IFC Midnight’s Guillermo Amoedo’s The Stranger, which stars Luis Gnecco, Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, and Aaron Burns, is set for release in select theaters and on VOD June 12th.
While we shared our review this morning, we also now have a second trailer for the indie horror produced by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin fever, The Green Inferno) and Nicolás López (Aftershock), which premiered at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin, Texas.
In The Stranger, a mysterious man arrives in a small Canadian town seeking his wife, though his presence plunges the community into a bloodbath.
Here’s a lengthy festival synopsis:
“Amoedo shows a deft ability to turn a bloodthirsty monster movie on its head, into a slow-burn, character-driven film. ‘The Stranger’ takes its time, building the tension through occasional flashbacks and having the audience sympathize with Peter, who grew up not knowing his father. Peter, like the audience, is kept largely in the dark about his father’s motives or even what he is… because he’s certainly not human. What is apparent is the chaos his dad’s return has on the small town, especially a member of the police force and his violence-prone son.
‘The Stranger’ is ultimately about family, the legacy we pass on to our children and the lengths we go to protect and ensure their survival, no matter how dark and deadly they might become.” (James Shapiro)
Our friends ay AICN broke the news this morning that Gregg Bishop will be directing Siren, our a non-found-footage adaptation/spinoff to David Bruckner’s short film “Amateur Night,” one of the segments featured in the 2012 Sundance premiere of the anthology thriller V/H/S.
In Siren, a bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities.
Bishop most recently helmed the magician story in VHS Viral, but landed on our radar with his astounding indies The Other Side and Dance of the Dead.
Slated to premiere on Chiller in 2016, Siren is written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. David Bruckner will be executive producing.
Ohio horror-infused death metal band Necrophagia are currently on the “Chaos Raids” tour with 1349, Vattnet Viskar, Black Anvil, Atriarch, and Early Graves in support of their latest album WhiteWorm Cathedral. We’ve covered in the past and want to give a shout out to their video that shows their full set from Cobra Lounge on June 4th. You can see the near 45-minute set below.
We premiered the band’s track “Fear The Priest”, which is a tribute to The Exorcist. Find out more here.
Remaining tour dates:
June 09 Boise, ID @ The Crazy Horse
June 10 Seattle, WA @ Club SUR W/ATRIARCH
June 11 Portland, OR @ Panic Room W/ATRIARCH
June 12 Oakland, CA @ Metro Opera House W/EARLY GRAVES
June 13 San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick W/EARLY GRAVES
June 14 Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto
June 15 El Paso, TX @ Mesa Music Hall
June 16 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
June 18 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
June 19 Orlando, FL @ The Haven
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jon Bernthal, who played Shane in “The Walking Dead“, has been cast as The Punisher in the second season of Netflix’s “Daredevil“.
In “Daredevil“, The Punisher, whose real name is Frank Castle, goes around punishing the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, regardless of the potentially lethal results. He’s a trained martial artist with extensive weapons knowledge and is versed in guerilla tactics.
Marvel head of TV Jeph Loeb states:
Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences. Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.
The second season of the show returns in 2016.
Now on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the absolutely awesome Kingsman: The Secret Service, which comes via Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn!
Easily one of my favorite films of the year, Kingsman also carries the most awesomely violent sequence of the year as well. For those who have yet to see it, Samuel L. Jackson plans to cleanse the planet through the use of his technology. He tests this out at a church, all while Colin Firth’s character is trapped inside. What results is complete and utter mayhem.
Kingsman: The Secret Service gave us the most murderous, rage-filled scene we can remember. Now, as a Bloody Disgusting exclusive, the infamous cult-fave “Church” fight is back for yet more worship thanks to “The Art of Kingsman Combat” — a closer look at the deadly weapons, moves, and kill shots that made this what could be the greatest and goriest flashmob-brawl ever filmed.
Because yes: it gets better when you slow it down!
