Insidious: The Red Door (Blu-ray)

The Lamberts must go deeper into The Further than ever before to put their demons to rest once and for all.

October 2, 2023 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

When it comes to horror movies, or any movie that turns a profit, it seems that the “franchise” is the goal. No longer do we have one off films, there’s got to be a sequel and, heaven forbid, a trilogy. It was spoken in Scream way back in the late 90’s “…it’s all about the trilogy.” And it’s true. Looking back, I found it somewhat odd that actor (and now “director”) Patrick Wilson was so closely associated with not one, but two horror franchises. In 2010 Insidious premiered, which spawned a sequel and just a few years later he was one of the stars of The Conjuring (itself the subject of a “universe” of films). Is it me or is that utterly confusing? I’m sure we have our favorites when it comes to those starring Mr. Wilson. Nevertheless, both films have run their course with the Insidious movies capping off at 5 and The Conjuring with 3 (and counting).  You know what, let’s just get to the plot of what this one is about and I’ll leave it to you to debate the horror movie universe(s).

Much has changed for Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson). We last saw him at the end of Insidious 2 when he and son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) had all their memories of the supernatural ordeal purged. This has caused some pretty big problems for Josh and his wife, Renai (Rose Byrne). They’re now divorced thanks to his behavior and his rapport with his son, a now a freshman in college, to falter. But it’s the dreams that both father and son have, about an ominous red door that’s painted by Dalton in his art class. Neither can remember the past so both try to figure out its meaning. Of course, we’ve got the obligatory jump scares, a few scenes with demons and even a nice little fraternity party to lighten the mood. Will father and son finally have a resolution or are they doomed?

There’s nothing particularly “bad” about this film. It does tie everything together and even the ending scene is a bit…fitting. But coming from someone who missed the films in the middle, I was a bit lost in a few instances. It’s no big deal, though as the movie does seem to stand on its own. Wilson’s direction is good. He’s got enough experience in front of the camera to make a natural progression. He seems to excel at the more dialogue-driven scenes, but the “action/horror” segments are a bit hit and miss. I mean, how many times can we see a scary figure approach from behind and still continue to be scared? Insidious: The Red Door won’t change your life, but it serves as a nice bookend to the franchise. Hopefully.

Video: How’s it look?

All of the films in this franchise share somewhat of the same look. That being said, I found the deliberately muted color palette to have many blacks and grays prevail. There is some very sparse use of brighter colors, namely red, but I won’t ruin the surprise for anyone there. Most of the action takes place either indoors or at night, so we don’t get a lot of bright, outdoorsy colors. Detail is amazing, we can see every facial hair on Patrick Wilson’s face and even the drawings seem to look like you could reach out and touch them. It’s a good effort and certainly indicative of a new to Blu-ray movie.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Horror movies usually make some of the best use of sound namely to convey certain key points in the movie. Thankfully this does make some good use of the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, though it’s a bit predictable when we’re going to get that “jump” only to see a scary image. Dialogue sounds very clear and natural and surrounds do play a part in the film, though not as much as I’d liked. Most of the more robust sound takes place during the third act, as we might suspect, and though not over the top this movie does make very good use of the sound.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Past, Present, Further – A look at the entire series as a whole (all five films) as this one, we think, wraps everything up.
  • A Possessed Director – Patrick Wilson, who also starred, makes his directorial debut and we get a bit of insight as to why.

The Bottom Line

I saw Insidious about ten years ago and had honestly felt that the franchise died off after a sequel. Nope. More then a decade later we’ve got the fifth (and final?) installment. This one does get back to basics, but there’s really nothing we didn’t see in the first few films that wasn’t seen here. Fans of the franchise will be happy with this, but I’m more of a fan of The Conjuring than this.

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