After the trailer our New York screening tapped into the Los Angeles Q&A session with James Wan (Saw) at the Linda Vista Hospital, one of the sets for the film. The discussion was loaded with information regarding Wan’s prowess within the genre and his excitement for this project in particular, but the first thing that would stand out to any “Insidious” fan is when Wan revealed:
“Whereas the first movie has a twist on the classic haunted house genre, the second one is a slightly different movie, and so it has a twist on a different sub-genre. It’s more in the vein of like a domestic thriller, but with a pervasive supernatural undertone, which is kind of what The Shining is in some ways.”
And the domestic thriller sub-genre isn’t the only new territory Insidious 2 treads into. Wan even noted, “Insidious 2 deals a little bit with elements of time traveling.” Sadly Wan was cut short before delving deeper, but later on he did reference a section of the film that takes place in 1986 with a young Josh (Garrett Ryan), Lorraine (Jocelin Donahue of The House of the Devil), and Elise (Lindsay Seim), so the two are likely connected.
Pulling back from Insidious 2 and jumping into his personal style in general, Wan noted something that somewhat hints at why his horror films are more effective than others:
“For me, you know, it’s not necessarily seeing the scariest monster in the room that makes it scary. It’s a character waking up in the middle of the night and he or she thinks there’s someone standing by the foot of their bed watching them sleep.”
Wan even goes as far to deliberately terrify himself to ensure a scare will have the same effect on an audience:
“When I was designing some of the scares for Insidious and my previous scary movie that I shot, one of the things I would do is literally walk through my house late at night with all the lights out and think up these really trippy, creepy scenarios and if I get really creeped out then I know it’s working.”
We’ll have to wait until The Conjuring arrives on July 19th and Insidious 2 on September 13th to see if Wan’s “creepy” technique results in two good films – but even if things do continue to pan out in his favor, it could be a while before another James Wan horror movie hits the market. Wan will be switching gears (pun), jumping into the director’s chair of Fast and Furious 7. One audience member asked Wan what kind of film he’d make with an unlimited budget, and even though F&F7 would be the realistic and immediate answer, Wan touched on two other types of movies that pique his interest:
“I’m a big comic book fan. I’d love to one day do a comic book film. I love that world. I have pet projects. I have pet projects for different reasons. I’m a romantic at heart and so a pet project of mine that I would love to one day do would be to do a big screen adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. That would be my thing.”
If Fast and Furious 7 is as big a hit as the latest installment, odds are Wan could wind up with the opportunity to pursue whatever his heart desires.
Insidious Chapter 2 arrives in theaters on September 13, 2013.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.