In the film, “A super-secret organization recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a dire global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.”
Kingsman has a full arsenal of bloody good added materials that bring the world of the Kingsman to life. Not only can you see a gorgeous gallery of behind the scenes images from the film’s production, but the Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed documentary also gives you an exclusive 90-Minute look into the film’s iconic style, fights, gadgets and more.
A new poster for the upcoming cult film Regression has been released and it highlights actress Emma Watson and her unreasonably shiny eye. Yes, I understand that she appears to be in a state of great fear and consternation, but WOW that’s a shiny eye!
The film’s synopsis reads:
Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery
Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight, Training Day) and Emma Watson (Noah, Harry Potter) star in the film alongside David Thewlis (The Fifth Estate, Harry Potter), David Dencik (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo) , Dale Dickey (Winter´s Bone, True Blood), Lothaire Bluteau (The Tudors) and Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid).
Ten years ago, Team Sleep, the side project of vocalist Chino Moreno (Deftones, †††), released a self-titled album that featured 15 tracks. Since then, there’s been nothing else from the project, leaving fans disappointed. However, that’s about to change as the group will be releasing a live album as well as having plans to unveil a series of studio EPs.
Late last year, the group convened at Applhead Studios in Woodstock, New York with a small audience and recorded a live album over two days. That album, dubbed Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4, is now available for pre-order right here. It will include live renditions of several songs as well as official versions of past demos.
Below is a stream of the band’s performance of “Blvd. Nights”.
Band co-founder Tim Wilkinson states:
“Blvd. Nights” is kind of a nostalgic song to me. Most of the stuff we’ve been making has been centered around drum machines and melodies, but ‘Blvd.’ is a real rock song. Gil and Chuck are a great rhythm section and it feels good to be super loud sometimes.
Looking at the cover art for Chad Archibald’s The Drownsman, I can’t help but recall the scene in A Nightmare On Elm Street where Nancy is taking a bath, and is dragged underwater by Freddy. In fact, the cover art and the back of the case for The Drownsman make it a point to tickle your retro glands by name-dropping Freddy and 80s slashers in general to grab your interest. Of course, you never want to go by how cool the cover looks to gauge how good the film actually is, nor do you want to rely on pullquotes. Because invariably, you’ll find out that it’s the classic “sell the sizzle instead of the steak” situation, leaving the film all wet.
After a near-drowning in a lake, and what she experienced while underwater, Madison (Michelle Mylett) has developed hydrophobia, or a fear of water. Crippled by the fear, she misses her best friend Hanna’s (Caroline Korycki) wedding, where Madison was to be the maid of honour. Madison’s friends enlist the help of a psychic medium (Clare Bastable) to try and help Madison face her fear. Unfortunately for the group, the intervention only unleashes what was initially only fixated on Madison — The Drownsman. Now The Drownsman is after Madison’s friends, able to appear in any body of water and pull them into his lair to be drowned. Madison must now find a way to stop The Drownsman before he takes them all.
I have to say, that while the concept of the film is derivative (Wes Craven, anyone?), I do find the idea of a killer potentially popping out of any body of water pretty intriguing. It opens up so much potential for what you can do, and it’s clear that director Chad Archibald (who also co-wrote the story) is a fan of 80s horror. There’s a focus on the psychological horror rather than gore. Having something so innocuous as a glass of water as a potential portal for The Drownsman to reach through is a definite plus. Add in some nice camerawork with good use of shadows, and it’s an impressive-looking film.
Of course, the main draw is The Drownsman himself. Working within budget and mood, we never really get a good look at The Drownsman until much later. Keeping the creep in the shadows and low-lit scenes also heightens the effectiveness of the makeup, which is honestly pretty cool on its own. To complement The Drownsman, his lair is also quite the mood maintainer. Sure it looks like your typical sunken ship, but the set is appropriately creepy. With his appearance, presence and all of this potential, do we actually find out how he came to be, and his motivations beyond just being a psychopathic killer?
