‘Insidious’ Recap: Everything To Know Before Watching ‘Insidious: The Red Door’

It’s been 5 years since the last Insidious came out, but since Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key are prequels to Insidious: Chapter 1, we definitely need a refresher for all things fiery faces and red doors. All four films have been written by Leigh Wannel, and the first two chapters which we will be concentrating a little more on in this article were directed by James Wan. Chapters 1 & 2 follow the Lambert family that includes Josh, the father (Patrick Wilson), Renai, the mother (Rose Byrne) and three kids Dalton (Ty Simpkins), Foster (Andrew Astor) and infant baby girl Kali (Madison Bowie). Dalton goes into The Further  (which we’ll discuss in a minute) because he’s gifted like his father to travel the dark side of the world (not the web). Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but basically, he can astral project himself and soul travel amongst the dead in some middle space. But, when he’s doing that, different entities are out to get his body and a terrible demon, the one who has a fiery face (really, it’s just red paint) and claws, wants to wreak havoc using Dalton’s body. Insidious: The Red Door is set 10 years after Chapter 2, where some decisions were made by Josh and his family, but it seems they’re coming back to haunt them. So, just before you go see the new film that hits cinemas this week, let’s recap some important things that you may have forgotten in the span of 13 years in case you aren’t able to rewatch the whole franchise beforehand (unlike some of us). 


Spoilers Ahead

The Further 

The most important thing to remember is “The Further” which is sort of like a purgatory realm that allows contact between humans and unworldly entities. This is where the wanderers go and get lost. Dalton, Josh, and Elise (Lin Shye): the psychic demon slayer, have the ability to wander into this realm. They project their souls and enter the world of the dead freely. Unfortunately, the ruler of this realm gets a hold of Dalton and tries to possess his body to do terrible things in the human world. Fortunately, Josh, with the help of Elise, is able to bring Dalton back to the human world, but at a price. That price is Josh’s body. At the end of chapter 1, when everything looks perfect and it seems like the family is about to be happy again, there’s something wrong with Josh. Elise is the first person to notice and when she takes a picture of him, she sees that a demon wearing a black bridal ensemble has taken over Josh’s body completely. This demon has latched onto Josh since he was a young child. When Elise had helped him as a kid, she had made sure he forgot all about The Further so he didn’t accidentally wander there again. But, when Josh went to get Dalton, his body was left unattended long enough for “The Bride In Black” to take over. This is the spirit of a serial killer who was forced by his mother Michelle to dress as a girl and later kill people. Parker ended up killing 15 women when he was alive and then died in the hospital that Lorraine, Josh’s mother, worked at. Yes, a whole lot confusing, but it all makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Possessed Josh ends up killing Elise in chapter 1 and then in chapter 2 it’s Dalton who goes back to The Further to bring his father home. Ultimately, he succeeds and they decide to forget all things “beyond” so their family can remain happy and “normal” forever… until of course 10 years later when they decided to make yet another one of these. 


Time Travel 

Travelling to The Further also allows one to time travel, we see this a couple of times, mainly when Josh needs help to find out about the bride, and he talks to his younger self. It’s all just opening a door you know? Later, we see Elise meet her childhood self in Insidious: The Last Key to talk her into becoming a psychic. The big connection between The Last Key and Chapter 1 is that Elise sees Dalton hit his head the day before he goes comatose while saving herself from Keyface. Furthermore (*wink*), we see astral projected Josh from Chapter 2 trying to talk to normal Josh from Chapter 1 because he was trying to get back to his body and needed help. “Fun loop,” they said. After Elise dies she’s able to help Dalton, Carl, one of her associates who comes to help Lorraine, get back to their selves. Carl is the one who helps Josh and Dalton forget all about The Further. Additionally, the bride also shows Elise her death while she’s solving a different case much before returning to the Lambert home. We know from the trailer that Dalton and Josh are both going to meet their past selves, specifically when Josh was possessed by the bride and Dalton was trying to get him out. 

‘The Lipstick-Face Demon’ ‘Keyface’ And The Red Doors 

Ruler of The Further, cloven hooves for feet and the most frightening of them all. An entity that the Lambert family somehow escaped after Josh brought Dalton back from The Further. It looks like, to reconcile with each other, Josh and Dalton are going to be facing the red-faced demon yet again. On the other hand, Elise as a child was conned into opening a, you guessed it, red door, by a demon known as “Keyface” or “Key Bearer” whose great power is to basically mute people with his key finger. He controls all the red doors, so it’s possible we’ll get to see a little bit of him too, but he was banished by Elise’s mother’s spirit when grown up Elise needed help to save herself and her two nieces. Melissa and Imogen are the daughters of Elise’s brother Christian. Elise abandoned Christian when she was 16 because her father was punishing her for “seeing ghosts”, but alas, he was actually also torturing innocent women and killing them in their home. By the end of The Last Key, Christian realizes that he shouldn’t have hated his sister and they reconcile. Just like Elise, Imogen can see things too. 


Specs And Tucker 

Specs and Tucker used to have a blog (remember what those were?) about hauntings, but they’d never seen a real ghost before meeting Elise. Chapter 3 takes place a few years before the Lambert haunting and the family, desperate for help, calls on these make-shift ghostbusters because Elise is too scared for her life to help anybody. It is Quinn’s case that brings Elise back into the business with a new support team in the duo Specs and Tucker. They’re humorous, kind of stupid but also useful. Also, fun fact, Specs is played by Leigh Whannel aka the writer of the movies and also the director of chapter 3. 

In the Insidious Universe, demons are easily caught on camera and can be seen in both photos and videos. This includes wandering spirits too! Of course, the video of Elise talking is probably a real video and not her spirit. She is a fan-favorite after all. There’s also a whistle that Christian used to wear as a child that Elise found when she went back to their house in The Last Key which was how she contacted her mother for help. It’s also really interesting to see that Dalton wants to be an artist now and we saw him drawing the demon last, bold career choice, my friend. We’re excited to see Insidious: The Red Door and see what new things Patrick Wilson can bring to the table! 


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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