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Why did Josh and Renai split up in Insidious 5?

Josh and Renai are back, along with the other Lamberts, in Insidious 5. But there have been some big changes for them since the last new horror movie came out.

Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as Josh and Renai in Insidious

Why did Josh and Renai split up in Insidious 5? We haven’t seen anything from the life of the Lambert family since Insidious Chapter 2 in 2013. Since then, the franchise has gone back in time to focus on Elise – the medium played by Lin Shaye.

Insidious 5, however, returns to Josh (Patrick Wilson), Renai (Rose Byrne), and the rest of the Lamberts. Nine years on from the events of Insidious 2, Josh and his son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) have had their memories of The Further wiped, so they don’t remember the events of the best movies in the franchise. Naturally, the demonic forces of the other realm aren’t finished with them yet. We wouldn’t get any more new movies if they were!

But one of the surprises of the Insidious 5 release date is that Josh and Renai are no longer a married couple putting on a united front. But why did Josh and Renai split up in Insidious 5? There are, of course, spoilers ahead.

Why did Josh and Renai split up in Insidious 5?

Josh and Renai split up in Insidious 5 due to the strain caused by Josh being possessed and trying to kill his family in Insidious 2, as well as the brain fog he experienced after being made to forget his astral projection abilities.

Josh is in a bad place when Insidious 5 begins, grieving the death of his mother, Lorraine, and his split from Renai. He’s suffering from memory problems and brain fog, as well as becoming increasingly distant from Dalton.

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Throughout the movie, we learn that this is an unfortunate side effect of the hypnosis, which led Josh to forget his ability to enter The Further, as well as the demonic possession that led him to go all Jack Torrance and try to kill his family in Insidious Chapter 2.

Renai explains that neither she nor Lorraine knew how to help Josh through his brain fog, and she remained wary and nervous of him. That’s understandable, given the fact he tried to murder her. She says: “That’s why I pulled away. I couldn’t live like that anymore.”

It’s a difficult situation for the family. But fortunately, by the time the Insidious 5 ending comes around, things have shifted somewhat. Renai invites Josh to come over a bit earlier next time he picks up his children so that they can all have dinner together. There might yet be hope for their relationship.

For more from this franchise, check out our Insidious 5 review, our Insidious 5 cast guide, and take a look at how to watch all the Insidious movies in order. We’ve also got lots of recommendations for the best horror movies and the best ghost movies. And if it’s scares you’re after, one of the best horror movies of the year is now streaming on Prime.