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Insidious: The Red Door Moments That Made Our Skin Crawl

Contains spoilers for "Insidious: The Red Door"

The "Insidious" franchise returns with "Insidious: The Red Door," which seems to be the final chapter for the Lambert family as it sees its central father and son resurrect past demons long after their first horrifying encounter. The film picks up nine years after the events of "Insidious: Chapter 2," in which Josh (Patrick Wilson) and his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) had their memories of the Further — and the horrors they experienced there — suppressed. While they've been safe for quite some time, Josh and Dalton start to find clues about the past they can't remember, which ends up re-opening the door to the Further. With their connection to that cruel and evil dimension re-established, Josh and Dalton must deal with old and new enemies that look to use them for their own destructive purposes. 

With Wilson also taking on directing duties for this entry, "Insidious: The Red Door" acts as a scary culmination of the franchise's history and delivers plenty of terrifying sequences that leave viewers unsettled from the start. Like its predecessors, "The Red Door" features plenty of grotesque specters and demons as well as nerve-shredding jump scares that'll make viewers squirm in their seats. "The Red Door" easily could be considered one of the scariest horror films of the summer, so let's delve into all the moments that made our skin crawl and left us totally shaken. 

A stalking specter

Even before the film's title comes onto the screen and fans are treated to some eerie opening credits, "Insidious: The Red Door" gets audiences' hearts pumping with an incredibly suspenseful sequence. The opening moments of "The Red Door" are actually more sad than scary, as we're reintroduced to the Lambert family attending the funeral of Josh's mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey). There, we come to see that Josh and Renai (Rose Byrne) have gone through a divorce because of Josh's memory struggles and the painful past they've gone through together — which has also caused Josh and Dalton to have a strained relationship, with Dalton leaving to attend college. 

It's honestly rough to watch and instantly brings out some emotional pain within Josh that's present throughout the film. However, it's when Josh gets in the car and starts to text Dalton that things turn from sad to frightening. As Josh is texting, a strange-looking figure slowly approaches Josh's car from behind, its shambling walk definitely making its presence unsettling. Given this franchise's history, we know that nothing good is coming from this unseen figure. But before it can do anything to Josh, he starts to drive away just as the opening credits begin. While nothing too dire happens, this sequence excellently sets the tone and shows that Josh's reconnection with the Further has already begun. 

Art imitating life

Dalton's first art class at college with the very intense Professor Armagen (Hiam Abbass) starts off well but takes a demonic turn. While Dalton is able to make a good impression on his new instructor with his first project, her next assignment for him ends up unexpectedly making his connection to the Further grow stronger. As he relaxes into his next piece, he starts vigorously drawing something — which turns out to be the door to the Further that's starting to re-open.

For the viewer, it's easy to become hypnotized by Dalton's fast drawing movements and the creepy image of the door that starts to come together. But what makes this scene terrifying is the sudden jump scare that comes from Dalton's hand being slammed into the canvas, causing blood to splatter and giving the door a very sickening red color. 

The noise and sudden appearance of a burned-up hand makes this probably the best and most effective jump scare of the film. It's the kind of scare that catches everyone off guard and leaves them fearful of what will come next. 

A doctor's visit gone wrong

To better understand why his memory has been so foggy for the last few years, Josh seeks professional help by going to a doctor who can perform an MRI. At first, the appointment seems pretty routine, with the doctor telling Josh that the machine will provide a look at his brain to see if there are any issues. However, once Josh is in the scanning machine, the lights suddenly turn off and Josh becomes stuck in the machine with no one seemingly around to help. For audiences, it's clear that he's become sucked into the Further and it doesn't take long for a horrifying figure to appear. 

Initially, the creepy undead medical patient appears behind Josh's head and nearly touches him with his gruesome hand. When Josh looks behind him, however, there's no one there. But when he quickly turns to look forward again, the figure rushes towards him in a violent manner. Luckily, Josh is brought back to reality just in time, and is told by the doctor that he was merely sleeping. The doctor might not have found anything wrong with Josh, but this scene is a horrifying sign of worse things to come and Josh's screams of terror in the machine are completely convincing and warranted. 

