Cinema Psycho

"You know what? You have a losing personality." – Manhattan

Catching Hell: Why the Ending of Insidious Makes Perfect Sense

Posted by CinemaPsycho on May 7, 2011

James Wan’s Insidious-Movie1.jpg Insidious is easily my favorite movie of the year so far. I think it’s an awesome, extremely well done little shocker. It seems to be doing very well at the box office, with word-of-mouth keeping it in the Top 5 for most of its run. So obviously people are responding to it favorably in general, and I’m glad. However, there seems to be a contingent of people for whom this PG-13 ghost story simply isn’t “hardcore” enough, and that doesn’t really surprise me. However, several of the critics have remarked that the film’s ending doesn’t work – terms like “terrible”, “silly” and “over the top” have been used. This actually does surprise me, as the ending seemed absolutely perfect to me and made complete logical sense. I don’t know if people just aren’t paying attention to the film or if they just needed something to bitch about. So I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and may never do again – I’m going to give away the ending to the movie and explain exactly why it works. I’ll do it at the end of the column and I’ll give a big spoiler warning beforehand, so you can easily avoid reading it if you haven’t seen the movie yet. The movie’s been out for over a month now, so if you haven’t seen it by now I suggest you do so, because this is one horror movie that really needs to be seen in a darkened theater with an audience. I don’t feel I’m being unfair in giving the ending away here, because people have had plenty of time to see it and I’m letting you know well in advance before I do so. I feel it’s necessary in this case because some people apparently aren’t getting it, and I haven’t seen anyone else online try to explain it properly.

First I think I should talk a little about the movie itself, its success and its criticism. This won’t be so much a review as a discussion – I’ve already stated that I love the movie and I think it works extremely well, so that about covers my opinion. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a basic plot description: Insidious is the story of married couple Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) whose son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) has fallen into a mysterious coma. They are informed by psychic/paranormal investigator Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye) that Dalton’s spirit has been captured by a malevolent ghost in a dark realm that Elise calls The Further. That’s all you need to know as far as the plot is concerned.

If it sounds a bit like Poltergeist and other modern ghost stories of its type, that’s completely by design. Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were the team who made the original Saw, and they have said in interviews that they were bothered by the “torture porn” label and set out to prove they could scare people without using blood and gore. Mission accomplished! If it’s not the most original concept (few horror films are totally original), that’s because it’s the execution that matters. Wan proves here once and for all that when it comes to freaking people out, he’s definitely got the goods. Insidious combines the anything-for-a-scare aesthetic of William Castle with the expert precision of ’60’s-era Polanski. What’s even more impressive is the way Wan and Whannell take a story that’s pretty much been done many times over and twist it just enough to make it newly effective and yes, genuinely scary.

And make no mistake, if you’re open to it, Insidious is absolutely fucking scary. I’m one of those people who almost never finds themselves creeped out by horror films; I’ve simply seen too many of them to really be affected by the usual shock treatment. But this movie freaked me the fuck out,and I ain’t ashamed to say so. I seriously thought I was going to have nightmares that night, and I haven’t felt that way after watching a horror film since I was a teenager. While the Paranormal Activity movies made me jump a couple of times, I wasn’t worried about how I would sleep after watching them. I can’t think of the last American horror film that had that kind of effect on people. While I actually liked Scream 4 (much more than I expected to), it’s Insidious that has really stuck with me the last few weeks, and it seems like a lot of people are responding the same way. I think that’s kind of awesome, personally. To me, that’s what a horror film should do – you should walk out of the theater unsettled, slightly rattled and a bit nervous about your own state of well-being. It’s been too long since I walked out of a horror film feeling like I’d just been put through the ringer. And it’s an exhilarating feeling, one that too few horror films generate these days.

Of course, with any success comes the inevitable backlash. There seems to be a certain contingent for whom Insidious is simply not “extreme” or “hardcore” enough for their tastes. And that’s fine, but I think the gorehounds are missing the point. I actually like the fact that there are different kinds of horror films – some use mood and atmosphere to freak you out, and some use blood and gore to gross you out. Why does it have to be one or the other? I’ve never understood why some people only respond to the latter. Most of my favorite horror films (and I would argue, some of the best) are classics like The Exorcist and The Shining that are all about freaking you out, not wall-to-wall bloodshed. More recently, films like The Ring and The Others proved that understated, low-key ghost stories could still be effective and frightening in the modern era. And then came the “torture porn” years… I’ve always kind of hated that term actually. I think it’s unfair and often inaccurate (for instance, I would argue that the Hostel movies are much smarter and more satirical than they’re given credit for) but suddenly, for many fans, horror became about how much of the red stuff you could put on the screen, not how scary your film could be.

Now it seems like the pendulum is swinging back towards the classic mood-and-atmosphere chills, and I for one couldn’t be happier about that. The gorehounds can cry all they want about these films not being “real horror”, but I think the opposite is actually true. For me, gore only works when a director knows where to put it and how to shoot it; for example, Romero’s Dawn of the Dead or Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator. When a movie is nothing but blood and gore, without any sense of artfulness or even a decent story, it doesn’t shock or offend me – it just bores me. I can’t tell you how many bad slasher films I’ve sat through where it’s all about the “kills” and nothing else – even the slashers of the late 70’s/early 80’s at least tried to generate some atmosphere. I guess some people just want to see bodies get sliced and diced, but again I think that’s missing the point. The best horror hits you where you live, literally – it gets you in a primal, unconscious place where you didn’t even know you could be frightened. I’m certainly not one to believe in ghosts or the supernatural – but the best of these movies actually make me question my own beliefs, at least for two hours. What if? Insidious is that kind of film, and the fact that they pulled it off with a paltry $1.5 million budget (practically nothing by Hollywood standards) and pure filmmaking skill just makes it all the more impressive to me. This movie gets to you, and doesn’t need excessive blood and gore to do it. What does it matter how a movie scares you, as long as it scares you?? Isn’t that what’s important?

For most audiences, I believe it is. And that’s why Insidious has become such a sleeper hit – because people are telling their friends, “this movie is actually scary”.That’s enough for people to want to check it out. Sure, there have been other recent horror films that deserved more word-of-mouth than they got – Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell being at the top of the list. But I also think this particular movie works for people because it’s something they can relate to – the possible loss of a child, a family in pain, all that Lifetime TV stuff that the movie turns on its ear. As in all the best horror, Insidious works partly because of the execution and partly because we come to care about these people. That’s something that the gorehounds just don’t get, and probably never will. But for those of us who actually want horror films to scare us (a bizarre thought, I know), Insidious is hands-down the movie of the year.

SPOILERS AHEAD – seriously, do not read beyond this point if you haven’t seen the film!

OK, I warned you. Here we go:

At the end of the movie, Josh is hypnotized to go into The Further to save his son. He brings the kid back, only to be possessed by a spirit himself. He kills Elise and the movie ends. Why does this make sense? Because:

Throughout the movie, there’s a ton of dialogue about Josh’s childhood, in which a spirit haunted and tried to possess him. Josh remembers none of this because his mother (Barbara Hershey) enlisted Elise to hypnotize him. This is why Josh doesn’t believe Elise when she tells him about his son’s being taken by the spirit. This is a variation on the traditional modern haunted-house movie in which the husband never believes what’s going on until it’s too late. In this case, Josh’s refusal to believe and his subsequent estrangement from the family is due to his childhood hypnosis being so strong.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Josh would be taken at the end, because he was the target all along! The kid was just the bait to bring Josh into The Further, where his body could finally be possessed. Hence the title. OK? Everybody got it now?

Now, whether you like the ending or not is up to you. But you can’t say it doesn’t make sense or that it comes out of nowhere. It’s all right there in the movie itself. I just explained it to you. Now stop saying that the ending sucks.

294 Responses to “Catching Hell: Why the Ending of Insidious Makes Perfect Sense”

  1. Stanley said

    Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But what about the theory that Josh was possessed by the old woman all along? In the Further his younger-self pointed him in the right direction and he never let his photo be taken. When he was shouting at the old woman was it himself/old lady he was actually shouting at? The one part of this theory that doesn’t make sense is that there is a family photo with Josh in it? Any ideas?

  2. CinemaPsycho said

    Hmmm, I don’t see much evidence of that. If he was possessed all along, wouldn’t he be actively trying to help the spirits rather than rescue his son? He probably could have killed Elise at any time and stopped the whole thing. As far as we know, he never did anything “evil” before the end of the movie. I thought the reason he never let his picture be taken was because the childhood hypnosis was so strong that he developed a subconscious aversion to it. It’s an interesting interpretation, but I’d like to see more evidence of that in the film itself. My reaction to the ending was, “they finally got him” rather than “he must have been possessed the whole time”. But I can see where there is room for other interpretations. Anyway, thanks for reading!

  3. Stanley said

    Thanks for responding and for your excellent review and comments. What threw me was the younger Josh pointing the way in the Further, i.e. Josh never actually got out all those years ago, even though Elise ‘thought’ she had saved him in time? Perhaps the old lady was just content to be living again ‘as Josh’ and was only forced to kill when found out and her false existence threatened???? However, having said that I am leaning more to your theory and I’m sure the film makers put in some twists on purpose specifically to spur intrigue and word of mouth. Cheers!

  4. keith said

    I just watched the movie and thought it was weird at the ending. Just trying to work out that if the attachment to the body gets weaker as time goes on, then why was the dad so easy to take and yet the son had be locked up by mr red face?

  5. zenko said

    keith said
    May 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm
    I just watched the movie and thought it was weird at the ending. Just trying to work out that if the attachment to the body gets weaker as time goes on, then why was the dad so easy to take and yet the son had be locked up by mr red face?
    if you remember the photos of josh the old lady gets closser and closer each time so he was growing weaker over the little while he was sleeping. then when josh was hypinotised he was just barely saved before he was possessed but the kid when he fell into that coma he had a stong connection with his human self so thats why that red faced dude had to hold him in his layer till his bond was weak enough to posses him.

  6. Vincent said

    I still confused:
    1.we know why There’re a lot of spirits around: to take Dalton body, but they need to wait because they need the spirit to be out long enough so they can enter the body and it take the whole film to do that
    2.your explanation can make sense but if it’s right then the demon is a pawn for the old woman? I think the demon and the old woman chase different target (josh and dalton) and don’t have connection in any way
    Here’s the confusing part: josh only leave his body briefly(compared to dalton) but it still got possesed,maybe because he’s an adult now? i don’t think there’re any expalanation regarding that inthe film

  7. Andy said

    Vincent>>Yes he did just leave his body brielfy this time, but when looking at the photos from his childhood we can see that the old lady is getting closer and closer so I guess since he was so deep in the Further back then now it only took one visit to be possessed.

  8. Thomas said

    When looking at the photos from his childhood you can see that the old lady is getting closer and closer and in the final picture she’s almost there. So, maybe by Elise taking a picture of him at the end the old woman could finaly get into him????

  9. Anon said

    Then why didn’t we see the old lady going to Josh’s body when the other spirits were swarming to it?

  10. Anonymous said

    She seemed to wait for him to get out of the house, then lock the door/ lock him out….(its a stretch, but maybe?). Either way, the movie was excellent. At first I thought it was going to be corny because of what the characters were saying and how they were acting, but I watched it twice and saw how many of the things fell together. It’s a clever movie.

  11. James said

    I second your thought cinemapsyco. Hands down for the movie, indeed it hit myself to sit back at the sofa to ponder about the movie, especially its bizarre ending. The thought of Josh was the target all along came to me when the mother was forced to disclose the information of Josh was at the verge of being possessed when he was younger.

    One more thing that confuses myself was that the younger Josh greet him and pointed to a direction at the Further when he first enter the realm. Well, what is that supposed to mean? So Josh is trapped there all these while? or that is just some random child?

  12. Erraticeuphoria said

    I’m just throwing this out there and it’s a different angle then everyone else is playing with so please entertain it! I think the father was possessed as a child by thay old victorian woman, and lived in Thefurther for years. I think the real him turned into that red faced guy after years of being in there. I think he wanted to get back at that bitch that took over his body and found The perfect opportunity to by getting into daltens body. I think the father was always possessed, which is why he made that appearance behind what would be adult him in the kitchen for his mother only to see. I know the fathers posessed and only killed the lady at the end because her cover was blown. I ain’t convinced red faced guy isn’t in the boy either.

  13. Anonymous said

    See the problem I have with the father being possesed the whole whole is that there WERE pictures of him, such as his wedding photo that the mom looked at at the start of the movie. Which, if he was possesed, should’ve been a picture of the old lad and the mother instead. Which just leaves the questoin of whether or not the ‘bond’ between the spirit and body ever comes back. If it didn’t then perhaps the lady could have taken his body, but otherwise, as the time he spent there was far shorter than Daltons, it just feel that its not sufficiently supported by the movie.

    Well anyways that’s just my take, I do feel that the movie was good. I more expected Dalton to get possesed than what happened. I just don’t like the ending.

  14. Jaap said

    Oke that some drinks and sit down for these theories:

    The woman told that sometimes ghosts just want to return to the real world for living. This means that they mean no harm. This was the first clue is received.
    I think Josh was possessed from the beginning. There is a but to this, the old lady was in my opinion one of those ghosts that just want to live. In her lifetime as josh she got attached to everybody who was close, just like in real life.

    Then we got the second part where she hears that somebody/something is trying to possess Dalton. My guess is that because she comes from the Further she is afraid that “her” son is almost getting possessed by the demon. At first she doesn’t want to believe it but when she sees the drawings from Dalton she finally accepts the fact that somebody is trying to possess Dalton.

    This theory supports the young boy who points the way. I think that is Josh who is still captured in the Further as people do not age there. This boy knows that Dalton is in problem and chooses “his” son over his own life.

    The theory also supports the mirror in the end but in a different way that most describe. Beacause the woman is in that body for so long she hates to look at herself as the old woman. Also when she is in the Further it is more how she sees it. And she sees herself as Josh until she looks in the mirror.

    I also think that Dalton is possessed in the end because, as many already told, of the hunger and sleep. The sleep could also be explained because Dalton did not follow his sleep cycle. As you maybe know everybody follows 5 steps in sleeping and only 1 or 2 make you less tired(deep sleep, REM).

    The thing that also puzzles me are the pictures. My best guess is that the makers did this on purpose. As a lot of the great movies have an ending where nobody is quite certain about. All of the theories do NOT support the pictures. Let’s say situation 1 is the situation where Josh is not possessed. The last picture taken of Josh when he was young showed that the woman was extremely close. If Josh really forgot all about it and didn’t enter the Further anymore then the woman would still be very close because the Further is cumulative. Every time you enter your body will become weaker. So in situation 1 on the pictures you should have seen the woman in the background.
    Situation 2 is the situation where Josh was possessed all along. On the picture you should have seen the old woman. Which obviously does not happen.
    So in both situations something is wrong! I came up with some possibilities and yes they are there.

    Possibility 1 is that he was possessed all along and that the woman found a way to hide for the pictures. Because the pictures where not spontanious she was able to enter the Further just before the picture was taken and when the picture was taken she immediatly came back.
    Possibility 2 is that he was not possessed but that the mother of Josh altered the pictused. As you can maybe remember is that she looked at that picture in the kitchen for a long time and she looked uncomfortable. This was a hint for me that she deleted the woman from the picture because she was afraid he would remember, and yes it is a modern movie so programs like Photoshop existed there!

    With these theories and possibilities I can make perfect reasonings for the entire movie, but still i’m not completely sure how correct I am.

    Sorry for the grammar mistakes and stuff like that. I’m dutch and it’s late and I still got a little bit adrenaline left in my body.

  15. Anonymous said

    Did anyone else think that the one who call out to Renai at the complete ending was the real Josh?

    And possibility of him possessed at the beginning movie doesn’t make any sense because if he was possessed at the beginning the picture that he took with his wife would have shown the old lady instead of Josh and the photoshop idea doesn’t sense as well because Josh’s mom said that she was surprised that Renai got Josh to stand still for a picture. Another reason why the possibility of Josh being possessed at the beginning of the movie is not possible is because Elise would have noticed it when they first met.

    My thoughts on how Josh was possessed by the old lady was that when he was yelling at the old woman he couldn’t hear his wife calling to him and since the old lady was already close to him from the beginning, took this chance and follow Renai voice to the Josh’s body.

  16. Terrell said

    He was the old lady all along. my giveaway; in the scene where he is looking at the pics of him as a boy, notice at the last visible pic, you see the hand reach, then his mother says “and closer” the cam never shows us this picture. josh enters the realm in his sleep, notice everytime he sleeps things happen. listen to the voice on the monitor in the babies room, its joshes. the entire movie the ghost had crossed over, hence why his wife saw the boy.

  17. Anonymous said

    I may have an idea for why the Ghost Woman’s picture didn’t appear on the wedding photo, or I may be wrong but, it never (or at least I don’t believe so) says whether it’s a special camera that can capture the “spirit” on the film or if it’s any old regular camera.

  18. Ludovic said

    One thing I will check up on tomorrow, maybe, if I sleep tonight. The wiki summary says Elise notices something strange about Josh’s hands at the end before taking the picture. I guess when he hands her the photographs. I hadn’t considered him being possessed all along until you realize he encounters the boy in the astral world. A couple things that seem to contradict this theory.
    Elise can see the demon when no else can in the room, and the mom astral projected to the house and saw him too. Josh’s mom and Elise would have figured out a long time ago that the old woman had possessed Josh. She also described the old woman as a “parasite”, kind of separating her from the ones who just want to live again. I don’t see a parasite teaching and raising a family.

  19. Maddie said

    But I thought the only way to see the demons was with a special camera??? Does that make more sense cause it does for me.

  20. What ever happend to the sister and brother???

  21. jalan said

    oh yea, i forgot about the sister and brother lol

  22. josh said

    i just believe that the old lady wanted him the whole time.. when he crossed over to the further his body was wide open.. remember when the dad was getting weaker and he told his son to go on without him?? maybe his body was being taken over… when he looked in the mirror maybe the old lady was distracting him so she can take over.. she couldn’t have been his body the whole time because she is a parasite.. she wants to bring pain to all around her. which is why red face wanted dalton..

  23. josh said

    elise told him not to draw attention to himself.. he was to busy exploring the further than looking for his son.. and he cause massive attention to himself..

  24. Victoria said

    I don’t think Josh was possesed the whole time. Also, I thought the kid in the ” further” was dalton pointing to the actual dalton to where he was.But, It was a good movie!. Had many twists and it left you hanging at the end! Hopefully there will be a Insidious 2.

    But Josh did create huge attention in the further, Where it gave everyone the chance to get to his body. But the old woman eventually got to Josh, and sadly it was when he stoped and looked into the mirror.

  25. Todd said

    the Reason that the kid was chained up was to get the dad to come save him. the Red demon could have painfully easily possessed the kid. the reviewer got it 100% right. the dad was THAT close to getting possessed when he was a kid, look at the creepy old woman photos. the kid was that close too, but the demon’s goal was to terrorize the family, as was explained in the movie as well, the old lady was the real son of a bitch and brilliantly lured Josh in for just long enough to get him. and the ending of the movie actually made me sit back and say “holy shit” a horror movie hasn’t done that to me since i saw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre when i was little. GREAT MOVIE

  26. jordanav7 said

    I saw this movie last night and I thought it was amazing.

    I completely agree with CinemaPsycho. The definition of insidious means intended to entrap or beguile, which is synonymous with the theory that JOSH, not Dalton, is the real target for possession. If you truly think about the events during the movie it just makes sense. Elise explains her history with Josh and states that the old lady was like a “parasite” who was obsessed with acquiring Josh’s body. We even see the picture where the old lady is close enough to a young Josh to touch his body (which we can assume means close enough to possess Josh). We are then told at this strict moment that Josh’s mother hires Elise who hypnotizes Josh and suppresses his memory of astral projection, which ultimately causes him to forget he can have outer body experiences or the existence of spirits. Now here is the kick that, to me, explains why Josh is so easily possessed at the end of the movie. The hypnosis that Elise puts Josh under ultimately/only PREVENTS him from leaving his body again. It fails to STOP the old lady’s obsession to obtain his body. It becomes clear that the old lady never stops pursuing Josh even after not being able to possess him because he can no longer leave his physical being. The old lady is still just as close to possessing Josh as she was before he was hypnotized, she just needs him to be step away once more so she can finish the job. Now another theory I have (in conjunction with the former) that I find more interesting and disturbing is the possibility that the ghosts had ALL been working together to TRICK Josh into leaving his body so he could be captured by the old lady. In all the movies I’ve seen, spirits usually have their own agendas and don’t work in teams but what if Insidious is different. What if all the spirits worked in unison to scare all the individuals around Josh into believing spirits exist again and took advantage of Dalton’s astral projective abilities to basically kill two birds with one stone. With this theory it is also highly possible that the spirits SCARED Dalton into The Further and forced him to stay so that Josh would have to astral project and save him. There are a couple things that make me believe this theory. One is the fact that Dalton is out of his body for 3+ months. Seriously. How long would he need to be in a coma before a spirit possessed his body. It was almost as if Red Face was just watching his property (Dalton’s body) to make sure another spirit did not possess it. I think Dalton may have been a goner from the beginning and I highly believe in the end he is possessed by Red Face. Why? Because in the beginning of the movie his behavior towards his encounter with the spirits is extremely different than it is in the end. In the beginning, Dalton is terrified by his slight encounter with the spirits (which is normal human behavior). In the end, Dalton is happy, hungry, relaxed, and ready to go to sleep as if he’d just came from playing sports. This is all after being captured by a terrifying spirit for 3+ months (NOT NORMAL HUMAN BEHAVIOR). The next thing that leads me toward this theory is what the ghost hunter writes when he was trying to contact Dalton in The Further. During this conversation, it becomes clear that Dalton has lost contact and someone else is speaking. The spirit says two major things, “I know who you are” and calls someone a “B*tch”. At first I just assumed it was Red Face angry because the group was trying to bring Dalton back, but it makes more sense for it to be the old lady. I believe so because the old lady has had history with Elise and “knows who Elise is” because Elise is the one who helped Josh repress his astral projections many years before this moment. Also during this moment the spirit takes note to say “B*tch” and “whore” (which are two words that usually said towards women). The only three women here are Elise and Josh’s mother and wife. Josh calls Elise a b*tch while choking her to death. Also during the time the group is attempting to contact Dalton and we see him truly awake and possessed for 1st time, it isn’t Red Face in the picture controlling Dalton’s body but a spirit who closely resembles the old lady. Some other things give me reason to support this theory is the fact that they constantly take time to show Josh having flashbacks. These flashbacks are an indicator that he is starting to remember his own astral projections and that the hypnosis is weakening. The idea that the spirits are working collectively is interesting but I think when it comes down to it, it really just makes sense. The spirits go out of their way to make their presence know. They never really hurt anyone during the movie and even during the end it is mysterious how all the spirits just happen to disappear once Dalton and Josh return to their bodies, in which one of the two for certain is a spirit. Tell me what you think.

  27. southernbell4 said

    I saw this movie last night with my boyfriend and I have to admit that it left so many questions unanswered at the ending. I was confused to whether or not the real Dalton made it back to his body but I just accepted the fact that he did in order to save myself from any future nightmares. I agree with Jordanav7 on several accounts but the one thing that stuck out to me was when Josh was going into the further to retrieve Dalton. On his way there he ran into a little boy that apparently was his younger self looking the age he was when he began astral projecting. What was his younger self doing there? To me, it seemed as if something had went wrong with his hypnosis in the past. The old woman probably entered his body a long time ago and began living vicariously through him. This could be explained through his irritation of taking pictures. If Josh’s mother hid the pictures that pictured the old woman getting closer and closer to him, where did his fear of being photographed come from?

  28. Johnny Biggs said

    I agree I’m confused about Dalton at the end too lol. I knew something was going to happen cause they didn’t show them going to their bodies so I took that the old woman took over Josh and the red guy took over Dalton and they were just living life. They could play off a sequel with all the questions they left unanswered lol.

  29. dalton did get to his body in time but his father (josh) didn’t, like when he was telling the old lady “hes not scared of her, leave him alone”, he’s talking to himself, it was his reflected image.

  30. sabrina said

    The old lady took over almost and when he went back in she completed the job. This explain why sometimes he could take pics in his normal reflection showed.