Disappointingly no, which is what can be said of a lot of The Drownsman. Seems that in crafting the story for the film, Archibald forgot to give attention to the substance. For starters, the film’s characters are flat and underdeveloped. While Mylett does a great job of portraying Madison, she’s not given a lot to work with, leaving the character practically interchangeable with the other girls, who are just as undeveloped. Frustrating is the idea that Hanna (who was just married the day before) ignores giving attention to her husband, and instead devotes her time to Madison. Plus, why would you hire a psychic for someone with what appears to be a psychological problem? The Drownsman character amounts to nothing more than a few grunts. We don’t find out how he came to be this supernatural force, we just get a silent, one-note killer. Sure that works in other films, but those films at least put the time into establishing and building up the antagonist in some form. Hell, Freddy is given his motivations and a bit of his background, which counterbalances the fact that we never find out why he has his power. That made the character scary. The Drownsman character isn’t afforded that luxury, especially given the film’s 86 minute runtime. Add in the fact that the story unfolds over a couple of days rather than a single day or night makes these issues stick out even more.
The Drownsman could have most definitely been a nice throwback to 80s horror with some great potential in a water-borne killer, but instead falls flat thanks to an equally-flat and undeveloped script. Stylistically impressive, the film lacks the innards that would have made it memorable and a blast to watch. Instead, we’re given characters for which we couldn’t about, a villain that lacks staying power, and a story that compounds those problems even more. Watch it out of curiosity, but you’ll be wanting to go back to A Nightmare On Elm Street right afterwards to see how a film like this should be done.
Presented in AVC-encoded 1080p 2.39:1 widescreen, the video sports some great detail, courtesy of the RED Epic camera. Skin details are always clear, as are the makeup effects for the killer. Colours are well-defined and consistent, even in lower-lit scenes. Black levels are also strong, although there was some slight banding in spots, and the picture noise does creep up near the end of the film. Overall, the image is very good, and typically what you’d expect from a RED camera.
Audio-wise, the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless track is also strong, except for one glaring problem. While the ambient effects such as water drips take full advantage of the surrounds and the subwoofer gets in some good punches, the overall mix is weird. The score isn’t given as much a priority as it should, and the dialogue is placed way too high in the mix, resulting in clipping during certain moments. It’s a nice compliment to the video, but the mix definitely needed to be tweaked.
Video games are awesome because they can present the most twisted, devious, terrifying characters on the planet and we can disassociate them from reality because they’re nothing more than a bunch of pixels. Think of villains like Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal or Krieg from Borderlands. These guys are as entertaining to watch as they are terrifying to think about.
Now, we all have our own little dark side within ourselves. For us gamers, there’s always gonna be that little moment where we think, “If I were that character…” So why not get a chance to take that little thought just that one step further so that you can see Which Video Game Psycho Are You?
I got “Vaas Montenegro” and, unfortunately, there’s no description to go along with that. However, he’s rather charming, in a psychotic, sociopathic kinda way…right?
CS has snapped a photo of awesome promotional art for the upcoming sci-fi film Independence Day 2 a the annual Licensing Expo, which is taking place in Las Vegas. The photo isn’t a hi-res copy of the art but rather a snapshot of the poster in a frame. Still, we can see that the aliens are planning on sending a goddamn behemoth of a ship!
Remember in the original film how the bottom of the ship would open up and a laser would destroy an entire city? Well, this ship has the same thing only on a MUCH larger scale. From the looks of things, this beam could wipe out entire countries.
You know what? I’m not worried at all. Jeff Goldblum is confirmed for this movie, which means we win. Jeff Goldblum wins everything. End of story.
Let’s be real here and admit that Tony Stark/Iron Man is the most entertaining member of the Avengers, okay? He’s got the quips, he brings a lot of the action, and he’s never afraid to get his hands dirty. This is incredibly apparent in Iron Man 3 when we see that Stark has created an army of automated Mark suits that swoop in in the final action sequence to assist Stark as he fights The Mandarin.
