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‘Insidious: The Red Door’ Review: Patrick Wilson Directs a Desultory Entry in the Hit Franchise



If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t given too much thought to what happened to the Lambert family after the end of 2013’s. Insidious: Chapter 2. After all, their story seemed to have come to a definitive close, and even the filmmakers didn’t seem to particularly care since they continued the franchise with two prequels. But since horror films are money in the bank even in the post-pandemic theatergoing era, now comes Insidious: The Red Door, which revisits the original characters ten years later. You won’t be surprised to hear that they’re not doing very well.

Well, Renai (Rose Byrne) seems okay, since she had the good sense to divorce Josh (Patrick Wilson, who makes his directorial debut with this purportedly final installment) after he tried to kill her and the children. (He was possessed by a demon spirit after entering the spirit world known as “The Further,” but still…) And Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey, unfortunately seen only in photographs) has just died, so we don’t have to worry. about her anymore.

Insidious: The Red Door

The Bottom Line

Time to close the door.

Release date: Friday, July 7
Cast: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Sinclair Daniel, Hiam Abbass, Rose Byrne
Director: Patrick Wilson
Screenwriter: Scott Teems

Rated PG-13, 1 hour 47 minutes

But things are not okay for the emotionally adrift Josh, who’s mourning the loss of his marriage, and his teenage son Dalton (Ty Simpkins, reprising his role from the first two films), with whom he has a strained relationship. In an effort to patch things up, Josh — who along with Dalton has had his horrific memories of his past experiences repressed by a handy dose of hypnotherapy — offers to drive his son to college, where he’s beginning his freshman year.

It doesn’t go well, with the sullen teenager resistant to his father’s attempts at camaraderie, which includes encouraging him to attend a frat party. Things improve marginally, for both Dalton and the film, with the arrival of Chris (Sinclair Daniel), a wittily lively young woman who’s been mistakenly assigned to be his roommate. She becomes Dalton’s friend and confidant, which is no easy task because he doesn’t exactly have a sparkling personality.

Both father and son soon find themselves experiencing disturbing visions as well as astral projecting themselves into all sorts of PG-13-rated frightening situations. Director Wilson effectively piles on the jump scares with such repetitiveness that you’ll wish your theater seat came equipped with a seatbelt. But the horrors behind that infamous Red Door, filled with demonic figures who look like understudies for a Kiss tour, are purely of the superficial jolting variety. The only genuinely unsettling episode involves Josh being trapped in an MRI machine; Anyone who’s ever experienced being inside one of those infernal contraptions will definitely have a flashback to their own panic attack, even if it didn’t involve a monstrous figure being inside with you.

Scott Teems’ screenplay, based on a story by him and series co-creator Leigh Whannell (who returns for a cameo as the geeky Specs), attempts to infuse the spooky proceedings with drama revolving around Josh’s lingering guilt and revelations about the father he never knew. knew, who’s now apparently haunting him. But none of it has much impact, despite Wilson’s best efforts to provide character-driven texture.

Series fans will enjoy the reappearances of many characters from the other films, including Lin Shaye’s psychic (she died in a previous installment, but death is no impediment to cameos in films like this), although it’s unfortunate that the always-welcome Byrne is relegated to a minor role. Even Wilson receives less screen time than Simpkins, who is forced to carry the film despite the burden of his character being a real bummer. Fortunately, there’s Daniel, who provides some much-needed comic juice to the otherwise desultory goings-on, and Hiam Abbass (Succession), projecting her usual authority as Dalton’s art professor.

Patrick Wilson fans are familiar with his terrific musical theater turns in such Broadway shows as The Full Monty and Oklahoma! will want to stick around for the end credits, featuring his vocals on a heavy metal song with the Swedish rock band Ghost.

Full credits

Production companies: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Stage 6 Films
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Cast: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Sinclair Daniel, Hiam Abbass, Rose Byrne
Director: Patrick Wilson
Screenwriter: Scott Teems
Producers: Jason Blum, Oren Peli, James Wan, Leigh Whannell
Executive producers: Steven Schneider, Ryan Turek, Charles Layton, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Director of photography: Autumn Eakin
Production designer: Adam Reamer
Editors: Derek, Ambrosi, Michel Aller
Costume designer: Dajia Milan
Composer: Joseph Bishara
Casting: Terri Taylor, Ally Conover

Rated PG-13, 1 hour 47 minutes

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