  31. omnimoeish said

    My bro and sis and I watched this and speculated for quite a while spinning theories. Here’s snippets for your enjoyment.

    There is some kind of story being told when Josh is in the house, I don’t think anyone else has postulated as to this huge effort to reveal a piece of the puzzle. What we know: There is some kind of family in the 1950’s era. We see 3 or 4 scenes of them acting happy, at young girl shoots the rest of them with a tommy gun or something when their sitting on the couch. Do any of these people grow up to become the rotting corpse wedding bride (in several of the scenes) or the veiled woman in black who ultimately takes Josh’s body (funeral attire?). We wondered if Elise was the murderer (probably motivated by some kind of jealousy involving unfaithfulness surrounding a fiance and her sister or something), became haunted by these ghosts and set out on a life trying to keep them on their side. This is why at a fairly young age (when Josh is 8, probably 30 years ago), Elise is experienced enough to help Josh keep from being possessed by some of these spirits. This also explains whyOR…. the 1950’s scene may just be showing that some of these spirits just live in “The Further” stuck in horrid moments of their life, alive, but unable to change anything.

  32. ryan said

    Just look at the title : “Insidious”
    it means :
    1. beguiling but harmful
    2. intended to entrap
    3. working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way

    Its clear that josh was being set up to get trap…

    The question is, why the old woman want him badly? and who is the old lady anyway?
    can anyone explain it please? it still bothering me.. geez

  33. Yuppo said

    But how does the older (elise) woman recognize that its not “the real” josh? i dont get this one

  34. Anonymous said

    i think the ”josh was always the victorian woman” its the correct theory cuzz if you dont know the mirrors in dreams have a big meaning, if you watch yourself in a mirror during a dream your gonna see what you really are( search a bit abaout it) so fi in the further josh looks at the mirror and he see himself as the victorian woman its no doubt he was always possesed. sorry for my english!!

  35. Anonymous said

    I agree with many of the theories here beside the one concerning Josh being possessed the entire time. For one thing, an old lady in a man’s body raising a family and making love to Renai is creepier than anything else in the movie. Also, Elise was an obvious threat and a possessed Josh would have killed her outright. I think that it was a trap all along for Josh created by that old lady. I also think that the Demon, by luring Josh in to help the lady, got to keep Dalton as part of some bargain. The movie creators made sure to focus on certain bizarre behaviors that would suggest that a plan to ensnare both Josh and Dalton was in motion. The baby monitor scene for instance where Renai hears “I want him” wasn’t a man’s voice but may have been the old lady conversing with the demon and other spirits about how she wants Josh. In the beginning scene there is that same old Lady walking around near Dalton’s room, perhaps planning something. The grandmother projecting to Dalton’s room and conversing with the demon gives us another clue. In that scene the demon makes it clear that he wants Dalton, but he seemed like he was waiting for another task to be completed beside the obvious weakening of Dalton’s link to his body. When Josh finally finds Dalton the Demon could have easily trapped them both, but what was it doing? It was filing its nails and perhaps polishing it too. It did not seem to put up much resistance to Dalton being returned. Why? Because as soon as Josh entered the further the old woman’s task was complete, and both the demon and the old lady could enter Josh and Dalton’s bodies depending on who got there first. As for the young Josh in the further, that was obviously the old woman appearing as someone he would trust, which is himself. Also, the ending showed neither “victims” returning to their bodies. Just a very stupid Josh, after painstakingly rescuing his son says “oh well run along now and find your body in this strange house you haven’t seen before” and then he proceeds to yell at himself in a mirror. Dalton however is braver and tries to get to his body, but the demon delays and chases him, but we never see him find his body. What we do see is Dalton gobbling food as if he never had any and wanting to sleep, a behavior more applicable to something struggling with being human. If I were Dalton I would be scared to death to go back to sleep. In my opinion both Josh and Dalton are possessed at the end with the demon getting his share of the bargain and the old lady briefly getting hers. Except that the old lady commits murder and would have to enjoy her possessed body in jail in the sequel=P

  36. Anonymous said

    Oh and as for Josh seeing the old lady in the mirror at the end, I know that it may be interpreted as he was her all along, but it may also signify a current transformation from Josh to old lady. He sees her as a reflection because she had just entered his body, hence why she’s laughing at him.

  37. Anonymous said

    Josh couldn’t have been the old lady the entire time because Josh was shown in ‘spirt’ form as himself, looking at his own body. If he had been the old woman the entire time it would have shown the old woman looking back at his body.

    Also, my question is, was the son possessed? Because neither Josh or Dalton was shown going back into their physical form.

  38. Johnny Biggs said

    After watching it again I think Dalton’s body got taken over at the end because when he was in the coma he had a feeding tube so he wouldn’t have been that hungry plus he said he was tired and wanted to go to bed. After all the stuff he went through why would he want to go to sleep so soon? lol. I think they were both possessed at the end and the red guy and the old woman were able to live.

  39. cynthia ortiz said

    so at the end how did they exactly possess him when it was supposed to be him that was going into his body? or was it him and the other spirit(old lady)?

  40. Here’s something to think about: at the beginning, the dad plucks out his gray hairs and puts wrinkle. Cream around his eyes. I was thinking” what guy does that?” Maybe an old lady that’s in a dudes body!!!

  41. Gustav said

    That was probably because he had some subconscious memories of the old lady, and looking old made him subconsciously think of the old lady.

  42. garcub said

    was it just me or did anyone else think the old lady was HOT…LOL

  43. Anon2 said

    I agree 100% with the last comments by Anonymous. I don’t think Josh was posessed the entire movie.. the old lady character was a soul (if you watch the extras – played by a man in drag. Lol!). Her soul and all the other creepy people besides the demon that lived in “the further” were the souls of people who died and didn’t go to heaven. Elise had said it was somewhat like a limbo… there are the souls of people who’s physical bodies are alive, naughty souls, and the demon(s). Perhaps the old lady showed up in josh’s childhood pictures because he was still astral projecting, and the reason she didn’t show up in his family photos was because Elise had blocked that ‘portal’ with her hypnotism. But I have a hard time believing she was there the whole time in his body because then the old ladies soul would have been in him the entire time. I don’t think an old lady drag queen would possess a body then live vicariously through him by becoming a teacher, marrying, and having 3 kids. Not only that but if the soul of the old lady had been in josh, he wouldn’t have had trouble believing Elise about the astral projection theory, and would’ve opted not to go try to save Dalton for fear of losing that body as a vessel. Not only that but then when he entered the further, he was Josh. If the old lady had entered the further from Josh’s body then you would’ve just seen the old lady walk out of the body, not Josh. Furthermore, I didn’t even know that little kid in the further was Josh’s kid self before reading everyone’s comments. To me it looked like Dalton when I watched the movie and was confused about it. But it could’ve just been a demon spirit taking that shape to confuse him. Also, is it just me or was anyone else anxious when Josh goes into the first house and starts dickin around? Elise said “don’t draw attention to yourself so they know you’re alive” and he followed the damn old lady upstairs being more than a bit obvious that he was visiting to look for his son. Personally, my soul self would’ve shit. Besides that, it looked like to me he was looking through a window, not a mirror, but I could be wrong. Ultimately it was an excellent scary movie. I actually had a nightmare about that damn demon after watching it and I’m not the type to get scared easily. It was well made and I think the ending left room for a sequel. I just hope if they make one they dont

  44. Anonymous said

    post 35 by anonymous is the best ive heard so far…nice work

  45. Anon2 said

    My post had been cut off.. I hope if they do make a sequel they don’t screw it up by switching actors.

  46. Anonymous said

    Ok. If josh was possessed the whole time, he would have walked out of his body as the old lady. Plus the old lady would not have risked losing herself again. So the theory that he was possessed the whole time is done. At the end when Dalton is running from Red Face I think the directors clearly didnt want to show him go into his body. Basically giving it away to you that the demon caught him. He was hungry and tired after all that. After being in a coma for over 3 months and eating everyday. I dont think so. He tore his spagetti up. Like a demon who wants to eat. Wants to sleep and feel like a human. I read a book called “possessed” and right whe the demon possessed him he wanted to eat and was tired. Just sayin. As far as Josh. I think when he told dalton to go ahead in the kitchen then the old lady threw herself at him making him dizzy. She followed Raneas voice and Josh let her take him. By looking in the mirrow josh tried conquering his fear that came back from when he was a kid still stuck in the further when he saw her. But the old lady already knew he was alive and possessed him so starts laughing. They didnt show them both going into their bodys for the reason of us trying to figure out what happens. Then at the end when the other lady takes a picture of him/old lady her. The old lady flips out and attacks her because she knew she had to because if the old lady would have lived she would have known it wasnt josh and risk her going back to the further again. Its a very compex movie. Im the directors brother so he told me what happened and to clear it up for yall ;) hahaha. What leaves me wondering is where did the real josh and dalton go. Are they still in the Further? Cant they basically “haunt” Ranea and the rest of their family to let them know thats not them. I hope theres a sequel. Or i will foreveer be confused.

  47. Ms khaos said

    Great movie!!!!!!

  48. Basilisk C. Ishikir said

    I think that he wasn’t possessed in the beginning. I’m thinking that the old woman and the demon were working together. Because the demon had enough power to possess Dalton the whole time, but the old woman wanted Josh, so they came up with the plan. Also, the family who was killed, you never add unneeded info, so maybe the murder was the old woman, or maybe what she wanted to do to Josh’s family. Because when they shot up close to the 3 dead people they were smiling like they KNEW what was going to happen. And pay attention when Josh is yelling at the old woman, its not a mirror, its a window, and he’s outside the house! I hope no one said that either, because I just re-watched the movie, and I noticed that.

  49. Anonymous said

    Am I the only one that thinks the old woman was the scariest character? There are literally a dozen times where I would’ve shit myself if I was in their situation and it was mostly due to that creepy ass old lady. The demon is supposed to be the strongest thing in the further so why would he answer to an old lady? I think the old lady made a bargain with him so they could both get a body. Great movie. I really hope there is a sequel.

  50. i honestly believe the reason that you saw Josh’s younger self in the Further is because he was left there when he was hypnotized. GREAT MOVIE ! :)

  51. Anonymous said

    he couldnt of been posessed to whole time because they show a picture of the family when there moving again and its him not the lady.

  52. Anonymous said

    Why would an 40-something man be using wrinkle cream? That and the comments about the grey hairs is puzzling.

    If you subsribe to that theory, however, the family portrait is just as puzzling.

    Questions with no answers. Makes for interesting discussion. Remember, its a movie. They sometimes leave these “loose ends” for just that purpose.

  53. john said

    in·sid·i·ous (n-sd-s)
    1. Working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner: insidious rumors; an insidious disease.
    2. Intended to entrap; treacherous: insidious misinformation.
    3. Beguiling but harmful; alluring:

    ……I’m subscribing to the theory the old woman was slowly and subtly working to entrap Josh. Over a period of 30+ years.

    Everything else (wrinkle cream, photo, a young Josh in The further) is just smoke.

  54. Dude said

    Ok Josh WAS NOT the old lady the whole time. The fact people went that far on this site is rediculous. We see pictures of him in his wedding. The man with the Red Face was a pawn of the Old Woman. Look at his lair. He is like a clown almost a lol moment when you first see his room.

    Josh was the target all along. There is no evidence that he was the Old Lady all along.

    I also think the Red Face man got Dalton. Watch him eating that spaghetti. Something ain’t right. Wouldn’t you think he’d be more about hugging his parents and seeing his dad. His father just fought off demons for him and all he’s about is eating.

  55. Anonymous said

    There was a lot that confused me about this movie that no one else has brought up so far. One thing is the timing of all of this. Did the new house actually have anything to do with whole ordeal or was it a coincidence that this happened right after they moved? At first I thought it may have all been brought on by his fall (maybe he got a concussion and it allowed his spirit to wander too far or something?) but then I remembered the door to the attic opening by itself and her box of sheet music being moved to the attic. So was this demon lurking in the house and luckily this boy showed up and he just followed to the new house? Another confusing part was that the demon was creeping on the baby. She sees it standing behind the crib (or was that another ghost? I don’t remember) and hears it in the babies’ room. And then there’s the other little boy’s comment on his brother walking around at night. What does that allude to? Is this proof that the demon did in fact already have the ability to possess the boy but was just holding him captive to lure in the father for the old woman ghost? Then the other children are just out of the story. Makes sense the parents would want them away from the danger but what if they also inherited this gift from their father?

    I realize that its a movie so of course there will be unanswered questions if you look for them hard enough but this is really more just food for thought :p I did love the movie over all and a lot of the theories here have helped me make sense of the movie. I briefly grappled with the idea of the father having been possessed all along but I think it makes more sense that the boy was taken as a lure to finally and actually entrap the father. I do wonder if the boy is possessed at the end. I certainly thought he was but then I considered that the demon following him was described as wanting only to cause harm, not one of the spirits wanting to live again. So maybe its just waiting for its chance but I’m not convinced. So although the kid’s behavior is strange after his ordeal, I assumed he was hungry despite his breathing tube and tired despite the coma because getting out of there was exhausting and his body had been mostly unused for months.

    Mostly I’m just rambling ideas and questions. Overall a great scary movie! I’m usually really good at predicting movies (because they’re all so predictable lately!) but parts of this actually surprised me and provoked thought and questions. Two thumbs up from me!

  56. jay said

    You know how in every picture the old lady was closer and closer well when he went into the further he actually opened a door to finally get in him

  57. Liam said

    I agree that Josh wasn’t always possessed by the old woman. Mostly because for him to have been possessed as a child, would mean the old lady was the one who helped to conceive Dalton with Dalton’s mother. Weird. Furthermore, why would a child-aged Josh direct the old woman (technically Dalton’s REAL and only father if the ‘always possessed’ theory is to be followed) to a child he has never met and whose only connection to him is that it is the spawn of the being who possessed his body? Doesn’t make sense!

    However, we do get clues to Josh’s astral projection throughout the movie; a couple of times when he is very tired (working late or in bed) the camera cuts from Josh feeling tired to a brief [dream-like] flash of him looking over Dalton’s bed and traversing the beyond. This cannot be a flashback to him travelling as a child because Dalton would obviously not have been born. Instead, I feel that Elise’s hypnotism was not strong enough and merely erased Josh’s knowledge that he can astral project without preventing him from doing so. This would make Josh unaware of the fear of travelling and the consequences of doing so. However, on some level I feel he is aware that he should not be travelling: he works late to keep himself awake (maybe to stop himself dreaming) and he has a fear of having his photograph taken (if I saw a creepy old lady getting closer to me everytime I had a photo taken I’d be pretty scared too!). I think this fear prevents him from travelling too far into the further and thus becoming possessed. However, by remaining a traveller, he keeps the old lady interested in his physical body.

    I think that this almost teasing travelling into the further drives the old lady to plan a way to lure him further in and works in cohorts with the red-faced demon to use Josh’s son to achieve this. The old lady is aware that Elise prevented her from taking Josh’s body and realised that Elise was the only one who could send Josh deep into the further looking for his son. The plan was flawless. The red demon also got something out of this; both a chance to terrorise Dalton’s family and the opportunity to take Dalton’s physical body, allowing both the old lady and the demon access to the physical world.

    Another thing which interested me was the link between the demon and puppets. When Dalton first gets out of bed and slams everyone around the room we are led to believe that the demon has possessed Dalton. However, the camera shows that the Demon was using Dalton as a puppet, holding his arms to move him. The demon also has many puppets in his lair and the machine he uses to sharpen his claws appears as though it may also be used to create puppets. I think there is a connection between the spirits of the shotgun victims and the shotgunner and in fact all of the spirits bar the old lady, the demon and the long haired man whom Josh fights near the red door and puppets. The spirits appear china-doll like in appearance, moving abruptly and awkwardly with fixed, vacant expressions; why would this be so in the spirit world? Perhaps the spirits are puppets created by the demon to prevent Josh from discovering his body before the demon and the old lady did? Perhaps the young Josh we see is also one of the demon’s puppets used to confuse Josh. We see these ‘puppet spirits’ entering the physical world whilst Josh’s wife calls for him to return, perhaps this is done purposely to make the demon and old lady aware of the body’s of their victims in order for them to get there before Josh and Dalton can? (after all the old lady has already ‘used’ Elise to send Josh into the further, perhaps the demon can use Josh’s wife via his puppet-spirits.)

    Whilst Josh is arguing with the old lady in the mirror, it appears she enters his body. I think she uses his fear of her to slow him down. Had he not seen her he could have quickly entered his body, however noticing her he felt he had to get rid of her once and for all. The old lady however, having already got extremely close to Josh’s physical body, was in fact closer to it at this time than Josh was and used this distraction to simply jump in whilst Josh had his guard down. Also, I think that Dalton is now possessed by the demon because we never see Dalton enter his body, we only see the spider-like demon chasing him quickly down the hallway. In fact, the last scene we see of Dalton is when he enters the wrong room, giving the demon adequate time to take his body. I think the fast eating and Dalton’s lack of fear to fall asleep is evidence of this. Obviously, Josh becomes possessed and kills Elise as she finds this out. However, before this murder and right after it Josh does seem his normal self – perhaps somehow both the old lady AND Josh got into the body at the same time creating a kind of multiple-personality within the body. This could be explained by Josh seeing the old lady in the mirror and the old lady seeing Josh. They were both the same distance from the body and both entered together. Thus a fight for control of the body ensues with the old lady not wanting Josh to be aware that she too is in his body (which looking at the photo would show).

    Feel free to correct me if you notice anything that cannot be right as it is late and I am very tired! -.-

    Whatever we personally interpret into the ending I think we can all agree that Insidious truly is a brillaint film and one which is truly chilling simply due to the atmosphere it sets. Well done James Wan and Leigh Whannell, you guys did great!

  58. paige said

    Ok here it is from what I took from the movie. The whole movie was hinting towards the fact that there was always something wrong in that family. The father’s constant flashbacks, and the final scene in the futher were enough to convince me that something wasn’t on the up and up with the father.
    The first thing was the fact that he saw his child soul in the further. Now this is not a dream, this is a place for the dead so a image of his younger self would not be there, unless it was a spirit. I will answer that one after im done claiming my points.
    The last was him fighting with the woman, not only was he fighting with her, but he was looking in a mirror while he was doing it. Again will answer it later.
    Now for the explations, so the little boys soul in the futher; The medium (Im sorry I forget her name) advised the mother not to take any more pictures of him after she surpresses his ability to astro surf, and make him forget about it. So I think that the old lady got into his body and then his gift of being able to astro surf was taken from him so his soul couldnt even find its way back if it wanted to. And on top of that he was forced to forget it ever happened so the old lady spirit that is now in the little boy forgets it happened so she just assumes she is the soul of the little boy and lives the life like that.

    So now the little boy is stuck wandering around in the futher.
    Now for the final further scene. He was fighting with the old woman in the mirrior, this was not a mistake. It was filmed that way to show you that he is looking in the mirrior and sees her. He thinks that he is telling her to go away but she cant, she is everything he is and everything he knows. She is him. Now the fact that he went into the futher to save his son even tho he was posessed by the woman makes sence. It was his son, he and his soul truly loves dolton so even she wanted to go save him becasue remember she thinks that she is him, the mirrior just jolted her spirital memory and made her remember that she is not him so when she/he dove back into his body she now knew the truth and was projecting her real self to the medium. That is why the medium wasnt able to pick up on it earlier becasue the woman truly thought she was him and was just projecting what she thought was real.
    That is why at the end of the movie the medium senced that he was not him. Think of inception, when you go into limbo your mind ages but not your body, so when you come back you are an old soul in a young body. Just think about it as the woman spirit has been in limbo since she inhabited his body as a boy, and her entering the further and seeing what she saw jumped her back into a young body as a old soul ( old sould meaning her original form, the victorian lady).
    Make sence now, please any comments are welcome and dont hold back on your opinions.

    p.s. that is why he was able to take a picture without the old lady being shown in the picture, because she was projecting what she thought was real. Remember she is him, he is her, why would she project her self as something other than what she knows, and thinks is real?

  59. Anonymous said

    To Paige: That is an interesting analysis, but I have to disagree due to some complications in the theory. My major concern is the role of the red faced demon and also remember that during the seance it was the old lady that was blocking Elise from communicating with Josh. The old Lady recognized Elise and remembered that she was the one who kept her from taking Josh’s body by stopping his astral projection, that is why she directly addressed Elise and said “you b—-” etc etc. Those same words were repeated as she strangled Elise to death at the end.

  60. Anonymous said

    ^ Not Josh I mean “communicating with Dalton”

  61. Anonymous said

    The Ending..

    He wasn’t the old lady all along because she was “standing” in the reflection when he passed by it. Another support for this is that one, his wife’s voice was drawing the ghosts and demon closer to where their “bodies” were. Two, while the husband was confronting the old woman ghost she quickly disperses at one moment and soon after the perspective is of the husband waking up. We all see then that his hand was that of the old woman’s which was the true give away to the psychic medium lady. This is all indicative of a new state of possession now..

    I find that the little boy is the reason for the paranormal activity not truly the husband. I think the writer had in mind that the little boy being a sort of curious astral surfer stumbled across all sorts of ghost including the one that stalked the husband all through his childhood leading to his own personal ghostly encounter at the end. The connection with the little boy and his father is made by the fathers past experiences entertaining us as it turns out the “father in denial” is actual the hero and not just objectively but with his own “ghosts” :p Beyond that I dont think its a sneaky Shamalan type of plot.. Leo wasn’t dreaming the whole time in inception.. I truly enjoy going that far with a new movie, essentially digesting it as much as possible before its old news that way if it was intricate I atleast discovered it or explored it before Roger Ebert or the commentary does.

  62. Anonymous said

    Also with the husbands sighting of his younger self, I might ask why is daltons spirit body sleeping in the house he isnt in at the time? These inconsistencies lead one to just simply agree that he is seeing his childhood self at the peak of its awareness of ghosts and especially old woman ghosts. It just leads one to think that the house was symbolic like a memory and therefore the husbands younger version is just a part of the “home” mechanism or as both of their conditions show, their haunted “home”

  63. Oh my gosh! I didn’t know about Josh being the actual target! That is so interesting!!!!

  64. Anonymous said

    1. Why would Elise send Josh into the Further if she knew the old lady was close to possessing him?
    2. What did Elise notice when “Josh” gave her the pictures at the end?
    3. Who was the man with the long hair who terrorized the family (Or mainly Renai)?
    4. What about the old lady’s family!? There was a picture of her with a family, then a boy dressed in old clothing running around (scared Renai in the new house)

  65. Anonymous said

    1. To get Dalton back, and he was warned not to draw attention to himself. because he ran around shouting and making it completely obvious he was there, and that’s why the Old lady noticed and then took the opportunity to possess him.
    2. He had the hands of an old woman. They were not shaped like a mans hands, and they had dirt under the fingernails.
    3.I would guess that the baby can astral project. Notice how he says “I want it now” and is standing over the child’s crib. I am guessing it was either too young to leave it’s body, or he could not coax it from it’s body as the demon and woman had.
    4. You are told about a family that is murdered by the daughter. That is the old woman, and after she becomes old and dies she wants back into the world. The young child that runs around the house… I don’t know. I haven’t got a theory for that.

    Anways, my theory is (and it’s not just mine, I’ve looked at others and compiled what I believe is true):

    There are 3 types of things in the further listed in ascending order of power. Ghosts (People who just want to live again), Insidious creatures (Ones that want to cause harm to people), and Demons. ( The things that want to rule the world). The creatures can exist in the real world, but that takes huge amounts of energy that they cannot sustain. So in order for them to live, they need to take over a body. The old woman is an insidious creature, and the red faced demon is a… you guessed it, demon.

    it is evident that there is a plot to get Josh into the further as well as Dalton. The Red faced Demon obviously wants to take over Dalton, and the woman wants Josh. If there is a plot formed between the two things, well, it can’t be proved. Firstly, if Josh didn’t enter the further, it would not matter to the Demon as it could take over Dalton anyway, and secondly there did not need to be a mutual understanding that if Josh entered the further the old woman should take over his body, but a possibility is that The Demon chose Dalton for the specific reason that the old woman could… Protect Dalton from rescue by Josh.

