This article contains spoilers
It may seem hard to believe, but the Insidious franchise is getting long in the tooth! The first Insidious movie was released all the way back in 2010, kickstarting an unlikely string of movies under the watchful eye of Saw horror duo Leigh Whannell and James Wan.
At first, the franchise focused on the Lambert family, whose move to a new home coincided with their son Dalton falling into a mysterious coma. They soon found out that it wasn’t their home that was haunted, but their family. Thanks to the Lamberts’ ability to astral project their consciousnesses, they can access “The Further”, a purgatory dimension where they’re at risk of attracting restless spirits, demonic and otherwise.
The Further has been a central part of Insidious lore ever since, with two prequel movies telling stories outside of the Lambert family drama. But the heart of the franchise has always been the relationship between the family’s patriarch, Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), and his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins). So in 2023, Insidious decided to bring the series back to its roots with The Red Door.
What Happens in The Red Door?
Almost a decade after being possessed by the ghost of an old woman from his childhood, Josh is an extremely divorced man with a whole ton of repressed memories. His mother is dead, and he is estranged from his son Dalton. The pair’s spiritual troubles go beyond that, though. Josh is being haunted by the ghost of his father, and Dalton is beginning to unlock his supernatural abilities again in college after randomly drawing a creepy picture of the red door that is used to enter The Further.
Eventually, Josh unravels the truth of his family’s long history with astral projection, and realizes he needs to save Dalton from being trapped in The Further again. His ex-wife Renai (Rose Byrne) helps him rescue Dalton, who is being possessed by the red-faced demon while his body is confined to its lair.
Josh decides to stay behind in The Further to keep the Red Door shut, hoping this will prevent his son from coming to any future harm, but Dalton has his own plan to stay safe, painting over the picture he created of the Red Door with black paint. Luckily, it turns out Josh can safely return to the world of the living, and at the end of the movie it seems like the broken Lambert family may yet be mended.
The Red Door’s Post-Credits Scene Explained
In The Red Door’s post-credits scene, we find out that even though Dalton may have painted over the door to The Further, there’s still a very real chance that the nightmare isn’t really over because the light above door suddenly flickers back on. Theoretically, the Lambert family may be safe, because Josh has made peace with his late father, and Dalton has sealed off access to The Further. The ghost of the demonologist Josh killed when he was possessed, Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), also appears to Josh at the end of the film and tells him he has a bright future, which suggests that the Lambert family is now in a good spot.
But in the third Insidious movie, Chapter 3, unrelated teenager Quinn Brenner was also drawn into The Further. Whether that was only due to her connection with Elise was never made clear, but it appears that it’s only a matter of time before some other unlucky person opens the door one way or another. Though the franchise has tried to loosely cling to Elise and the Lamberts by hopping back and forth in time to produce sequels and prequels, The Red Door does indeed feel like the real end of this chapter, but also a glimmer of something new.
Was The Red Door Successful Enough to Continue the Franchise?
The Red Door was in fact a huge success, making almost $190 million at the box office from only an $18 million budget. Staggeringly, the Insidious franchise as a whole has now grossed over $730 million worldwide on a combined budget of just $42.5 million. The film series is a serious cash cow for Sony and Blumhouse, and it’s incredibly unlikely that they would stop making Insidious films now, especially given the success of The Red Door, which has actually become the highest-grossing film of the series.
Given the money that these movies have made at the box office, it’s no surprise that The Red Door’s post-credits scene hints at some kind of active future for the Insidious franchise, but what does that even look like?
Believe it or not, Screen Gems, Blumhouse and Atomic Monster already revealed their new Insidious plans before The Red Door was even released. In May 2023, news broke that a spinoff movie called Thread: An Insidious Tale was in the works. The project is set to star Mandy Moore (Dr. Death) and Kumail Nanjiani (Eternals), and will be directed by Moon Knight’s Jeremy Slater.
Only a little is known about the spinoff film to date, but Deadline confirmed that Thread: An Insidious Tale would not continue the story of the series, instead “examining everyday people caught up with demonic entities”. Nanjiani and Moore will play a married couple who use magic to go back in time and save their young daughter from a deadly fate, with disturbing results.
Additionally, a long-in-gestation crossover movie between the Insidious and Sinister franchises has been brewing behind the scenes, but there hasn’t been much progress made on it in the last five years. Whether it will ever happen is anyone’s guess!