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The Insidious: The Red Door Trailer Is Filled With Callbacks For Franchise Fans

The "Insidious" franchise is returning to beckon its fans back once more into the Further with a fifth chapter — "Insidious: The Red Door." Directed by series star Patrick Wilson and with creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan serving as producers, the film's first trailer already makes it clear that the team is prepared to dig into what made the series iconic in the first place.

Nods to previous films in the "Insidious" series will crop up for the viewer before they even hit play on the trailer, as the title itself harkens back to its origins. The titular "Red Door" and doorways, in general, have been metaphorically associated with the insidiously thin separation between realms of light and darkness in this universe, and how beings can cross over often as easily as walking through a doorway. There is also a literal red door in the spiritual copy of the Lamberts' home in the Further, behind which the "Lipstick-Face Demon" lives. It's also worth noting that, in the real world, red doors are actually benevolent symbols of welcoming with roots in early American architecture. (Maybe the Demon just wants to hang?)

A later moment in the trailer for "The Red Door" brings back another classic piece of the franchise — the Tiny Tim song "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," which could be heard in one of the first trailers for "Insidious" almost 15 years ago. In the film itself, the song plays on a record in the Demon's lair in the Further. As a result of both of these uses, the song has become closely associated with the series' better days, and its inclusion in "The Red Door" is likely meant to assure longtime fans that this fifth installment will see a return to form for the "Insidious" franchise.

Dalton is still an artistic kid

The first trailer for "The Red Door" also reveals that Dalton Lambert (the young boy from the first film, played by Ty Simpkins) is now a teenager, and has decided to enroll in art school for his undergraduate education — take that, STEM! From the university's grand outward appearance, it seems that the troubled child has managed to break into quite a prestigious learning environment.

This may have something to do with his ... unique painting style and choice of subjects, brought on by a childhood wrought with complex, buried demonic trauma (typical art major). He's seen expressing his darkness through equally bleak paintings in class, just as he once did when he was a child in the first film.

Around the same time in the trailer, we also see someone (likely Dalton or one of his young, tech-fluent peers) using a metronome app on their phone. It even has an annoyingly obligatory bar-ad at the top of the screen for some other virus of a smartphone app, because, like most art students, Dalton can't afford the ad-free version of "MetrophoneLITE" (trust us, we feel his pain). Of course, this is simply a digital alternative to the pseudo-bespoke wooden metronomes seen throughout the series and even this very trailer.

The Red Door pays specific homage to Insidious: Chapter 2

Two moments in the trailer seemingly make direct reference to the second installment of the franchise — and funnily enough, they both happen almost exactly two minutes into the trailer's runtime.

The first reference shows Josh raising something bludgeonous above his head while standing over someone unseen, while Dalton and his mother, Renai Lambert (Rose Byrne), scream in helpless horror. This is almost a shot-for-shot mirror of a scene from "Insidious: Chapter 2," in which Josh raises a hammer above his head to kill Dalton (relax, readers, he was possessed by a demon or something). This could be a simple callback, though it could also be a full-blown astral-time-travel moment where Dalton witnesses what his father almost did to him — which looks pretty bad if your mind has been erased of the whole "demon-possession" context.

The second comes not long after when a raspy voice draws Dalton to a tin can telephone. In "Chapter 2," Dalton plays a similarly messed-up game of telephone while accidentally astral projecting in his sleep, almost resulting in his body being snatched by a legion of demons.

Lin Shaye returns as Elise

Even Lin Shaye gets to come back for "The Red Door," reviving her role as Elise Rainier from the previous films. No, they aren't actually reviving her — she's still very much dead after getting Darth Vader'd by Josh at the end of the first film. Thankfully, Patrick Wilson, James Wan, and Leigh Whannell knew it wouldn't be the same without her, so they found yet another creative way to resurrect her – by giving her the cinematic equivalent of the Arnim Zola treatment and trapping her essence in an analog machine (which most spiritual experts agree is a fate worse than death). Then again, as long as they keep returning to the Further, it wouldn't be that hard to bring her back in the present day as much as they like — just as they did in "Chapter 2."

Also returning to co-star alongside Shaye is famed character actor "The Lipstick-Face Demon," who is still making himself known in the creepiest way possible — touching your freshly cleaned sheets. Just like in the original movie, his touch leaves a disturbing red handprint, which probably won't come out without holy water, and a Tide stick.

Josh and Dalton swap places

Like father, like son — it seems as though Dalton is going through many of the same trials his dad went through to save his life in the first "Insidious" film. Earlier in the trailer, he wanders through the Further terrified but determined, armed with only a hanging lantern. Josh had to do the exact same thing with a similar lantern at the end of the first entry in order to rescue Dalton from the Demon's lair.

This time, however, it seems as though Dalton must now rescue his father. Later in the trailer, he's seen standing over Josh, seemingly to help him off the ground in the Further. When Josh looks back at him, he sees the Demon standing over Dalton's shoulder. This staging has been used throughout the series to indicate that the Demon is nearby, though this moment is specifically quoting a shot from the first film — a particularly memorable jumpscare in which the Demon appears without notice behind Josh's shoulder during a scene of dialogue.

Just as Patrick Wilson is stepping into a new role as director, Dalton (and Ty Simpkins) seems to be stepping into Josh's shoes as the protagonist of the story. Perhaps this new era of the franchise will see Wilson stepping back behind the camera completely, with Josh taking his on-screen bow in order to pass the torch to his son.