Report: From the Set of Insidious: Chapter 3

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Here’s a curious thing. Insidious: Chapter 3, likely the major horror film (and, in my case, one of the most anticipated) of the year, hosted a set visit during production in 2014. I wasn’t there; definitely not for Shock, nor my previous home at Fango. The site’s fearless leader and previous editor Ryan Turek was of course on hand, but his recent move to Director of Development at Blumhouse made his lingering coverage of their titles a bit uncertain and a conflict of interest. So, here I am, weirdly learning some things about this prequel, the feature directorial debut of writer and series co-creator Leigh Whannell, in much the same manner you are: from interviews. 

Presented with the transcript of the day, I’ve attempted to parse out perhaps what’s so intriguing about a new Insidious film. For many, Insidious was a really wonderful shot in the haunted house arm, a creeper in a grand tradition with something of a new perspective and the top talent and aesthetic obsessions of James Wan. Insidious: Chapter 2 then, did something kind of marvelous. It got really weird. Delightfully garish and aggressive, Wan & Whannell dipped their entire sequel in the surreal, fog-heavy astral plane of The Further, using it as a vessel for time travel, a giallo-esque ghost backstory and the hardest spirit slap onscreen.

Perhaps even weirder, it was a hit. Of course, Insidious was as well, but for a time I was convinced the idiosyncrasies of Chapter 2 would put many off. With so much space to play in this world, it was delightful to see the opposite. Now, Whannell has taken the series to its next logical place, both an origin story and a “further adventures of…” with Elise, Specs & Tucker, those who could guide us through more encounters with the astral plane and the demons it contains. Joining returning stars Whannell, Angus Sampson and Lin Shaye are Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott, a father and daughter reeling from the loss of their matriarch and who’ve attracted the attention of some sort of entity.

Of course, the biggest shift is that Whannell is now guiding it visually, something its trailers inspire a lot of confidence in. What can we expect? Below, find new looks at the film with words from Whannell on his impetus to craft a prequel, what’s guiding him aesthetically, the series’ new demon, learning from both Wan and William Friedkin, and more. Insidious: Chapter 3 is out June 5, 2015 from Focus Features.