Insidious: The Red Door is the latest instalment in the renowned horror franchise that has captivated audiences with its spine-chilling tales and supernatural scares. While maintaining the essence of the Insidious universe, The Red Door introduces fresh elements, delivering an unsettling and suspenseful viewing experience.
Insidious: The Red Door serves as a fitting conclusion to the beloved horror franchise, offering a gateway for new fans while satisfying longtime followers. The first two films, along with the prequel, showcased the franchise’s ability to create tension, scares, and an intriguing world. However, the fourth entry, Insidious: The Last Key (2018), faltered and affected the franchise’s reputation.
In the fifth instalment, Patrick Wilson makes his directional debut and takes over the reins to move the story forward, bringing back familiar faces in the series. The film picks up nine years after the events of Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), with the Lambert family having no recollection of their previous haunting experiences. The film features the return of several familiar faces including Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins, Rose Byrne, Sinclair Daniel, Hiam Abbass, Andrew Astor, Peter Dager and Lin Shaye.
The film successfully combines elements of psychological horror, supernatural suspense, and family drama, creating a compelling narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Unlike its predecessors, Insidious: The Red Door focuses less on jump scares, opting for a more restrained approach. While there are still moments that will make audiences jump, they don’t reach the heights of the iconic scares from the first Insidious (2011) film.
One of the strengths of Insidious 5 lies in its ability to build tension gradually. The atmospheric cinematography, coupled with an eerie musical score, effectively sets the mood for the film. Patrick Wilson, like the series’ previous director James Wann, has skillfully used darkness and shadows to create a sense of unease, making even the most mundane scenes feel unnerving. The pacing is well-balanced, allowing moments of respite before plunging the audience back into heart-pounding terror.
Surprisingly, the film succeeds in delivering a satisfying conclusion to the story, mainly due to the emotional resonance of the Lambert family. The character moments resonate more than the big set pieces, giving the film a more human touch. This might not sit well with genre purists, but it will please those who have been following the franchise since its inception.
While it does rely heavily on surface-level scares at times, Insidious: The Red Door manages to ground its drama in the father-son dynamic, exploring themes of forgiveness and redemption. However, some aspects, like the supporting cast and college setting, could have been further developed.
Overall, Insidious: The Red Door might not be the scariest entry in the franchise, but it offers a satisfying conclusion to the Lambert family’s terrifying journey into the supernatural realm. First-time director Patrick Wilson brings a grounded approach, emphasising the emotional stakes. The film’s ability to generate dread in the quieter moments compensates for its less-effective jump scares. Insidious: The Red Door wears its heart on its sleeve, making it a worthwhile watch for fans and a solid entry for those new to the franchise.
Final Verdict: 3.5 stars (out of 5)