    Also, the Old woman does not appear in a mirror, it is actually a window of the house which reveals that Josh is not actually inside the house. He is outside it. Neither Josh nor Dalton are shown making it to their body, and we know for a fact that Josh does not.

    So, I believe that (though it can’t be proved :?) The demon selects Dalton over other people who can Astral project because the Old woman is still trying to capture josh’ body. Perhaps they come to a deal, in which if the demon captures Dalton and delays the taking of his body, the old woman will guarantee that if he arrives before the demon is finished, she will stop him.

    Also, it seems that neither person makes it back to their body.

  66. Anonymous said

    Thanks!! (:

  67. Mummer said

    here’s some more thought..The was a plot between the lady and fire face…It was revealed when the mother heard the red face spirit yell on the monitor after the whispers…Older josh was travelling the whole time but could not remeber,,but falling half asleep at work he begins to travel..this is when we see another boy sleeping in his dream…The old lady gets into his body before he wakes…We know this because she is no longer in ther his childhood photos…I think what distracts him from his body is the chase between red face and his son…He likely stop red face but loast him self to do it….If there is a sequal the fotage taken will show what happens..

  68. Mummer said

    just read the last comment before mine..makes sense the third old guy spirit wanted the baby…hense the basing out the room where the crib was ,,and him standing behind the crib..If you were to squel this I would have the son and or the daughter go back years later for there dad….Or the daughter aloan comes back to rescuing both…she was likely saved by the grand mother and mom

  69. Torrence said

    I’ve read all of these posts hoping for an explanation as to who grabs Renai’s shoulder at the last second. Is it the old lady that is possessing Josh’s body or is it Josh’s spirit reaching out from the Further??? I agree with the theories that Josh was the target all along , but I can’t grasp if Josh grabbing Renai at the last second has any importance/significance. Help!!!!!

  70. Anonymous said

    if you guys remember back when josh was at the school he was dreaming of him being a little boy again in his bed then he was in the hallway seeing the clock i think when he fell asleep in the school the old lady possessed him right their and u remember when the mom was talking to both of them u go to a close up of josh and hes talking to himself and he tells everyone to get out maybe its the old lady and since the old lady has been in his body for so long she took form of josh so when she went into the further she looked like josh and then when he got back to the house he told dalton to go find his body he stopped and looked in the mirror or window he saw his real self (her) and then he was talking to himself and when they saw dalton racing the demon u showed the room where dalton was sleeping and u heard breathing maybe the demon smacked dalton and dalton got knocked out then the demon was free to take daltons body

  71. Anonymous said

    and also that special song in the window or whatever it was being played when she was taking out the trash and the red faced dude was playing it

  72. Yara said

    Well, the movie was certainly interesting since we all are here trying to work the end out! It is very complicated but the fact that the old lady haunts josh in the end is evident due to the image of continuing photographs.she was getting closer everytime and then poof! she’s finally there.. i’m starting to think the actual idea of ” camera” has something to do with it..but i doubt that.I also doubt that Josh was the target because..why would the spirits want him..he’s older than dalton that means his life span is shorter and since the spirits are trying to get a chance to live again..don’t you think they will go for dalton..the younger one??? and the fire-faced guy ..what does he have to do with the old lady???a connection was never mentioned at any point..we will all go mad if we think about this any further.. i think the movie is meant to be complex and there is no particular ending to it..the beauty of it is that every person understands it the way he does..accordingly to his beliefs… honestly this is driving me coucou…

  73. Sid said

    Okay one thing we have to put into perspective here is that time in the further doesn’t apply. Its another dimension altogether so it isn’t about how much time one spends in the further rather than how far one goes out into the further or how many times the person has been in the further. This is because Elise herself states that ” Time is different in this place( the further)”. There are two things that are confusing: why the demon was preparing ( his nails) exactly and the fact that we don’t know if Dalton made it back.
    There’s two reasons why Josh couldn’t have been possessed: his mom called Elise immediately after she saw the woman in the last picture and she quote “drove it away”. Another reason is Elise is a professional when it comes to paranormal occurrences and astral projection so she would have noticed something if he was indeed possessed but she doesn’t. As for the wedding photo as mentioned by someone here, it would have taken a lot of convincing to get the husband to take the picture and if it was the old woman why didn’t he strangle his wife? or leave in a fit of rage or something at the wedding. There is no mention to that. The old woman is some sort of parasite so living with a family leading a happy life doesn’t have cogency or seem plausible in anyway. Also if you pay close attention whatever josh looks into doesn’t appear to be a mirror, it appears to be two different places or dimensions. One is in a bathroom and one is in some sort of a room with a window and a plant. Again this is another dimension altogether so why should a mirror behave as it does in real life? It shows him screaming at the old lady who then recedes into the darkness. The old lady can’t project what she thinks of herself, its a theory I think isn’t very believable. Remember it was the old lady’s plan this whole time hence the name insidious. She was able to lure Dalton’s Body into the further and leave the demon to chain him up. She didn’t take Dalton’s body because she wanted Josh’s. She was able to lure Josh into the further to save his son. Elise, however, reminds him not to deviate too much because if he does the other spirits will recognize that he isn’t one of them and go for his body. So the old lady isn’t in agreement or working with the other spirits. I don’t believe she is working with the demon either, who is just profiting from the old lady’s plan. I completely agree with the fact that Dalton may not be himself its possible, but not because he is so hungry and tired at the end as opposed to scared. He could be so relieved to be back into his own body and to regain consciousness. Again it isn’t shown whether he does return to his body. The other ghosts might be puppets of the demon but again that isn’t suggested in the movie in detail. I don’t think that James Wan put a lot of emphasis in that. Also in the further it isn’t him calling to himself, he recognizes it as Dalton. That isn’t completely explained as well because Dalton is supposed to be chained up. The spirits all want a chance to live again so they aren’t going to agree to let the old lady enjoy. In fact they have been haunting them for a while in order to all gain entrance into Dalton’s body. When Josh leaves his body, its HIS astral projection, not the old lady in disguise. A body only has one astral body, not another in the appearance of their own.

  74. Alexiel said

    I have to say it was an amazing horror film! The movie itself was pretty darn well-researched. I personally have a lot of experience with sleep paralysis, astral projection and the like. I have researched them myself, and I have noticed that a lot of the things they have in the movie supports the general information out there, down to what typical things demonic entities say when they are possessing or sending a message out to someone (“You bitch, you filthy whore, I will rip your innards…”) lol. I’ve watched the movie twice, and honestly? If I were to only take what has been said, implied and shown in the movie, I support the theory that he has been possessed all along, since he was a little kid, around the time when the last photo of him as a kid was taken (with the old lady’s hands reaching out to him). I notice a lot of people are really vehemently against this theory. Bear in mind that the director himself did in fact say that they left the story the way it was to allow for many different interpretations. I think most people find it difficult to swallow because of how creepy it would be for an old woman to get married and raise a family, but that’s under the assumption that you still retain your memories completely as a soul, even if you have taken on another person’s body.

    My biggest clue was the fact that he saw his little boy self (looking really miserable) when he was in the astral world, on the way to the further. This creates a major loophole in any of the other theories presented. I don’t think this is a symbolism, because these weren’t present in the film. Everything was pretty much laid out from the beginning. It opens with him pulling out gray hairs and commenting about them, and him putting on anti-wrinkle cream, to him looking extremely reluctant/guilty and defensive when Elise started talking about his past, not to mention his seemingly distant treatment of his own mother. Anyone who makes thriller-type films knows that most scenes don’t happen just because. Another clue was the fact that he seems to be facing a mirror when he was yelling at the old lady. These were both dead giveaways to me, IMHO. Moreover, people can’t accept this because of the fact that a photo was taken of adult Josh with his family, looking like adult Josh. I think we have to stop and think about how these spirits acquire their pseudo-physical bodies. The old Victorian lady looked like the old Victorian lady because it was her previous life, if he possessed Josh when he was a child, she had been inhabiting the body for more than the real Josh ever did. She may well have eased into this new life, like being reborn. Spirits do not have genders, I think memory retention from a previous life can easily be overridden by new memories, including how a soul perceived itself to look like. Memories are after all, directly connected to our physical brains. Perhaps when Josh entered the further and saw himself in the mirror, it was only then that he realized who he really was before, despite yelling and convincing himself otherwise. Hence when he came back to his body, his projection of himself has changed, and manifested the old lady more than the adult Josh, and that blew her cover all along cause Elise noticed it more so than ever. He also said “Why would you do that, when you know….” I thought when he said that he had assumed Elise should have known even before, and this could only have been deduced by Josh himself. He was so angry that his cover has been blown after all these years of convincing everyone else, including himself, that he lost control, and killed Elise finally.

    Also, Elise said that the further the soul wanders away from the body, the weaker the link. Josh hasn’t been away for too long, so it would be really impossible for any spirit to possess his body that quickly, unless he has been possessed all along. The old lady’s insidious plan to possess his body did work, a long time ago, and it was still working until he had to travel out into the further and bring back memories of what really happened.

  75. Sid said

    Alexiel I respect in depth actually very insightful response you have given us. But I feel like this movie is far too ambiguous for us to perceive for example it isn’t blatantly portrayed that the boy in the further is indeed him from a previous time. There are many theories as to who that boy may be. I don’t recall their being anti-wrinkle cream and I have watched it twice myself, I am actually curious as to that one detail. Where did you notice that? Also I don’t agree with the fact that he is looking through a mirror because indeed 10 seconds before that he is puzzled to see the old lady, and there isn’t a window in sight. I actually, seeing that you seem to have knowledge in this subject have a question. How exactly does the spirit affect the body? Do some of the woman’s characteristics appear in Josh. Another reason why the “possessed from the start theory” doesn’t water is because he is seen coping with some of his problems such as sleeping and taking pictures. He completely avoids taking pictures and stays awake because he knows subconsciously not to fall asleep. Elise also mentions that she drove the spirit away. I do believe the insight you have given me on this supports that theory and it really opened my eyes. Also when Josh says “why would you do that” I think he is referring to the fact that she took his picture. If your theory was to be true, then why does Elise realize it now instead of going on believing that it is Josh. One of the main things this movie seems to portray is that based on the astral body, the physical body is influenced in a certain way. When Elise notices something wrong with Josh his hands appear to look older, but she notices no change or strange characteristic before that. These are the reasons I am skeptical about your view. If you would explain I would love to hear more. What I don’t understand is that Elise strongly describes this woman as a parasite which is actually a very strong and negative word. But Josh never displays hostile qualities. He always appears to seem genuine and humble and caring, despite the insidious astral body that is the woman.

  76. Alexiel said

    Hi Sid, thanks for taking the time to read through my seemingly crazy response, but here are my thoughts to your questions, and it made me really think thoroughly too! I say thoughts, because, I really don’t have answers, as this movie has been designed for thoughts rather than answers as it were. I personally think that all theories involves a lot of speculations, so you couldn’t really go wrong whichever you pick.

    The young boy pointing towards the house looked exactly like the young Josh in the photos, so I thought it was safe to assume it was indeed the young Josh (be it a symbolism, or the actual spirit) that was being portrayed in that scene, that or they just decided to re-use actors? Not to mention he seems to be wearing the same exact pyjamas as the young Josh once did, but I would need screen caps to prove this point solidly.

    Also, if you remember, adult Josh slips into random visions of himself sleeping as a young boy, as if he is looking from above, at his own bed, wearing what seems to be the same pyjamas we see the young Josh was wearing when the adult Josh encountered him in the further. On a side note, this ties up with why From my personal experience of astral projection, the vision he had of himself sleeping on his bed in his pyjamas is very similar to the vision I and other people who has had an alleged out of the body experience also have when they astral project (sort of murky, wavy, vision that aren’t as clear as the normal human sight, and not as fuzzy and abstract as an imagination). Anyway, back on track, It is then safe to deduce that the adult Josh has had a memory of seeing himself sleeping from a long time ago, so either it was (a) his own young spirit astral projecting and leaving his body in one of his astral projections, or it was (b) the old lady’s spirit, visiting him at night (as usual), getting ready to take over this time around. If it were B, this could explain why this is the scene the adult Josh remembers in particular, and every so often because it was the point in which she (the old lady) took over the young Josh’s body and started living a ‘new life’. This could also explain why the young Josh in the further (this is under the premise that it was indeed the young Josh that he saw) was wearing the same exact pyjamas in the further, because it was the last thing he was wearing as he left his mortal body for the last time.

    As for your question on him dabbing anti-wrinkle cream on his face, here’s a screen cap. I believe he is dabbing eye cream on his crows feet area (lol). It’s almost cute and comedic, but that coupled with the very very first scene, which showed him complaining and plucking gray hairs out, actually felt like it was relevant in a sense that it portrayed the adult Josh as someone being extra-concerned about aging. This would be a seemingly random fact that would make sense if we accept the theory that he has been possessed by the old lady all along.

    As for the the question about the “yelling at the mirror” scene, it wasn’t clear whether or not there was a mirror, but the way they have shot the whole scene that proceeded afterwards, seems to allude to how one would look at himself/herself on a mirror. The old lady was even shown to be in front of the mirror (I thought it looked like the same white mirror framed mirror that they had in their house?) when the camera moved from adult Josh’s viewpoint, to hers. Adult Josh’s yelling and the fact that the old Lady just stared back at him, smiling insidiously felt like it was more of a self-revelation more than anything else, because there was really nothing that he could do, she is him and has been him for decades, but she/he does not quite realise this because her spirit has inhabited his body for so long, and was in fact the one that grew up with it, convincing even her that she has, and always been Josh. The scene at the mirror only reminded the spirit that it that its new life has been acquired in the most insidious of ways.

    As for my thoughts on how the spirit affects the body, I have to go completely on a tangent in this one, and I can answer that by way of describing how my sense of self/identity is altered when I lucid dream or astral project. Simply put it, I don’t have my full memory/identity and thinking capacity in a lucid dream or an astral projection, as I have when I am in my physical body, kinda like being drunk (that’s the closest I can compare it to LOL). Also, if we think about the topic of reincarnation, it is said that we don’t really consciously remember our past lives, because spirits don’t really retain past life memories when they are reborn into a new body… so if we take these two things, it is not entirely impossible for the old lady’s spirit to be akin to being reborn as a different human being, with memories of her previous life and existence, fading away. I am not mentioning this to support any of my theories, but merely to explain why it was not so difficult for me to swallow the creepy thought that the old lady’s spirit may have been inhabiting Josh’s body since he was a little kid.

    I think adult Josh’s fear of taking pictures (I am not sure I got the impression he was also scared of sleeping?) is a manifestation of his repression of the truth behind his spirit, but it rears its ugly head in the form of his memories of seeing his little boy self sleep. He subconsciously fears that the life she/he has been craving for will be taken away from him because having his photo taken might blow his cover (even though this may not be true as the spirit has eased into his body for long enough to manifest his new physical self).

    As for Elise driving the spirit away, I was under the impression that they did this by doing exactly what she told his mum to do; make him forget and not take his photos. If so, who is to say that he did not astral project afterwards? And since his photo was never taken afterwards, who is to say that the old lady never got to him in the end? Perhaps she really did succeed, and adult Josh’s flashbacks of an OBE in the movie itself may have actually been the point in which she did. Elise may not have noticed because it was hinted that Elise never saw Josh again after the event, note this when Elise first saw the adult Josh, and at this time the old lady’s spirit may have eased into the body and repressed all past life memories, that he/she can live a normal life once again. Elise also did say that these spirits only wanted to live again, and they’d do anything for it. Her reference to the old lady as a parasite does not necessarily mean she was demonic. Elise herself defined what she meant when she said “parasite”. She specifically said that the old lady befriended young Josh’s spirit in order to lure him out of his body, enough for her to take over his physical body. In a sense, it is parasitic because it was harmful for young Josh’s spirit, but beneficial for the old lady, as she is the one who gets to live again, I did not think it was anything more nefarious than that?

    As for Elise only noticing it towards the end, note that she herself did not view Josh completely as the old lady, and only his hands gave him away to her (they even show his hands to us immediately prior to that, and it was normal), despite her being psychic. My guess was that now that adult Josh’s spirit realised its insidious past, it got back memories of its past life, and hence able to manifest itself more to sensitives like Elise, and especially to the camera which seems to capture spirits pretty well.

    This may not be related, but one thing to note is when Elise’s two assistants replayed the tape where Dalton was possessed and making a mess of the seance, it shows that the Lipstick-face demon was only behind him rather than being in him completely, which contrasts with the photo taken of adult Josh in the end where it was only the old lady who appeared. I thought that was a pretty random detail.

    As for Josh’s nice-guy personality, we never really know what the old woman was really like, all we know is she was insidious enough to steal someone’s body, but we also know that she did that because she really wanted to desperately live again. She may have just wanted to inhabit a body and live normally, so it’s not impossible for Josh to turn out to be a nice guy, after all, and he only gets really defensive/neurotic about things which might blow his cover, and he was actually only doing it subconsciously.

  77. Sid said

    Alexiel another great response. As for the questions about Elise it says in the movie that she repressed, or made him forget the ability to astral project. Since astral projection itself is more subconscious( I would believe) it is not clear if he did astral project afterwards. Also he spends long nights at work because subconsciously he has an aversion to sleep probably due to the photos he saw as a young kid that genuinely scared him. If the old lady is indeed Josh, I don’t see a point for Josh ( the old lady) to scream about her experience. At that moment of revelation I thought it would be something she would grin about having accomplished something amazing yet Josh is screaming at her in the mirror. However her reflection does indeed grin and Josh himself reacts in a different way. This is one reason that I start to doubt that it is in reality a mirror. Also, Elise notices something she would notice because she is an accomplished astral projectionist but it is a quality that no one else came across in the movie. They don’t show Josh hands to be old because that would be a dead giveaway to even his wife. But Elise notices in the inner qualities that differ from typical qualities. As for the assistants that is indeed a random detail and its possible that it was a camera defect that shows his body and the astral body behind it. ( LOL so many theories) I understand what you mean by parasitic and I really have more respect for the other theory because of all the light you have shed upon it. Before I sincerely believed that I could cut down every theory and explain it but there are some ( the ones you highlighted) that have indeed stumped me. The mirror shows two different places, if you look carefully kind of turn invalidates that theory. But there is still a possibility that it is still a mirror. There are two different places being shown again, a bathroom of some sort and some sort of room with curtains and a house plant next to him. They may in a way be two different mirrors that are connected from two different rooms. As for the old lady easing into his body and forgetting her previous life ( I am stumped haha, I really have no explanation). You make a lot of sense and thank you for taking the time to read this. Also thank you for posting a reply explaining some facts. Maybe it is safe to assume that the subconscious mind is linked with astral projections and that is the reason why he may be astral projecting even after Elise appeared to drive the spirit away and repress the ability. By driving the spirit away I sincerely believe that since Elise is far more powerful than other spirits due to her being alive she could have sent the old lady running. The theory that the memory that he remembers is with him sleeping and that may be the old lady is really eye opening thank you. I can’t turn that down as a possibility. James Wan will have to provide some commentary on the story, but in reality this ambiguity is what makes this movie special. I think we can agree, Insidious was a great horror movie in a long time of movies that fell short of a plot (such as the Grudge or the Ring). This movie does justice to Poltergeist and the classics. James Wan corroborates the claim that you don’t need blood and gore to create a truly insightful horror movie experience.

  78. Alexiel said

    Hi Sid, yes there are a lot of things that aren’t really clear and much is left to speculation. For instance the scene where the old lady was grinning back was very vague, because I wasn’t sure where it was exactly, and as you say, it seems to be two different places, but then again the Further has been depicted as a very fluid dimension in terms of space, and perhaps time. The grinning however can equally be interpreted, as I have mentioned, as a form of triumph, because the old lady looking back at him seem to be grinning in a very content way, there was no need for her to assert her position, as it has been done for her a long time ago, whilst he yells and screams and freaks out at her, in vain. If we take adult Josh’s flashbacks of him looking over his young self sleeping, this may have been the final resolution? Also, it’s interesting to note that the old lady was, in fact, played by a man and the director wanted it this way in particular he is quoted to have said “I wanted to give it a slightly off-kilter edge. By doing that and not acknowledging that it’s a man brings something different to it. The fact that it’s a guy playing a woman gives it an icky edge right off the bat.” in his own words. To me it sounds like, he intended to have the audience get an even more icky feeling from the film that is not right off that bat, and it would make sense if the real twist was indeed Josh being possessed by the old lady from the beginning, because that is one hell of an icky feeling.

    We also have to consider when the old lady actually appeared in the film, not as a memory, but as herself, and this was only just before the movie started (before Josh was shown pulling gray hairs in front of the mirror) and of course, the end. There is something about this old lady that is vital to the entire film itself. Other people theorize that she may have been working in collaboration with lipstick face demon, and that lipstick face demon was nothing but a front to the more evil spirit, which was the old lady herself. However, this was not hinted at at any point in the film. All throughout, it has always been lipstick face that has been haunting the family (from the very beginning just before Dalton fell, he heard the creaking of his claws in the attic). The director and writer themselves specifically said in an interview “And the reason why he has the red face — this is one scene that was cut from the film — he actually has makeup on his face. He’s credited in the movie as the Lipstick Face Demon. He’s a creature that paints its face to make itself more enticing to lure people out into its world to possess them. He’s basically a demonic clown.” Some people say it was the old lady who yelled “filthy whore” at Elise during once of the seances, but I beg to differ, because if you watch The Haunting or any other true story of a possession, you will find that the things that the gory and curse-laden message were very typical of real-life accounts of what demons usually say, they tend to say they know the mediums. In order to verify this, we have to look into what the directors said, and they have admitted that, it’ll be way to long to post it here but check their interview here

    As for your mention on Elise being an accomplished astral projector herself, I am not sure this can be concluded because she was merely a psychic, a medium, not necessarily an astral projector. These are two very different things. Notice that in everything, she never really traveled out of her body, but rather tried to communicate with Dalton using her voice. If she were as accomplished, then she would have gone and taken Dalton herself, and not have to go through the risky process of getting adult Josh in there in the first place. What she has is the power to communicate with other dimensions and sense their presence when they cross into our world, so she is familiar with the beings that came from there.

    As for how astral projection and possession works in the movie, Elise said that the longer the spirit is away from the body, the weaker the link gets (another side note, in actual studies on OBEs, this link is through what they call a “silver cord” and it does require a lot of energy to just get out of the body). This does not mean that the more you get out of your body, the weaker the link gets. It’s not how OFTEN you go out but for HOW LONG you are out. For the insidious spirits, the task is to just lure you far out into the astral world and keep you away from coming back to your body for long enough that they can overcome the energy to break the link and finally possess your body. As Elise said, the old lady tried to do this by befriending young Josh’s astral soul, luring him out further and further, and for longer periods every night she visited him, a brilliantly insidious plan indeed. It is safe to assume that once you are back, and are aware of your astral projections, and the dangers it might bring, you will be very careful next time not to wander too far away from your body and get lost, and not for too long! Which is why I thought it impossible for Josh to have been possessed so easily, completely just like that, we don’t even see the old woman anywhere near his body, and the other spirits came first, in fact! So what this means is that in order to assume that adult Josh was possessed only in the end, we have to realize that the energy must have been somehow lowered, and to say that this was done because he may have been subconsciously astral projecting all this time, then that would invalidate the claim that Dalton was used as a bait to get him back into the astral world, because in that case he has been there many times when he was astral projecting. At the very least, the old lady must have had one foot at the door so to speak, but that still does not explain the little Josh we encounter in the astral world and leaves us with the question of who else was in him apart from the old lady all this time.

  79. Jake said

    Okay, so I know I’m late in seeing the movie, but I just watched it. I have to say, just as the person who wrote this review, I haven’t come across a lot of films that have truly scared me, but Insidious definitely does the job. What i want to say though, and i’m not shooting down your take on the ending here cause that makes complete sense to me also, but here’s where I give away part of the ending so I’m doing this out of courtesy.


    What I think happens at the end is when he first gets in the house and he’s “right behind” his son, or catching his breath, the spirits take advantage of this separation and when the hoofed demon fails to get to Dalton, Dalton then has an opportunity to get back to his body which he does. Meanwhile, downstairs when Josh is looking into the mirror at his demon holding the candle, I think this is his chance to get back into his body, because when it flipped and showed his wife and the light in his face I made a connection with the lights. Since Josh refused the light and let his opportunity slip, the old woman got what she wanted.

