him a box of photographs and the name Ben Burton.


Who Is Ben Burton?

Ben Burton is Josh’s dad, and he was supposed to have been treated for Schizophrenia. In reality, Ben was like his son and could travel to The Further, but at the time, Lorraine had no idea how to help him. Ultimately, Ben took his own life by jumping off the roof of the hospital building he was a patient at. The box of photos that Josh got also had a message for his mom from Ben, which said something along the lines of he would end it all. Unfortunately, as we know already, dying will not end things, and Josh was fatherless for no reason!

‘Insidious: The Red Door’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Josh And Dalton?

It all boils down to the one awful night at the old house when Dalton was 10 (yes, a loopity loop). Dalton reaches out to Foster to tell him everything about the coma. Foster tells him he should speak to their mother, but he remembers something about a basement. Renai has been lying to Foster that his night terrors are not real and that his father never tried to kill them all. Finally, the word basement jogs a memory in Dalton’s brain, and he finishes his painting, teary-eyed and angry. It’s his father he’s been painting in front of the door with a hammer. On one side, it’s Josh, whereas, on the other, it’s a demon-looking thing. Chris almost dies at the hands of the “Lipstick Demon” when Dalton tries to understand what the frat boy is trying to tell him. Josh visits Renai to figure out things about his father. He feels like he’s abandoned his family and wonders if something has gone wrong in the past ten years. That maybe he does, in fact, have a mental illness. Finally, Renai tells him all about that night when he tried to kill the whole family, and because she couldn’t deal with the lying and hiding, she ended up divorcing Josh. At the same time, Josh wants to know the truth about The Further, so he visits the basement. He sees young Josh attacking young Dalton. Grown-up Dalton tries to tackle his father down, but he ends up in the Lipstick Demon’s lair, where he gets choked by “The Bride In Black.” He sits up and sees the whole thing play out for him from when he was 10. It’s like little puppets set up by the Lipstick Demon just for Dalton. When he wakes up, though, it’s not Dalton but the Lipstick Demon that has returned.


Earlier, Dalton had sent a photo of his painting to Foster at the same time, and there was only one way Josh and Renai could save their son again. Send Josh back into The Further. While Josh is trying to find Dalton in The Further, the Lipstick Demon has taken over Dalton’s physical body and is trying to kill Chris. Fortunately, Josh finds Dalton in time and raises the hammer to break Dalton’s chains. Dalton thinks he’s trying to kill him and yells at his dad to stop. But breaking the chain brings the demon back to The Further and saves Chris. The dad-son duo runs outside to find their way back to the real world. The lipstick demon follows them, but Josh is able to close the door ahead of him. Josh can’t hold the door shut by himself, so he asks Dalton to help him. Dalton thinks it’s impossible to keep the door shut, but ultimately Josh tells Dalton to go back so that he can end things for real like his father had said, even if that means staying in The Further forever.

Dalton gets back to the real world, warding off all the souls trying to get to his body. He begins to paint over the door in his painting in black. The demon tries to make a crack in the door and get Josh, but Dalton is fast enough, and Josh is saved, leaving the door covered in black and the demon gone for good.


Before going back home, Josh meets his father, and they smile at each other knowingly. His father then becomes a beacon that joins the light Josh has been using in The Further to save Dalton. Even 10 years ago, meaning that his father has always been with him. Josh finally gets back to the real world. Dalton gives them a call, hoping to see that his dad is okay. Ultimately, Josh and Dalton both know that they need to remember the hard things to move on from them. Until you face your fear and pain, you’re not going to be able to get over them.

Right at the end of the movie, Elise visits Josh to see how he’s doing. She tells him that Dalton and he have a bright future together and that he will someday be able to tell his mother all the things that he wanted to right then. She reminds him to keep it steady, and when Josh enters his car, Elise is gone. Finally, Josh visits Dalton at school, where Dalton is hanging up a painting of his dad saving him from The Further. The camera zooms into the painting, and then the screen cuts to black. Insidious: The Red Door ends with Dalton and Josh having mended their relationship but with the opportunity for more to come. Elise’s words specifically leave many doors open.


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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