While Insidious Chapter 3 acts as a prequel, it’s also a stand-alone horror film that follows high school student Quinn Brenner, as played by Stefanie Scott, whose mother recently died. She turns to Lin Shayes Elise Rainier to help her get in contact with her mother, only to realize that when you call out for one spirit, others might answer.
Its a big role for the 18-year-old Scott, previously the lead in the Disney Channel show A.N.T. Farm. Little of her family friendly experience would likely prepare her for Leigh Whannells directorial debut, however, as Quinn goes through quite a lot after meeting Elise. Shock Till You Drop.com spoke with the young actress at the L.A. junket for the film, and while its often hard for someone of this writers age to relate to a teenager, we tried to bond over our mutual love of the Pixies without seeming like a masher.
Shock Till You Drop: Obviously, you must have known about these movies before you got this role
Stefanie Scott: Yeah, I was a big fan of the first and second movie.
Shock: In that sense, when you find out that theyre casting a young actress for the role of Quinn, are you at all nervous about jumping into part of this franchise that has already become so popular?
Scott: No, it was just an audition, so it could have gone my way and it could have not. I think Im pretty good at this point with rejection that it wouldnt really hurt or anything, so I prepared it and hoped for the best and I got to go in a few more times, and then I got the part.
Shock: Were you already a horror fan, but hadnt actually done any horror?
Scott: No, I hadnt done a horror film. I mean, there are plenty of times where I auditioned for them and [was] close on them, but I definitely had experience at least acting in horror. But, its a really dark, dark story.
Shock: Can you talk about your reaction when you got the script and realized what you wanted to do and where they were going with your character?
Scott: I loved it right from the beginning. Its definitely the darkest out of all of them, and its really realistic minus the demon thing. Other than that, I feel like youre really sucked into this world, so I loved it so much and I could really relate a lot to Quinn. I just wanted to bring her to life more than anything.
Shock: One thing I liked about Quinn is that apparently shes into Pixies and shes reading A Clockwork Orange.
Scott: Oh my God! Well I felt like we had a lot of similarities .
Shock: Those were the things I was into as a teenager.
Scott: Exactly! The Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley. Yeah, all the music, I loved how they incorporated. She has life and personality. Shes not just a teenage girl in a cardigan moving into a new house. Shes human.
Shock: Did you get to work with Leigh at all on that or the set designers?
Scott: Oh, yeah. We had a lot of talk about it, Leigh and I. For the film, he had me listen to a lot of that music before. I mean, I was a big fan anyway.
Shock: Youre a Pixies fan?
Scott: Yeah, he actually gave me a vintage record of them for the movie. He gave me a lot of records to listen to before filming to try to get me into the mood of Quinn.
Shock: Thats the nice thing about being an old man that I can lord over young people with the fact that I saw the Pixies when they were opening for other bands in the late 80s.
Scott: Oh my God! Thats amazing!
Shock: Anyway, enough about the Pixies. This isnt their movie. Without getting into spoilers, they set up Stefanie as the typical teenager dealing with the death of her mother but then theres a dark turn later on. Theres a lot going on with her. Was Leigh able to at least shoot in some kind of order to make that easier?
Scott: No, it was all done out of order, so one morning Id be crying about losing my Mom. Later in that afternoon, you had to be slightly demonic, so it was definitely hard to balance it and be in different places, especially because of the progression of the movie. You see the beginning, shes completely healthy, and by the end, all the life is sucked out of me, so to start the morning with the life sucked out of you to go into being full of life, its a really hard balance. And then to go back to being sick again was hard. To keep it in sequence to make sure youre the right amount of sick, do you know what I mean?
Shock: I spoke to Lin Shaye. She actually mentioned that Leigh might not have told you a couple things that were going to happen to get an actual reaction.
Scott: Yeah, he would definitely do that to get a real reaction which was fine. He used airhorns or noises or things shaking, the demon coming out without me knowing, stuff like that. It only did good, because I think the reactions in the movie turned out really well. Like the scares seem like authentic scares, which is important, rather than trying to act scared.
Shock: Its also a film where the emotions seem real, so what was it like working with Lin because you have some great scenes with her?
Scott: Oh my Gosh. I really felt like she was kind of like a mentor in the beginning, because it was my first horror movie. She invited me over to her house. Her, me and Leigh, she made us dinner one night before filming started just to get to know each other. She was just such a blessing to have on set, and just to be a part of it, because this is her film as well. Shes such a lovely person to work with.
Shock: Do you feel theres more to Quinns story to explore or do you think this is one and done? Its really more of a prequel for Elise to meet her partners in some way.
Scott: Yeah, I think Quinn has been through so much. Its hard to imagine her being able to take anything else, but at the same time, shes so brave that I feel like she can fight through anything at this point. I would love to explore more with Quinn.
Shock: As a fan of horror movies, did you enjoy the experience enough to do more?
Insidious Chapter 3 opens with previews tonight, Thursday, June 4. You can also read our previous interviews with writer/director Leigh Whannell and Scotts co-star Lin Shaye. For Shock’s review of Insidious: Chapter 3, see here.