A former frat member

Although Dalton isn't interested in attending a local frat party at first, his eccentric new roommate Chris (Sinclair Daniel) pulls him to the party — which results in him encountering another gross entity from the Further. Before the festivities start, frat leader Nick (Peter Dager) tells everyone at the party to drink responsibly since they had a previous incident where someone died from over-intoxication. While the gory details of the incident are left unsaid, Dalton comes face to face with this former frat member and he does not look like he died well. 

Just as he attempts to leave Nick's bedroom, Dalton tries to help someone he hears violently throwing up in the bathroom. However, he comes to see that it's the spirit of the boy who died in the frat house — who is covered in vomit and looks gross. Dalton's attempt to hide from the entity under Nick's bed only works for so long, as it just leads to a suspenseful sequence that sees the entity kneel closer to Dalton. Even when Dalton tries to make a break for it, the entity quickly catches him in a vulnerable position and proceeds to vomit all over him. 

Thankfully, none of this is real and Chris finds Dalton terrified, but not covered in ghost vomit. It's a sequence full of stomach-churning suspense and visuals that no viewer will forget. 

Home invader

Per the doctor's orders, Josh attempts to strengthen his memory by playing a classic mental game where he's tasked with remembering where two of the same photo are in a grid. While it's nice to see Josh try and fix things within himself to regain his lost relationship with Dalton, his game is rudely interrupted by that same presence that stalked him in the opening. This time, the shambling entity is seen behind the window covered in photos — initially standing across the street but slowly making his way towards the house. 

Every time Josh resets the game and changes around some photos, it's hard not to grip the arm of your seat tighter. The suspense is palpable and Wilson does a great job stretching the intensity of the scene out to a nerve-shredding extent. Eventually though, the tension is broken when the figure crashes through the window and starts to chase and attack Josh throughout the house. Their fight makes its way to a bedroom where Josh thinks he can fight back, but he is ultimately overcome and thrown into a closet — which causes him to slip into the Further briefly. Josh's memory game takes a very scary turn that makes this sequence one of the most tense of the film, leaving viewers on edge throughout. 

Revisiting the Further

As Dalton deals with the lingering fear of what he saw at the frat house, he eventually falls asleep in his room, causing him to slip into the Further. While we've seen Dalton and Josh go into the Further for brief times throughout the film, this is the first extended visit. At first, nothing too drastic happens, as Dalton walks through halls and even plays a bit of a prank on Chris by playing her instrument while she's sleeping. But Dalton quickly comes to understand his power in the Further and bolts when Chris starts to see the results of his actions. It's honestly pretty creepy to see things from Chris' perspective as she notices her instrument fall out of thin air and her door slam on its own. 

Yet that's not even the most terrifying moment of this scene. That comes when Dalton is running back to his room and a creepy entity can be seen tailing him. This is our first real glimpse at the return of the Lipstick-Face Demon (Joseph Bishara), who nearly grabs Dalton before he's able to close the door and return to his body. Even while the first trip back into the Further is far from being the scariest scene in the film, it still manages to provide a terrifying close call. 

Near-death experience

To gain a better understanding of what's happening to him, Dalton tells Chris that he wants to go back to the frat house to talk with the vomiting entity he encountered there and see what he can learn. While Dalton's idea and intentions are good, things take a nasty turn once he enters the Further. Dalton ends up not only being unable to find the entity again in Nick's bathroom, but he ends up putting Chris' life in jeopardy when the demons of the Further start to enter the real world. 

A demon suddenly appears and begins choking Chris, while Dalton's attempt to head back to the room to save her is thwarted by him getting grabbed by another demon through the wall. This leads to Chris nearly dying and Dalton almost getting stuck in the Further for longer than he wanted. Thankfully, Nick resuscitates Chris and both she and Dalton are able to leave with their lives. Things turn bad in this sequence quickly, and watching Dalton and Chris face some potentially fatal consequences makes it much more tense and unsettling.  

Placed in the past

After seeing the picture of the door start to form into something totally horrifying, Dalton decides to go deeper into the Further than he's gone before in the film and ends up in a place that "Insidious" fans will instantly recognize. Dalton finds himself transported into a basement that seems unfamiliar at first, but holds a secret that's been suppressed in his memories for years. As fans remember, at the end of "Chapter 2" a possessed Josh is hunting his family down in the basement and literally going into full "Jack Torrance" mode. Well, Dalton finds himself right in the middle of this sequence again as viewers are taken with him to one of the darker moments of this franchise's past. 

