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

Music: Dan Raziel

Cast: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Sinclair Daniel, Hiam Abbass, Andrew Astor, Lin Shaye

Directors: Patrick Wilson
Writers: Scott Teems (screenplay by), Leigh Whannell (story by)
Cinematography: Autumn Eakin

There is something intriguing about the Insidious films. The characters feel like someone you’ve known. The concept of demon possession feels all too realistic. And the storylines across the films, as they intertwine with each other, feel clever and designed to be easy to follow. But the latest chapter, Insidious 5, aka The Red Door, feels like it forgot what the story is all about. So it just reused the first two films’ themes and ideas.

Josh’s (Patrick Wilson) mother has passed away, leaving an already broken Josh even more so. Divorced and with a son, Dalton, that doesn’t speak with him anymore, he’s at his wit’s end. The last few years have been hard on him as his mental health has deteriorated. Trying to find a medical reason for his issues, Josh has to come to terms with the fact that he will have to speak with a counsellor.

Josh’s son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), is off to art school, and to keep his mother happy, he has let his Dad, Josh, drive him to the University. But the road trip doesn’t go to plan when the two end in a nasty verbal fight.

Dalton’s art teacher at school asks him to dig deep into his subconscious and draw what he sees. Having no idea what he’s drawing, a door appears. His vigorous drawing causes his hand to bleed, which covers the door, painting it red. Meanwhile, as Josh attempts to do some memory work, he is attacked by a ghost. At a similar time, Dalton finds himself confronting a ghost. The two quickly realise they have been astral projecting. The situation didn’t make sense to either of them as neither can remember that fateful year Dalton was stuck in The Further, and Josh was possessed.

Managing to take on their own battles, time repeats itself when Josh has to find Dalton in The Further and get him back to safety before their bodies in the real world become possessed by parasites of the dead.

This is Patrick Wilson’s directorial debut. And having been part of this genre for over a decade, he is a perfect candidate for the role. With the help of James Wan (who directed the original) as producer, Wilson manages to tick all the required boxes to deliver a frightening story with some jump scares. 

Ty Simpkins leads the cast in this instalment. All grown up, his character Dalton is very different from how we remember him. His cute, fun, kind, loving persona is no longer. He’s quiet, lost, angry and seems a ways from who he once was. Possessed, he portrays a very frightening demon worthy of nightmares.

The film’s standout is easily Sinclair Daniel as Dalton’s college friend, Chris. While her instant friendship with Dalton seems a little too convenient, her humour carries the film and gives it the required break from the dark. Her delivery and character hold strong throughout, taking her scenes to the next level.

This isn’t the strongest film in the series. It does feel slow to get to the good stuff and then over in a blink. It relies too heavily on the first two films to the point of using original footage. However, it would be justified if this were quickly followed up with another film. Sadly, it seems that won’t be the case, and that red door is firmly shut.