Life & Culture

Insidious: The Red Door review - Neither scary nor entertaining

Fifth outing in Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s franchise quickly descends into cliched horror tropes


This image released by Sony Pictures shows Ty Simpkins in Screen Gems' "Insidious: The Red Door." (Sony Pictures via AP)

Insidious: The Red Door
Cert: 15 | ★★✩✩✩

Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s Insidious horror franchise has remained immune to underwhelming critical response. With its films often hitting the $100 million mark at the box office, the franchise has become a regular fixture in the cinematic schedule.

This is its fifth outing and marks the directorial debut of actor Patrick Wilson who starred in the first two films.

A decade after the events of the first movie, Josh Lambert (Wilson) is now divorced from Renai (Rose Byrne) and his mother Loraine has just died leaving him with questions about his past.

With his son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins reprising his role), about to start art school, Josh hopes to mend their fractured relationship by offering to drop him off at college and help him move in.

At school, Dalton meets new roommate Chris (Sinclair Daniel), who turns out to be a girl. After a bone-chilling encounter at a frat party, Dalton learns he has special powers.

While it would have been interesting to see themes of mental illness and alienation developed further, those ideas are often put aside in favour of more cliched horror tropes.

I was neither entertained nor was I scared, but nevertheless I was impressed by the film it desperately wanted to be. Show me that film, and I’m on board next time.

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