As Dalton watches, he comes to understand how fearful he, his younger brother, and his mother are of Josh and nearly sees his father take a hammer to his younger self — who is exploring the Further to help his father. Unlike in "Chapter 2," paranormal investigator Specs (Leigh Whannell) doesn't rush in to stop Josh and the adult Dalton actually charges at his father. While Dalton's actions might seem helpful, it ends up only pulling him deeper into the trap that's unfolding. It's terrifying to be brought back into the tense finale of "Chapter 2," but it's the perfect way to kick off this film's big finale. 

Under new ownership

Dalton's trip into the Further only leads to ruin as he comes face to face with the Lipstick-Face Demon — who has sinister plans of its own in the works. At first, it seems like Dalton is trapped in the demon's horrifying room, but he suddenly reawakens in the real world, making viewers likely think that he somehow got away. However, his creepy smile and unsettling demeanor hint that something else has happened, and it's not too long until the truth is revealed. It turns out that Dalton never made it back from The Further as he's been trapped by the Lipstick-Face Demon — who has now taken over Dalton's power and displays some vicious force. 

Dalton's demonic facial expressions and the black-looking blood pouring out of his mouth as he's possessed are so unnerving that they'll instantly frighten anyone. Not to mention that he quickly throws Chris into the wall like a rag doll. It was bad enough when Josh got possessed in "Chapter 2," but Dalton's possession gives off more daunting and dangerous vibes that make the whole ordeal truly terrifying. 

Stuck in hell

While Dalton is possessed by the Lipstick-Face Demon, he's stuck in the demon's quarters in the Further — which is pretty much like being stuck in hell. Coming back to the Lipstick-Face Demon's domain is never fun and always manages to enhance the haunting atmosphere of all the entity's appearances in the franchise. The evil red tint of its room establishes the mood, while the type of music it plays creates chilling vibes that make the viewer want to escape this hellish nightmare as quickly as possible. Plus the entity gives off a dominating sense of control in this realm, so characters feel out of their comfort zone as soon as they step into its domain. 

With "The Red Door," all these elements are elevated to horrifying new heights and the visual of Dalton being shackled to the floor and being trapped under chairs is legitimately scary. The Lipstick-Face Demon only further proves how frightening it is to face and how no character wants to be stuck in its twisted game.  

They're coming from everywhere

After the Lipstick-Face Demon leaves Dalton's body to stop Josh and Dalton in the Further, Chris works on a plan to save Dalton by using strings of lights to bring him back to his body. However, that plan doesn't work for long, as other entities from the Further start to invade the room and make their way towards her and Dalton's lifeless body. It genuinely feels like a scene in a zombie movie, with horrifying creatures pouring into the room and surrounding the helpless victims. 

Every entity seen here has a creepiness to it that's tough to shake, and can contort its body in disturbing ways that makes it capable of coming through even the tightest of spaces, raising the stakes in an already tense, pressing situation. 

Thankfully, nothing fatal occurs, as the entities disappear once Dalton is able to return to reality. However, there's no forgetting the tension that comes from Chris suffering another close brush with death, and it leads into the final moments of Dalton and Josh fighting back against their past demons. 

Hold the door

Even though Dalton doesn't want to leave his father in the Further, Josh tells him to run while he attempts to keep the titular door to the Further shut for good. It's an emotional sacrifice by Josh that acts as redemption for his failure as a father, but it nearly comes to nothing. Not even Josh can hold the Lipstick-Face Demon back and it seems as if the events of "Chapter 2" will repeat themselves. The demon's face peering out of the hole in the door is downright haunting and there's a lot of suspense built into this moment of Josh doing everything he can to keep the Further from breaking out. 

Dalton doesn't quit on his father though, and ends up helping him keep the door closed by painting over the drawing of the door. The gross black paint washing over the door adds some strong visual horror to the otherwise victorious moment and that last look from the Lipstick-Face Demon is undeniably chilling. The finale of "The Red Door" certainly doesn't let off the gas in providing some horrifying moments and tense sequences, as the Lamberts close this disturbing chapter in their lives.