Patrick Wilson Wanted To Continue The Original Insidious Storyline With The Red Door

The demonic daytime scares of the "Insidious" franchise are back for a fifth installment, "Insidious: The Red Door," due out in theaters on July 7, 2023. In 2011, James Wan's ("Aquaman," "Malignant") original film proved that a PG-13 horror movie could actually be scary, mostly thanks to the toothy grin of The Lipstick Face Demon that terrorized the Lambert family.

In "Insidious: The Red Door," the story picks up 10 years after the events of "Insidious: Chapter 2," with Josh and Renai (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) getting ready to send their now adult son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) to art school. Dalton is still dealing with the psychological effects of combatting supernatural forces as a child, and his paintings seem to awaken the same forces that are determined to take over his body, mind, and soul.

This time around, Wilson is stepping behind the camera for the first time as a director, and filling the shoes of Wan and writer Leigh Whannell (who also directed "Insidious: Chapter 3") was a responsibility that weighed on Wilson at first. "I think I was scared of trying to fit in James' shoes and Leigh's and gosh, the comparisons," Wilson told IGN. "My fear of wanting to step into this genre and specifically back into the 'Insidious' world and take the reins, it lasted about 24 hours."

Having Wilson direct this next adventure into the paranormal realm of The Further has a certain symmetry to it, and keeps everything in the family, so to speak. The fact that Simpkins is also returning to the role of Dalton — the same part he played as a young boy over 10 years ago — also feels like a homecoming of sorts for the franchise.

Going forward, not backwards in the timeline

You may be done with the past, but the past isn't done with you. That nugget of wisdom is never more true than it is for tormented families trapped in a horror franchise that won't let them find any peace. Catching up with the timeline in the present day, "Insidious: The Red Door" creaks open to unleash the same entities that have now invaded the lives of the Lamberts for a generation. When Patrick Wilson agreed to return as star and director, he wanted to explore the trauma inflicted in the earlier films and see if there was any potential for the family to weaponize the curse that's followed them around for over a decade. He explained to IGN:

"I wanted to unpack everything that happened at the end of 'Insidious 2.' I really wanted to finish this Lambert trilogy and I wanted to, again, without giving the storyline away, I wanted to push this generational curse even more. What does that mean? When does a curse become a blessing? Is a blessing a curse?"

Previously, the Lamberts have been hypnotized, comatosed, and terrorized during their efforts to rid themselves of that family curse. What kind of damage does that do to a family over time? That's a compelling place to start for a father-son relationship that has to pick up the pieces and then suddenly deal with a new threat. Although now, Dalton is an adult who can fend for himself and may not need the protection of his family. In fact, the family may only make things worse. Those are potentially some heavy hitting issues that Wilson and screenwriter Scott Teems ("Halloween Kills") wanted to explore.

What Patrick Wilson loves about horror

Patrick Wilson seems to have every confidence that he can deliver a frightening and worthy follow-up to one of the most successful horror franchises in recent memory. What made the original "Insidious" so effective was largely due to director James Wan and scribe Leigh Whannell who managed to turn the genre on its head with fresh, exciting ideas and new ways to deliver the classic jump scare. Wilson was determined not to move too far away from what Wan and Whannell first envisioned back in 2011, telling IGN:

"I wanted to take all these little breadcrumbs that James had left along the way and [ask] what does that do to a kid in college? I just dove in from there and the generational curses and giving to the relationship of father and son and what that does to their relationship and the aftermath of what happened in 'Insidious 2.'"

Wilson has always been a student of film and has never shied away from the horror genre, appearing in multiple installments of "The Conjuring," the Stephen King adaptation "In the Tall Grass," and now, another go around inside the treacherous world of "Insidious." Of course, these properties have been hugely successful, but that's not the only reason Wilson keeps coming back for more scares. "You're dealing with a lot of very heavy subjects, but there's really no better genre to explore that than horror because it really becomes very operatic," explained Wilson. "That's what I love about horror."

The right way to marathon all the Insidious films

Over the last few entries of the "Insidious" franchise, the timeline has gotten a little confusing, admittedly. Luckily, acting powerhouse and genre staple, Lin Shaye is here to light the way out of The Further and get you back home in one piece. In the original film, Shaye is introduced as a compassionate psychic medium named Elise Rainer, who descends upon the Lambert household, along with her ghost-busting cohorts Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), to gather evidence of the paranormal and help exorcise whatever evil spirits are lurking around. Tragically, Elsie dies in the first film, but due to some clever writing and flashbacks, she reappears in "Insidious: Chapter 2" in a somewhat derivative sequel. At this point in the series, the timeline is mostly intact.

Shaye then returns front and center in "Insidious: Chapter 3" which serves as a prequel and origin story for Elise that takes place a few years before the first film. In "Insidious: The Last Key," Shaye stars in yet another prequel that takes place in 2010 (with flashbacks that explore Elise's abusive childhood in the 1950s). Then, the ending of "The Last Key" pulls a "Rogue One" and leads right into the events of "Insidious."

With that all laid out, in preparation for "Insidious: The Red Door," and to enjoy the maximum dose of Lin Shaye, here's the correct chronological order to watch the series: "Insidious: Chapter 3," "Insidious: The Last Key," "Insidious," "Insidious: Chapter 2," and finally, "Insidious: The Red Door."

And not to worry: Lin Shaye appears in the trailer for "The Red Door" on what appears to be an old video recording, So rest assured, Elise's story will continue on for at least one more film.