The folk over at MM Tool Parts have created a very cool GIF that morphs every Mark suit up to this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s pretty incredible to see the variety of suits that have been designed and created.
While I haven’t seen Green Inferno or Knock Knock yet, I was wicked underwhelmed with Aftermath, Eli Roth’s first collaboration with Chilean filmmakers Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolas Lopez. Compared to Roth’s earlier work, Aftershock (in which he served as producer, co-writer, and actor) was very below par. With their latest collab, The Stranger, Amoedo (who co-wrote Green Inferno) makes his directorial debut and the result is a visually striking mess.
I typically enjoy character-driven slow burns, but Amoedo’s film doesn’t offer any compelling relationships or conflicts for the viewer to latch on to. The titular stranger is completely uninteresting throughout as he stiffly interacts with the other players in the rickety narrative. Amoedo never builds up our identification with the characters – making all of their melodrama ineffective and unintentionally silly at times.
Cristobal Tapia Montt stars as the titular stranger, Martin, who shows up one day at the house of nurse Monica (Alessandra Guerzoni) and her petulant graffiti artist son Peter (Nicolas Duran). The perpetually sullen Martin is searching for his lost love who once resided at Monica’s house. Shortly after, Martin is beaten and left for dead by the malicious son of a corrupt cop. Peter saves Martin from bleeding out in a ditch and from there The Stranger unfurls in a loosely coiled horror drama that’s sort of like a vampire movie and a lot like a forgettable film.
It begins to slag even before it can begin to inject any kind of interesting supernatural aspects. It fails to grab us before it’s too late and the drab story is made even more weak by it’s loose pace, which rises and falls without managing to build up any suspense. There is some darkly rich cinematography from Chechu Graf and the film certainly is technically competent. Nicolas Duran delivers some decent acting that allows The Stranger to keep its feet on the ground while the other players are busy delivering lines as if they don’t realize what point in the movie they’re at.
It’s no surprise that the film made very little waves when it played last year’s Fantastic Fest. It’s utterly forgettable and really makes one wonder what they’re putting in the coffee over at IFC Midnight, who will be releasing the film on June 12.
Collider has gotten a real close look at the new batmobile that will be featured in DC’s upcoming superhero film Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. We’ve got a few images below that you can look at and then you can click on the above link to see the rest!
Here are the vehicle’s specs:
Single-handedly designed and fabricated in near complete seclusion by The Batman, this infamous pursuit and capture vehicle has earned its reputation as the apex predator on the mean streets of Gotham City. Over powered with an unmatched hybrid of prototype military and civilian performance technologies, this top machine has been estimated to reach speeds of up to 205 MPH. The Batmobile’s imposing defense capabilities, supported by stolen Wayne Industries technologies, have been integrated with the latest in covert military grade armaments, stealth and active protection systems.
– Twin .50 caliber retractable machine gun turret
– Fully armored
– Active Protection Systems/Anti-ballistics
– 20 ft. long/12 ft. wide
– 7000 lbs.
The film comes to theaters theaters on March 25, 2016.
After a long period of speculation, the official plot for the upcoming superhero film Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice has been released.
Here you go:
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
This synopsis says nothing of Lex Luthor or Wonder Woman, both of whom are confirmed to appear in the film. However, it does confirm many fan theories that have been circulating the web ever since the teaser trailer hit nearly two months ago.
Goblin Rebirth has released another new track from their upcoming self-titled debut album, which will be coming out June 30th via Relapse Records (pre-order here).
The track is a slow burner, brooding and sinister in style. It features a thick bass line and eerie synths that sound like ghosts wailing through the halls of a haunted building. Give it a listen below and then head over to Noisey to read an interview with Fabio Pignatelli.
