Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (2024)

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Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (1)


ByChris Evangelista/

The "Insidious" franchise shows no signs of stopping. There's both a spin-off movieand a new sequel on the way, and the most recent entry, "The Red Door," was a big hit in 2023. And for the most part, this horror series has remained strong.Not every film works, but the majority of the entries are solid scare-fests full of all sorts of spooky mayhem. The series kicked-off all the way back in 2011 with James Wan's "Insidious," and now here we are all these years later, still waiting for more. With that in mind, why don't we go back through the entire franchise so far and rank the titles, from worst to best? Come along with us into the Further and watch out for jump-scares.

5. Insidious: The Last Key

Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (2)

Universal Pictures

The "Insidious" franchise did a curious thing: it introduced a character, killed her off, and then kept bringing her back over and over again anyway. That character isElise Rainier (Lin Shaye), a psychic medium who has the ability to see the dead. Here's the problem, though: Elise works better as a supporting character, and making her a main player doesn't really click. This is evident by "Insidious: The Last Key," the least successful entry in the franchise, which is the most Elise-forward story in the franchise. This film shows us Elise's backstory and has her dealing with a haunting in her childhood home. Unfortunately, it's never very scary or interesting. Ultimately, this is the most skippable entry in the series.

4. Insidious: Chapter 2

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After the first "Insidious" became a hit, a sequel was inevitable.Unfortunately, when James Wan returned with "Insidious: Chapter 2," he stumbled. This sequel makes the grave mistake ofover explaining everything. Anything even remotely mysterious about the first film is explained away here, and the explanations are rather boring!It actually robs the first film of a lot of its power, because all the stuff that was spooky and unknowable in the first "Insidious" has an uninspired explanation here. I really like Wan as a filmmaker, but this is a rare misfire from the horror director. That said, there is some fun to be had here — Patrick Wilson is really going for it, playing a possessed guy running amok.

3. Insidious: The Red Door

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Sony Pictures Releasing

A back-to-basics story, and a legacy sequel to boot, "Insidious: The Red Door" returns to the Lambert family, the characters featured prominently in the first two films. Thanks to hypnosis, JoshLambert (Patrick Wilson) and his son Dalton(Ty Simpkins) don't remember all the terrifying stuff that happened to them in the first two movies. As you might guess, that leads to problems when the supernatural forces of the Further return to create all sorts of spooky scenarios. Directed by PatrickWilson in his directorial debut, "The Red Door" is surprisingly emotional and features solid scares. It's a nice return to form.

2. Insidious: Chapter 3

Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (5)

Gramercy Pictures/Focus Features

After the misfire that was "Insidious: Chapter 2," the series reloaded successfully with "Insidious: Chapter 3." This sequel moves away from the Lambert family and focuses on new characters plagued by ghosts. This entry is also a prequel, taking place before the events of the first two films. This allowed the series to bring Elise back from the dead, and have her help out someone else: a teenager (Stefanie Scott) stuck in bed after being hit by a car.Writer-directorLeigh Whannell is able to conjure up some genuinely scary moments here, and the over-explanation of "Insidious: Chapter 2" is nowhere to be found. That's more like it.

1. Insidious

Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (6)


The first "Insidious" is still the best. Director James Wan and writerLeigh Whannell draw on classic haunted house flick "Poltergeist" to tell a scary story about a family under siege.Full of great scary moments, "Insidious" is also smart about how it approaches its story.For instance: when things start to getreally scary in their new home, the hauntedLambert family actually does something people in other haunted house moviesdon't do: they pack up and move. Unfortunately. there's no escape, since it's not the house that's actually haunted, but young Dalton, a boy in a mysterious coma. "Insidious: Chapter 2" would spoil some of the fun of this flick, but if you just watch the first film on its own, it really holds up. Now, what's that behind you?


Every Movie In The Insidious Franchise, Ranked - SlashFilm (2024)


Is Insidious 1 Scarier than 2? ›

The scares...they're a bit step back from the previous film. They're not bad, they're just not as subtle as the first. Also another problem. In the first film, they follow the "rule of Jaws" when they don't show the monster until the last third.