    I like your opinion as well, but I think that maybe the hoofed demon with the fire in his face really wanted Dalton and that had nothing to do with the old lady. But maybe the old lady took this chance to get what she couldn’t have all those years ago.

  80. Sid said

    Wow You make a good point, for a more atmospheric ickyness or a strange feeling for the audience they played a man so it is possible he was possessed.

    I see where you are going with the whole demon thing yelling out that he knows the medium, much like The Exorcist when the girl is calling the Priest a quote “cocksucker” (pardon my french) I definitely agree that the old lady wasn’t working with the Lipstick Face Demon who I have more knowledge about thanks to you.

    As for Elise being a medium that also makes sense because Leigh Wannell was writing this with Poltergeist at the back of his mind and it never really does show her to be an Astral Projectionist.

    Finally the theory that the Old Lady possessed him is indeed plausible, but how is the claim that his connection to his astral body was weak to begin with entirely wrong? What if the Old Lady had damaged his connection and just needed him to stay out for an extended period of time in order to possess him. It certainly looks like the Old Lady is kind of stalling him so to speak, in order for her to prepare herself and then the final “LEAVE ME ALONE” makes her realize that the connection is weak enough causing her to recede.

    I am still a little confused as to little Josh in the Further, I believe it may be a figment of his thoughts interfering in the world and insisting he go a certain way. I still have trouble believing that the Old Lady has been Josh the whole time because the astral body that leaves his physical body when Elise is talking to him looks like Josh. My question is, where is there proof that if another astral body lives for an extended period of time (e.g. The Old Lady) it starts to take the characteristics of the physical body it inhabits, or is that just a theory?

  81. Patrick said

    While you guys are endlessly debating whether the old lady possessed Josh only in the end or was there the whole time (I vote for the former), no one seems to have noticed that THE OLD LADY IS THE SAME AS THE WOMAN SITTING ON THE SOFA in the 1940’s scene showing the family shot by one of their daughters!!! It is obviously the same actor’s profile (man in drag, bony cheeks, long nose), just depicted at a younger age. Think about it: does it mean that Josh was visiting the tragic past of that woman (family massacre)?? And then, what would that have to do with him? etc. “The Further” is not completely random, it also tells us a very important story, which seems to have been largely ignored in this discussion so far. –Patrick (Paris, France)

  82. Alexiel said

    I wouldn’t call it a debate, personally. I think it’s a just a discussion because I have brought up a rather rarely accepted theory, which to me, actually makes the most sense because it’s the least speculative based on what is directly given in the movie, and Sid was merely curious about why I think so because he genuinely wants to understand every possible facet of how the film itself ended, and I commend him for being open minded about it. To answer Patrick, if that was the case (about the mother of the smiling family being the same as the old lady) my question would be, if it was indeed the old lady who was the mother of the creepy smiling family, why then was she depicted as someone much older? Why were there two versions of herself in the further? what was the point of showing Josh the whole thing? I’d like to point you to this where they have discussed about what the further was, and it seems from their discussions they’ve described the further as a place where some souls go to when they leave their bodies. If so, it would be a bit of a big hole to have the old lady present there, alongside a younger version of herself? She died twice and therefore manifested herself two times as two versions of herself depicting different ages? I am not sure, to be honest. I can’t explain it in that way, so I am very doubtful about the possibility that the old lady are one and the same. If she died when she was shot, why then, did her spirit age? The further is a world that the filmmakers wanted to create themselves, their version of limbo/hell, and Josh was merely a visitor, albeit unwanted. I am not sure it is as symbolic as you have implied, symbolic and central to adult Josh’s psyche that is.

    And anyway, back to Sid’s really interesting questions. I wouldn’t say that the theory that Josh’s connection to his body is very weak to begin with as ‘entirely wrong’. I am just saying, that if we were to only base our assumptions on what has been directly said in the movie, it would seem like it is a very big loophole to the plot, because if we only take what Elise specifically said (add to the fact that she seems to push coming back to the body as the only solution and was very much relived when adult Josh and Dalton both got back to their bodies), then it would not make sense that Josh would have been possessed so very easily, because he was not away from his body for that long at all, even compared to his son, Dalton. For another spirit to take over adult Josh’s body, that spirit would need to cook up an insidious plan to befriend his soul and make him trust it, etc etc.. a bit of a longer process than just a few hours at most? The only explanation would be if the spirit that got back to his body was the same spirit that has inhabiting it for a long time, as that spirit would still have the strongest connection to his physical body. If we assume the old lady possessed his body in the end, we also have to make a lot of major speculations (1) That the Josh’s physical connection to his body has been damaged somehow, perhaps by way of traveling too frequently out of his body when he was young (2) That you can even damage a connection in that way in the first place (not just by being too far away for too long as Elise directly said in the movie) (3) That the old Lady was more powerful than all the others who “smelled” his soulless body, that, despite being “late” for the kill, she somehow got to possess adult Josh above everyone else. These are so far the only speculations I can think of, aside from all the other speculations we had to make about the little boy Josh that adult Josh encountered in the further. But if we were to take that at face value, and take the theory that he has been possessed all along, there would have been very little speculations that we would have made in this part of the movie, but instead, we would only have needed to make one speculation from the beginning, and that is (1) That parasitic spirits could repress/forget past lives and ease into their newly acquired bodies to live a normal life, similar to how a reincarnation/past lives works, but done in a more insidious manner of course! Now this speculation may be backed up by Elise simply saying that spirits simply want to get the chance to “live again”, however demons want to “Cause pain to others” as in a demonic possession. I simply took the route with the least amount of speculations and took everything that the film showed me from the beginning up until the end as clues.

    Also, remember in the interview I have previously linked, James Wan and Leigh Whanell specifically said that the “The ending is what we had first. ” and “We worked backwards from the ending. So all the stuff you see at the beginning was stuff that came up during the writing.”. If we take this to be true, then we can safely assume that the scenes in the beginning weren’t just there randomly, but in fact placed very carefully, seeing as the establishment of adult Josh being so concerned with gray hairs and wrinkles was very poignant and much too focused for it to be random.

    Also, we need to really understand how it was conceptualised by the filmmakers, for starters it was an idea that has been born from when they were first trying to come up with an idea for a film, which eventually became SAW. And we all know that the twist in SAW is something that has been there all along, from the very beginning. It’s not unreasonable to suspect that this is the kind of twist that they were going for, and could have been similar to the twist in INSIDIOUS with both film conceits being born at around the same time.

  83. Sid said

    Okay more light on your theory and it is becoming interestingly more convincing than the other, I feel like now I just didn’t want to believe the other theory. Thanks for all these explanation they really put a cogency on the other theory. Aside from that Elise mentions in the movie “he is the closest one to possessing Dalton” so if that statement could be applied to Josh, maybe the woman was close to possessing his body and she needed to draw him out one last time.

    As for your reincarnation theory, you are also assuming that by easing in, the astral body loses the characteristics of its previous life, and becomes a body of new memories etc. In other words say if an astral body was to ease into another body it would take the characteristics of its owner. My question upon that is do we know enough of reincarnation to say that is true or is that still a theory. I agree that my theory sort of contradicts what is said on film. In other words the connection is damaged by his trips to the further whereas Elise says that the longer you are in the Further the weaker the connection becomes.

    The fact that they worked backward from the ending leads me to think they are indeed ingenious. Anything is possible at that point because they could come up with the speculation first that the man is possessed and then they can ask themselves : How long was he possessed? or How was he possessed in the first place?

    For Anyone who thinks this is a debate, notice we don’t argue with each other. Its a series of questions and explanations directed to each other. I think Alexiel and I know that arguing about such a topic is pointless because of the ambiguity of the movie. This movie was constructed through the notion that when it’s done it should cause people to speculate and come up with their own theories. In fact when rating a movie they should factor in the appreciation for the movie even after a week of seeing it. The fact that people are debating about it makes it seem even more special. The people that think this movie is as straightforward as a Harry Potter movie are wrong without a doubt. The directors which themselves stated that this movie was a enigmatic construct would disagree with such people. No one can say Alexiel is wrong in anyway, in fact the light he shed upon his theory, and the fact that he seems to know a lot about this topic has made me more convinced about his theory than even mine. Thanks for the insight, it makes the film rather enjoyable.

  84. Alexiel said

    I didn’t mean for our discussions to convince, but I am certainly glad that you are able to see the possibility for the other side :)! More than anything, I am just really surprised at how other people seem trenchant on not believing in that theory whenever someone brings it up, that I feel I really have to share what I thought, because it made the most sense to me. I guess it really is just so icky, consciously and subconsciously to imagine that an old lady would possess a male body, grow up, get married, and *gasp* raise a family. As for the lipstick-face demon to be the closest to possessing Dalton’s body, I think this might be because, typically, demonic entities are one of the strongest in the spirit world. If I remember, in the numerous A Haunting episodes I have seen, there is this recurring theme of having the most malevolent spirit to be the strongest of them all, and a demonic, non-human entity stands above the rest? I am not quite clear where the old lady stands here, but she wasn’t described as a demon, but rather a “parasite” (in relation to young Josh, who was presumably the host), and I got the impression that she was just a spirit who was desperate to live again, and will do anything for it.

    I’ve brought up reincarnation because the thought of living as an old, sinister-looking woman way back in the Victorian times and coming back to be reborn as an average, modern, middle-class suburban dad is a lot easier to swallow. As for the reincarnation undercurrents, we first have to look what sort of influences the filmmakers had, and in fact James Wan specifically said this in the interview above: “In a lot of Asian culture, superstition and spirituality plays a big part, especially in Buddhism. So it’s always something that has always been in the back of my mind and I remember pitching Leigh a particular old wives tale that I’ve heard from my grandmother about people going to sleep and your soul leaves your body when you sleep and the idea is they say never paint or draw on someone’s face when they’re sleeping, because when their soul leaves their body and they come back, they may not recognize that face and they’ll continue moving on. That sensibility I think led to what eventually would be the very tiny seed that would become Insidious.”. I guess he was influenced by a combination of Buddhism and asian old wives tales… and Buddhism follows the idea of souls being separate from the physical body and past lives rather heavily, but it also says that people do not generally consciously remember their past lives. They may have actions, habits and fears which may have stemmed from a past life, but it takes a lot of regression and digging deeper into the unconscious in order to remember details? You can read about it in your own time, as it is really interesting, I myself do not claim to be an expert (not at all) and I have a lot more to understand about it, but I just brought it up to make the point about James Wan being inspired by such religion of thought and it helped in conceptualising Insidious, in particular the realm of the Further and the astral bodies.

    Another interesting thing that I just came across was an interview with Patrick Wilson, the man who played adult Josh Lambert himself. He mentioned how his character specifically really was obsessed with youth, and that he loved these little character-related moments that don’t just make it plot-oriented. He also said “You find out later what’s going on with him and his history, without giving too much away, but I like those undercurrents playing through them because it was someone struggling with their own demons, literally physically, and how do you combat that and that is scary.”. I am honestly not sure how to interpret this but something is telling me that mirror-like scene may be of significance as a kind of attempted resolution?

    Anyway, yes, I agree, the fact that it’s made me comment ridiculously long paragraphs (never done this before, I swear), in an attempt to explain my thoughts just tells me this movie really got me! Thanks for the really thoughtful and insightful comments, btw! They really were successful at making it thought-provoking and open to interpretations, since there are a lot of possible theories! I think it’s brilliantly and cleverly done, you can see that the filmmakers have put a lot of thought into it, and I guess I have a particularly keen interest on it because I have had a lot of puzzling OBE experiences. I agree with Sid that it isn’t straightforward at all, and anyone who claims that one theory is the one definite answer, above all, might just be missing the point.

  85. Sid said

    I think we can all agree that this movie needs a sequel, but preferably away from this plot with a different set of characters maybe employing the same characteristics. They did mention that this movie could lead to a tv series. Because of your information of various factors and hints I think people can understand now why they immediately turned down the possibility that he was possessed from the start,and learn to appreciate it more.

    As for OBE and astral projections, it takes a lot of practice and training, maybe even 20-30 years before you can completely master the art. They are lucky to have such a skill from birth, I sincerely wish I could astral project. There are many positive things to astral projection as there are negative ones such as the knowledge one gets from traveling to places not seen before.

    Alexiel thank you again for answering my questions and taking the time to read my responses.

  86. yus said

    Guess what, i think dalton also was possessed all along, remember when they just moved into the new house (the first big house), when Renai just woke up and went to open an album, dalton came and sat before her and said ” show me my picture when i was a little kid”

  87. Anonymous said

    The ending is a plot hole that’s left many fans trying to fill it in. Even if the women was close enough to possess Josh as a child, he hadn’t been projecting in a long while. The weakened spirit of his childhood wouldn’t be weak as an adult, because the link hadn’t been worn out. Even if Dalton was bait, there was so many spirits still aiming to take over his body with no reason not to possess his body unless they couldn’t. Had Josh been possessed the entire time wouldn’t either the Psychic have noticed it long before. In the instance we see the reveal it’s only a matter of seconds for her to catch on. Even the grandmother had noticed something odd with Dalton in such a short period of time. The only thing I can think of to say why the ending makes sense is that they wanted to end it with a bang and leaving this plot hole leaves the ending up to interpretation. In fact, for all we know the Ghost Lady and the Demon could’ve been one in the same. The Old Lady could’ve manifested the image from her obsession with Josh and used the more visceral image to distract the Dalton. The last frames we see of them in the further region are Dalton being chased by the Demon and Josh screaming at the Parasite and yet only Josh returns possessed. The Demon was portrayed as the stronger of the malevolent spirits while the Old Lady was just a parasite.

  88. Anonymous said

    And i forgot to mention the writing during the seance. It said I know you which could’ve been directed at the Psychic by the Old Lady regarding their previous encounter. She said she basically wanted to kill her, which she did in the end.

  89. Sid said

    Hey Alexiel, sorry to bring u back into this, but When Elise shows him the pictures shouldn’t that bring back the astral body’s perception that it is indeed the woman?

    and in that case Elise should immediately realize who it is?

    Of course that is also very ambiguous.

  90. Sid said

    Also another thing, When elise takes the picture, Josh actually appears in it not the victorian woman ( you have to look at the camera carefully) So im assuming that the camera flash is what she needs to see him? This is also the reason why he isnt in any of his new pictures? I am now ever more confused LOL

  91. OMG! You Guys are so silly! He wasnt possessed from the beginning, he was just the real target. They used the boy to finally Get JOSH’S body. Only at the end he is possessed, when he gives the photos to the spychic you can see that he has old hands with gross fingernails.

  92. Shaun said

    Josh was obviously the real target the whole time, however this isn’t obvious until the scene where the pictures are revealed. His son Dalton, was bait for the Old “Victorian” Woman who had been trying to possess Josh’s body. When Josh had decided to make the descion to go rescue his son, was when he was vulnerable. At the scene where he confronted the woman in “The Further” Josh’s spirit was over-powered, and killed. The Woman had possessed Josh’ body and that was the end of that. When Elise had taken the picture, he saw that Josh was no longer with them, then the Woman had killed Elise for knowing. Then when Josh’s wife (sorry i don’t remember her name) picked up the camera and saw the photo, (during this scene she puts the pieces of the puzzle as to why Elise is dead) Then, the old woman in Josh’s body announces her presence and kills Josh’s Wife.

  93. Sergio said

    The scene where Renai tells an indifferent Josh that all her songs are about him resonates with me.

  94. Fern said

    Well, everyone is saying that Josh was possessed for years but I don’t think so, as it’s been pointed out that in his pictures there was astro-people hanging around him and if he was possessed they wouldn’t be around him. And in the film it states Josh doesn’t like his picture taken BECAUSE of the demon people. At least that’s what I thought I heard. And I know Josh was hynotised so how would he remember the pictures and get the fear of having pictures taken, right? Well, being hypnotised obviously didn’t change his whole personality, and fear is part of personality so that’s how. I hope I am making sense, but I believe that to be true as I seem to of listened to the movie and follow the story-line more than others.

    Yes, I agree that Insidious is a great film. I’m 13 and even though I’m young I’ve seen loads of horror movies, and my friends have only just gotten into them so there coming up to me saying ‘wow, dead silence was well freaky’ and ‘ew, saw and the human centipede was well disturbing’ when I had to turn dead silence off because it bored me and I laughed at saw and the human centipede. My first horror film was when I was 3 and then 8 – as I wasn’t supposed to watch them but I used to sneak into the room without my parents and siblings knowing I was there until the end of the film. So, my point is it takes a lot to get me creeped out, and to be honest when I first watched Insidious at the cinema (I went with my sister and her friends, so they just thought I was with them and let me through), I came back home petrified and I had nightmares for a couple of weeks. I get creeped out over the astro thingy that stands by Dalton’s bed waiting to get into his body, and when the family have moved house and she goes outside and sees the astro like running around the house. So, now when I see body shapes or hear something I assume it’s a demon of some sort (haha)

  95. r.a. mahoney said

    Here’s my take:
    -Josh ended up possessed but was not possessed previously
    -The hypnotism removed the soul that was stalking his picture
    -Why would he be lured back into The Further (his son, chained up) if the lady was already possessing him?
    -When he enters The Further, he enters as a spirit version of himself thus he was not the old lady.
    -Even if Dalton returned to his body, he would continue Astral projecting since there’s no one there to hypnotize him out of it. That sucks.
    -Who knows who returned to Dalton’s body? Not enough clues ha. Probably supposed to be part of the mystery.

    I think the whole movie was great. Not as frightening as reviews I’d heard, but still well-written and portrayed.

  96. Alexiel said

    Hi Sid! I haven’t been on this for a while, so I kinda missed your comment! I did not notice that, I am watching it again for the third time, I’ll look closely! That would be interesting then because it seems like he is still capable of coming up as his normal physical self even when using a camera, if that’s the case.

    PS: Do you have gchat or skype?

  97. Anonymous said

    Something that really bugs me: everyone keeps saying “downstairs, upstairs” THERE IS NO DOWNSTAIRS OR UPSTAIRS IN THE SECOND HOUSE. For the love of God it’s a bungalow. You never see any stairs in the second house. In fact, some time after they first move you see Renai walk around the house from the kitchen to the lounge to the hallway to the bedroom to the front hallway to the kitchen again.
    Does she ever go upstairs? No. Does anyone ever go upstairs? No. Is there an upstairs? NO! Does the first house have an upstairs? Yes. Second house? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    That is all :P

  98. Cody said

    I just watched the movie and I came to the conclusion that part of his soul was left behind as a child. I think when he did they whole hypnosis thing as a kid, they accidently had him leave part of himself in the spirit world. They made him forget all about that stuff and alot of people believe the mind and sould are one, so since he lost his past, he lost that part of his soul. Since he wasnt leaving his body anymore, then maybe the old women couldnt get close anymore because the connection to the spirit world was lost so that would explain why she wasnt in the photos anymore. Then when he goes back, maybe thats why he saw himself because that was his lost childhood. And he reastablished his connection with the spirit world so the old women saw her chance and she took it. The reason that his soul link was so weak is probably because that part of his soul was there for so long that it didnt take much more for the old lady to take her prize. Just my thoughts lol. Thought the movie was great but the ending was expected and cliche in my opinion and left me looking for some explanation on why the director left it like he did. Hate it when horror movie do that now. :| Let me know what you think.

  99. Carlo said

    I agree with Cody’s point of view right above mine. I’m not here to add more theories to this ridiculously long wall of comments since I believe that plot was pretty in the end (the psychic-lady: “[bla bla] there are spirits who want to enjoy life again, others that have A MORE INSIDIOUS AGENDA [*hint hint* the lady] and then there are the demons [bla bla]”).

    What I believe made the ending a bit lame (just a bit, I’m not saying that it sucks) is that possessed-Josh starts yelling at the psychic-lady and the family is practically next door!! What’s even more ridiculous is that (if you paid attention) the wife notices something *strange* is going on after hearing the *chokes* and THEN some yelling when we all know that Josh first yelled “WHY DID YOU DO THAT [bla bla] WHYYYYY!” then strangles then *choke* then “YOU BITCH!!” and stuff.

    COME… ON… Realistically anyone in the same situation would be so shocked that even the slightest change in voice from another room would make you want to go check.

  100. Carlo said


    * I believe that [the] plot was pretty [obvious] in the end

  101. InsidiousReally? said

    Insidious is a collection of creepy scenes, but I found the entire movie to be boring. However, I do appreciate the discussion on this board and the attempt to make sense, of what I think, is a senseless movie. For example:

    1. If Dalton traveled to the further every night, why was he afraid in the attic? We can only assume that he saw red mask or some other guest from the further (unless he saw a rat, which would make too much sense).

    2. If Dalton was such an accomplished traveler, why in the world would he choose to travel to the further? Wouldn’t a kid his age travel to, let say, Disney World?

    The entire picture thing is stupid:

    1. Why would the creatures from the farther appear in pictures while the person is in his own body. Wouldn’t they appear when the person was traveling outside of his body? What exactly are they getting close to? They can’t enter the body when the person is in it.

    2. The premise is that Josh was afraid of having his picture taken. Why? In the movie we are never told that he saw the pictures, only his mother did. If you were to see ghosts creeping around your 8 year-old child in a picture, would you show the picture to your son? No, you wold keep it to yourself!

    3. So, why was Josh afraid of having his picture taken? (it would only make sense if he was possessed the entire time)

    4. The creatures from the further obviously never played hide and seek because everyone in the movie saw them without the use of the camera.

    I can go on the on, but it seems like the only insidious thing about this movie is the plot. Personally, I think that the endings of Silent Hill and Premonition were much more interesting. Here is a cliffhanger: Why did Renai freak out when she turned towards Josh at the end. She should have lost it when he touched her back, but no she had to turn around and look at him. What did she see? Was it the old lady? Was it Josh? Perhaps the insidious part of this movie is that she was the target the entire time? Don’t think about it too much because nothing in this movie makes sense (tip to Elise, we do have microphones in the 21 century, there is no need to use a WWI gas mask, argh!!!)

  102. ROssR said

    You all assume that the boy is actually dalton.. you never see him enter his body you only see it from the view of an unknown person. I think the woman overtook the dad as his link was weak from his childhood and was just waiting to get him. But I think the boy isnt the boy and is something else.

  103. Jay said

    Great review.. Totally agree. Finally a good old fashioned truly scary movie. Blood and gore are not scary.. Just gross. But cocepts like this along with the ‘boo’ moments.. Brrr. I mean the thing followed them!! Yikes

  104. Ryland said

    After the credits it shows the old lady-demon blowing out a candle in front of the screen…is this symbolism or something? and btw i loved your review and your absolutely right_ it a fantastic movie and people downgrade the climatic ending.

  105. Q: How did Josh get possessed?
    A: After about an hour of really taking everything into consideration, I’ve come up with the correct reason on how Josh got possessed. It’s actually very clear, but you really need to pay attention to the movie while it happens. Most people, like myself, before replaying it, will miss it. After Josh and Dalton are in the house Josh gets tired and tells Dalton that he’ll be behind him. Dalton goes off through the rooms… etc. Meanwhile, back in Josh-land, he finds himself staring into the lady, (no, it’s not a mirror. it is a window.) he is on the outside of the house looking through the window of the kitchen where the lady is standing on the inside looking outside at him. Josh’s wife is yelling to him, “Follow my voice! Josh please come back! Josh please! …etc.” You see Josh standing and yelling at the woman to “get away from him”. Meanwhile you are put into a point-of-view of a person navigating there way through the house, hearing Josh’s wife calling to Josh. After many switches back and forth between Josh yelling at the woman and the point-of-view navigating through the house the point-of-view finally reaches Josh’s body.


    Now before you stop reading, hear me out. This happens to be the ONLY factual reason that is possible for the fact of him being possessed. It’s also very much common sense. There is no way Josh could be yelling at the woman and be running to his body at the same time. Common sense. Also, when the point-of-view reaches Josh’s body, the woman Josh is yelling at fades into the darkness, (disappears). That is because she has left that world, (the further), and jumped into Josh’s body returning herself (as him) into the real world where the psychic and his wife were waiting for him.