The album’s description reads:
Relapse is beyond honored to present the debut album by Italy’s Goblin Rebirth, the new band featuring the rhythm section from the original Goblin, Fabio Pignatelli and Agostino Marangolo! Goblin Rebirth mix the classic horror soundtrack sounds of their former band with a chillingly exciting drive that will thrill prog-heads and score-fiends alike. Goblin Rebirth is an instantly classic album that tells the tale of an imaginary film about the birth of an evil dwarf-like monster that sits confidently next to the classic Goblin scores like ‘Suspiria’, ‘Profondo Rosso’ and ‘Tenebre’.
A few weeks ago, we introduced you to And The World Was Paper and his incredible recreation of the “Twin Peaks” intro that used only paper. Now he’s back and this time, he’s making sure things are a little more groovy.
Once again, using just paper, the teaser for the upcoming STARZ series “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” was recreated, down to the blood dripping from the chainsaw! The level of detail is really great and it’s obvious that a lot of hard work and passion went into this video.
When developer Ready at Dawn freed their PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 on the hungry masses back in February, it was met with middling reviews that really homed in on its stunning visuals and how they did very little to hide what many saw as an alarming lack of content. The latter didn’t seem to completely kill its appeal to gamers, who may be physically incapable of staying away from a game that lets you hunt werewolves using steampunk weapons in Victorian London.
The real question is if The Order performed well enough for Sony to want to turn it into a franchise, and seeing as this is the fate we know its developer wanted for it before its release — because they told us — it makes sense that they would want to remind us of that when its fate hangs in the air.
It’s common for a developer to change following the release of a game, when the focus shifts to the next big thing. This rarely involves a boss swap, which Ready At Dawn did when they welcomed former Blizzard head honcho Paul Sams as their new CEO on Monday. A change like that might make some people wary of that potential sequel, had Sams not just told GamesIndustry.biz that the interest is definitely still there.
“The first game was more than anything a launch platform to build upon, explains Sams. “And as I mentioned in the past, The Order was never written as a one-off story. There is a lot more to tell as you can see from the way the game ends.”
Okay, that’s all good. Go on.
“We would love to be part of building The Order as a franchise. It is an IP that we created, that we deeply love and that we believe in. We cannot say more than that regarding The Order at this time.”
There we go. Sony owns the IP even if Ready at Dawn created it, so what happens to it now is entirely out of the developer’s hands. Even still, it’s good to hear they’re still very interested in pursuing a sequel. Setting aside the meager length of its campaign, which I see as a mostly arbitrary thing these days, everything else I’ve heard about it has bordered on glowing.
Latino Review has broken the news that Marvel TV is aiming to crank up their stable of actors by adding none other than Jason Statham as the infamous assassin Bullseye. According to our own sources, the action superstar is currently deep in negotiations, so here’s hoping that talks don’t break down. If he signs, it will truly be a deal with the devil, as Bullseye is slated to make his debut on Netflix’s Daredevil come May 2016. The second season of Marvel’s hit series is scheduled to begin production at the end of July, so we should expect to hear some finalized casting by Comic-Con at the latest. Expect more rumors and announcements to fly hard and fast between now and then.
The villainous Bullseye previously appeared in the 2003 feature version of Daredevil and was played by Colin Farrell. He isn’t the only character from that incarnation expected to make their debut in Season 2, however. Elektra is also very much in the cards, along with the evil organization The Hand, both of whom were hinted at in the inaugural season. The emergence of The Hand in Hell’s Kitchen should also bring us the return of Stick (Scott Glenn), so it sounds like Matt Murdock has his work cut out for him next year. I hope his new outfit softens the blows more than his initial one.
This is a rather exciting time for Marvel’s Netflix shows and as a fan its hard not to get impatient waiting for Daredevil to return. Lucky for us, their second series…AKA Jessica Jones…has been in production for a few months and should be wrapping soon, if it hasn’t already. Luke Cage is upon as as well, with both likely to premiere before The Man Without Fear returns to Netflix in 2016.
