The Insidious franchise has been one of the many staples of paranormal horror-thrillers in the past decade. Beginning in 2010, Insidious became producer Leigh Whannell’s most famous series next to other franchises like Saw. Additionally, the series has launched Whannell’s directorial career with films like Upgrade and The Invisible Man. After thirteen years, Whannell concludes his storyline with the Dalton family in Insidious: The Red Door.
The story of the Insidious movies is a long-winding road into the supernatural. The first two movies focused on the experiences of the Lambert family as they explored a realm called “The Further.” As the story unfolded, viewers became captivated by a gripping narrative of ghosts, possession, and a relentless quest for salvation. However, in Insidious: Chapter 3 and The Last Key, the plot took an interesting turn, diving deeper into terrifying situations. The movies unveiled haunting origins, introduced new characters, and intensified the ongoing supernatural battle in Insidious. Each installment captivated viewers with the expanding world, as they eagerly anticipated character revelations and fates.
In order to get a better sense of what lies in store in Insidious: The Red Door, we sat down with renowned parapsychologist and anomalist Christopher Chacon. With over 40 years of experience, Christopher has conducted thousands of investigations into supernatural phenomena around the world. He’s also been featured for other horror films like The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and Paranormal Activity.
Check out our interview with Christopher Chacon down below!
THH: How do you think the Insidious films tap into the supernatural world in a way that other paranormal thriller films have not?
CHRISTOPHER CHACON: Well, in the phenomena of [the Insidious films], the stories are centered around that. In the movie, they’re calling it ‘astral projection,’ which is a very old term from the 19th century but has popularity more commonly known as an ‘out-of-body experience’ or ‘OBE.’
People see that as a very benign or benevolent type of experience, like clairvoyance to some degree. Of course, because this is a horror movie, to do a twist on it and make it scary, that’s certainly a unique way of interpreting that particular phenomena.
In reality, there’s many reported cases of people who have OBEs. Only a small percentage are considered to be really a disturbing or violent experience since usually, they’re almost kind of serene. So, it is very creative for the artists to take you down that direction especially since this is a phenomena that can almost happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime. It creates that element of terror or fear, which you know, can be around any corner.
THH: That’s very interesting! Speaking about astral projection, most people know the topic thanks to the likes of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and in other horror films like Doctor Sleep. How do you think this film handles that concept in its own uniqueness?
CHRISTOPHER CHACON: I think, in their [takes] on it, they don’t get too heavy regarding its history or the scientific parameters of it in terms of psychology for example. They take it more or less as another sense like, “it’s our sixth sense” or “it’s our seventh sense,” or something to that degree. Because of the fact that [the characters from the film] have this ability, I think that the audience kind of embraces it more. They begin to see it as something that they don’t have to be unique to have these experiences, which kind of lends the element of being a little more terrifying and thinking that “possibly, this could happen.”
THH: On this idea of interpretation, what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about the supernatural that people think are true and have been seen in other films?
CHRISTOPHER CHACON: Wow. That’s actually a [laughs] very challenging question because actually, there’s a huge amount of misconceptions in almost every type of phenomena. I think that a lot of misconceptions begin at their origin by just one person misinterpreting something and they tell someone else and then they tell someone else. Once it gets into media, once modern media [hits] the fan, of course, we’re having people create stories around it.
And, you know, [Insidious: The Red Door] is not a documentary so the whole idea of it is to entertain, which it does. I think a lot of people have to keep that in mind when they’re seeing, kind of, films is the phenomena that’s depicted in them. It isn’t always exactly how people experience it.
Now, with that being said, like in the Insidious movies, there have been people with cases, but rare cases of people who have had OBEs whether it’s intentional or accidental that have encountered phenomena which is either violent or have had very disturbing experiences after that occurring. So, there have been those cases, but that’s the rarity, few and far between. I think that everything, from ghosts to UFOs, there are so many misconceptions about it. We could be at this all day!
THH: Outside of this, were there any experiences you or your clients had to face in similar circumstances that the Dalton family faces here?
CHRISTOPHER CHACON: Yeah! Like I was saying regarding those rare occurrences of people who’ve had OBEs, there have been those cases of people who’ve become possessed or they had psi-abilities [psychic abilities].
They had psi-abilities which they brought back out of control [sic]. Like, for example, one particular case where a person had an OBE experience and afterwards, everything they touched, they were exuding an electrical field from them that everything they touched would surge or blow out. Everything, from their house, their electrical cars wouldn’t work, everywhere they went this phenomena would happen.
That’s just the lowest on the low end. On the higher end, of course, are more spirits, entities, and things that would either possess them or come back with them. You know, a huge percentage of these cases are explainable. People who’ve think they’ve had OBEs, there are a lot of explainable explanations for as well. But, there is this small, insignificant percentage of people who have had these experiences that are very real that defy the nature of laws of physics.
Insidious: The Red Door comes out in theaters July 7.