Angus Sampson returns for his third Insidious film while Hayley Kiyoko is a newcomer to the franchise with Insidious: Chapter 3, opening in theaters on June 5, 2015. Teaming up at WonderCon to discuss this prequel to the franchise, Sampson and Kiyoko promised Insidious and horror movie fans that this latest entry in the series will be scariest one yet.
Insidious: Chapter 3 is set years before the haunting of the Lambert family, and Elise’s battles with spirits from The Further, in Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2. In the prequel, teenaged aspiring actress Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) senses that her late mother is trying to contact her, and seeks out a gifted psychic – Elise (Lin Shaye).
Elise feels protective of sensitive Quinn, but tragedy in Elise’s past has left her reluctant to use her abilities. Soon a shocking accident leaves Quinn recuperating at home, as her widowed father Sean (Dermot Mulroney) struggles to hold his family together. Then Quinn is attacked in her bedroom by a malevolent supernatural entity, and Sean pleads with Elise to help. Wrestling with her faith and sense of purpose, Elise summons her powers to contact the dead – with support from two new acquaintances, unlicensed parapsychologists Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell).
Forced to venture deep into The Further to protect Quinn, Elise soon finds herself facing off against the most ruthless enemy she has ever encountered: a demon with an insatiable craving for human souls.
Angus Sampson and Hayley Kiyoko Interview:
What can you say about your character and what Leigh Whannell put you through on the set?
Hayley Kiyoko: “I play Maggie who is Quinn’s best friend. I got to really experience first-hand some of the stunts that Stefanie [Scott] had to go through and just like them just putting her on harnesses. There’s like…I don’t even know. Is there any CGI in these films? Everything they do is so organic and real. It was my first horror film and Stefanie and I had shot Jem and the Holograms last year together which is also a Blumhouse film so it was cool to do that and do a horror movie together and also play best friends. It was just really amazing to watch Leigh Whannell work and I think people who love the Insidious franchise, this is the scariest one yet. I don’t watch horror films so I’m not a good judge because I’m scared of everything, but I am now a big fan because of the talent and the skill that goes behind scaring people is so difficult. I mean it really is and so it’s really cool to be a part of it.”
Did you get scared while you were filming?
Hayley Kiyoko: “Oh yeah. My first day on set there was this real-looking dummy of Stefanie in a chair and I thought it was a real person. And they’re like, ‘No, no, no. It’s fake.’ I go to touch the face and, granted, the face feels like flesh and then the makeup artist jumps up from behind it and [screams] and just scares the crap out of me. Everyone was just having a blast on the set and just scaring everyone, so that’s not fun for me.
But the sets were very cold and dark, and always had an atmosphere. It was really an experience. You have to really have that type of set to create a scary film like the one that they’ve created.”
Angus, what would you say the tone is of this third film of the franchise?
Angus Sampson: “I think this one’s a lot more…I don’t know how you would say it. There’s a lot more in-camera stuff here. I feel like this one is much more domestic than anyone else. Watching the first one, the great thing about the first one is you spend so long going, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ that when there is a payoff at the end, when you actually see the red-faced demon’s lair you’re like, ‘Oh, what was I worried about? That’s not too scary.’ The second one was like so surreal as to, ‘Hold on, what’s happening?’ It’s time travel and confusing. This one I feel is a lot more brutal in its scares. I know Insidious has always been endorsed for not having trickery in their scares, this one just seeing the actor who plays the man who can’t breathe – I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the film Se7en, but it’s the same actor who’s strapped to the bed who’s still alive. It’s the same performer. So, Leigh was like, ‘We want someone like that guy,’ and so they got Michael [Reid McKay] who is perfect. You’d see him on set in makeup but the thing is, with all due respect to his physique, he’s so malnourished to being with. He’d be walking around and there’s no light anywhere in the studio, he’d be going to craft services to get some Hershey bars or something and he’d be terrifying.
I will say this one’s the scariest of the three. I will safely say that having been in all of them.”
Can you talk about Leigh Whannell, your partner in onscreen hijinx, being behind the camera this time?
Angus Sampson: “We scheduled it so that most of the Tucker and Specs stuff is at the end of the shoot, just because Leigh wrote the film and he’s a writer, producer, director, actor. There’s a lot of pressure on him and it’s his first feature film. I know he spoke to another Australian filmmaker, David Michod who directed Animal Kingdom, and asked him some advise. He said, ‘All you have to do is know more about the script than anyone else.’ And as the writer, Leigh has always known more than anybody else in this series. There’s not a question that he can’t answer. As far as that’s concerned, it gives you great confidence when you’re coming into something that’s as low budget, doesn’t have huge amounts of rehearsal time, has minimum takes – two or three. When we Mad Max, we shot that for 21 weeks. This is a five week shoot.”
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