Insidious: Chapter 4 has been officially moved back from its original Fall 2017 release date to the early goings of 2018. The original Insidious movie was directed by James Wan and helped to further establish Blumhouse Productions as a major player in the horror/thriller game, building on the success of the first Paranormal Activity two years earlier. Since then, Blumhouse has added several additional feathers to its cap, in the forms of low-costs/high-returns series like The Purge, as well as critically/commercially successful auteur-driven offerings such as M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit and Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
Wan stepped away as director on the Insidious franchise after Insidious: Chapter 2, allowing Insidious franchise screenwriter Leigh Whannell (who also plays ghost hunter Specs in the series) to take the helm on 2015’s Insidious: Chapter 3 – a prequel to the original Insidious that explores the backstory of gifted, but troubled psychic Dr. Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). Chapter 4 will reportedly take place between the events of Chapter 3 and the original Insidious (call it the Alien: Covenant of the franchise), but fans of the property will have to wait until next year to find out what supernatural entity Elise will be battling next.
Universal Pictures has confirmed that Insidious: Chapter 4 is now hitting theaters on January 5th, 2018 (taking the spot previously reserved for an untitled Blumhouse horror film), rather than on its previously-scheduled October 20th, 2017 date. The latter spot will be instead be filled by Half to Death, an original horror/thriller offering from Universal and Blumhouse.
Insidious: Chapter 4 will pit Elise against “her most fearsome and personal haunting yet: in her own family home,” based on a script once again written by Whannell, but this time directed by Adam Robitel. The latter previously wrote and directed the acclaimed found-footage horror/thriller The Taking of Deborah Logan, in addition to co-writing the not-so-beloved final Paranormal Activity movie, The Ghost Dimension. With Chapter 3 being generally regarded by critics as a solid addition to the larger franchise (if a more conventional chapter than Insidious: Chapter 2, for both good and bad), Chapter 4 will hopefully prove able to build on that goodwill generated by its predecessor.
As for Half to Death: that film is directed by Christopher Landon (who wrote four of the six Paranormal Activity films and directed The Marked Ones) and stars Jessica Rothe (La La Land) as a college student who is able to relive the day of her murder, until she discovers the identity of her killer. Should Landon prove able to put a clever horror genre spin on that Groundhog Day/Edge of Tomorrow-style premise, then Half to Death could prove to be another original success for Blumhouse. That said, it will face-off against new installments in both the Cloverfield and Saw franchises during its second weekend, so Half to Death may have to fight an uphill battle at the box office.
Source: Universal Pictures