Did Josh and Renai divorce? ›

Ultimately, the events of Insidious 2 are the reason why Josh and Renai got divorced. At the end of Insidious, it seems as though Josh has successfully rescued Dalton from The Further, however, in a shocking twist, he murders paranormal expert Elise.

Which part of Insidious is the scariest? ›

1. Red-Faced Demon - Insidious. You can't talk about Insidious without mentioning the Red-Faced Demon. This single scare has come to represent the entire Insidious franchise.

Is Insidious 3 actually scary? ›

Violence & Scariness. Plenty of scary stuff, mostly jump-shocks with screaming demons. A girl is hit by a car; bruises and blood shown. Wearing casts on both legs, she's roughed up and thrown from her bed.

Who is the scariest demon in Insidious? ›

The Lipstick-Face Demon, also known as the Man With Fire on his Face, the Red-Faced Demon, Sixtass, or simply the Demon, is the main antagonist of the Insidious franchise. It is a demonic resident of The Further that seeks to bring pain and chaos to the world of the living by possessing a human body.

Was Insidious a flop? ›

Sony Pictures' horror sequel opened the door to a $32.6M opening in first place, exceeding pre-release expectations and overtaking Disney's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny for the top spot at the box office.

Is Insidious ok for a 12 year old? ›

Parents need to know that Insidious is one of the most terrifying scary horror movies in some time, and it's not recommended for younger teens (or anyone without a high tolerance for "jump" scenes). There's some blood, as well as some arguing and yelling, and a young boy is in jeopardy throughout the movie …

Can a 17 year old watch Insidious? ›

I would recommend not watching this movie at all, many adults couldn't sleep for many days. If you do, make sure you are 15+, or you will face the consequences.

Why does Dalton hate his dad Insidious? ›

Dalton, we learn, has grown up hating his father, because he felt abandoned by him. Josh, divorced from Renai (Rose Byrne), has been living in a fog, his wiped-out memories just out of reach.

Is Insidious: The Red Door a flop? ›

Insidious: The Red Door grossed $82.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $106.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $189.1 million. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $92 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.

Why is Dalton angry at Josh? ›

To make matters worse, he abhors Josh, who surprisingly is living away from them. The reason being for Dalton's anger is that his parents Josh and Renai got divorced after the mind-wipe that took Josh and Dalton's memories away at the end of Insidious II.

Is Insidious full of Jumpscares? ›

In addition, the first Insidious movie has a whopping 24 jump scares. There are many reasons to feel these movies are some of the scariest, from the plausible storyline of out-of-body experiences to the from-start-to-finish terror, but it's the jump scares that really set this franchise apart.

Which is more scarier Insidious or sinister? ›

They have similar themes I guess, and both of them are quite scary. I was more impressed with Insidious at the time, but since then have learned to respect Sinister a lot more. There are some genuine scares however in both films. I actually never watched Sinister until recently, but I would say I liked it more overall.

Is Insidious based on a true story? ›

Insidious is not based on a true story, so you don't have to worry about real-life hauntings like in The Conjuring series. The inspiration for Insidious came from Wan and Whannell's desire to make a horror film about astral projection.

Which Insidious should I watch? ›

However, the more reasonable chronological watch order would likely be to start with “Chapter 3” in 2007, then move on to “The Last Key” in 2010, followed by “Insidious” in 2011 and “Chapter 2” following directly after. Next up would come “The Red Door” to close out the story of the Lambert family…

Is it worth watching insidious 4? ›

Insidious 4 is fun, smart and frightening, an engaging movie that has a handful of creative scares and although it trips a bit at the finishing line, the amount of heart on display for the characters and the fans makes it a thoroughly entertaining watch.

Why Insidious is the scariest movie? ›

Insidious is full of some of the best jump scares in horror history, none of which are predictable. Part of what makes Insidious' jump scares so horrifying is that they are not just visual jump scares. They're supported by loud sound effects and enough flashing lights to unnerve the most stolid constitutions.

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