    Q: Why did Josh strangle Elise (The Psychic)?
    A: Obviously, after the whole thing was supposed to be good, Josh said, “Guess I won’t be needing these anymore.” and handed the pictures of him as a kid to the psychic, but when handed to her, the psychic saw his hands, and they looked very withered and decomposed, that is the woman who possessed Josh. The psychic being curious as to why she was seeing his hands like that decided to take a picture of him to get the bottom of her curiosity and that proves the “age old” saying, so yes, curiosity did kill the cat in this case. Elise looked at the camera which would be the last picture she would ever look at. Josh (which is now the woman because she possessed him /// explained above in the first question) obviously did not want Elise to get away with that because now there is PICTURE PROOF that Josh is now the woman whom he was yelling at through the window when he was in “the further”. Therefore, strangling Elise.

    I will now answer a lot of questions with these next few answers.

    Q: Why did Josh see himself in The Further as a little kid?
    Q: He had to have been possessed the whole time. Right?
    A: No. Not right. Not 100%. Part of his soul was left behind in “The Further” as a child.

    Q: How did Josh leave a part of his soul in “The Further” as a child?
    Q: Why wasn’t the demon behind Josh in the picture his mother looked at when she was helping his wife unpack at their new house?
    A: During that time when Josh was hypnotized as a little kid, a part of his soul was left behind. That part of his soul was a certain part of his past, the part of himself that remembers everything about his “astral” (out of body) experiences. Now, without that part of his soul that contains that certain part of his past… 20 years later when he is an adult, married and has kids, he doesn’t remember any of times where he would be “astral” while sleeping. That is why he is confused when his mother tells him that his son Dalton got his “astral” abilities from him because Josh did it when he was younger. Josh was baffled and started denying everything because he doesn’t remember any of it. That is why he FORGOT ALL ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES BEING ASTRAL AS A KID BECAUSE THAT PART OF HIS SOUL IS STILL IN “The Further”. The ONLY thing that links him to remembering any kind of out of body experience while sleeping was the recurring dream where he is watching himself sleep which is constantly played throughout the movie and especially in the scene when his mom tells him that he used to be “astral”. People believe the mind and soul are are one. Since he wasn’t leaving his body anymore the woman couldn’t get close to him anymore because the connection to his spirit, the part which got left behind in “The Further”, was no longer able to connect with him. That would explain why the demon wasn’t behind Josh in the picture his mother looked at when she was helping his wife unpack at their new house. This is also why Josh sees himself as a little kid when he goes back to “The Further” because that was his lost childhood he had forgotten when he was hypnotized as a child. And since you don’t age in “The Further” that is why he is still a kid. Seeing himself as a kid pointing him into the right direction reestablished his connection with the his lost “spirit”. This is why it was so easy for the woman to jump into Josh’s body because his soul link was so weak from being in “The Further” for so long that it didnt take much more for the old lady to control him. Remember, the last picture he took with her in the background, she was right over his shoulder. Josh’s last visit to “The Further” was all she needed.

    That should more than enough explain people’s questions regarding the movie.

    I also believe that Dalton was possessed in the end because the same thing happens as with Josh. The last scene you see of Dalton in “The Further” was him trying to run away from the man with fire on his face. Keyword is “trying”. He is “trying” to run away, but you have the same point-of-view of an unknown person approaching Dalton’s body and coming back into the real world. The ONLY two things that may disprove this theory of Dalton also being possessed are things that I argue to myself with. They are…(1) the reason that Dalton is hungry and tired after everything. He could be tired because he was running all over the place, leaving him exhausted. (2) The other thing is that he is hungry because since he was in a coma for a while that he hasn’t eaten anything, therefore his big appetite. That shows normal character traits of running around and being in a “coma”. A demon wouldn’t exactly be hungry and tired would he? Ha. Anyway, Everything else above this little theory of mine is definitely fact. Hope I cleared up a lot of things with everyone. Thanks.

  106. anck su namun said

    Don’t know if this was mentioned, I didn’t care to read ALL the cmmts but when Josh stopped in the kitchen and told Dalton to keep going, he saw the old lady in the window and as the camera circles around the two of them you then notice that the old lady is in front of the sink (in the kitchen) and Josh is outside (you can see bushes etc). So I’m guessing the rotation somehow symbolizes the transfer of souls/bodies… food for thought

  107. Anonymous said

    Back too the sister and Brother, the brother said he saw Dalton walking about: The brother might have the “gift” aswell, and they are luring in the baby sister in hope of her having it too.
    I’d like too work in the brother and sister in too be more important too the story, ’cause I do believe they have more too do with them.

    As too the hypnosis, I believe its a little vague that the guy forgets how too do enter asstral form, its a little too thin for me; I mean he learned it somehow as a kid, why would it take him 30years too re-do it? this would be the reason I really like the “Old lady is him all along” theory, ’cause when he was hypnotized he was allready the old lady. and too make him act as a “normal” kid,
    Though personally I believe basicly what “Anck Su Namun” just said aswell
    “So I’m guessing the rotation somehow symbolizes the transfer of souls/bodies”

    The family in the further house (I think I saw someone saying the 70’s?) Is basicly around when Josh could’ve been born, The doll that kills off the family is resembling his mother. Josh might’ve inherrited the “gift” from his mother, who is allready possesed, She had too kill the family ’cause they found out. I think its a little weird that Josh only have a mother, when she is that young. The father does not even appear too support him when his grandson gets in a coma? I know the father might just be some random lay, but I dont believe in coincidents.

    And when they gather its an earlier memory of Josh (The one with the stairs when they all suddenly pop up and smile at him) Thats because when Josh was in the Further before he left his memories there, its his family smiling too him when he was a baby.
    That would mean they have gathered an entire family of spirits that is re-living as a family. and this will support the theory of the spirits collabroating togheter as a team, they want too live again.

  108. Jess said

    Post 35 is by far the best and makes the most sense. Great job.

  109. Anonymous said

    If Josh was possessed by the Victorian woman since he was a child, would it still be possible for his astral abilites to be passed onto Dalton?

  110. Lovingscarymovies! said

    I enjoyed the movie!!! Awesome… question though…how did the old lady know that Josh wasn’t Josh before snapping the picture?

  111. Anonymous said

    Jeez, I just saw this last night. I t was really good. I was confused at first but I think I get it. Remember the voice on the monitor in the baby’s room? Recall how the old lady appeared in there and also the demon was just kind of standing around…waiting for something?

    Wow, just saw the comment a couple above mine and YES, post 35 gets it the same way I did.

    The baby monitor is the biggest clue to the trap I think. The old woman set a plan for Josh and was keeping the demon at bay…basically she was making it so that the demon had to wait until Josh was baited and came into the Further., and then she would allow him to have Dalton’s body. That’s why he argued with her saying “I want it now! Give it to me!” over the monitor. He was getting lustful after it and she was saying in due time or something along those lines until her plan played out.

  112. you know, i think when josh was looking at the old lay and then disaoears she went to josh’s body first
    and then wokes up and the real josh is still trapped in the further

  113. A 15 year old girl :) said

    Ok so this is what i think… i think that josh is weak he has been drained by this old lady spirt as a child and now as an adult is closer to death therefore the hold/bond on his body is weaker… i think that the suppressed memories that are now surfacing into his mind take form into the younger him lits eading his way to his son since he knows this world from past exsperience. i understand everything until the very end when he is arguing with the old lady in the mirror and holding that candle…. why can she hold the light? all these other beings have all never held the light or simply shy away from it. the only conclusion i can draw from this is that when the people are shouting shine the light on him shine the light on him this is the light that the old lady holds she now holds josh (the light) and as she dissappers taking the light with her she takes joshes body. ok but then what about the son and the demon does he win or the demon who got to the body first?? mostly the son… since its stated in the movie that the demon has only one true purpose to cause pain… sooooo then why would him pretend to be this good son? and the lady how could she tell that josh had been taken? was it her ablities? why had noone else noticed? i can someone tell me i looked over the video and i cant see how she knew…

  114. I like your theory is very smart

  115. Reece said

    When Josh is shouting at the old woman in the mirror, the camera pans through the wall, showing a side view of them both. A bit later it shows him shouting at her but the basin and the bathroom is in the reflection with the old woman, while plants and stuff are on Josh’s side of the mirror.

    This to me seemed as if she was now in the real world, and Josh was trapped in The Further.
    Not sure, but I think it adds to the theory that she finally posesses him in the end.

  116. Kyle said

    Damn this movie made me laugh and if you thought it was scary as fuck you have to be the biggest pussy. The movie seemed like a joke the whole time and I’m not hating I’m speaking my truthful opinion.

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  118. justatheory said

    what i want to know is why the mother in good conscience let her child choose spaghetti as his first meal in five months? kid is gonna have some major indigestion! talk about a true demon possession!x

  119. justatheory said

    also, i think the baby is really the old lady b/c if you think about the crazy crazy noises were coming from the baby monitor but not from the boy monitor – think about that everyone. your welcome

  120. Anonymous said

    The ending does suck

  121. ryder said

    i find this interesting, because of the “as time goes on, the link grows weaker” because this was the same sort of idea in the 2nd or 3rd twilight book (i cant remember which) where the quileutes were able to release their spirits and have influence that way, so the chief got trapped by a demon and took the body of a wolf. if you’ve read twilight you know what im talking about

  122. Long dong silver the 3rd said

    Whilst i think many on here have dedicated far too much time in pursuit of some hidden meaning to what is essentially quite a poorly written film, i do find a few of the theories interesting. I think we, the audience, were genuinly meant to leave the screening with all of the loose ends tied up or at the very least with quite a concrete idea of what happened next in our minds. Unfortunately due to a complex mixture of bad scripting and poor editing we are instead left with a whole raft of questions.

    The most logical explanation for the ending, to me anyway, would have to be as explained in comment no 35. At some point during Josh’s trip into the “furthering” (seriously, is that the best the script writers could come up with?) he is possessed by the old woman. The entire episode being nothing more than a complex plan set out in his child hood by various nefarious creatures.

    There were three seperate entities that i listed ; firstly the old lady. Seen little throughout but there nonetheless. The schemer behind everything. The second was the red faced demon who seemed to just be waiting his time throughout, always perched over Daltons body almost as a protectant rather than a danger? And third, the gypsy in the leather jacket. He’s most prevalent in the scene involving the mother in the baby’s room, pacing backwards and forth biding his time for something.

    It seems to me that there were three clear entities in the house all along, each with their own specific needs/wants. The old lady clearly wanted Josh, and got him. The red faced demon wanted Dalton and was last seen chasing him down a corridor, cut to a scence of Dalton chowing down like there’s no tomorrow, back in “the real world”. Got him? i think so. Then there’s the guy in the trenchcoat who can be heard, i believe, on the baby monitor shouting “i want him now”, but to whom and why? I’d wager to the old lady about taking the baby.

    All in all i thought it was a fairly poor film with little or no horror/schock value (i honestly don’t know where these supposed scary moments are?). The only question marks left after watching could have, and should have been answered with a tighter script.

    3 ghouls/demons for 3 males of a family of “astral dickheads” (or whatever bullshit name they were given), simples.

  123. […] The final act is disappointing, and it’s hard for me to believe its strong resemblance to Thai flick Shutter‘s ending is a mere coincidence. To be fair though, some supporters of the ending make valid points. […]

  124. gallaher said

    Okay so…
    me and a friend thought that elise noticed he was the old man when he handed her the photos and said “guess i dont need these anymore”
    if you noticed how nasty and dirty his hands where?
    and i think the old lady got in him when he was in the further..

  125. gallaher said

    old lady not old man(:

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  127. placidscream said

    Ok so people have argued back and forth about whether he was possessed all along or he got possessed at the end.
    I just want to state that by the movie logic James Wan puts forward, the mind and spirit is one, as in a persons mind can be projected during sleep or can be hypnotized into doing so. The mind is also the spirit and it is what the dead want to replace in the living.
    Elise clearly states that they suppressed his memory entirely of the whole incident meaning even if his mind was replaced by the old lady, the session was to wipe out that mind.
    Now throughout the whole movie we DONT see the old lady at all during the present, either when ghosts are trying to enter Dalton in the real world or when Josh is in the further, except when Josh looks into the mirror at the end. We also apparently see Josh as a kid in the further that means he is already there.
    This directly proves the fact that the old lady possessed him when he was a kid, and when she got out she(or her mind or identity) suffered the memory suppression Elise performed and she didnt know who she was until she looked in the mirror in the further. The real world only shows us the physical body, and we nor her, can see her as her true self.
    The photograph Elise takes at the end is not shown at all, instead a video of the event is seen. Of course it is implied that the photo showed her there and this is the cause of everyone arguing which brings me to my prize argument. For starters, she never showed up in that marriage photograph before because her identity or memory or spirit in essence was suppressed. This is also why Elise had no idea cuz Josh himself did not know. But more importantly…
    **–We know for certain that Josh does not like photos his whole life, except when he was a kid and the photos, of the old lady in the background, were taken.–** Now when Elise takes his pic at the end he yells out –how could you do that when you know how –I–FEEL–ABOUT–THEM!!!

    –great article cinemapsycho! cheers!

  128. Anonymous said

    just one thing, just before the ending credits, josh puts his hand on Renai saying “Renai, its me” what that means ?

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  130. Ted said

    The first part was scary, but the ending was over-the-top and confusing. I think the director implied Patrick Wilson’s character had been possessed all along, that’s why we saw a younger version of his character in the ‘Further.’ But if he had been possessed all along then why did the old woman that possessed him even bother to look for his son in the Further or even agree to go back? And when she did go back why did it seem so unfamiliar to her? Maybe the spirit that possessed him forgot that she was dead. Maybe when Wilson’s character saw her in the mirror he didn’t realize that was his own reflection and once he/she returned to Wilson’s body she remembered. And the photographs.. are we to believe he never had his photograph taken? What about his driver’s license? Maybe the psychic had a special camera that could photograph spirits, but Wilson’s character disliked having his photo taken period, regardless of whether or not it was some sorta special camera. And if the old woman had forgotten she had possessed Wilson why on Earth would she remember that having her photograph taken would reveal she was possessing him? Too confusing. And the ending with all the ghosts–especially the spirt that shoots her family–was corny as hell. I give the movie 3 stars.

  131. Ted said

    Oh yeah, and why de we see her as Josh when she was in the Further? She even appeared as Josh to a younger version of himself, who pointed him the way to Dalton. Makes no sense.

  132. Anonymous said

    Well, I have thought long and hard about my opinion on this movie. I love this movie it freaks me out. And to answer my side on the ending of this movie, I believe that the old victorian woman stayed by josh but we couldnt see her. See, the photo that was shown at the beginning lacked the old woman. However, he was forced to forget everything that happened. He could still be near possession, but she would not be shown because he forgot. At the end, he was growing tired. The old lady knew where he was the whole time. She knew where his body was. And like they said, possession takes time. She had the time to sit there and use whatever amount of energy she needed to finally take him over. His body was open to any spirit when he came back. She waited around long enough just so he would realize who she was confront her, and then be trapped in the further. Some have asked how did Elise know it was the old lady. If you look at Josh’s hands you will see that hey resemble the old ladys. Elise can make out some things about others. In this case she saw the hands. Dalton did get free. He was almost possessed during the seance of sorts. But Elise set him free. Bottom line, two spirits, two bodies, two completely different agendas, one successful, one failure.

  133. shawn said

    The movie goood itself to me the ending to unrealistic when the man with the fire on his face sundenly comes out of nowehere and. Then everyone heard the mum talks it just weird

  134. Anonymous said

    Maybe josh just hated elise and wanted to kill her. haha.

  135. Zach said

    I reckon that the only reason the little boy got away from the DEMON so easily is cause he wanted him to get away from him for his plan to make the family to think its over…. if they do a number 2 it shouldnt be about different ghosts tryin to get to josh it should be about the demon cause tbh when i saw the demon in number i proper shat my self haha :D

  136. cinema said


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  137. Gg said

    Wow that is revealing and does make sense but I still didn’t like the movie will there be a part two

  138. Anonymous said

    If he was targeted all along how did the “parasite” who possed him know that his child was going to go to far into the “astral world” I think it ended the way did to make and Amazing sequel which I hope that’s why but that is just my opinion.

  139. Anonymous said

    I have copied post 105 which explains it all.

    Q: How did Josh get possessed?
    A: After about an hour of really taking everything into consideration, I’ve come up with the correct reason on how Josh got possessed. It’s actually very clear, but you really need to pay attention to the movie while it happens. Most people, like myself, before replaying it, will miss it. After Josh and Dalton are in the house Josh gets tired and tells Dalton that he’ll be behind him. Dalton goes off through the rooms… etc. Meanwhile, back in Josh-land, he finds himself staring into the lady, (no, it’s not a mirror. it is a window.) he is on the outside of the house looking through the window of the kitchen where the lady is standing on the inside looking outside at him. Josh’s wife is yelling to him, “Follow my voice! Josh please come back! Josh please! …etc.” You see Josh standing and yelling at the woman to “get away from him”. Meanwhile you are put into a point-of-view of a person navigating there way through the house, hearing Josh’s wife calling to Josh. After many switches back and forth between Josh yelling at the woman and the point-of-view navigating through the house the point-of-view finally reaches Josh’s body.


    Now before you stop reading, hear me out. This happens to be the ONLY factual reason that is possible for the fact of him being possessed. It’s also very much common sense. There is no way Josh could be yelling at the woman and be running to his body at the same time. Common sense. Also, when the point-of-view reaches Josh’s body, the woman Josh is yelling at fades into the darkness, (disappears). That is because she has left that world, (the further), and jumped into Josh’s body returning herself (as him) into the real world where the psychic and his wife were waiting for him.

    Q: Why did Josh strangle Elise (The Psychic)?
    A: Obviously, after the whole thing was supposed to be good, Josh said, “Guess I won’t be needing these anymore.” and handed the pictures of him as a kid to the psychic, but when handed to her, the psychic saw his hands, and they looked very withered and decomposed, that is the woman who possessed Josh. The psychic being curious as to why she was seeing his hands like that decided to take a picture of him to get the bottom of her curiosity and that proves the “age old” saying, so yes, curiosity did kill the cat in this case. Elise looked at the camera which would be the last picture she would ever look at. Josh (which is now the woman because she possessed him /// explained above in the first question) obviously did not want Elise to get away with that because now there is PICTURE PROOF that Josh is now the woman whom he was yelling at through the window when he was in “the further”. Therefore, strangling Elise.

    I will now answer a lot of questions with these next few answers.

    Q: Why did Josh see himself in The Further as a little kid?
    Q: He had to have been possessed the whole time. Right?
    A: No. Not right. Not 100%. Part of his soul was left behind in “The Further” as a child.

    Q: How did Josh leave a part of his soul in “The Further” as a child?
    Q: Why wasn’t the demon behind Josh in the picture his mother looked at when she was helping his wife unpack at their new house?
    A: During that time when Josh was hypnotized as a little kid, a part of his soul was left behind. That part of his soul was a certain part of his past, the part of himself that remembers everything about his “astral” (out of body) experiences. Now, without that part of his soul that contains that certain part of his past… 20 years later when he is an adult, married and has kids, he doesn’t remember any of times where he would be “astral” while sleeping. That is why he is confused when his mother tells him that his son Dalton got his “astral” abilities from him because Josh did it when he was younger. Josh was baffled and started denying everything because he doesn’t remember any of it. That is why he FORGOT ALL ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCES BEING ASTRAL AS A KID BECAUSE THAT PART OF HIS SOUL IS STILL IN “The Further”. The ONLY thing that links him to remembering any kind of out of body experience while sleeping was the recurring dream where he is watching himself sleep which is constantly played throughout the movie and especially in the scene when his mom tells him that he used to be “astral”. People believe the mind and soul are are one. Since he wasn’t leaving his body anymore the woman couldn’t get close to him anymore because the connection to his spirit, the part which got left behind in “The Further”, was no longer able to connect with him. That would explain why the demon wasn’t behind Josh in the picture his mother looked at when she was helping his wife unpack at their new house. This is also why Josh sees himself as a little kid when he goes back to “The Further” because that was his lost childhood he had forgotten when he was hypnotized as a child. And since you don’t age in “The Further” that is why he is still a kid. Seeing himself as a kid pointing him into the right direction reestablished his connection with the his lost “spirit”. This is why it was so easy for the woman to jump into Josh’s body because his soul link was so weak from being in “The Further” for so long that it didnt take much more for the old lady to control him. Remember, the last picture he took with her in the background, she was right over his shoulder. Josh’s last visit to “The Further” was all she needed.

    That should more than enough explain people’s questions regarding the movie.

    So he was only possessed at the end. The young him was either part of his soul left when he was hypnotised and forgot or his memories he lost manifesting itself when he went in and remembered.

  140. Annonmys said

    But see what i dont understand is how exactly did he end up being possed in the first place?????? please someone help

  141. Anonymous said

    The possession occurs when Josh is at the mirror or window or whatever in the Further. Dalton runs off to his room, and Josh attempts to confront the old woman. At some point during his attempted confrontation, we see them switch positions, with Josh on the outside of the house and the old woman on the inside. Even though it’s not well explained, this part is the first hint that he loses that battle.

  142. Anonymous said

    Further explanations of various things mentioned:
    1. The voice on the monitor is the demon. It wants Dalton. The voice swears and expresses anger in the same way later in the movie when Elaine or Elise or whatever is wearing the gas mask and her assistant writes what the demon says.
    2. Dalton’s first encounter with the demon is when he’s knocked out in the attic. This begins the demon’s “insidious” plan to entrap the boy’s body. The writer admitted that there were two villians – why would the demon and old woman work in tandem? There’s no logical incentive for this to make any sense at all.

    Admittedly, what would have made more sense than the movie’s current ending is that another spirit possessed Josh while he was distracted by the old woman. I guess we’re supposed to assume that she smiles and fades away because she has won, in that she has distracted him for long enough to reach the aggregate amount of time required in the further for her to finally take his body. She was the closest to doing so, after all, given that she was last shown right by him in the photo.

  143. Anonymous said

    Oh, also the burglar alarm goes off because spirits are trying to come in for dalton’s body.

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  145. Dan said

    Superb article – the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I read the explanation of the ending! Magnificant film

  146. Michelle said

    I watched this movie recently and did not think it was scary at all….Although there were a few parts that mad my eyes widen….I do like it though and you did a very good job of explaining the ending I really was comfused by it….this movie is a cliff hanger and wish they would make a second to show how everything turned out! I do think this movies has made people wonder if what happened to them really happen! :)

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  148. WOW! To the people who didn’t find it scary. You have to put yourself in the atmosphere and in the characters shoes. What if you walked in your babies room and saw a figure standing over its cradle behind a curtain? I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. Its frickin freaky. Especially because you clearly saw a face and it wasn’t a pretty one.

    Bravo to all that tried to explain the movie. I wish every board or blog would be this objective/insightful. Only thing I hate is that with so many theories we don’t truly know what the real outcome was supposed to be. I’m going to have to watch it again for myself and see if I can draw my own conclusion.

    Is it just me or can you see a sequel completely ruining what to me was a very solid first movie? I’ll admit I get caught up in the atmosphere of scary movies (good ones) very easily. So for me its easy to be scared or feel ” it ” coming because I’m anticipating it. I can see them completely over thinking and butchering the sequel. If they did that it would decrease the value of Insidious. With this said I wish I could be told straight up what everything in the movie means for real.

  149. I have a love/hate deal with the ending. I like how we can speculate and come up with different thoughts but everybody likes a little closure in life don’t they? You guys bring up so many different theories, most that you can’t throw out the window, that it leaves you wondering. I want to just be told the real deal, but at the same time if the real deal isn’t as good as some of y’all theories, then I would regret knowing. Bummer man. I’m going to watch it again and I’ll come back and post what I think. Not that you care. Great

  150. jasmine said

    i love that movie. I love horror movies in general. but there is something about that movie, the way they made it. that thing scared me for a whole month. it was just too real. that movie jacked up my head. i watched it 2x and thats all it took. can’t watch it again. just hearing the music gets me crazy. and the face of the demon they showed that was after the kid. My lord!!!! toooo much. I wonder if the person playing the demon, could sleep well after the film. i sure couldn’t. i tell my friends that if they watch that film they gonna have to be doing allot of prayin afterwards. cause you begin to really feel paranoyed. Anybody who can make a film that makes you want to get right with jesus after watchin it cause you are so damn scared deserves (in my opinion) the highest movie award there least when it comes to horror.

