The Insidious Timeline: What Can We Expect From Insidious: The Last Key? - Dread Central
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The Insidious Timeline: What Can We Expect From Insidious: The Last Key?



“Tip-toe through the tulips with me.”

This Friday, we will be hit with the release of the fourth entry in the Insidious series with Adam Robitel’s Insidious: The Last Key. So what better time to take a look back at the original trilogy of films and break apart the timeline? Sounds like fun to me.

But breaking down the timeline leads me to some interesting theories about not only what we will see in the upcoming Insidious: The Last Key, but also about the origins of certain demons within the series thus far.

Heading into the Insidious timeline, it becomes obvious that the story being told here is Lin Shaye’s “Elise” and her battle with a man named Parker Crane and his crazy-ass family. So I’m going to go through the timeline of the films as if it were all the tale of Elise vs Parker Crane aka The Bride in Black.

Which it basically is.

So let’s get to it.

The whole story begins with a little boy named Parker Crane. Parker Crane’s mother Michelle Crane, wants him to be a girl. She dresses him as a little girl and tells him name is Marilyn. Parker then begins dressing like a Bride in Black and killing women for his mother and burying them in his mother’s basement. Somewhere along the way, Mama Crane dies.

Years later, in his old age, Parker Crane ends up in the hospital where a woman named Lorraine Lambert works as a nurse. One day, Lorraine’s young son Josh Lambert comes with her to work. Parker Crane latches onto the boy and scares the hell out of him. A short while later, Parker Crane/The Bride in Black dies. He then begins haunting Josh for some reason. This is where the opening shot of the original Insidious comes into play. Eventually, after haunting young Josh at birthday parties and photobombing the sh*t out of him over the years, Josh’s mother Lorraine gets sick of all this haunting business and calls upon a guy named Carl.

Carl is a psychic but doesn’t know how to deal with the Bride in Black so he calls his buddy Elise (played by Lin Shaye). Younger Elise comes into the Lambert’s home and learns that Josh is being haunted by the Bride In Black. Elise confronts the evil entity in Josh’s closet and it’s worth noting here that Elise never sees the Bride in Black/Parker Crane. Their entire back and forth is held with Parker Crane in the shadows of Josh’s closet. Anyhow, Elise gets scratched and immediately rushes downstairs and suppress Josh’s memory.

Years later, while Parker Crane is hanging out being a creeper in The Further, Elise’s husband commits suicide. Elise tries to communicate with him and instead runs afoul of the Black Bride aka Parker Crane in The Further. Take note here that Elise recounts the story of this meeting to Quinn at the beginning of Insidious Chapter 3, and she tells Quinn that it was merely a voice she heard in the darkness. So again, Elise has never seen the Bride in Black. But the Bride in Black aka Parker Crane recognizes her from Josh’s closet and is pissed she took Josh away from his/her grasp.

Crane then vows to kill Elise if she ever enters The Further again.

Elise gives up her psychic shite for years until one day Quinn from Insidious Chapter 3 wants her to contact her dead mother. Elise helps Quinn but a voice threatens to kill her so she stops contacting the other side. Again, Elsie doesn’t recognize the Bride in Black because he/she has always appeared to Elise as merely a voice. It isn’t until Elise goes to Quinn’s house to help that, in The Further, she is choked by the Bride in Black. She goes to Carl for information and he shows her pictures of young Josh and the Bride in Black. It is here that Elise realizes the demon haunting her and Josh are one and the same.

Elise comes back to the Brenner’s home with the help of Specs and Tucker. She then goes in the Further and meets the Bride in Black again. This time she fights back and The Bride in Black flees. Elise helps Quinn beat her demon and then tells Specs and Tucker to join her for other investigation. Elise then has a close call with the lipstick-faced demon and this is how we end Insidious Chapter 3.

To digress here for a moment, let’s talk about the fact that this is the first time that the Lipstick Demon has shown itself in the Insidious storyline. Why? Well, it very well could be that the Lipstick Demon is Elise’s husband’s tortured soul. Could be. But it seems as if the Insidious series is telling the story of Elise vs Parker Crane and his crazy family so let’s try another route.

