Do You Need to Watch Insidious 1-4 Before Seeing Insidious: The Red Door?

Are you wondering if watching Insidious 1-4 is necessary before seeing Insidious 5? Here's the answer for you.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

Are you wondering if you need to watch Insidious 1-4 before seeing Insidious: The Red Door? The Insidious franchise has frightened viewers for over a decade and the story will continue with the poor Lambert family who can’t see to catch a break. However, there have been a couple of prequel movies that were made more recently so it may be confusing on knowing what you need to watch.

What Do You Need to Watch Before Seeing Insidious: The Red Door?

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

To fully understand the Insidious franchise, watching the movies in a specific order is essential. The order should be Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, and Insidious: The Red Door. These movies follow the main franchise timeline, and they may not make much sense without prior knowledge of the previous entry. Outside of that, you don’t need to watch Insidious: Chapter 3 or Insidious: Last Key, as prequel movies cover the story before the main timeline, which will be continued in The Red Door.

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Which Characters Are Returning to Insidious: The Red Door?

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

Here are all characters returning in Insidious: The Red Door:

  • Renai Lambert
  • Josh Lambert
  • Dalton Lambert
  • Elise Rainier
  • Foster Lambert

Rose Byrne as Renai Lambert

In the Insidious franchise, Renai Lambert plays a significant role as the second-in-command in the first installment and the leading character in the second. She is the devoted wife of Josh and a caring mother to Dalton, Foster, and Cali, her youngest daughter. Renai’s character encounters multiple assaults by spirits in both movies.

The movie Insidious portrays Renai’s constant encounters with eerie sights and sounds within her home. Unfortunately, her husband, Josh, is usually at work and does not witness paranormal activity. Despite Renai’s pleas, they eventually move out with their children. However, even after the move, Renai and her comatose son, Dalton, remain haunted. The movie concludes with Elise’s demise at the hands of a demon taking the form of Josh Lambert.

In Insidious: Chapter 2, Renai continues to see and hear peculiar sounds and frightening events in her home, including a change in Josh’s behavior. Josh continually tells her to calm down, but she refuses after being attacked by a Woman in White. She is almost strangled to death by possessed Josh before Dalton saves her. When Josh finally returns to the Living, she initially doesn’t believe him, but after Dalton races to hug his real father, she does the same.

Patrick Wilson as Josh Lambert

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

The protagonist of the Insidious series is Josh Lambert. He plays a pivotal role in the first movie and is the second most significant character in the second movie. Josh is married to Renai, the father of Dalton, Foster Lambert, and baby Kali. Tragically, his spirit becomes trapped in the Further, and the Old Woman finally gains control of his body, a goal she had pursued relentlessly for years.

Insidious: Chapter 2 begins where the first movie left off, where Josh touches Renai’s shoulder. Josh is then arrested for Elise’s murder, which is not what it seems. When the investigator asks Renai whether or not she believes Josh, she hesitates for a moment before saying yes. It is later revealed that Josh was already possessed by Parker Crane and heard voices later that were revealed to be that of his mother, Michelle Crane, telling him to kill his family.

Renai noticed a change in Josh’s behavior, becoming more aggressive towards her. It was later revealed that when Josh was young, he was attacked by Parker Crane while in a mental institution. Tragically, Josh became possessed and killed Carl after meeting him and Elise in the Further. However, after defeating Parker, Josh returned to his usual self just as he was about to harm Renai and their children. Unfortunately, the turmoil caused their family, Josh and Dalton, to forget their ability to astral project.

Ty Simpkins as Dalton Lambert

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

Dalton Lambert is the eldest child of Josh and Renai Lambert, with a younger brother named Foster and a baby sister named Cali. In the first Insidious movie, Dalton appears sitting after the Lambert family moves into their new home. However, after being possessed by Lip-stick face, he is seen lying in bed until the movie’s end. Once Lip-stick’s face is stopped, Dalton no longer appears to be possessed.

In Insidious: Chapter 2, Dalton starts noticing strange behavior in his father, Josh, but he seems unaware of his time in The Further. Dalton is awakened by whispers through a can on a string near his ear one night. When he responds, a woman bursts out of the closet where the string ends. It dawns on Dalton that the room is full of ghosts who quickly advance toward him. It is revealed that Dalton has once again left his body and rushed back into it as the ghosts tear his bed sheets, attempting to grab him. Terrified, Dalton wakes up in his mother’s arms.

Amid a dangerous situation where Josh is about to harm Renai, it is discovered that Dalton is safely at school. However, Dalton comes to their rescue by striking Josh with a baseball bat, saving his mother’s life. Renai, Dalton, and Foster make their way to the basement and lock the door behind them to protect themselves. Josh relentlessly tries to break down the door while they formulate a plan. Dalton offers to enter ‘The Further’ to bring back his biological father, and although Renai is hesitant at first, they realize it’s their only option. Dalton brings a can on a string to ensure his safe return.

In The Further, Josh, Elise, and Carl confront the Old Woman while Dalton enters through the red door. After defeating the Old Woman, Josh and Carl are left unsure of their next steps amidst a sea of ghosts. However, they hear Dalton calling out for them and fighting their way toward him. Upon finding his real father, Dalton is ecstatic, leading him and Carl back home.

In the real world, Josh has broken into the basement and pushed Renai aside to attack the sleeping Dalton with a tool raised above his head. But Elise intervenes just in time, killing the Old Woman and destroying the demon inside Josh, causing him to collapse. Dalton then guides Josh and Carl back into their bodies. Renai is holding Dalton’s body when he wakes up, and at first suspicious of Josh’s awakening. However, Dalton rushes over to embrace his real father, whom he hasn’t seen since falling into a coma. In the movie’s climactic scene, Dalton and his father undergo hypnosis by Carl to forget their terrifying experiences and resume their everyday lives.

Lin Shaye and Elise Rainier

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

Elise Rainier has been one of the central characters in the Insidious series. In Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, she played the role of the third most important character, while in Insidious: Chapter 3 and Insidious: The Last Key, she took on the lead role. Elise had been friends with Lorraine Lambert for several years and supported Josh in his younger days to evade the Bride in Black from taking over his body.

Before reuniting with Josh as an adult, Elise previously aided a teenage girl named Quinn Brenner, who was tormented by a demon seeking to claim her soul. Through Elise’s guidance, Quinn overcame the demon and restored her faith in life. This experience led Elise to collaborate with Tucker Croft and Specs to assist others facing similar supernatural predicaments.

In the first movie, Elise meets her demise at the hands of the Bride in Black, who has taken over Josh’s body. However, in the second film, Elise returns as a spirit in the Further. She assists Josh in his quest to return to his physical form and prevent Parker from harming his loved ones.

Andrew Astor as Foster Lambert

Image: Alliance, Blumhouse Productions, and Screen Gems

Foster Lambert is the second child among the Lamberts, with an older sister named Cali and a younger brother named Dalton. During the events of Insidious, Foster expresses concern for Dalton’s well-being after he falls into a coma. He also exhibits unease when Dalton moves about during the night.

In Insidious Chapter 2, Foster makes an appearance. During a possession of Josh, he tries to harm Renai but is struck with a baseball bat by Dalton, who arrives home with Foster. Foster and his brother take shelter in the basement. Meanwhile, Dalton uses a tin can phone to locate his father in the Further.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.