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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Behind the Red Door: The 5 Scariest Moments in the ‘Insidious’ Franchise

The Insidious franchise has always had a special place in my little black heart. And I believe it’s because I was so pleasantly surprised at my theater experience with the first film.

Something about that gigantic red INSIDIOUS popping on the screen as the violin violently erupted like an A24 score having a panic attack just stuck with me. It was a very Sam Raimi moment and I was enamored with the whole experience. Though the sequels continue to have diminishing scary time returns, I continue to root for and enjoy this horror franchise.

So, without further (GET IT?!?! Further? I apologize) ado, here are my top five scariest moments from the entire Insidious franchise… while you wait for Insidious: The Red Door!

The Red Demon Jump Scare – Insidious

Normally I would never include a jump scare as the “scariest” scene in a movie but this particular jump scare happens to have nuance. Not to mention it nearly made me shit my pants.

Josh (Patrick Wilson) arrives home after a long day of ignoring his family to do anything other than spend time in that unholy house of horrors and finds his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) has invited a Priest over to bless the house. The Priest departs quickly as he can sense Josh’s what the fuck face and they sit down at the dinner table for an explanation from Josh’s mom Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) as to what she’s been seeing lately.

In this beautifully edited scene she explains to them that she saw a demon in their son Dalton’s room, standing in the corner like a Mortal Kombat character waiting to be chosen. The camera pans back to Josh (now in extreme what the fuck face) and BAM! this rage faced demon is all up in his earhole… and our faces.

I’m not a guy who gets gotten by every jump scare around but this one brought out an audible yelp in the theater the first time I saw it. And again yesterday as a thirty seven year old man in my living room watching it for the seventeenth time. It would probably crack my top five jump scare moments of all time.

Our First Trip Into The Further – Insidious

Josh has Elise (Lin Shaye) hypnotize him and send him into The Further to find his son after a nice soothing talk over tea about how he was haunted his entire childhood before they Men In Blacked his ass to make him forget. In the search for his son, he slips into what I could only describe as a Fog Machine Superstore with extremely high and unhelpful employees.

In all seriousness, this scene is so strange because there are almost no in your face jump-scares or over the top moments. Yet, it is so haunting and memorable because of the way it is filmed. People just don’t move right. They disappear in and out of the moment. Nothing has any actual weight to it yet it’s somehow still extremely threatening. Everyone’s faces are extremely pale as though they are either freshly dead or auditioning for the newest Tim Burton film. A crying lady disappears from the corner and another sitting at a dinner table holding a rifle does the same, only to reappear firing it a family one by one as they sit on the couch frozen with smiles on their faces. It’s pretty much the freakiest version one could have dreamed up for what “The Further” could consist of. Especially when you think about how much time these folks are spending replaying these events in James Wan’s fucked up version of purgatory.

The Church of the Smelly Dead – Insidious: Chapter 2

Specs (Leigh Whannell), Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Lorraine uncover a secret room as the camera switches to found footage style. Tucker immediately starts to inside-the-mouth vomit as though he just saw Puddle of Mudd’s About A Girl acoustic cover for the first time and the camera unveils what looks like a whole shitload of dead bodies. Not any old dead bodies, mind you. Dead bodies sitting upright, covered with dirty white sheets, in a row of what seems to be church pews. It’s no doubt the most disturbing single sight of this movie and maybe the entire franchise.

The movie never shows us what lies beneath the sheets but it’s probably not a young, handsome Harrison Ford. Whatever it is, its enough to send Tucker into the fetal position, once again dry heaving on what one would imagine is a very unclean floor to be rolling around on.

This one is a moment that came just in time for a movie that desperately needed some bite to it. A scene that managed to be surprisingly grotesque without ever really showing anything. A perfect recipe for a PG-13 horror.

The Bedroom Scene – Insidious: Chapter 3

Insidious 3 was a strange film in that it never really landed the blows you wanted it to land. Still, the characters were likeable and it was directed by the supremely talented Leigh Whannell. Dermot Mulroney was great as a grieving father trying to keep his family together, and the film’s lead character Quinn (Stefanie Scott) was easy to root for.

One scene at least bridged the gap…

Quinn is in her bedroom recovering after getting hit by a car when the friend she’s video chatting with asks who is next to her. The computer then freezes. She undoubtedly wonders if her dad remembered to pay the internet bill but realizes quickly that the second scariest thing that could have happened was actually taking place instead. A demon stands in the corner of her room, staring at her. Immobile from her injuries, she just stares in horror as it moves towards her. The demon quickly disappears under her bed.

She, like an idiot – to be fair, an idiot with no other choice – looks over the bed in horror. The demon (in a jump-scare twist) is above her instead and throws her into the floor. A moment that is much more painful to watch than it would typically be when you understand the injuries this poor girl already has. The demon then slowly walks over to her, almost hilariously closing her laptop to create further dark ambiance. He then suddenly appears over her, breathing hot demon breath all over her neck. It’s a pretty intense scene in an otherwise pedestrian horror flick.

Suitcase Surprise! – Insidious: The Last Key

This scene, admittedly, may have eeked its way into the list in my completist desire to include at least one scene from each film. Still yet, it has its merits.

Towards the end of the film, Elise is forced to try and find answers in the most inconvenient way possible: a stack of crusty old suitcases midway down a surely haunted Mario tunnel. We all know what’s coming as Tucker looks on, being useless as hell. Seriously, who just lets the sweet lady crawl down that pipe and is like “Don’t worry, I’ll hold the flashlight! I got you!”?

Elise digs through the suitcases one by one as we wait for some inevitable ooga-booga to jump out at us. The waiting is the hardest part as she gets through seemingly a whole goddam airport’s worth of suitcases before the travel monster finally pops out, grabbing her throat as she screams and we fade to black. It’s a jump scare with no real consequences as we know Elise survives, but a well earned jump scare none the less.

Insidious: The Red Door will release in theaters everywhere on July 7, 2023.

The post Behind the Red Door: The 5 Scariest Moments in the ‘Insidious’ Franchise appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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