I traveled “Into the Further” … and you can, too

On Friday the cast and creators of Insidious: Chapter 3, the latest installment in the chilling Insidious series gathered in Los Angeles to discuss the creation of and inspiration for the terrifying new thriller.

That same day, a large truck waited across the street from the JW Marriot where the junket was being held, a truck which had been dressed to contain all of the horrors of the series’ infamous “the further” for unwitting journalists… and brave fans.

The attraction, titled the Into the Further 4D Experience, uses oculus rift technology to take you into the world of Insidious, as Elise Ranier (Lin Shaye) brings visitors into “the further.”  However, it is a fully immersive experience, so guests will also face traditional haunted house-like thrills as they make their way to Elise for the trip of a lifetime.

The series co-creator – and the director of the third Insidious film – Leigh Whannell raved of the attraction’s technology, noting: “In ten years time every kid in America will have a pair of those [oculus rift] goggles. You gotta get in on the ground floor and try it out. You can tell your kids you were there. It’s like, I was there at the start.”

Meanwhile, Insidious: Chapter 3 actress Hayley Kiyoko, provided a warning. “Oh my gosh. It was so scary. I was shaking,” she gushed. When I admitted I hadn’t yet taken my turn in the terror truck, she responded: “You’re gonna cry. Lin Shaye, the lead, was crying. You’re gonna cry. It’s so scary.”

Well, if that’s not a sales pitch, I don’t know what is. Now, I don’t want to spoil what happens in the truck, since it has stops left on its terrifying tour, as Insidious: Chapter 3 promotions continue. But I will say, it’s certainly not a walk in the park. I didn’t cry, but to be fair, I love horror movies.

I usually wouldn’t have chosen a haunted attraction which required me to walk through alone, so I was feeling the heart palpitations on that one. When I first entered a woman asked for my Twitter handle, and I was so ready to be scared that I didn’t even stop to question why on Earth they would need my Twitter handle. Of course that comes into play later.

But I survived, and you know what, that oculus rift technology is pretty damn cool. In this instance, paired with the thrills of Insidious, that on a regular TV screen are quite nightmare-inducing, it was not ideal… but still really amazing the kind of experience we can create these days.

You really feel like a part of the movie — which, again, if we were choosing films to hop into I’d probably be more of a You’ve Got Mail fan, myself… say hello to Joe Fox, sit alongside some “friendly-looking” daisies, and let someone else tip toe through the tulips.

But like I said, it was pretty damn cool. And if you don’t believe me, Insidious was kind enough to gift me with some lovely post-scare photographs of my experience, and as you can see, I look pretty happy, no? (In all honesty I think it caught me as I was laughing at myself for how scared I had just been, but let’s pretend I was brave, okay?)

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This all seems a bit of a precursor for things to come, as I was also informed that while the cast was assembled for interviews on Friday they were also working on material to be used in an all new maze at Universal’s Halloween Horror Night’s for this upcoming season. Having experienced the last one – which was already horrifying – and after seeing the third movie, which I think might be the scariest of all three… I’m willing to wager this maze will be one to remember.

Now, in addition to scaring the shit out of me, Friday’s junket also presented me with the opportunity to chat with Insidious: Chapter 3‘s director Leigh (who also wrote the film and stars in it as Specs, of the comical Spectral Sightings team) and Blumhouse Productions CEO Jason. You can check out a longer recap of those interviews on Screenpicks, but here are a few other interesting tidbits from our chats:

The first-time director spoke of “setting the tone” of the production by hosting a party at his house with the cast and crew, where he screened Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining on a large, outdoor theater.

Guess I was not feeling those ghosts...

Guess I was not feeling those ghosts…

“Well, The Shining is my favorite horror film. I love it. I love it. It’s just a really artful film,” he gushed. “You know, it’s Stanley Kubrick, obviously there’s nothing in his filmography that isn’t artful or beautiful or well thought out. And so, I felt like it would quickly plug in the crew to the level I was trying to aspire to.”

He was quick to add: “Now, did I think of myself as Kubrick as a first time director? Certainly not, but I wanted them to know that I cared very deeply about the artistry of this film, you know? It wasn’t a disposable horror movie to me. It wasn’t a quickie sequel that was being pumped out to make a buck. To me it was my first directed film, and I cared so much about it. So much was riding on this film for me, emotionally and personally, because it was my directing debut.”

Well, I think it paid off, as it’s truly terrifying – review to come. He also spoke about upcoming projects, which include something “almost like his version of the Terminator.” He added: “You’ll know it when you hear about it.”

Meanwhile Jason shared some exciting news for horror fans. First he gushed a bit about the upcoming Sinister 2 – which I’m honestly really looking forward to, as the first one really got me… it’s the kinda messed up film that sticks with you for a bit, you know?

“The movie’s super cool,” he shared, adding: “I’m excited for that to come out.” The upcoming sequel hits theaters August 21.

However, the really exciting news came when he discussed the latest installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise. “The next Paranormal Activity fits much more into the mythology of one, two, three, and four. It really ties the whole franchise together,” he said.

He acknowledged that fans got frustrated that the series kept asking questions without answering them, explaining: “So I think in this one we really, we answer all the questions. You may not like the answers, but at least you’re getting the answers.”

We also discussed our favorite film of the Paranormal Activity series, and we both loved number three, with that genius oscillating fan. What an experience watching that slowly rotate to reveal whatever horrors awaited. So shout out to Christopher Landon – writer of Paranormal Activity 3 – because that really was freaking genius.

“The fifth one is directed by the person who edited all four of them (Gregory Plotkin), and it really does pull all the mythology together,” Jason said. “So I think fans will be satisfied by the fact that they’re getting answers, not more questions.”

Check out Insidious: Chapter 3 in theaters June 5, and head over to www.intothefurther.me to see if the Into the Further 4D experience is coming to your town.

Until next time,

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