In the annals of horror cinema, there have been many interesting afterlives presented, from classical depictions of heaven and hell to off-the-wall bureaucratic nightmares like the netherworld presented in Tim Burton’s classic dark comedy Beetlejuice. In recent years, easily one of the coolest – yet also most horrific – presentations of a possible afterlife has occurred in the Insidious series, in the form of the ghoulish dimension known simply as The Further.
As explained in the first Insidious movie though, one does not necessarily have to die to reach The Further, as certain people can reach the dimension through psychic means such as astral projection. Unfortunately, when an unwitting boy named Dalton Lambert ventures too far into The Further during one of these nightly mental excursions, he catches the eye of a demon, who captures the boy’s spirit and refuses to let it return to his body. Terrified, the boy’s parents enlist the services of paranormal investigators Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), Specs (Leigh Whannell), and Tucker (Angus Sampson) to try and retrieve him from the world of the dead. Of course, while Dalton was indeed brought back from beyond, that hardly spelled the end of the Insidious franchise.
The 2013 sequel Insidious: Chapter 2 served to wrap up the Lamberts’ story, and was then followed by 2015’s Insidious: Chapter 3, a prequel partially focusing on an emotionally shaken Elise being lured out of a self-imposed retirement by the demonic torment of a teenage girl, along with her introduction to future sidekicks Specs and Tucker. That film continued the series’ pattern of financial success, so sure enough, Shaye will return next year in Insidious: Chapter 4. EW has released the first official image from the new sequel, featuring Elise venturing into The Further once again, this time with new character Aubrey (Tessa Ferrer, Grey’s Anatomy) by her side.
Details on who exactly Aubrey is are currently unavailable, although one wonders if she has some kind of tie to Elise’s past. After all, Shaye recently gave an interview discussing the timeline and setting of Chapter 4, and revealed that the new film picks up shortly after part 3, and delves both into Elise’s past and the beginnings of her going into business with Specs and Tucker. At first glance, Aubrey’s hair style and clothing look decidedly old-fashioned, so it’s possible she herself might be a ghost. It wouldn’t be the first time one of the spirits in The Further proved helpful, as Elise herself provided beyond the grave assistance in Chapter 2.
Will Elise survive her latest trip into The Further? Well…yeah, obviously, since she didn’t die until the end of the first film. Such are the narrative hazards of a prequel. Still, that doesn’t mean fans can’t enjoy another haunted house ride through this very unique rendition of the afterlife.