  151. josh said

    but then why did elise take a picture of him in the first place

  152. Erik said

    Here’s my take (which I didn’t have after watching the movie tonight but have now that I am enlightened by CP’s original post):

    Josh was possessed as an 8-year old. His mom stopped taking pictures of him cuz she was scared to death of seeing the old lady in them, so she just assumed that when his night terrors stopped Elise had thwarted the old lady’s attempts. But what really happened was that the old lady took shared possession (as a parasite) and was content to be ‘living’ while letting regular Josh push all the ‘normal’ buttons so no one in the real world was the wiser.

    Fast forward to the picture of the family with Josh as a dad. You don’t see the old lady because she was completely in the vessel of Josh’s body, so there is nothing to see outside of it. [Also, remember how he had that weird mirror scene in the bathroom where he pulled out a hair and the whole thing seemingly had no point? Watch how it ties into the next part…]

    Now for the end. Josh is “Josh” all the way through the Further scene until he walks past a mirror in his current house. It’s only at that point, being in the Further, that he sees the old lady and curses the fact that she is forever tied to him in the background. When he awakens in the real world again, he probably knows the whole truth of her parasitic life inside of him but is trying to keep it under wraps since she has never controlled his actions before. And she is content to living behind the curtain too…until Elise puts it all together. Then the old lady parasite feels threatened and takes control of Josh’s body and voila….The Aristocrats!

    PS: For all of you who defined the title of the movie, thanks. I feel like that definition of entrapment and beguiling helped me confirm my theory as being highly plausible…

  153. Jonathan crankshaw said

    Spoiler !!

    I don’t feel like it was all a ply to take his fathers body all along as their where more than 2 entities and I can’t see them working together to help each other as only 1 will get the body.

    Personally I feel the film was scary to start but once Freddie Kruger and Darth Sith’s love child turned up, it went stupid. The further wasn’t scary at all and went a little silly for me. I think the expression “there is bother to fear but fear itself” fits perfectly in this film as its all psychological at the beginning, your own imagination takes over.

    The ending was fine but personally I feel like it was a totally different film at the end.

  154. Yahara said

    Alexiel starting at post 74 gives the best interpretations and answers.

    I agree with him that Josh was possessed since he was 8 yeas old. The only thing I disagree with is his assessment on how the old woman looses herself and becomes Josh. I don’t think it is because once she took over his body she was basically reborn and lost her memories of her former self, even though we do know that in version of reincarnation the new person isn’t aware of their former lives, but this is possession not really reincarnation.

    I believe it was the hypnosis the Psychic said she did on young Josh to make him forget, what I Believe in fact she did was hypnotize Josh and when he went under the the old woman took over but then hypnotized the old woman who had already possessed Josh and thus her memories were repressed and she then began taking on the life of Josh. But the subconscious fear or taking pictures remained and a few other subconscious traits, like the fear of getting old, which is why we see him fusing about gray hairs and putting aging cream on his face in the movie. And also in doing so the Psychic trapped young Josh in the further basically forever.

    This theory is the only thing that explains the young Josh still trapped in the Further when adult Josh got there. I think it wasn’t until the old woman came face to face with herself that she remembered who she was, because remember when Josh and his son got separated they were already in the House, he is in the kitchen looking like Josh and then he sees someone and says “YOU” he walks to what appears to be a mirror The entity looking like adult Josh is in the house in the kitchen but as the perspectives change we then see that its actually the old lady that is in the kitchen and the person looking like Josh is on the outside of the house. Remember in the opening scene and when Josh’s mom talks about the past they always show the woman outside the window. However in this scene she is inside the window and the adult Josh is outside, It was always her who was in the house and when she recalls who she is the movie shows us her as herself inside the house. That is why she was able to beat all the other ghost back the the body because she had the strongest link to because she had been in it all that time. But now she came back with her own memories and that is why when the picture was taken she projected herself instead of Josh.

    That is why she snapped and said why did you do that YOU KNOW I don’t like my picture taken it was her the whole time that didn’t like her picture taken. That is why she told the Physic that she KNEW that.

    Great movie !

  155. Yahara said

    Oh one more thing, some people note that the old woman wouldn’t have lived as Josh and been a father and a husband, but when Josh comes back which no matter what theory one accepts, he is the old woman yes his hugs and kisses his child like he really was concerned and kisses his wife and seems very affectionate and loving, it seems creepy to think of it that way but it seems the old woman had every intention of continuing living that life as Josh.

  156. Anjo said

    i’ve seen this movie, it is one of the scariest film i’ve ever seen, after i’ve seen this i could not sleep without any covers. i watched it also with my family and they were scared also. Looking forward for a sequel

  157. QDot'smom said

    Great movie, started watching it at midnight last night and I had to wait until this morning to finish it!!While I’m taking everyone’s theories in I would like to point out a couple of things. The first kid who directed Josh to the house was NOT the younger josh, if you noticed he was wearing the monkey pajamas that matched his moms; hence it was Dalton. The child Josh rescued had on plaid pajamas, He was never wearing plaid pajamas throughout the movie.
    I also think Dalton is possessed, the little boy in shackles was a pawn.
    I also think Josh’s mom has a lot more to do with this story and will play a bigger role in the sequel. Her character was just too quiet and shady.

    DId anyone else see what made Elise realize Josh was possessed?

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  160. Patrick Wilson said

    When Josh looked at the picture that Elise gave to him the “Ghost” was hella far from Josh and Elise said “it keeps getting closer and closer”….As you can see the last picture, the “Ghost” was behind Josh. At the Ending, Elise took a last picture before she died…. when Renai (Josh’s Wife) looked at the picture.. the “ghost” had completely Possessed Josh’s body.

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  163. Anonymous said

    Here is what I think after watching it twice:

    1. The old woman was getting closer and closer to Josh “each time a photo was taken”. Elise promptly made sure no more pictures were taken of Josh, and helped him to forget astral projection and his memories of the old lady.

    2. The old lady never showed back up until Josh astral projected and then leads her to where his body is. He sees her and remembers the advice from Elise “you are strong, fight them, you are the live one”, so he stupidly just yells at her thinking he can get rid of her. The old lady laughs at his attempt to scare her off and assumes her place near/inside in Josh’ body. Josh then finds his way back to his body, wakes up, hugs and happy time.

    3. Elise sees Josh, but notices some old features around his hand, kinda weird, let me take a picture to check a theory…BIG MISTAKE. Since the old lady travels in “picture time land”, she was right on his body when this last picture was taken and now the old lady has control and she reacts her revenge on Elise for wasting her time.

    I cannot believe she had control of him the whole time, there would have been signs, and I cannot believe Dalton is possessed, the demon could have had his body the whole time, he just wanted to USE the body to inflict pain, as a demon does, he just had to stay near the body so the other spirits wouldn’t try to possess it. This movie scared the shit out of me and it didn’t help that I had a handful of dreams as a kid of a scary old lady looking in at me from a window.

  164. lisa said

    Hi can you tell me the reference made by daltons mother, that she wanted things to be better from now on, (while in bed in first house in film) then on steps same house said everything has gone wrong …? and how she says to her husband that he avoids all stressful things. This leads to the questions was he possessed all the time, (applying mositrusier to eyes and plucking out grey hair in mirror )
    I will say i seen it in theatre and many times on video and it is a true real scarey movie, i know htat elise says to leave this vessel, but does not say it in Gods name, i guess being Catholic we feel that no one but God or an excorsist can cast out demons.
    We are prob all overthinking, But i really loved this show and it is one that you can wathc over and over again/

  165. DudeTheMan said

    So I read through most of the comments here and several of them are just pure fantasy with no grounding in the movie at all..

    For instance, anyone who believes they know whether or not Dalton was possessed at the end of the movie is just wrong. We do not see who walks up to the bed in the further. It could be the demon, but it could just as easily be Dalton. When we last saw the two of them Dalton was running ahead of the demon. He could have made it to the bed or the demon could have stopped him. All the arguments so far about him being hungry and tired go both ways. Coma patients are shown time and time again to crave real food when they finally wake up. And the boy saying he is tired is most likely mental exhaustion due to the ordeal he has been through. He does not specifically say he wants to go to sleep. He just says he is tired. We don’t even know if the demon needs to eat or sleep. There simply is not enough evidence either way to tell whether it is Dalton or the demon.

    Another gigantic leap in logic, is that somehow Josh was the old lady from the start.. There is literally no evidence of this in the movie at all. In fact it is disproved several times. The family photo is the most obvious one. The second most obvious is that, if the old woman was Josh she would not be tortured by dreams of the further. And the fact that everything Josh has done throughout the movie, including saving his son in the further, has been with good intentions. And the fact that Elise has proven she can see/sense into the further and says that she successfully hypnotized Josh to save him. Not to mention Josh is visibly confused/scared by what he sees in the further. And Elise never sees the old woman inside Josh until after he is actually possessed by her at the end of the movie. Josh is very much himself up until the very end of the movie.

    Yet another large leap in logic, is that the old woman and the demon are working together. We literally never see or hear them interact at all. The voices over the baby monitor were the spirits arguing over who gets Dalton. Elise actually says that they want to enter an empty vessel. And throughout the movie multiple spirits show up, not just the demon and the old woman. The demon was not waiting for Josh. He was waiting for the boy to be weakened enough to take his body. Again this was stated in the movie by Elise. No where during the movie are we ever given the slightest evidence that the demon is connected to the old woman in any way. In fact they are kept completely separate throughout with completely different agendas. The demon never shows the slightest interest in Josh and the old woman never shows any interest in Dalton. There is no overlap of their motivations at all.

    As for the last unproven idea.. The title “Insidious”, is not evidence that they were after Josh all along. The title is referring to the relationship between the entities who are trying to take someone over and the vessel being accosted. In this case Dalton, who is quite literally trapped throughout the majority of the movie. The idea that they were somehow after Josh all along is not grounded in any evidence in the movie its self. At no point is Josh shown to be more important than Dalton. At no point does anyone show any interest in Josh until he goes into the further. Until that point the spirits/demon were after Dalton. Josh made himself a target by going into the further. The old woman is only shown in flashbacks and old photographs until Josh goes back into the further. He brought her back into the picture, not the other way around.

    Now as to what I actually believe happened. Josh goes to the further and is clearly disturbed and later frightened by what he sees. He searches for his son and in the meantime finds several spirits who are trapped in, “a realm filled with the tortured souls of the dead”, basically purgatory. Josh is attacked by one of the spirits and proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is stronger than they are. He eventually finds his son, who is being held by the demon, who is waiting until he can possess him. Josh attempts to escape the further as he is chased by the spirits. He eventually makes it to the new house, but he is distracted by the old woman. During which time his son is chased around by the demon. The last we see of Dalton he has freed himself from the demons grip on his leg and is being chased down the hall. Meanwhile, Josh unwisely decides to challenge the old woman. Whether or not Dalton or the demon made it out is uncertain. We know the old woman possessed Josh as you see it firsthand from Elise’ eyes.

    The nagging question of, why was a younger version of Josh hanging out in the further, is unanswerable. Trying to link it to any of the above is a shot in the dark. It is not enough evidence on it’s own to prove anything.

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  167. Anonymous said

    One thing that still doesn’t make any sense, is how it took so long for Dalton to be “possessed” or atleast weakened by the demon, oh which is supposedly really powerful. And yet Josh is taken over by a parasite in a short amount of time. I say short because there was approximately 30 years between when the woman tried possessing him. So naturally you would assume that if she was so close to possessing him still,(enough to take him with just 1 more trip) that you would see her in atleast 1 of the photos in the photo album. But not a 1 had her, not the wedding photo or the 1 by the lake.

    Which I basically find this movie and ending full of crap, it seems they tried to rush the ending and came up with something to have 1 last shocker moment. No real facts back up how the lady was able to posses Josh so easily at the end, which if the lady was still so close to him, Elise would have noticed it. And on another note, how did this haunting even start? All of a sudden the demon/lady decided to start throwing books and posses the child after he slipped and fell? Highly unlikely… And also, why was the younger version of Josh there, why was Josh so powerful against the spirits yet he got taken so easily. Its just full of plotholes.

  168. Tristan said

    My take of the ending was that the father wasn’t possessed but the link between his spiritual and physical bodies was weak from when he traveled as a kid. So it only took him leaving his physical body one more time before the old lady could take over his body. And I think that the red faced demon was working for the old lady and talked dalton into coming into the further so that he couldn’t get out and his dad would have to save him so the old lady could lock the father out and take over his body.

  169. Judy said

    What did the wife see at the very end of the movie when she looked at Josh and screamed? You are left hanging on this.

    Did she see “Josh” and also her real Josh behind “Josh” with a look on his face that he was trapped in Further, so she knew that “Josh” was now possessed by the Woman in Black? What do others think she saw?

  170. Athul said

    wtf r u saying guys?
    its not because that josh has spent more time in the further…after he rescues his son and comes back to the house, dalton bravely goes to find his body whrreas josh conftonts the old lady. Actually josh was looking at a mirror and the old lady was finding josh’s body during that time..this is how she possesed him

  171. Caterina said

    I don’t really have much of an opinion on whether or not Josh was possessed the entire time, I would just like to point out one thing: if an actual father was trying to save his son from a demon or monster or even simply a human with malicious intentions and they were running from this entity, he would not let the child out of his sight no matter how “fatigued” he felt (I find it odd that he was since he had no physical muscles to provide oxygen for). A real father would have waited until he was absolutely certain that his child was safe (i.e. had watched him get into his body) before he took a moment for himself like that. To do otherwise is unrealistic.

  172. Judy said

    What did the wife see at the very end of the movie when she turned around to look at Josh? I haven’t read every blog written here yet so was wondering what others thought. Thanks

  173. Anonymous said

    Here’s what I think.

    There are 4 kinds of entities in the further:

    1. Ghosts, like the murdered family, the man with long hair and the little dancing boy. They’re basically tortured souls trapped in that realm. Their only wish is to live again through any living body, since theirs is long gone. They’re more desperate than really powerful.

    2. Parasites like the old lady. From what I understand, she was NEVER human but an evil spirit lurking in the further, waiting for the soul of an astro-projector to visit that dimension. LIKE A PARASITE she attaches herself to the traveller and gets closer to his physical body (remember the pictures). As Elise said “They can’t just walk into a body, it takes time and energy”. So she does so gradually, patiently, everytime the traveller goes to the further through his sleep. The goal of a parasite is not to take over the host but rather live off of it (INSIDIOUSLY). The further is a dark, dead place so it makes sense that a spirit would want to come into the world of the living which for them represents light.

    3. Souls of astro-projectors like Josh and Dalton. They visit the further in their dreams, not realizing it’s another dimension altogether. Some of them get trapped in the further because they wandered off too far or get captured by a powerful being (demon) who keeps them long enough for the connection between their soul and their body to break.

    4. Demons like the red face creature. Their only wish is to inflict pain on others through possession. Unlike parasites, they want their presence known. Their only agenda is to possess a body and torture it as well as everyone else around. (See The exorcist).

    When Josh was a child, the old lady was extremely close to attach herself permanently to his body as evidenced by the pictures. Then the medium CLOSED the door to the further, trapping part of the old lady IN (our world), and a part of Josh’s soul OUT (in the further).

    That would explain why Josh finds a younger version of himself in the further.

    It would also explain why he unconsciously always hated having his picture taken: that was the old lady not wanting anyone to find out she was still there around him, waiting.

    The reason why she doesn’t appear on his wedding pictures is because he doesn’t travel to the further anymore, so her powers have been rendered useless. Remember that she is a dark spirit. She’s powerful in the further but in this world, without a physical body she probably can’t do much.

    She needed Josh to go back to the further one last time to completely cross over with him. She was already very close. Which she finally did.

    That’s why Josh is still in control of himself and has kept his outer appearance when coming back from the further. What he doesn’t realize is that the parasite has successfully attached itself to his body/soul… like a leech. This is also why the parasite gets angry when the picture is taken: it completely reveals her.

    That’s it.

  174. Judy said

    To Anonymous: The picture that was taken reveals the old lady. When the wife turns around and looks at Josh, did she see the old lady in the flesh? My thoughts were that she still saw Josh’s body but his eyes were not his. What is your take on what she saw when she turned around? Thanks!

  175. Connor said

    I have a theory for the possession of Josh.
    As some of you may know the idea of ‘astral projection’ is supported by thousands of people, it’s considered your ‘spiritual body’ is not intact with your physical brain, which is where thoughts and memories are categorized, which is why it’s considered everybody astral projects every night, but they just don’t remember because it’s not being registered into your physical shell. Your spirit contains your personality, or your ‘inner self’. I don’t believe Josh was possessed the whole film, simply because of the way he acts throughout. For example, when he finds Daltons pictures, he is generally in shock and distraught by the truth. It doesn’t seem like the acting of a parasitic spirit, who have an unpleasant nature. The photos of Josh throughout his adult life show him, not the old woman. My theory is that Josh’s connection to his spirit grew weaker, as the old woman drew closer, but was saved by Elise and his memory of it was suppressed. People believe meditation strengthens your connection. But as he was never aware, the connection was very weak at the end, which allowed the woman to possess his body so easily. This is why she smiled malevolently through the mirror. It was symbolic for the fact that the bonding of her spirit and Josh’s body was already semi-complete from his childhood, the final process was already taking place. The mirror was her distraction. This is why the old woman reacts to the picture being taken as if it was Josh. It’s because Josh’s memories still remain in the shell, but the personality of the old woman is present also, who is desperate to live again, hence the attack on Elise. If he was possessed through the whole film, why did Elise only pick up on it at the end? That is simply over-speculation of the ending.
    In Dalton’s case, there is no indication whatsoever he is possessed. He acts completely normal. If the demon possessed him he would not be sitting there eating pasta. He would kill them all without any effort, shown by his previous possession by the red demon during the first attempt of contact.
    Oh by the way, I do not believe that astral projection is real, but i will not deny its existense. That would make me ignorant.
    I have only researched it quite a bit out of curiosity. Hope my theory makes sense! :)

  176. Connor said

    Oh and i forgot to mention, the nature of a parasite is not to take over the host, but to live INSIDE it, manipulating it. Josh’s body is not prossessed, he is there. But the old woman has fully attached herself to his soul, making it one soul together.

  177. Stacey said

    All of these theories are interesting, but I believe people are over thinking this movie. They purposely don’t show you what Josh looks like when his wife screams in horror, because they leave this up to the interpretation of the one watching the movie. I agree with the last theory, Dalton was saved–the demon described as “wanting to inflict pain on others” wouldn’t make Dalton a smiling, playful kid at the kitchen table. A coma and a feeding tube would still make a kid want something wholesome to eat, like spaghetti, and the idea that he wanted more sleep was a little humor given all that he went through. Again, I truly think that everyone overthought this.

    The Lipstick demon failed to enter Dalton–which may have been left to open it for a sequel. I also think the 40’s family was nothing more than a mere group of people with lost souls, who probably died in the house Josh grew up in, so that is why they are present when Josh enters the Further. I don’t think it was intended for them to have any relationship to Josh or Elise–just a family with lost souls–just like the dangerous man that was hanging out in the baby’s room (he may even be labled a parasite).

    Josh wasn’t taken over as a little boy. That was prevented when Elise closed that portal when he was little. Then, because Dalton had his dad’s gift, this gave the old woman the chance to do what she wanted long ago, and was able to at the end. It’s really very simple.

  178. Anonymous said

    INSIDIOUS is amazing the movie makes perfect sense though the lady spirit haunts him what happens to josh.

  179. Grievous said

    What if younger Josh is only a subconscious image showing Josh where to find Dalton, which makes it clear that Darth Maul (red face) was in cahoots with the scary maze game lady the entire time. If it was a subconscious memory then the lair actually belongs to scary maze girl, not Darth Maul. She hired Darth Maul to kidnap Dalton to get to Josh. simple… However, her plans are ruined by Elise so he kills her before she can tell Renai. My interpretation is that Josh (as the scary maze girl) killed Elise and deleted the photo before Renai could see it (cause the is a lot of time in between Josh killing Elise and the end, when Renai looked at the photos). the smiling family is further prof because it showed how they died, showing that events echo in the Further. Elise also says that time does not exist in the Further, so maybe Joshes childhood is happening simultaneously with the current time in the Further. Just some thoughts on this awesome movie.

  180. Grievous said

    Oh and she didn’t scream when she saw Josh like she did when she saw a spirit earlier in the movie.. it was more like a “whoa, I was looking for you and here you are but it startled me” sort of scream. therefor further supporting my theory

  181. Anonymous said

    anyone else when they first watched it think of Darth Maul when they first seen the red demon

  182. Aaron said

    I really don’t have much to connect this theory to, but maybe someone else will. If the creepy ass old lady got closer and closer in each picture, who is to say that she couldn’t move closer with out having a picture takin. With that theory, it means she probably possessed Josh soon after. Once she had possessed Josh, the mother ha him hypnotized, which could mean she had hypnotized the witch, and when the mother and the pyscic forced him/her to remember that’s when he/she remembered who he/she was and regained control when she saw herself in the mirror

  183. Anonymous said

    astral projection is such a cool concept. why did they have to take it and make it scary as hell!!?!?! hahahahhaha great movie though!

  184. I agree with you about the ending. The old woman waited to possess Josh.


    The plot of the movie is essentially to lure Josh into The Astral Hell of the subplanes to complete the transformation.

    The old woman moved closer, but Elise supressed the memory and ceased the astral projection. Dalton is nonetheless bait to get Josh. It’s like a ghost and demon network.

    If Dalton goes back to rescue his father, then the red-faced demon will possess him.

    Good explanation of the movie ending

  185. There are a couple of things i don’t get…
    1. When they are trying to communicate with Dalton when he is in the further, who is talking when all the swear words are said?
    2. If Dalton’s mum has seen all the tortured souls from the further, how come she doesn’t see the demon?

  186. Anonymous said

    You all know this is a fucking film right?

  187. Summer said

    so in y’alls opinion, when do you think happened to his family? do you think they will tell if they make a sequel (which everyone thinks is going to happen in 2013)? Sorry, I’m like obsessed with this movie. (I blame my cousin (lol))

  188. Anonymous said

    I want to troll

  189. kim said

    At the end of the movie when the mom picks up the camera and sees the picture, the husband touches her on the shoulder and she turns around. What does she see?

  190. ClueFinder said

    Both the son and the dad were stolen in the end. Not maybe. I will prove it in the follow up post.

  191. ClueFinder said

    Dalton was 100% taken by the demon. Understand that during the entire film, fire and the color red represent the demon’s plan. Red cape, red teddy bears, red art work hanging in the windows, red PJ’s, even a well placed red ladder in the attic far away from the old wooden one that broke (twice). But more than any other red color, fire represents the demon most of all. When Dalton was eating, there where some well placed candles that perfectly matched the appearance of the candles at the demon’s house. And Dalton could have been eating anything, but he was eating spaghetti. Very red sauce, slithering worm-like noodles. And, the demon does not know HOW to eat spaghetti. He uses both hands with spoons and the noodles get all over his hands, like a beastly slob. Dalton did seem happy, but only because he won. He showed none of the tearful sentiment that he did when his dad found him chained. Also, and this is HUGE. When Josh [or in this case the old woman] woke up from the projection, the first thing he [now she] said to Dalton was “you did it, Buddy.” The parasite woman was congratulating the demon for pulling off the scam.

    Also, Josh took a huge gasp of air (as if he had been dead, and forgotten how to breath.) When Dalton woke up he did not gasp for air, I guess demons have never been dead and needed air. But look at the expression on Josh’s face when he wakes up, its disgust at all the strangers around him. The woman needed a few seconds to get into character.

  192. ClueFinder said

    Notice the double meaning in the last conversation between possessed Josh and Elise.

    “You showed me a whole new world.” The parasite said. She meant Josh’s world.
    “You’ve been there before, remember?” Elise thought she was talking to Josh, so she meant when he was a kid he used to project travel, but since she was talking to parasite, it still fits, she had been there before… in a previous life.

    Just before the scene where Elise takes Josh’s photo, the two tech helpers are loading the van, the big one gives a wink and they get into an argument about “a picture is worth a 1000 words.” Brilliant foreshadowing…. the joke is on us….

