Insidious: The Red Door has been one of the most anticipated movies in 2023. This film grossed well over $500 Million worldwide, making this film one of the highest grossing film out of the now five film franchise. Although, after the movie hit theaters, there were a plethora of mixed reviews after many fans saw this film. Many said that it was an amazing, chilling, and well done movie while others have called this film words associated with disappointing.
This film was not shot by the original director, James Wan, the one who had filmed the rest of the series as well as The Conjuring franchise. This movie comes to theaters with a big 10 year difference, with the original family and actors. It also reaches back into earlier films to pick up some information for inspiration with this last gem, making the connections feel smooth.
This review will have some spoilers of Insidious: The Red Door, still in theaters now.
Story: Opening New Doors
Or should I say… reopening old doors? After ten years, they have come back to the big screen, even though the last film in the franchise was five years ago. This movie opens up to a shot of the beloved family we know and adored from the first two films; The Lamberts. Dressed in black, the audience sees that the occasion was indeed set on a hill of sadness. Lorriane, Josh’s mother, had passed away and the family is there to pay respects, possibly share memories and console one another.
Josh and their eldest son, Dalton, try to reconcile after a separation between Josh and Renai by taking Dalton to college, having a little bonding time together. Everything was sweet and dandy, Dalton was pursuing his love for art and his father was getting the help he needed. That was until things began to creep back into its original horror-filled tie of scares and suspense.
The story lies before us introducing the two major plot points that this film will sit on – Dalton and Josh Lambert. The story felt like an original Insidious film, more so like the first two to three films. Although not as beloved as the first two, the story behind The Red Door was original but a bit nostalgic, which made the film more loved than people anticipated for.
Characters and Performance – Brilliantly Executed
This story is mostly focused on two characters, but that doesn’t mean that the family isn’t less important. It is primarily focused on Dalton and Josh in this story, rather than the whole family itself. I don’t know about many of the fans, but I myself enjoyed seeing this last chapter through their eyes because of the way their memories come back slowly, but gradually.
I especially enjoyed Dalton’s half of the story. Ty Simpkins’ performance as the lovable and courageous Dalton is down right perfect. Even though it had been ten years since Insidious Chapter 2, Ty Simpkins really put into perspective how much Dalton had grown up, how much he presents his emotions to his only friend Sinclair, or Chris as we know, and towards his father.
Cinematography and Sound – Chillingly Nostalgic and Ear Perking
Like any other horror movie, The Red Door had some very well done jump scares. This movie achieved the very nostalgic feeling of suspense, thrilling and well timed scares. The Insidious series directed by James Wan has an amazing way of filming; the transitions working smoothly together, the different camera angles showing certain emotions in a scene such as fear. The sound effects are on point with each suspenseful scene and the various surround sound effects it has in different scenes when the camera turns around on a person to a different part of the scene.
The scenes with Dalton and Josh each had their own unique sound effects and cinematography. A particular nostalgic feeling was when Dalton’s astral form was locked away by the lipstick demon and he had gotten a hold of Dalton’s live form. While watching Chris put the fairy lights up in his room because of an outage, remembering that he hated sleeping without the lights on. When the flicker of the lights go on and off, talking to Dalton as if nothing is happening, and seeing in the background his face deforming into a more sinister look was one of the best scenes. It gave such a thrilling scene of his transformation, and when the scene turned to his astral form trapped, it was a call back to his scene in the first film when he was 10 years old and trapped by the same demon.
Editing and Pacing – Horrifyingly Different
Editing and pacing goes hand in hand with Cinematography. For many people, the editing and pacing did not sit well with them. This movie had a handful of mixed reviews, saying that the pacing of the movie was a bit off and confusing. The editing, in my opinion, was phenomenal as it helped with the cinematography and the feel of the movie.
It is understandably apparent seeing a difference in the pacing and editing of the movie. After all, it wasn’t directed by James Wan. Instead, Patrick Wilson took a jab at his first directorial role and it was pretty decent. It seemed like Patrick tried to imitate James Wan’s way of directing to make this movie nostalgic, succeeding in most ways.
All in all, I personally enjoyed this movie, despite the controversy.