The 'Insidious' Movies In Chronological Order

September 25, 2018 6:00 AM ‐ ParanormalMovies

This article is more than five years old.


There are four Insidious movies, the first two films are set in 2010 and based around a married couple, Josh and Renai Lambert. The first film was released in 2010 and tells the story of the Lambert's son, Dalton, who is trapped in a mysterious comatose state. Unbeknown to his parents, the boy has become a vessel which spirits from an astral plane can use to enter our world. As a result of this, the family's home is haunted by demons. The family call upon psychic, Elise Reiner to help them, she brings along her paranormal investigation team of Specs and Tucker.

In the second movie, released in 2013, the family move into Josh's mum's house, where Renai and the others begin to experience paranormal activity.

The third film is a prequel released in 2015, it's set sometime in the 2000s. It focuses on Elise as she attempts to help a young girl who calls out to the dead, and the fourth film released early in 2018 takes place after the events of the third and tells the story of Elise's own family becoming the victims of a demonic haunting.

You may be thinking of watching the Insidious movies in chronological order rather than in the order they were released. While this is an option it's probably best to watch them in original release order chronology as this is the order they were intended to be watched in. Watching them out of release order will expose you to spoilers. However, if you've seen the whole series before then repeat watching them in chronological order works just as well.

'Insidious' Movies Chronologically

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SPOILER ALERT: Below is an explanation of how the Insidious movies fit together chronologically, the content that follows on this page contains major plot spoilers.

'Insidious: Chapter 3'

Insidious: Chapter 3

A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family, which occurs in 2010. The storyline reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl, named Quinn Brenner, who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

After a terrifying experience with Quinn and her demon, Elise becomes much more confident in her abilities, which starts her career helping those who are being plagued by demons. A path that eventually leads her to the Lamberts.

'Insidious: The Last Key'

Insidious: The Last Key

The movie begins with a glimpse of Elise's childhood in 1953 in the form of a nightmare. The parapsychologist is taken her early days in New Mexico, where she lived with her brother Christian, her supportive mother Audrey and her father Gerald, who frequently beats her when she claims that she sees ghosts everywhere in the house.

Now awake and at some time in the 2000s after the events of 'Insidious: Chapter 3' but before she meets the Lamberts in the first 'Insidious' movie, Elise is contacted by Ted Garza who needs her help.

He has been experiencing paranormal activity after he moved to a house in New Mexico, Elise initially refuses to help him as the address is the same house where she spent her childhood. However, she eventually changes her mind and accepts the job, and travels with her assistants Specs and Tucker to New Mexico where they discover an evil entity in the house.



In 2010, Elise's journey continues as she attempts to help Renai and Josh Lambert, who have recently moved into a new home with their three children. Shortly after the move, their son Dalton sees the attic door open and goes to investigate. As he enters inside, he tries to climb a ladder to turn on the light, but falls when the ladder cracks. As he falls to the floor, he seems to stare in horror at the darkness as if looking at something terrifying. Shaken, he is put to bed by his parents but doesn't wake the next day.

Still in an inexplicable coma after three months in hospital in, Dalton is moved back to his home, where supernatural events begin to occur. This prompts Lorraine to contact Elise, who is a friend of the family at this time. She arrives at the house with her helpers, Specs and Tucker.

Elise tells Renai and Josh that Dalton has the ability to astral project while sleeping and that he has been doing it since he was very young. The reason that Dalton is in a comatose state is because he has fearlessly traveled too far into the spirit world and has become lost.

Under the guidance of Elise, Josh is forced to astral-project himself to find his son. Although this is successful and the family are reunited, it seems that Josh has been followed back from the spirit world by the ghost of a haggard old lady.

When Elise realises that the spirit has attached itself to Josh, the old woman uses Josh to kill Elise.

'Insidious: Chapter 2'

Insidious: Chapter 2

Although this movie is primarily set immediately after the events of the first film, it does flashback to Josh's childhood in 1986, when he first met Elise. The events of 1986 are the furthest we see back in Elise's life and in the whole Insidious franchise.

While Josh is being held as a suspect in the case of Elise's murder, the police investigate the Lamberts' home, so Renai and the children temporarily move into Josh's mother, Lorraine's house. The house reveals itself to be haunted by a woman in white, this leads Renai to seek out the help of Elise's former partners Specs and Tucker.

What's Next For The 'Insidious' Timeline?

There is a fifth instalment of the movie, which is set to be released in 2021. It's not yet known when this film will be set, but there are talks that several prequel films could be made, each featuring a different one of the demons that feature in the previous Insidious films.

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