  193. ClueFinder said


    Right after we hear the the music where the creepy boy plays “tiptoe through the tulips, tiptoe through the window” [a song we hear again in the demon’s house] there is a poster of an alien in the room where the creepy kid was hiding and the poster said “Music From Another World”

    Did you notice the wedding dress in the attic, the lost soul that shot her family took the sheet music box and placed it by here wedding shoes.

    Did you notice the lyrics to the Mom’s piano song…. “I’m gonna be somebody, but I can’t be her today.” Later on she asks Josh which of her songs was his favorite. He didn’t know any of her songs so he said, “the one about me” but she pokes him claiming that they are all about him. It is a foreshadow of the parasite’s plan to be somebody, in Josh’s body….

    Did you notice all the toys in the Demon’s room? they look like the toys found in many many children’s rooms… there is even a woman, perfectly still trapped within the toys. This reveals that the demon has done this many times, through many window. The still woman, is a previous traveler who was stolen.

    The husband said “every time I have pulled you out, you grow back in.” when he pulls out a gray hair. It symbolized his relationship with the parasite. Its not an accident that which he plucks is old and gray. It is his subconscious rejection of her. Just as he rejects developing wrinkles around his eyes. He avoids his own age as he avoids photos… to block her out in any way he can. Elise said the woman was different than the others. The others want to replace Josh and enter his empty vessel, but the woman who has been getting closer and closer has been able to actually cling to him and live secretly inside of him, coexist with him. That is why he saw her in the mirror even before she took is body. That is why he fought the aging process, because SHE does not want to be old again, and this is huge, THAT is why she was not in the wedding photos and family portraits…. she was so close to him she was hiding inside, like a tapeworm, like a parasite. She is different than the others.

  194. linn said

    to fully understand this movie–which by the way has some real facts that do happen in our life—-you definitely have to have esoteric knowledge–and have researched the stories of the people who have left their bodies and from experience — read Dion Fortune’s ”psychic self-defense-”- and many other adepts who have crossed out of their body and know how to do it and have been on the ;;outer;; and ;;inner plains;;– know they have to watch because beyond the veils that are covering us and the other dimensions — have to be on guard that no other dead entity will find our empty vessel and inhabit it–while our soul–is wandering and if you have not said the protective words to keep it safe–then you are just asking for a takeover….in limbo –where many heinous acts have been carried out by a soul who once lived on this earth–are spiritually lost–by their own choice and lack of knowledge–a rebelling of CHRIST—by not believing—have desecrated GOD’ laws and are reaping their doings—-the movie shows that they have an attachment like a invisible” psychic string” that keeps them connected–like the boys father–he was only hypnotized–she really did not break the attachment and therefore the old lady can still get into his body…there was no protective words said–if you notice Elise just banished the other spirits with word incantations – putting a veil up so they cannot cross—she was not saying a protective spell over the dad as he was leaving or while he was out of his body—but that would ruin the movie—this is definitely a movie that is partially true–at the end — the old woman had successfully got into the dad–when he said ”i am not afraid of you—she was already in—-and that is why she just laughed and faded away….and when Elise took the picture–since she was a sensitive –noticed the hands of the husband –like a woman’s shape—and felt a bad presence–she took the picture.-not knowing how possessed the husband was and how powerfully evil he had become and helpless of stopping the evil…the old woman like a puppeteer used the husband like a puppet and killed Elise so she could not send her back out of his body to the dead hell she was in…the boy because of no protective words or incantation was said[[[did he say is prayers at night]] was also tagged for getting control of his soul–its not that easy and GOD has put guidelines for us to know–the demons know and that is why they trick us into not knowing and letting it be easier for them to gain access to our body–where there is ”life”,….. the father because of his strong love for the boy saved him…and the wife at the end when she saw the picture of the old woman—–and finally looked when her husband called to her—–she saw the difference in his eyes..and the old lady spirit was reflected in the wife’s eyes and in that split second she knew—-this was not her husband????????

  195. linn said

    i also think that they should make more of the esoteric themes into movies—and i hope they make a sequel to the movie ”insiduous”…i am so loving this movie and would like to see more and ”what did the wife see”’ what did she do—what about elise????the boy????THE HUSBAND?????–WHAT AND WHERE DOES HE END UP????–does he hurt his wife?????because she knows something is strange–enough to make her gasp?????–and is Elise really dead or just in a state of coma and her spirit is on the other side????waiting to come back fighting the evil old lady????–a lot of people would like to know????

  196. DMC in DC said

    I think Josh was possessed by the old woman all along, but was hypnotized in childhood to think she was Josh. In the very beginning you see Josh dab on some eye cream… exactly like a woman would do. I notice those small odd things. When he looked in the mirror at the end, that was the old lady seeing the subconscious and the truth, and the hypnosis spell being broken…. and why she was laughing.

  197. Anonymous said

    He doesn’t get possed because elise takes a picture, if you remember the only reason Elise takes the picture is because she looks at his hands and they are the old womans. She then takes the pictures to see for definte that it is her.

  198. Chaz said

    I reckon.
    that we are led to believe that a compact exists between the ‘demon’ and the ‘old lady’. An issue exists, if that is true, concerning why a demon, the most powerful creature of the futhur, would treat with a less powerful creature. It is possible the demon and old woman are relations, seeking to live as parent and child again as they once had. This explains why the demon procrastinates his posession of Dalton until the mother can posess Josh. In this conception, the old woman posesses Josh after his lack of courage in the house, allowing his son to go on.

    If the old woman posessed Josh when he was younger, then her aim was to replace her physical son Dalton, in her new family, with her actual son, the demon. the puerility of the demon’s lair corroborates the parent-child view. In which case, the final scene is the culmination of this insidious deception, to substitute Dalton for the demon, without anyone realising.

    Either the old woman and demon posessed their hosts at the end, or the old woman first, then the demon much later. The title, insidious, would imply the latter is true. The mother achieved life first, and then secured it for her child later.

    The Ethical lanscape of the film is one which disarms those who pity Josh and Dalton. Their plight at the end of the film is the same plight that drove the Old Woman and Demon to seek life again. It is implied that the process of the dead usurping the living is cyclical and never-ending. Presumably Josh and Dalton at the end have to start planning their own return to life.

  199. Anonymous said

    I’m late to the party on this movie but I got to see part of the movie yesterday. I caught it from the point where the ghost hunters enter the house to inspect through the end of the movie. The ending has me thinking about it and I have a question for the rest of you. I noticed the shots of “the further” had a hazy green look to them and I noticed when the 2 woke up at the end of the movie that the hazy green tint was still present.

    I’m speculating that the psychic can enter the further also and that is why she knows so much about it. I don’t think the spirits crossed over into our world at the end of the movie, I think the psychic brought the group into the further to help bring the 2 back. I think when the older character woke up and everybody thought things were finished, they were really in the further and stuck there forever since they didn’t even notice they were there.

    I don’t buy into the old woman having possessed the older character from the beginning because there would be no need for her in the storyline and, simply put, she would never risk losing her vessel by going back into the further once she accomplished her goal.

    If I were to follow this through I would have to speculate that there was never an intention of possession but rather an intention of bringing multiple souls into the further and allowing their memories to fill the empty space with “life”. If that is even plausible then the old lady could claim victory and the red faced character could have fresh souls to play with, which would present a link between the two.

  200. Anonymous said

    I also have a theory about the “hands of an old lady” aspect which triggers the photo at the end of the movie. I believe there’s a scene in the movie when he’s viewing the photo’s that show’s somebody putting those pictures away. I don’t think the hands had anything to do with it, I think the psychic realized that the adult character never possessed the photos in the first place.

  201. james said

    I think that the son’s coma coupled with the odd happenings around the house(1st house) caused the father to remember astral projecting. He was staying late a lot at school and dreaming/astral projecting which helped weaken his body so the old lady was able to take him over at the end of the movie.

  202. Anonymous said

    People are questioning whether the idea was to trick Josh from the beginning, looking at the word ‘insidious’ which means to trick. However, if you listen to the dialogue, Elise says that the demon has an ‘insidious agenda’. In some of the making-of clips on the DVD or somewhere else that I read, the producers also say that the Red Faced Demon covers his face in lipstick to appear harmless to children. In his lair also, he has children’s toys, and plays Tiptoe Through the Tulips, which you can hardly say would be frightening to a child if you didn’t know the context. He tries to portray a friendly image – so there’s your Insidious. He tricks Dalton into coming back to his lair, just as the old lady befriended Josh when he could astral project as a child, to get to his physical body.

    Also, I doubt whether the demon and the old lady had an allegiance. A demon is undoubtedly the more powerful supernatural being in comparison to a spirit, and has not actually existed before – so it has never had a life. If you were bargaining for who gets the child and who gets the man, wouldn’t it be so much more convenient for a creature wishing to create havoc to occupy the body of a strong, fully-grown man?

    I also don’t think the old lady possessed Josh from the beginning. Note that when Elise hypnotized Josh into forgetting his ability to astro-travel he was very young. In the movie, he is, what, in his 30s-40s and has a family? I don’t think that the old lady would have really been looking to start a family and have creepy ghost sex with another woman… Just sayin’! You see a definite switch in identity when the old woman possesses Josh. Basically – she strangles Elise within the first day of being alive just because Elise pissed her off. Do you really think she would have lived through Josh for 30+ years without killing anyone or revealing her identity to his mother? Cmon! Plus, Elise was quick to notice that it was the old lady. And, you could also see the old lady in the photograph, which is why Renai was shocked as she picked up the photo. If you remember, they had a photo of Josh that his mother commented on. If you could see the old lady in the photo Elise took, why wouldn’t she be shown in that family photo? She just easily possessed Josh because, as someone has said, Elise never forced the spirit away. She only hypnotized Josh to forget her, and forget that he could astro travel. Therefore, she never went away. And I agree with Anon – why would she risk losing the physical body again to go rescue some child?
    As for Josh picking grey hairs and putting on aging cream – it doesn’t at all mean that he is the old woman. Why would it? The spirit of the old woman shows her in a wedding dress. She probably killed herself after being jilted or something – maybe it was the woman in the wedding dress that we saw crying as she ran past Josh in the Further and continued to cry in the corner. Josh probably just doesn’t want to get old because it subconsciously reminds him of dying – and being in the Further. Alternatively, it reminds him of her.

    What you see in The Further is a younger Josh, the same boy that you see in the photographs. If you compare this with the scene with the smiling family, you get a sense of them ‘reliving’ their deaths. There have been theories about this – where ghosts basically leave essences of themselves in time and manifest there, repeating what happened over and over again. If they died in that house, that’s where they repeat their deaths. I think that is basically why younger Josh is there. He is basically supposed to be ‘dead’ in the further and so he leaves an imprint of himself as a ghost would. Josh simply got lost in the further, so there is no specific place for him.
    Josh started to avoid his family I think as an effect of the hypnotism, such as being afraid to have his picture taken. To be able to keep suppressing his memory of astro travel he had to distance himself from the happenings so he wouldn’t remember – but obviously he wouldn’t know he was doing this. It would all be a subconscious thing. Either that, or something went wrong when Elise hypnotized him, and trapped a part of his spirit in the Further by accident.

  203. Just to get us started —>>> my question mark does not work.

    Look up the word insidious. Meaning: deceitful plot that has a more treacherous plot behind it.
    As this is the name, and it flashes at the end when Josh is possessed, of the story I do believe that Josh might have been the target all along. Everybody is saying Elise hypnotized him but, they are forgetting, in the film she just says she told Lorraine ‘hide the photos let him forget’ who said anything about hypnotizing!! You never know, he might of still been astro-projecting all his life yet HE thought they were dreams as well as Dalton did. Did you ever consider this. Why do you think it was so easy for him to astro project at the end. Wouldn’t it have been hard to do something you haven’t done in years.

    I personally do not think she possessed him from the beginning as this would not make sense. He couldn’t possible make it through 40-30 years without killing a single soul. But.. now that I think about it, how do we know that he hasn’t killed anyone. before he was with Renai, in secret perhaps. Also it only shows you from the beginning of the film, not the beginning of their life. Anyway I guess both theories could be correct. We are all counting on Insidious 2 to show us the shocking truth.

    Wouldn’t it be great if they had more than 2 Insidious’. Like 5-6 THEN, at the very end, REVEAL THE SHOCKING TRUTH. Like Harry Potter and the horcruxes etc. You must agree one FINALE plot would be great.

    In a way I agree with the comment above. It is backed up with evidence and has perfectly good reasons. Personally Insidious 2 is the only answer to our questions. If you are so desperate for an answer do something reasonable like contacting the producers;not speaking to strangers who know NOTHING and who YOU don’t even KNOW!!!

    I guess we just have to wait for Insidious 2. Can’t WAIT!!!!!!

  204. Anonymous said


  205. Anonymous said

    Scariest Movie I’ve ever seen, but then again the only horror movies I watched weren’t that scary (Grudge and Watcher in the Woods).

  206. Anonymous said

    hmmm.. i don’t think “Josh” strangled Elise because she pissed him off. I believe “he” strangled her because “he” knew Elise had discovered it wasn’t really Josh, and Elise was capable of banishing entities from the “vessel”, as she earlier demonstrated on Dalton. So “Josh” wasted no time putting her out of her misery. I personally do believe Josh was possessed throughout the whole movie, i do not have an explanation for this exactly but, seeing his younger self in the Further is evident that he did not make it out of the further in his younger days of astral projecting.. trying to just ignore this fact and say he wasn’t possessed due to this evidence.. is not an acceptable belief to me. Sadly i did not find enough clues or evidence in the movie to explain to myself who had gained control of him before the old woman in the black dress. obviously though whomever had possessed Josh earlier was pretty dam scared of that old woman. where in Josh’s case, this would not make sense because the old woman befriended him and kept his younger self there long enough for someone to possess him. The younger Josh most likely would not have been afraid of her. maybe through all that effort and time it took the old woman to befriend Josh, another spirit was devious and decided to beat her to the punch? Even at the end of the movie there was lines of entities plowing in that house to get to him, which kinda shows even if only 1 spirit has to do the work of weakening the link, who actually does the possessing seems to be first come first serve. One more thing i was thinking about was.. How “Josh” could love and care for his family and not be on a killing spree when he was possessed.. well, think back to Elise’s first visit to the family, whereafter a short investigation she sat down with the family to explain her readings. She put these entities into groups. Some entities just crave to live again. this doesnt necessarily make them evil. then there are some entities who are malevolent, and have a more insidious agenda. again not necessarily being evil but just wanna live again to have “fun”. , and then there was the demon Elise saw and Spec drew, that only wanted to possess to be able to cause pain upon others. so the rules of this movie pretty much say that not all entities are evil.
    The big question that boggles my mind is,,,, when Dalton was possessed. after this incident the 2 guys were looking at the camera video of the incident frame by frame, and you see that this demon was actually behind Dalton and yet had control of him. Now at the end of the movie you notice that the picture Elise took of “Josh” the old woman’s appearance had completely replaced Josh’s appearance in the picture. so idk,,,, maybe she had control of his empty vessel the whole dam movie but didnt actually completely own his ass until the end??? maybe im thinking too hard about this part… but seems there has to be some dam reason they showed these 2 different perspectives…

  207. Anonymous said

    hmmmmm… to me it looks like Josh is looking out of the mirror near the ending and the old lady is looking into the mirror… am i hallucinating?

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    […]Catching Hell: Why the Ending of Insidious Makes Perfect Sense « Cinema Psycho[…]…

  209. Anonymous said

    The movie is deceitful, first I thought that Josh was late and the old woman got control of the body, but it didn’t made sense because he didn’t do any more astral travels and therefore the link with his ethereal self had to be strong (the medium explained this).
    Then we have the theory of the possession of Josh when he was young at that makes more sense, there are some hints on the movie:
    – First scene: Josh body on the bedroom, camera goes to the right to another room, we see the silhouette of the old woman, and then on the next room we see the old woman with a candle.
    – When Josh dreams in the classroom we see the same scene but black and white, backwards and with a first person view. I would say it’s his memory, or better said, the last memory of the old woman.
    – He/she sees the young Josh when he enters the other world.
    – The reflection on the window of the kitchen, he sees his reflection and the old hag, later he only sees the old woman, his reflection disappeared. The strange thing of this scene is that outside the kitchen window there should be the garden, but the old woman is in the bathroom (the one near the child’s room) looking at the mirror. I interpret that the important thing is the reflection, they are the same, he/she remembers.
    – I’m sure the metrosexual attitude is another hint.
    And the medium said she erased all his memories and the ability of astral travel when he was young, so the old woman was there but she didn’t know anything because all she knew was erased.

    The problem is that there is a bit of cheating involved, when the medium hypnotized the young Josh she could have discovered the true as easy as she does at the end of the movie, erasing the memory of all this astral thing wouldn’t erase all the memory of the old woman unless she only lived in that ethereal world. But who knows, perhaps she was a demon, at least she has black holes instead of eyes and needs a dentist urgently.
    One curious thing is that the medium failed with the description of the demon’s eyes.

  210. Anonymous said

    “erasing the memory of all this astral thing wouldn’t erase all the memory of the old woman unless she only lived in that ethereal world”
    and in that case, the boy after the hypnosis would have ended a bit stupid without any knowledge unless she gets the memory of the “earthly” young Josh, perhaps this is the case, and she ends with two personalities, the old woman and Josh, and the scene of the mirror shows that the second personality wins. jajaja, too complicated.

  211. Melanie said

    but in the very beginning of the movie, you see the old woman standing outside the house… so that means Josh was not possessed, but you see a younger Josh in the Further… So did he get possessed earlier or not?

  212. linn said

    that’s the question???—-how did he get possessed ???—obviously for the woman to stay around him all these years she had to have had a psychic connection to him—how?? we don’t know -the movie does not say…i think perhaps when they make the sequel we will understand more—why did Elise have to go to Josh’s home when he was little—what happened to draw the ”other world” in his realm??–how is Josh’s mom know to call in Elise???—where is his father?– and maybe his dad was into the dark arts ”unprotected”—-they don’t tell us how this all started……interesting…..they must make a sequel.–THEN we will truly know what the old woman and Josh were experiencing at the so called mirror?

  213. Sid said

    Alexiel! yes I Do!

  214. JD said

    Yeah, Absolutely no way josh was always(since being a kid) possessed because when he projects into the further to save the kid, he appears as himself. Theory disproved. The end.

  215. linn said

    JD—-WRONG—if you really look into the near ending—when Josh is saying to the ”old woman” ””’ what do you want from me””—–and they are in the bathroom—-look again–the old woman is already across and Josh is still in the further?????—she is on the side of the earth bathroom mirror and Josh is on the other side of the further mirror?????—– and she fades away laughing—-and Josh regains consciousness –she is in and he is out…….spirit speaking….that is why Elise noticed the old hands and nails?????—AND ALSO—who do you think Josh was talking to when he and son reached the kitchen back door and he told his son to run…that he will be right behind him—WHEN Josh turned and say”’OH IT’S YOU???????—–WHAT IS THE MEANING AND WHO?????…..

  216. Stephen said

    Lots of comments, dang. Anyway, Dalton eating that much after being in a coma and feeling tired makes absolute sense if anyone knows anything about somebody spending 3 months+ in a coma. Yeah, he had a feeding tube but all that gives is basically fluids, like those health shakes. He’s going to be hungry. And being tired? First off it was a stressful ordeal, which makes people tired. Second he has been in a bed for over 3 months, how much exertion do you think his body can take fresh out of a coma? His muscles would have atrophied at least some. To think the demon got in makes no sense either because the demon would just tear stuff up. It wasn’t like those spirits who just wanted to live again, as Elise said, he just wanted the body to hurt people.

    As for Josh being possessed all along, people have already pointed out the flaws with that, especially with that family portrait. However, did anyone point out that the old woman was not in that photo? Not just AS Josh, but the fact that she just wasn’t there at all. As for the child Josh in the Further, well Elise said that time there is different, so it’s quite possible that his child self could meet the adult self. Although this is true, Elise specifically states that the longer a person is out of the body the weaker the link grows. It’s never stated that this is cumulative as somebody said, it’s just a matter of duration, and one could presume it’s meant in “real time” as otherwise the duration wouldn’t matter at all. On top of that the old woman’s connection doesn’t seem to have mattered because there were other spirits (the ones who had crossed over) who were trying to get to his body as well.

    However, Elise also said that part of the amount of time it takes has to do with the spirit/demon gathering strength to do it. If you imagine this old woman has been gathering strength, biding her time, since Josh was a child. She just needed to wait for the right opportunity. I do think the woman and demon are unrelated, but it was a perfect opportunity for the old woman who had spent FAR longer building up to the point where she could take over his body, overcoming the strength of the link he had with it while he was out. The only thing that bothers me about this is that the woman apparently didn’t stay close or she’d have been in the family portrait, but this could have just been an oversight for sake of plot.

  217. Elena said

    Thank you! I just watched this for the 4th time, it still terrified me, and your interpretation of the ending just punched me in the gut….you’re absolutely right! I always thought the movie wad awesome, and the ending just tied it all together for me. But your summation of “she wanted (Josh) all along”….was spot on! I always thought the old bitch in black lace just got lucky when she conveniently nabbed Josh in the end. But to use the Dalton kid to GET to the father….so them, would you say that the Darth Mail-looking demon with the hoof feet really wasn’t the main enemy? Thanks for your observsation!

  218. Bjartur said

    What I think is that remember how the old woman was getting closer and closer with each picture? Remember that final picture Elise took right before Josh attacked her, maybe that was the last picture needed so she could finally go all the way inside him.

  219. Lucas Duncan said

    So, I can totally see this being true. If you have read up and studied the brain, you would come across something along the lines of “We never forget anything.” Our subconscience suppresses things such as our birth and terrible things that happen in our lives. This is what I believe happened to Josh. That old lady was always close to him. She just needed that extra push to finally and totally possess his physical form. And I also remember the medium lady saying that he needed to find them. If you watch, the kid and Josh never actually find their physical forms. And in one scene, something does find the kids physical form, but it was moving pretty quick, so I believe it was the red face demon.

  220. Patri75t said

    I think that Josh was being trapped, his son was the bait. This is the reason that the old lady doesn’t appear in any of the pictures of josh as a married man. Once the lady found out he had a son, (his eldest), she created a plan to use him as bait so she could finally take over josh. This is why Josh’s mom looks at the family picture for a long time. She is trying to figure out why the old lady has disappeared. It’s the ultimate trap.

  221. Anonymous said

    I know im jumping into thie reeeaaly late. But is it possible the old lady was alway close to him, like that they never took another picture, so she could just stay near him as long as she wanted untill the right moment when he went to the furthr again. this way, she wouldnt have been seen jumping into his body, because she was basically already in it?

  222. Stephen said

    They took another picture, it’s in the movie: the family picture.

  223. ochre said

    Yeah, just wanted to point out in the wedding pictures Josh looked completely normal (no old woman hanging around.)

  224. pink25 said

    jordanav7 just made me say “right!, now i know!, yes, great interpretation!” gosh he really explained it well. but still, there are lots of confusions left and questions unanswered.. if someone there is free or willing to answer my questions, please :D

  225. JPMurdock11 said

    I think that the old lady was the shotgun killer. And that the famiy are one of the spirits trying to take Daltons vessel, but the reason why the demon was the closest, because he was never alive. The only ghosts ever seen are from the family. I think that the true antoganist is the old lady, and the demon was just trying to take Dalton. The old lady is already half inside of the father ( I will explain later) and realizes that the father will have to come and get Dalton. After the father yelled at mirror old lady, that is when he is fully poccessed. The old lady continues to rescue Dalton and herself to regain access to the living world……….Now to the half poccession. The whole story has the old lady inside of the dad. She spectated the fathers life. When the father is shouting in the mirror he is actually looking at himself, but since he is in the old lady’s world he sees the old lady. When she leaves the mirror, that is excatly when the father is completely poccessed.

  226. Anonymous said

    Here’s what everyone doesn’t realize. Go back to the movie and go to the scene where Josh is talking to the Victorian woman. Notice how the Victorian woman is on the sink part and Josh is inside the mirror. THINK about it.

  227. Jared F said

    My theory is that as a kid josh was possessed because his “child soul form” was in the further. How would he have two souls?? The “Victorian lady” possessed him shortly after the last picture you see of him In the middle of the movie. The “Victorian lady” and josh became one hence why he was yelling at a mirror with the lady on one side. Basically she took over Josh’s life and didn’t behave any differently.