Actor Bruce Campbell has tweeted out another photograph of himself on the set of STARZ’ upcoming series “Ash Vs. Evil Dead“. As with the previous photo he tweeted, the photo is up close and doesn’t give the full picture of what he looks like. However, this picture shows part of his Deadite wardrobe, a look that seems very close to what he was wearing in Evil Dead II. Head below to see the tweet and the full size image.
The show’s synopsis read:
Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.
The cast is led by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”) in the role of Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless (“Salem,” “Spartacus”) as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago (“Touch,” Meet the Fockers) as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones (“Sleepy Hollow”) as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) June 5, 2015
[Interview] ‘Insidious: Chapter 3′ Leigh Whannell and Lin Shaye Talk Using “The Further” as Metaphor for Grief
In 2010, audiences tiptoed through the tulips with the Lambert family as jealous outside forces tugged on their happiness, and flocked to the innocence that their son, Dalton, radiated. Elise and her gang of paranormal experts lent a hand in banishing the red-faced demon from the Lambert’s home, but in 2013, the family became the target of yet another supernatural entity. This time, it was the father, Josh, whose life source the evil spirits craved, but through the help of an old friend found in ‘the further’, Josh was able to turn off his astral projection and safely return to the loving arms of his wife and children. In 2015, familiarity has been abandoned, as viewers are thrust into a similar state of fear, but this time, with a whole new family in Insidious: Chapter 3 (review). Quinn Brenner recently lost her mother, not to malevolent otherworldly presences, but to the cruel common hands of mortality, as breast cancer claimed her life. Quinn, her brother, and her father Sean have been doing their best to keep their heads above water since the sudden absence, but the pain over losing a parent, the pressures of oncoming adulthood, and being forced into playing the substitute mom have left Quinn feeling less like a person and more like an empty shell as of late.
Leigh Whannell and James Wan have been partners ever since the very first Saw film hit theaters and made audiences squirm, continuing their partnership throughout the entire Insidious franchise, with Whannell writing all three installments. However, the third entry marks not only the first Insidious movie that Whannell has directed, but his first directorial debut for a feature length film, period. Although he did not know that he would be the one sitting in the director’s chair for Chapter 3, Whannell claims that a sense of ownership was born with the third entry. “As I was writing Insidious 3 I started to fall in love with the characters and the story,” Whannell excitedly recalls, “I became very possessive of it and I didn’t want someone else to do it. So, it was really the script that chose me, that grabbed me, and dragged me into that job”. As Whannell begins his first stretch of directing the franchise, a fresh new Brenner family emerges, providing Whannell with a clean slate full of unsuspecting characters: “One of the most crucial aspects of a haunted house movie is the fear and disbelief of the characters, because they don’t know what’s happening to them. Once the characters are familiar with hauntings it kind of dilutes that”. Lucky for Whannell, the Brenners have no idea what’s about to hit them.
Distressed, but hopeful, Quinn pays a visit to a well-known psychic in the hopes of connecting with her late mother, and finding some sense of closure that might help her move on. However, when she knocks on the stranger’s door asking for help, it is Elise who hides on the other side of the frame, reluctant to delve into the afterlife that too has claimed someone she loves. Elise’s husband took his own life not long ago, and since then, Elise has ignored her gift. While neglecting those who seek her aid, she hides out in her house engulfed in her sorrow, clutching the sweater of her lost loved one in a desperate attempt to hang on to some remnant of his being. “The two lead women of the film, they’re at such different points in their life, like they’re both strong women they are looking at life from a different angle” explains writer/director Leigh Whannell. “You know, Quinn’s seventeen years old, and she’s about to start her life, she’s at this crossroads, whereas Lin starts off the film feeling really closed off and dead, and they sort of meet each other in the middle, and give strength to each other”. Despite beginning on the opposite ends of the spectrum, with Quinn blossoming into adulthood, and Elise withering away, it is their mutual sadness that unites the two characters, and brings them together to meet in the middle and pull each other back to stability. Even Quinn’s father feels the weight of the loss heavy on his heart, and through the course of the film, digs his way out of despair and back to a healthier state of mind. “The theme of Insidious 3 is really loss and grieving, and what brings all three of these characters together, you know, Stefanie Scott and Dermot Mulroney’s characters together, and what brings Elise out of herself, is that they are all experiencing the same emotional experience” reflects Godmother of horror star Lin Shaye, “I think it’s a beautiful unifying element that makes the story unfold in a really great way where you learn about these three people at the same time”.
