Although horror movies have experienced an upswing in quality and popularity in recent years, the landscape of horror franchises has remained relatively thin. One of the only real horror series to produce consistent projects over the past few years is Insidious, which will bring us another terrifying-looking installment next winter. In fact, a brand new trailer for Insidious: The Last Key has just debuted online, and it looks like it will become one of the strangest and most intense horror flicks of the next year. Check it out below to see for yourself.

Insidious: The Last Key once again levels its focus on demon specialist Elise Rainier as she investigates paranormal phenomena -- with a heavy emphasis on key imagery this time around. Like Insidious: Chapter 3, The Last Key is a prequel to the stories involving Elise and the Lambert family, meaning the events of this film will likely go a long way towards informing and developing the woman who eventually shows up in the first Insidious film. However, unlike previous entries in the franchise, The Last Key will specifically focus its story on Elise's own life as she dives into a horrific mystery within her childhood home. Aside from that, the film just looks utterly terrifying. If sequences involving a girl getting a key inserted into her neck or a demon who can only be seen in night vision turn out as good as they look in this trailer, then we could have a new horror hit on our hands.

Looking at the creative forces behind the project, it appears that Insidious: The Last Key is a combination of old and new. Although the next installment in the paranormal series is bringing back long-time screenwriter Leigh Wannell and producer James Wan, the film has also enlisted a newcomer to step behind the camera in the form of Adam Robitel -- whose forays into the horror genre include Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and The Taking of Deborah Logan. With some fresh blood at the helm, our hope remains high that The Last Key can offer fans some unexpectedly fresh scares.

Although the Insidious franchise has not received a critical reception quite as welcoming as James Wan's other recent brainchild (The Conjuring universe), the franchise has managed to deliver enough thrills in its first three installments to make it a successful property among fans. To date, the Insidious series has grossed over $371 million at the worldwide box office, which is impressive when we look at the relatively small budgets the films have.

If Insidious: The Last Key looks like a perfect horror movie for the Halloween season, that is because it was originally supposed to be one. The film was initially set for an October 20, 2017 release, but Blumhouse ultimately opted to swap it with the darkly Groundhog Day-esque Happy Death Day and move its release to January. That said, this isn't cause for alarm. While the first month of the year is sometimes regarded by some as a dumping ground for lower-quality movies, the horror genre has often produced some very successful January releases -- such as Final Destination, Cloverfield, and last year's Split. If Insidious 4 lives up to the reputation of the previous three movies, then all eyes are on it to do the same.

Insidious: The Last Key will debut in theaters on January 5, 2018. As for the rest of the movies that will premiere on the silver screen this year (horror-specific or otherwise), take a look at our movie premiere guide!

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