  228. linn said

    to really understand ”insiduous” you have to know some esoteric knowledge—first—we do not know of Josh’s father and what he was into—no evil spirits can just come in a take over a body or soul—there are protective angels watching over to protect all—unless you break away from their protectiveness and that would be the only way evil entities can come in—the mother was very protective and she knew somethings???—why was the old woman after Josh?——and WHY? could she get so close to him….ESOTERIC AND OCCULT KNOWLEDGE IS NEEDED….evil entities cannot just come in and take over—i hope there is a sequel to this movie,,,so much is left unsaid…..we need to do research on this subject…it is real and is around today..the makers of the movie said most of the material is from real life happenings.—-look up the adepts from around the 1800’s — read their books—today not enough is written to understand ..somehow they do not want us to know…but the info is there—-i suggest reading ”Dion Fortune” PSYCHIC SELF DEFENSE—that is a good book.

  229. Kem Owens said

    That makes perfect sense! I totally missed that & I’m pretty good at catching on to stuff. Thanks for the insight!!

  230. diamond said

    Hey I heard a sequel is being made and released iin 2013! Do u think they’re gonna pick up Where they left off or?? Just wondering if anyone heard details. I know same director and writer are signed on…just curious as to whether Josh can be un possessed at this point?

  231. linn said

    @Diamond—-good to hear—they have got to add the missing parts of the puzzle—i just can’t imagine the ”old lady” was always in Josh—couldn’t you just think of his wife (or hers???) when making love—a woman inside a man’s body?????there are a lot of esoteric pieces that have to be shown for all to get the full reason why Josh had a connection to the further….and who was that person he was talking to when he was in the further when he and his son had just entered the house by the kitchen and he said to his son to hurry and get back to his room–then he looked up and said “””oh its you?????””””” now who is you? that he knows in the further?????—can’t wait to see the sequel. get doing some research on the paranormal and esoteric ways so you can understand the next movie….linn

  232. raphael said

    No, people, you missed other importante things in the movie. It’s not just about the Lady and the demon, and Josh and Dalton. The younger part of Josh was a simple memory that his subconscient used to remember how he used to travel in the Further when he was a kid. But when he fought the other ghost, dragged Dalton away from the Demon (and every ghost was getting VERY close to Dalton by that time), he then told Dalton to hurry up by his own. Now, here is Josh MISTAKE: remember when Elise told Josh not to draw attention over himself? the Lady was there all along, following his steps, and when Josh notice her he made quite a fuss, people, by screaming at her. When she disapears, she’s actualy slipping into Josh’s body wille he is taking so long by screaming at her. And during the “session” whith Elise, Dalton said her to quiet down, that “they” could hear her. That’s the diference between the time of the possessions: Dalton was very quiet at the Further and most of the ghost took a lot of time to notice him!


    I thought insidious was a great horror film, brilliantly constructed. The scariest and most unsettling part, for me, was when the demons first make themselves known physically in the house; leaving the front door of the house wide open in the middle of the night tugs at our primal fears. Linked to this is the male presence of a demon over the protagonists’ baby in all the panic.

  234. Boop said

    maybe when Josh looks in the mirror IS when the victorian lady possesses Josh

  235. Krystle said

    as a spirit Josh had to make his way back to his body by finding it .. but the old lady got there before he did , when we thought Josh made it back to his body it was actually the old lady who got there first . Elise could see things that the others could not see . and honestly I think elise knew she was going to die so to warn the family she took a picture of Josh ‘The Old Lady’ …

  236. Krystle said

    see , Elise had to warn the family that Josh was posessed . She knew that the whole family would be in danger if she just went and told them , and they couldn’t see it for themselves . Elise could see things that others couldnt see. so she took a picture of josh ‘the old lady’ so that the family could see it for themselves . she risked her life for the whole family . There has to be an Insidious 2 because we would never know what happened to the family ..

  237. Chris said

    Dont forget about the wedding pictures on the beginning. This proves that he was not possessed the whole time.

  238. Anonymous said

    the old lady get closer and closer for every picture then when she took that picture she finalt got him but why wold she wnt the old lady to come back thats a good question

  239. ellergy said

    A lot of people brought up the fact that it is strange for a man to pluck out gray hairs and to use anti-wrinkle cream (anyone seen American Psycho? Bateman’s character has a whole beauty routine). My question is why wouldn’t the old lady want Dalton’s body? It would make sense since Dalton is young and has more years left than his father. Say if Josh were possessed by the old lady the whole time, could they have somehow switched bodies in the further? Perhaps that is why Josh saw the reflection of the old lady in the window/mirror? She could have left his body to enter Daltons’. Could it be possible that somehow – bare with me for just a moment – the old lady’s spirit could have entered Dalton and the fire face entered Josh?

  240. ellergy said

    Okay, the point I wanted to make is: If I was the Old Lady it would want to live for as long as possible and would therefor try to possess Dalton instead. Could she have used the further to switch between bodies? Could the deal between her and the fire face demon not have been for her to enter Dalton and then the fire face can have Josh’s body to do with it whatever he wants? In this case to cause havoc and kill the whole family, it is a demon after all. Perhaps the ‘parasitic’ old lady just wants to have a normal life and a normal family? There must have been something wrong with her family, that’s why she murdered them in the first place…

  241. jaco said

    James wan. Yoy are speaking the troeth

  242. […] One might even argue that “Ghost Train” would have been a more fitting title for Insidious. It’s essentially a melodramatic romp through the occult, and for this reason suffers from so many of the flaws plaguing generic horrors movies. The acting is in places appalling – the Father, especially – although fans of the movie have constructed a rather convincing theory to explain this (SPOILERS!).  […]

  243. Anonymous said

    -A quick note, I have read a couple of theories and I started wondering if he did in fact get possessed by the old lady as a child but the hypnosis made her dormant inside him because that part of him was no longer sensitive. This would explain why she was already in his house when he got back there after they had returned, why she knew how to act in front of them whence in control and why the physical effects (his nails getting all gross) hadn’t begun to show until after he re-opened that part of his mind.

  244. Ben Meulemans said

    Dude, he already was possesed when he was 8
    I’t was the old lady al along:)
    in the further josh had the avatar of the old looking lady en vice versa

    -> the old lady was’nt evil , she just wanted to live again
    -> marries the women, gets the son -> happy life
    -> ohno son is astral projector
    -> old lady goes back to the further ( as jack)
    -> sees jack there ( with the appearance of the old lady)

    sounds crazy
    but it’s true

  245. Now it makes perfect sense when you explained it to us

  246. yatish said

    wat i feel is tat when JOSH n DALTON were coming back to their home d FRONT DOOR WAS LOCKED so they had to come THROUGH BACK DOOR, but one thing we hav to observe is tat when he left to d FURTHER d FRONT DOOR was OPEN den who shut d FRONT DOOR in d MEAN TIME WAT HAPPENED n WHO CLOSED IT. when JOSH ENTERED THROUGH d BACK DOOR he SEES in d WINDOW he TELLS REPEATEDELY “wat do u want from me LEAVE ME ALONE” den OLD LADY thinks HE WAS TELLING HIM “leave him ALONE in d FURTHER n GO TO HIS BODY” so it DISAPPEARS from d WINDOW den COMES TO his SOUL from FRONT DOOR. which means d OLD LADY was WAITING FOR ONLY ONE THING n GET PERMSSION so tat it SHOULD BE TOLD ONLY BY JOSH tat “LEAVE HIM ALONE”
    about d KID DALTON as he has NOT SEEN HOUSE PROPERLY since he was in COMA past from his OLD HOME so as soon as he ENTERS through d BACK DOOR he SEARCHES WHERE IS his BODY, in d MEAN TIME d RED FACE DEMON ENTERS his BODY. thats y when he was EATING FOOD he was EATING SO FASTLY n QUICKLY like a DEMON n he will say to his MOTHER tat “HE WILL NEVER GOTO SLEEP AGAIN”. so BOTH FATHER n SON SOULS gets EXCHANGED

  247. Anonymous said

    This was truly a great movie.i never get scared or even frightened from horror movies or anyhing of he sort but his was on a different level. It had a very unique story line, subtle clues and hints THROUGHOUT the the whole movie(so i really ned to watch it again) and the ending in my opinion was scary, unpredictable and very interesting. Anyone that complains about he ending and the movie being bloodless or anything is an idiot. This isnt a movie where 10 people run from a knife wielding maniac for 2 hours and only the hottest people live (meanwhile they all ignored using knives machetes etc andt he obvious things that can solve the problem). Not to mention he usual ending of he killers dead BUT WAIT and his eyes open. Its unfortunate some people only have half a brain so if its not full of blood and they havent seen 10 similar movies its shit. This movie was so different and very scary. 5 stars in my ratings. I just hate the usual predictability of horror movies these days -_-

  248. Jiam said

    Really??? That much words and paragraph to get to the main stuff with one sentence at the end? Man, your article’s worse than the movie…

  249. wefe said

    Seems pretty clear to me that the father was possessed at the end. It doesn’t make any sense to think he was possessed at age 8 since the movie wouldn’t make any sense. The old women is frantically trying to get the son back…..?

    The old woman set everything up to finish the job. After he was hypnotized she couldn’t get to him so she went after him through his son. The demon was her work as well. He didn’t kill the son, just held him there with chains, making the son the bait. Didn’t it seem strange that the father and son just walked out of the further house? The demon could basically teleport, had metal claws, could walk on walls, and throw people around. But they outran him or something…? Seems obvious he wasn’t supposed to do anything other than hold the son.

    When the father is in front of the mirror the old lady just smiles at him and suddenly gets pulls away. That’s the moment she enters his body. The spirit guide lady suddenly knew it wasn’t the father anymore. Even at the end when the hand goes onto the shoulder the wife turns around and has a startled look on her face.

    The father had a subconscious fear of pictures because of what he went through, not because it was really the old lady. The old lady didn’t show up in the wedding pictures because she is blocked at that point in time. He also had some strange feelings about going home when all of it was happening, like he was avoiding it all. More subconscious stuff.

    As for the 1950s family….not sure about that. It might have been the older lady when she was younger.

  250. Aaliyah said

    I love this movie , the ending wasn’t all that . But you should make an insidious 2 & bring the husband back some how some way ! PLEASE & THANK YOU !! The husband was the best actor in this movie .

  251. Aaron morgan said

    As soon as you said hence the title. Because insidious means gradually and slowly moving towards terrible effects. Omg how did I not see this earlier.

  252. michelle nguyen said

    this makes so much sense. my friends and I saw the movie on my birthday. It scared all of us. But we never found out why the spirit was there in the first place. The house itself didn’t seem haunted. So we just went along with the movie. We knew that Josh had a haunting past and all, but we never thought that the whole movie itself was for Josh to be possesed. One thing still bothers me. If Dalton was able to astral project when he was younger, why was he taken now? When he could have been taken a long time ago? Overall, the ending just makes so much more sense now. Thank you!

  253. Anonymous said

    insidious chapter 2 is coming out September this year, thank god because by the looks of these comments there’s far too many unanswered questions.

  254. Cicely said

    I think the younger Josh that points him in the direction he needs to go is the part that was repressed when he was young and was hypnotized, the memories and what not.

  255. Anonymous said

    I have to agree with Yahara (posts 154 & 155)

    The Old Lady did not plot to lure Josh back into the Further to take final possession of him. In fact, she was absent from the Further for a long time, as she did possess him completely back when he was a child.

    The Psychic, in an attempt to repress Josh’s memories by hypnotizing him, did in fact hypnotize the Old Lady who by that time had already taken over his physical body, while Josh’s astral body was forever trapped in the Further. The Old Lady takes on the life of Josh, still however retaining some subconscious traits, like the fear of getting old (which is why we see him worrying about gray hairs and putting on aging cream), displaying some aggressive behavior by using profanities (like he did with Renai when he came late from work) and not liking having pictures taken (yes, it was the Lady who did not like her pictures taken, not Josh).

    In the Further, Josh is shown to us as a man, when in fact his astral body is the Old Lady, which both the viewer and “Josh” see in the mirror. At that moment she finally remembers who she really is. She comes back to our world with intent to go on just as she did before (as Josh), but since the Psychic realized it was her all all along, the Old Lady has to get rid of her.

  256. BanyoDiva said

    I think all the questions will be answered in Insidious chapter 2

  257. Anonymous said

    I question that there must be a reason that the old lady was infact played by a man. Joshes tortured soul has already lived a life and has been reborn into joshes new physical body? Parasitic through lifetimes?

  258. said

    I question that there must be a reason that the old lady was infact played by a man. Joshes tortured soul has already lived a life and has been reborn into joshes new physical body? Parasitic through lifetimes?

  259. oisin said

    if they wanted josh all along why didnt they try and take him every time he went to sleep because like his son he can travel from real world to the further

  260. Mully said

    I believe that when josh confronted the old woman in the mirror he thought he got rid of her. but when she disappeared smiling she knew that the link was weak enough for her to get in so josh thought he’d got rid of her. We don’t see josh going into his body we just feel like we are the person entering his body. Maybe the old woman took that chance to get to the body first when he thought he had ‘stopped’ her from following him. she left the mirror to go to his body not because he had confronted her

  261. I guess many of the people who commented here will have seen the trailer for Insidous 2 – and there is no evidence that Josh or Dalton are possessed. Josh is clearly possessed by the Old Woman by the end of Insidious while there is ambiguity over Dalton. I can hardly wait to find out how the ending of the first film informs the sequel!

  262. Magnanimous_J said

    I just saw the movie last night, but I haven’t heard anything about the sequel yet. Here is my take:

    Josh was not possessed all along. The wedding photo would have showed him as the old lady, as the last photo did. And I do believe the demon and the Old Woman had made a deal, because they actively worked together.

    They said that possessing the body took a long time. So even though the Demon was closest, he couldn’t seal the deal yet. Plus, Dalton’s spirit was lost in the Further and was hiding from the Demon, but there was always a chance that he could find his way back and ruin the Demon’s whole plan. Remember that it wasn’t until the séance scene that the Demon actually caught Dalton’s spirit form and chained him up. The Old Woman was the one fighting with the Psychic later in the séance. The Demon had materialized in the real world by then (which he could do for short periods of time) and used Dalton’s body as a puppet (not possession, he was holding Dalton’s arms) to beat up on everyone. The Psychic never forced the Demon out at all, she didn’t have the power. He just couldn’t maintain his hold in the real world for any longer. But by then, the Demon had the boy’s spirit in captivity. That’s the main part of what the Demon got out of the deal.

    The Demon did his part by distracting Josh while he was in the Further. By using the doll-like ghosts (his puppets) to slow Josh down, he gave the Old Woman enough time to sneak over to the house and prepare to take Josh’s body. The confrontation between the Old Woman and Josh was through a window, not a mirror. The Old Woman was in the house and Josh was outside, she was 99% there by that point, but finishes her deal with the Demon by taunting Josh. She slows him down even more so that he can’t help Dalton find his way back to his body (remember, he’d never been to that house before so he didn’t know where his body was). Then the Demon takes Dalton’s body and she quickly retreats from the window and takes Josh’s.

    Unrelated note: The third evil being, that greasy dude, is far weaker than the other two. It is him on the baby monitor, who I’m pretty sure says “I want it!” not “I want him!” because the baby is a girl. He is also pacing by the baby’s room. But he is too weak to make any real progress on taking the baby. His weakness could also explain why he gets his ass kicked by Josh and fails twice to force himself on Renai.

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  264. Morgan Taylor said

    Hf I actually understand the ending now. Like wtf though!

  265. Anonymous said

    I just watched this movie last night without realizing Insidious 2 is out in theaters now which may answer some of these questions..not a huge fan of horror movies in general but the plot and storyline were great and really make one think about all these deeper meanings and subplots…one thing to contribute in regards to something Ive heard a few times is Josh staying at work late to avoid sleeping(sub-conciously or otherwise)..This is contradicted by Elsie when she confronts Josh after he falls asleep at school with the bloody handprint beadsheet courtesy of darth maul..she says you never used to do this before we got to this house and all the creepy disturbances started..i think Josh was starting to feel the pull of the “further” the longer Dalton was away there but was in his later revealed denial state he was placed in by his mother and elsie as a child…something else that just occurred to me..Why did it take the mom so long to get elsie? She clearly knew Daltons status in the coma for 5 months and told raini when they were in the kitchen unpacking the new house I understand exactly what you are going through…anyways good movie and good timing for me as some of these questions may be an
    swered in the 2nd chapter in theaters now…

  266. Anonymous said

    st watched this movie last night without realizing Insidious 2 is out in theaters now which may answer some of these questions..not a huge fan of horror movies in general but the plot and storyline were great and really make one think about all these deeper meanings and subplots…one thing to contribute in regards to something Ive heard a few times is Josh staying at work late to avoid sleeping(sub-conciously or otherwise)..This is contradicted by Elsie when she confronts Josh after he falls asleep at school with the bloody handprint beadsheet courtesy of darth maul..she says you never used to do this before we got to this house and all the creepy disturbances started..i think Josh was starting to feel the pull of the “further” the longer Dalton was away there but was in his later revealed denial state he was placed in by his mother and elsie as a child…something else that just occurred to me..Why did it take the mom so long to get elsie? She clearly knew Daltons status in the coma for 5 months and told raini when they were in the kitchen unpacking the new house I understand exactly what you are going through…anyways good movie and good timing for me as some of these questions may be an
    swered in the 2nd chapter in theaters now…

  267. Anonymous said


  268. Mr. Quincy said

    The ending was stupid. According to the lady medium or whatever she was, a spirit could NOT just walk into your body. The little boy had to be away from the body for months before the spirits started taking over his body. This was because freshly out of his body the connection between his soul and his body was still strong. The connection between the dad ‘s spirit and body should’ve been incredibly strong since he’d been living in his body for many years and hadn’t astral projected since he was a child. It makes absolutely no sense that she would be able to possess him so quickly. The ending basically turns the medium lady into an unreliable narrator. Now having been right about absolutely everything why in hell would she be so wrong about that? And why in hell wouldn’t she check immediately if the right people weren’t in the right bodies instead of going about things as if oh of course everything worked out ok!

    It’s fucking retarded.

    If you want to do an unreliable narrator you have to set it up properly at the beginning the way “Fallen” did with Denzel Washington. Doing it like this just makes it a plot hole.

    It also makes no sense that if all these ghosts want to fuck with the living so much and possess people that the son would be able to make it back to his body at all. The red demon would’ve taken the son just as the old woman took the dad. But then of course that’s probably what Chapter 2 is about.

    But what’s really stupid about the ending is that 1) the family didn’t have everyone, including the boy’s body, in the same room so when they got back they could just enter their bodies in the living room instead of running around the house, 2) the father was so idiotic that as soon as he gets back in the house he forgets all about his son and starts arguing with the old lady. Fuck the old lady. Who gives a shit why she’s there? Get your fucking son back to his body and get back in yours. There was absolutely no reason to stand there arguing with some ancient bitch about why she’s being a bitch. At least see that your son gets back in his body. But no what does this prick do? He leaves his son to go running around the house being chased by some demonic piece of shit.

    The ending really fucked things up for me. How in hell could people think it makes sense that a father who hadn’t seen his son for months would chuck it all with EVERYTHING on the line to start arguing with a bitch he didn’t even remember who was haunting him to possess him, WHICH HE ALREADY KNEW, so had no reason to ask the stupid questions he was asking?

  269. yo said

    what did she see at end

  270. martina etienne said

    Now I get it, but i loved that movieMar

  271. Mistaknowitall said

    Ok so obviously u guys just haven’t seen insidious well enough……. Keep watching and for those who haven’t seen insidious 2 and didn’t understand insidious. Just watch insidious 2 and ulle understand…….cinemapsycho FYI josh only got possessed at the end by the old woman after being sent into the further…….and Keith=josh was easy to posses only because he was close to being taken over by the old woman as a kid and Dalton was just starting to astro project………watch the fucking movie carefully and ulle understand

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  273. Mr. Quincy said

    Obviously, I did watch the movie carefully, as I described exactly why it was retarded. In order to come to the conclusion that the ending made sense, you’d have to ignore that the father had lived 20 years in his body and forgot all about astral projection and SOMEHOW his spiritual connection to his body had not strengthened AT ALL in the last two damn decades. That is fucking retarded.

  274. Anonymous said

    If you watch insidious part one again after watching part two you would realize josh was possessed the entire time in part one. When the alarms went off in the house we see in part two that it was the real josh trying to come in and warn the family and the possessed josh kept trying to lock him out, hence the alarm keep going off in part one. Part 2 has ruined part one I am watching part one again and now it makes no sense whatsoever.

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  276. Jay said

    Everyone in the comments is talking about a ‘woman’ possessing Josh but if you look carefully you should be able to see that it is in fact a man. This man dressed up like a woman and his victims where all women that looked the same. This suggests that in his mind he was not killing them but killing his mother who, I believe made him dress like a girl as she did not want a son.

  277. Seth Ledford said

    In the movie it says with his memory being suppressed it made the supernatural unable to get to him. That means the spirit wasn’t near him for the picture.

    Hope this helped clear it up.

  278. Aquarius Mcfadden said

    Question? Why isn’t the old characters inthe new insidious movie. I really liked part 1 and 2 but with this new insidious part 3 coming out where are the characters that started it all. Please reply. Thank you

  279. Anonymous said

    This move is so scary but can’t wait for they 3 insidious

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  284. Stan Berkely said

    I had to read through 7 huge paragraphs of bullshit to get to your point

  285. OKAY but.. I don’t think that’s it…:

    I’ve noticed from the events of the second chapter of Insidious that the Old lady was Parker and his mum force him to kill people so when he grew up, he wanted his childhood back so he wanted to enter Josh ‘s body when he was little as seen in the photographs of the events of first film so at the last of Insidious chp:1, Elise took photo of the Old lady (Parker Crane) that was in Josh ‘s body. So now, my final question is that if Parker wanted his childhood back so why did he enter the body of the adult Josh, he should’ve tried to possess Dalton’s body cause he was a child. The movie is kinda confusing tho an I don’t believe that their story is over yet, I’m sure they’ll show in Insidious for how the real ending is..

  286. Anonymous said

    YES! Finally! My thoughts exactly? A little late maybe?

  287. Jonny Mangalo said

    Very deep insights. Interesting you did not touch on ulyimate reasons/ lessons why Josh was targeted by this entity and what all that implies in the beautiful and poetic unfoldings of life’s foibles and perfections.

  288. ramona said

    Omg your ending explanation was awesome ….made perfect sense …..Josh was the target all alone not his son….wow cool

  289. Wendell said

    Dont forget they showed you the black bride in the opening scene of the movie as well.

  290. Allison N Graham said

    I think about half these theories have been proven wrong by now lol!!!!!
    How could anyone believe that Josh was already possessed by Parker Crane!!!! Insidious is not about Dalton, it was all about Josh. The Lady in The Black Veil was the closest to getting into josh’s body. They wiped his memory, so he couldn’t remember the old woman, or astral projecting, but subconsciously he was still afraid of getting his picture taken, and all of a sudden he started to have flash backs of his younger self sleeping. And all this was brought back up as they moved to a new home. A new home where his son Dalton not only astral projected but caught the attention of a demon. This old woman never went away. She/he just waited for a chance to take over Josh’s body, and used what was happening to his son as an opportunity. The reason why Elise knew it wasn’t Josh, was because his hands looked dead. As you can see in Insidious Chapter 2, josh’s body starts to decay because there is no living soul in it. Plus the whole younger Josh in The Further represented his memories. Remember The Further is a place that you pass through when you die, and all your memories reside there. He saw his younger self wearing pj’s, obviously when he used to astral project at night. And for the poster who said Elise was unreliable. Uhm… yes the it takes time and energy for spirits to cross over to get to the persons body, but she also mentioned the ones that are the closest with a more Insidious nature. That was The old lady. She was the closest and still was after all those years. All it took was for Josh to leave his body and that was it. She/he had him!! I believe most of these ridiculous theories have been debunked!

  291. Glenn Woodley said

    what were they referring to whenthey talked about thelast house and the problems they had there

  292. Didn’t get it at 1st yea it makes perfect sense


  294. Anonymous said

    ending sucks

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