Elise Returns Home for “Insidious: The Last Key”

Lin Shaye stars as Dr. Elise Rainier— a brilliant psychic, clairvoyant and demonologist—has spent her life guiding innocents back into the light…and thwarting creatures that have opened unholy doors into eternal darkness. As a child who could communicate with the dead, she accidentally unleashed something unspeakable into our world.

We first met Dr. Rainier in 2010’s Insidious, when, alongside sidekicks Tucker and Specs, she helps Josh and Renai Lambert draw their son Dalton from the deep recesses of The Further—a nightmarish mirror vision of our existence. There, dark spirits ooze from unspeakable corners and attempt to re-enter our realm by any means necessary. As Elise uses her gifts to free Dalton, the demon that possessed Josh when he was just a boy escapes from The Further and kills Elise. But is she really dead?

In Insidious: Chapter 2 the Lamberts are still reeling from the psychic abduction of their son and the loss of Elise. When they move back into Josh’s boyhood home, Josh again becomes possessed by the demon residing in the house and lying in wait. To save his father, Dalton reaches into The Further and finds Elise, who is still alive fighting an eternal battle to free trapped souls, rescue Josh and end the family curse.

Elise returns to the land of the living in Insidious: Chapter 3, which takes us back to a time before the Lamberts. Called out of retirement to help Quinn Brenner, a teen whose attempts to connect with her dead mother go horribly wrong, Elise is reminded of her sworn duty to use her paranormal gifts for the good of mankind.

Insidious: The Last Key takes us with Elise back to her girlhood home. But when the ghastliest haunted house Elise has ever entered proves to be the one where she was raised, Elise must face her greatest fears and destroy the immortal Key Face—the demon she set free so many years before. Vanquish him on his terrain, and she will free trapped souls for good. Fail, and the house she barely escaped as a child will claim her soul for eternity.

“This is an origin story,” says producer Jason Blum. “It shows how Elise came to be, and how she got her special powers. The first 20 minutes of Insidious: The Last Key take place in 1954, but the rest of the movie takes place right before Insidious starts. So, it’s actually Insidious: The Last Key, Insidious: Chapter 3, Insidious and then Insidious: Chapter 2.”

The popularity of the franchise always made the possibility of a fourth Insidious film intriguing to Blum, but the decision was also up to creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell.

“How it usually works,” Blum offers, “is that I call Leigh, and say, ‘We’d love to do another one.’ I wouldn’t want to deal with anyone else unless they blessed it.

Leigh had an idea about creating a film around Elise’s character for a long time, and we were all very committed to that.”

“We’ve made a lot of scary movies,” Blum continues, “and the hardest thing on a scary movie is for the actor who is communicating to the audience to be believable. No matter how you dress it up, in some way, they’re saying, ‘Ghosts are real. They exist. They’re scary.’ No matter how good the writing is—God bless Leigh Whannell—it’s hard to deliver those lines and believe them. And Lin (Dr. Elise Rainier) is incredibly good at saying things that make no sense, and making them feel like they make complete sense.”

“Leigh and Lin have taken us on a journey with this brilliantly complex parapsychologist who has been running from demons of her own since she was a child,” reveals director Adam Robitel. “Instead of hiding from the world, she has taken this evil by the throat and said, ‘You will not hurt one more person.’ Where so many would think of themselves first, Elise has stood up for innocence and goodness.

Insidious: The Last Key starring Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson opens in theaters January 5, 2018.