This weekend, "Insidious Chapter 2" set September box office records with an estimated $41.1 million domestic draw. All signs would point to a sequel... if only director James Wan was interested in one. "I'm going to go on record and say I am finished with the horror genre," "The Conjuring" and "Fast & Furious 7" director told Moviefone last week. There's reason to believe the franchise could continue -- the ending of "Chapter 2" certainly suggests it and it wouldn't be Wan's first franchise to be handed off to a new creative team (he quickly slipped into a producer role after the success of the first "Saw" movie).
Beyond the financial logic that may push "Insidious Chapter 3" into existence, we're desperate for a follow-up if only to answer the lingering questions from "Chapter 2." Below, a few of the loose ends we just can't shake. What answers lie on the side?
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
1. Why isn't Josh (Patrick Wilson) convicted of Elise's (Lin Shaye) murder?
Picking up after the events of "Insidious," Renai (Rose Byrne) comes under fire from the police. They're convinced her husband strangled paranormal investigator Elise to death and they want answers. After a thorough investigation, the police captain learns that his theory was bunk; Josh's finger prints weren't found on Elise's neck. But why not? As we learn later, Josh isn't who he says he is, having been possessed by the ghost of cross-dressing serial killer Parker. Josh's body is falling apart thanks to ghastly invasion, but even with the madman's soul inhabiting his physical self, Josh is still Josh. So whose fingerprints are all over Elise's neck?
2. How does time work in The Further?
Wan and Leigh Whannell's mythology-heavy story introduces the intriguing (and always decisive) element of time travel into its fabric. When the ghost hunting team analyzes a photo taken of young Josh in 1986, they see a figure standing behind him. It's his older self, surfacing through his wanderings in The Further. The parallel universe appears to be structured like our world -- Josh can travel to his home, where all the rooms and objects are set in place, despite having an inverse quality -- but he can also travel through time at the drop of the hat. What are the boundaries and rules of The Further? And if it's a big black box, how the heck do you know what year it is, or decide where to travel?
3. What happened to Parker and his mother in the "real" timeline and how was it altered by Elise's attack?
Elise puts an end to Parker's possession of Josh by "undoing" the events of the past "Back to the Future"-style, bashing his abusive mother in the back of the head with a rocking horse. Theoretically, she's attacking the serial killing puppeteer the same way a ghost might attack our heroes in the present day. Totally reasonable. But would the effects offing "The Dark Bride" ripple beyond Parker's murderous course? Would Parker continue to be in The Further if the mother/son team never went on their killing spree? Events taking place in The Further appear fluid and mailable. One can only hope there's an "Insidious 3" to define those parameters even more.
4. That Ending. That Ending.
If Wan isn't coming back for an "Insidious Chapter 3" and the series truly is over, they've left us with one evil ending. Now working with her two paranormal investigator underlings from beyond the grave, Elise communicates with a new family and astral projector, the young, comatose Allison. She instantly sees what is haunting the girl -- but we don't. All we get is an "Oh my God!" Are we watching Elise witness the reappearance of The Dark Bride or Parker? Is it something more sinister (and does it have ties to the series' roots)? Perhaps....
5. What happened to the scary, red-faced demon from "Insidious?"
It's not clear if any of the villains in "Insidious Chapter 2" are the face of evil from the first film. That means the red-faced demon could still be lurking in the background. Or so we hope. We again see the "red door" pop up in "Insidious Chapter 2" (but this time in a different house?) but no sign of the creepy masked spirit. Whether or not he's what Elise sees that sends her into shock at the end of "Chapter 2," we need to know what happened to this nefarious presence. He may not be the franchise's Jigsaw, but he's haunting our imaginations.