After Elise tries and fails to call out to Quinn’s mother, and refuses to try again, Quinn attempts to reach her mother on her own, unknowingly attracting a much more sinister spirit in the process, who claims Quinn’s essence for himself. In the third installment, ‘the further’ takes on a whole new meaning, as the vast empty space that collects Quinn piece by piece pulls her deep into its darkness, paralleling her sorrow over her mother that eats away at her a little more each day.”They’re all sort of stored, their own grief basically kept them prisoner” Whannell interprets, “we sort of literalize that thought, now she’s literally being held prisoner in this world”. While some supernatural films stick to surface level scares, Whannell chooses not to settle for less, and searches instead for a deeper meaning for this tale of haunting. “I feel like if you boil supernatural ghost films down to their core essence, they’re really about death” explains Whannell, noting that unlike some other Hollywood films, he wants audiences to feel the pangs of real loss, “it’s dealt with in entertainment so flippantly. James Bond, he kills a bad guy, we don’t think twice about it, but in real life, death impacts us forever”. Although it is important to Whannell to create a fun, frightening horror movie, he also wants to leave an emotional mark on his viewers. “I kind of wanted to broach both those camps. I wanted to deal with the ghosts and the stuff that audiences expect from a horror film, but I did want to deal with the themes of death”. In creating a more impactful story about the afterlife, Whannell went on to explain that in the newest chapter in the series, “the further represents this sort of black cloud of grief that comes with death”. The further acts not only as a metaphor for Quinn’s grief, but Elise’s, as well, as the once happy and vibrant medium now sits quietly in the darkness of her closed off home, away from the sunshine and livelihood that animates the world outside of her walls.
Surprisingly, one of the most exciting aspects of Insidious: Chapter 3 is not Quinn’s journey, but Elise’s, as she morphs from lethargic widow to unlikely hero. “It’s usually some hot young girl or some really cute guy, or some, I don’t know what, but certainly not Elise,” Shaye states proudly about her unique character, “Not this middle aged, motherly, encroaching on old woman. But there’s something wonderful about the place she has in the series, and in the franchise”. Indeed, calling on wiser, more seasoned characters to come in and save the day is a concept that seems lost on modern day audiences, as studios toss out movie after movie with plastic carbon copies of young, flawless heroes that always manage to get the job done without getting a single scratch on them. Elise is a callback to the forgotten, more experienced saviors of the past; the ones who have been through hell and lived to tell the tale, like Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, or Peter Vincent in Fright Night. Like her predecessors, Elise proves to be one of the most vital components in the story, and a necessary guide for her more naive counterpart. Of course, without filling the absent mother role for Quinn, Elise would not be pushed to rise above her depression. “She takes on this surrogate mother role and I think she can see that void in Quinn’s life because she’s psychic” notes Whannell. “She can instantly tap into a bunch of things that maybe your average person can’t. So, when she sits down with her in the opening scene, I think she instantly feels maternal towards her because she can feel that loss”. Hopefully, Quinn takes advantage of her newfound aid, and finds the strength within herself to move on from her past, and escape the darkness, lest she and the rest of the Brenner family be forever lost in the eerie, foggy depths of the further, wandering its dimly lit halls for all eternity.