No Or­di­nary Fam­ily

Saw writer re­turns to the Fur­ther for a para­nor­mal pre­quel

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

Hor­ror se­quels of­ten suf­fer from the law of di­min­ish­ing re­turns. Af­ter all, there are only so many times a make- up- caked spook can leap out of the shad­ows be­fore scares turn into yawns. In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 2 was dif­fer­ent – a hor­ror se­quel that was mad­der, more un­set­tling and in many ways bet­ter than its pre­de­ces­sor. But rather than rest on its lau­rels, the se­ries is shak­ing things up with a three­quel that delves into the past fea­tur­ing a new fam­ily, a new en­tity and a very much alive para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tor Elise Rainier.

“We’re go­ing back be­fore the first film and meet­ing Elise at a very dif­fer­ent stage of her life,” writer/ direc­tor Leigh Whan­nell tells Red Alert. “She’s this amaz­ing psy­chic who has hung up her spurs and is living as a her­mit af­ter los­ing her hus­band. She’s drawn back into the world of the su­per­nat­u­ral by a young girl called Quinn who has lost her mother to can­cer and is des­per­ate to get in touch with her.”

In­sid­i­ous stood out in a crowded mar­ket thanks to its dis­tinc­tively batty, Gial­loin­spired oth­er­world the Fur­ther, where tor­tured souls en­snare any­one with the abil­ity to en­ter their realm. Set three years be­fore the first In­sid­i­ous, the film fo­cuses on the Bren­ners, who find them­selves ter­rorised by a de­mon known only as The Man Who Can’t Breathe. “Quinn ( Ste­fanie Scott) is at a cross­roads in her life af­ter the death of her mother. She’s a lost soul, which makes her vul­ner­a­ble,” Whan­nell says. “She has a dad ( Der­mot Mul­roney), who’s busy try­ing to raise two kids, but they’ve been dys­func­tional since they lost the deep an­chor of the fam­ily. Hope­fully au­di­ences will em­brace the Bren­ner fam­ily in the way they em­braced the Lamberts.”

The film also deals with the first en­counter be­tween Elise ( Lin Shaye) and her su­per­nat­u­ral as­sis­tants Specs ( Whan­nell him­self ) and Tucker ( An­gus Samp­son). “You see their world be­fore the first film,” Whan­nell ex­plains. “They’re am­a­teur ghost hun­ters with a web se­ries so they haven’t had any ac­tual ex­pe­ri­ence, so Elise brings them into that world and they help bring her back to life. To me it’s a film about two peo­ple who are dead in­side and see­ing them come back to life.”

Hav­ing writ­ten the first two films in the se­ries, Whan­nell stepped up to di­rect for the first time with Chap­ter 3, re­plac­ing James Wan, who was shoot­ing Fast And Fu­ri­ous 7

at the time. But did Whan­nell turn to his fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor for ad­vice?

“No, not re­ally, he was in Dubai telling Vin Diesel to jump out of a build­ing! But he did visit the set. I was shoot­ing a ghost who was walk­ing to­wards the cam­era and James leaned over and whis­pered to me, ‘ Have the ghost ac­tor walk back­wards and then run it in re­verse, it will look re­ally in­hu­man." And it was like sit­ting on the set of a thriller and hav­ing Al­fred Hitch­cock lean over. When it comes to mod­ern hor­ror films, James is the mas­ter. So I did that, and of course I tried to pass it off to the crew as my own idea. He saw the movie and he was proud of me. It’s been such a great ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m sure the next film I make will be ter­ri­ble, but this went as good as a film can go.”

In­sid­i­ous: Chap­ter 3 is re­leased on 5 June.

“When it comes to mod­ern hor­ror films, James is the mas­ter”

“Did I leave the gas on?”

Those shafts of light are al­ways spooky.

“And then I pull the rab­bit out of the hat.” This new AA meet­ing wasn’t re­ally what she’d ex­pected.

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