The fourth and possibly final entry in the Insidious series has officially released. Set between Insidious: Chapter 3 and the original Insidious, The Last Key revolves around psychic and paranormal investigator Elise Rainier. In this movie, we follow Elise as she returns to her home in order to banish a demonic entity that tormented her when she was a child. This also marks the first big mystery that she uncovers with her assistants Specs and Tucker – both of which joined her at the end of Chapter 3.
While this horror film is fairly straightforward in sections, it does interconnect with the first movie in a few different ways. We are going to look and explain these connections, along with the film as a whole. For the sake of time, we will be brushing over some of the minor details and focus on the main points of the film. If you’re a bit rusty on your Insidious knowledge then you can visit our comprehensive breakdown of the full series and timeline, here.
Insidious: The Last Key opens with Elise Rainer as a young girl playing in her home that is right next to a prison. She already understands that she can see beings from the beyond, but has no real way to control it yet. Her younger brother is afraid of Elise, while her mother is supportive and father extremely abusive. One night, Elise is beckoned to the basement by a spirit of her home where she finds a mysterious red door and opens it. Once unlocked, a demonic being possesses Elise and she ends up killing her mother before passing out. We jump to 2010 and Elise awakens from a nightmare about this incident and receives a call from a man named Ted Garza.
Garza currently lives in Elise’s old house and pleads with the psychic to come save him from the spirits. Elise reluctantly agrees and arrives at her old home with Specs and Tucker. After exploring the house, Elise spends the night alone in the building while Specs, Tucker, and Garza watch on a camera pinned to her shirt. Elise first discovers a chain of keys but is led from the upstairs bedroom down to the basement where she encounters the spirit of an undead woman. She is grabbed, but not physically hurt and everyone regroups so Elise can explain what’s happening. We learn that Elise abandoned her brother with her abusive father when she was 16. One day she stumbled upon the spirit of a woman in their laundry room, but the lady was gone when her father arrived. Angry at his daughter he attacked her, but Elise managed to fight him off and left their house in anger.
The next day, Elise, Specs, and Tucker go to a local diner where they run into two young women – Imogen and Melissa. It’s revealed that these are actually the daughters of her younger brother Christian who is still upset that Elise abandoned him. We then jump back to Garza’s home where Elise does another investigation of the building. Elise is called down to the basement once more, only this time it’s by a spirit using her bother’s lost, but prized whistle. Eventually, this leads both her and Tucker to a large wall where she is informed that there is something behind it.
Determined to figure out what it is, Elise dust’s off the door and discovers a keyhole that fits one of the keys she found the night before. After unlocking it, the two journey inside and find a woman who is chain up only the big reveal is that this person isn’t a spirit at all. It appears that Garza had been keeping this woman chained up in his basement for four months. Before they can free her, the group are locked in the room by Garza, who is subsequently attacked by Specs. In the struggle, Garza is killed and Specs frees Elise, Tucker, and the chained up woman.
The next day, Elise is at the police station while Christian and his daughters return to their old house in search of his whistle. During Elise’s questioning, she spots the spirit of the woman behind the police officer and realizes that this has been a trap. Meanwhile, Melissa is beckoned down to the basement of the house where she is attacked by the demonic being known as KeyFace. There is a very brief struggle, but eventually, this creature manages to steal her spirit away from her body. Melissa’s body is discovered by her family and she’s rushed to the hospital. Elise vows to set things right and we also learn that Melissa’s sister Imogen can astral project like Elise.
It’s never explained in Insidious: The Last Key, but the ability to see ghosts and venture into the astral plane – known as The Further – is genetically passed down. They continue their investigation of the house and Elise learns that the “spirit” she saw in the laundry room when she was 16 was also a real woman. It turns out that KeyFace gets into the heads of his victims and makes him act out their anger and hatred. Elise discovered some suitcases of the previous victims but is attacked by KeyFace and dragged into The Further. KeyFace wants to possess and control Elise so he can unlock all the doors in his realm, letting loose the evil spirits.
With Elise trapped in The Further, Imogen agrees to enter this plane of reality and help find her. She undergoes hypnosis to enter The Further and is lead by a female spirit to the doors of the prison that KeyFace oversees. Before she enters, the spirit gives Imogen her father’s whistle and then leaves her alone. Meanwhile, KeyFace taps into Elise’s hate for her father and makes her beat him with a wooden cane until Imogen arrives.
Realizing what she is doing is wrong, Elise refuses to be used by KeyFace which makes him lash out. Attacking both the women he takes Imogen and vanishes, only to return shortly after with both of the sisters in chains. Desperate to save the two girls, Elise agrees to let the being take her so the other two can be freed.
KeyFace attacks once again and begins the process of completely stealing Elise’s spirit. However, before he can finish, Imogen throws the whistle at Elise and tells her to use it. Stabbing KeyFace in the eye with a broken part of the cane she was beating her father’s spirit with, Elise quickly uses the whistle to call the spirit of her mother. Elise’s mother banishes KeyFace once and for all, allowing Elise, Imogen, and Melissa to leave the prison. During their escape, the group opens up a red door that actually leads to the attic Dalton was in during the first Insidious. The group witnesses him falling down and Dalton staring at them curiously, presumably trying to understand what he is seeing.
Elise and the girls leave and then find their physical bodies allowing them to escape The Further once and for all. Everyone rejoices and Elise leaves arm in arm with Specs and Tucker as their work here is done. We cut sometime in the future and Elise is having another nightmare. However, this time she is viewing Dalton’s room from the first Insidious after he has already been attacked by the red-faced demon. This demonic creature pops out by the window and Elise wakes up right as the phone rings. She answers and on the other end of the line if Lorraine (Dalton’s grandmother) who explains that she needs Elise’s help once more. Elise agrees and the next day would be her first appearance in the original Insidious where she tries to help the Lambert family.
If you haven’t watched Insidious this part may not make any sense to you. In the original movie, it’s shown that Elise was called by Lorraine to help her son Josh fight off an evil spirit trying to possess him. Now years later, Josh is the father of Dalton who is the little boy we keep seeing at the end of Insidious: The Last Key. This means that the movie takes place right before the events of the first movie. We also now know that when Elise was fighting with KeyFace the Daltons had just moved into their new house, meaning the fourth and first movie overlap a bit chronologically.
Also, a woman named Quinn is referred to several times in the first half of the movie by Elise. This is a young girl that Elise helped save in Insidious: Chapter 3 which takes place directly before this movie. For those now following the franchise the official time of this series goes Chapter 3, Chapter 4, the original Insidious, and then Chapter 2. Despite a few issues, The Last Key is a solid entry in this franchise and is worth viewing for anyone who is a fan of the series.