We know the Lipstick Demon is male. What if he is Parker Crane’s father? Could be as well. After all, he first shows himself to Elise, but only after she has shown the Bride in Black that she is not afraid of him/her anymore. It would make sense then that the Bride in Black went running to daddy in The Further and asked for help gathering up the soul of Josh. But Josh doesn’t remember him, so how do they get to Josh? They can’t. They’ll have to wait until Josh has a son that can travel in his sleep as well.

Until then we have the events of the new film Insidious: The Last Key. Lin Shaye has said that the new film takes place after Insidious Chapter 3 but before the original Insidious film. This makes me think that the new film will go in certain directions. But we’ll pick all of that up after we get through the rest of the timeline so all of what I theorize will make a bit more sense.

Okay, so let’s enter into the timeline of the original Insidious film. Years have passed and it turns out that Josh’s son, Dalton can travel in his dreams just like Josh could. The Lipstick Demon and The Bride in Black have been waiting for such an occasions so eventually, Dalton is pulled into the further by the Lipstick Demon. Side note: here is where Josh from Insidious Chapter 2 (stuck in The Further) comes to the door and sets off the alarm in a sequence from the original Insidious.

From there some spooky shite happens and eventually, Josh’s mother decides it’s time to call on Elise again. Elise shows up and helps Josh enter The Further and get his son back from the Lipstick Demon. But once inside The Further, The Bride in Black aka Parker Crane possess Josh’s body and returns to the world of the living to kill Elise. Just like he told her he would back after the suicide of her husband. Did the Lipstick Demon pull Dalton into The Further just so Josh would come after him? I think so.

We then move into the events of Insidious Chapter 2 where Josh is now stuck in The Further with Parker Crane now possessing his body in the real world. Josh eventually gets the help of Carl and together they find Elise in The Further. Elise helps a young Parker Crane kill his mother and releases Josh from his possession in the real world. All is merry and bright and Elise moves on as a ghost to helping Specs and Tucker assist people with ghost issues.

It is in the final moments of Insidious Chapter 2 that it is heavily implied that the Lipstick Demon is still up to his old tricks and now haunting a girl in a wheelchair. Cut to black. So the Insidious series thus far ends where it began, with the story arc of Parker Crane done and over with…supposedly. Just don’t be surprised if we eventually pick up the story from here and have Elise battle the Lipstick Demon eventually finding out it is her husband’s tortured soul. Or Parker Crane’s father. Or the f*cking devil.

Now let’s get into what we might see in Insidious: The Last Key.

First, let’s remember that the new film is set between the events of Insidious Chapter 3 and the original Insidious. With that established, let’s talk about the fact that there are a few times in Insidious and Insidious Chapter 2 that Elise should recognize a demon – whether the lipstick Demon or the Bride in Black – but doesn’t. This is because James Wan and Leigh Whannell left themselves a way out that they can use in Insidious: The Last Key.

Care to guess what it is?

Carl and Elise have the power to suppress memories.

With this in mind, Insidious: The Last Key could very well end with Elise choosing to forget the Bride in Black and the Lipstick Demon, thus explaining why she doesn’t recognize them in Insidious and Insidious Chapter 2. This strengthens the theory that the Lipstick Demon is Elise’s husband’s tortured soul. After all, if she realizes this is what has happened to her husband, wouldn’t she WANT to forget such a thing?

Insidious: The Last Key will more than likely also tell the tale of how Elise and Carl came to be friends. Maybe they even become more than friends at some point, leading Elise’s husband to take his own life. On top of all that, we will most likely find out just what the connection is between the Lipstick Demon and The Bride in Black, whether the Lipstick Demon is Elise’s husband or Parker Crane’s father. Or, you know, the f*cking devil.

The end. So far.


What do you think of my theories for the fourth entry of the Insidious franchise? Was there anything pivotal I left out of the Insidious timeline?

Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Insidious: The Last Key hits theaters January 5, 2018.

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Michael Werwie wrote the script for the project, which is told through the perspective of Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy’s longtime girlfriend, who went years denying the accusations against Bundy but ultimately turned him in to the police. Only nearing his execution, when Bundy began talking about his extensive and heinous murders, did Kloepfer, and the rest of the world, learn the true scope of his numerous and grizzly murders.

Principal photography began back in October 2017.

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