It wasn’t Friday the 13th yet, but a sense of gloom befell the “Insidious: Chapter 2” world premiere on Sept. 10. What was so scary? The possibility of director James Wan not directing the film’s possible third chapter. Wan (who didn’t attend the premiere) recently said he’s finished with the horror genre as he gears up for his upcoming “Fast & Furious 7” gig.
“To see him graduate to the big time like this, I’m so happy and proud of him, but I’m also thinking, ‘Wow, what do I do now? Who am I without James?’” said screenwriter Leigh Whannell, who met Wan in film school and teamed up with him for the “Saw” franchise. “We’ve been such a duo for so long and I’m really curious about what the future holds. I know we’ll do other stuff together. … He doesn’t want to be known as a one trick pony and he knows that being a one trick pony is the kiss of death for a filmmaker that wants to be around for a long time.”
Producer Jason Blum (pictured above, with Rose Byrne) was even more troubled by the thought.
“Only if James beat me with a hammer, would I do (a third film) with a different director,” Blum said. “I’m going to try and talk him out of (leaving the genre). That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Wilson, whose character spooked Byrne during filming, said, just like his house in the movie, his real home might be haunted.
“I’ve had a few things in my house, nothing that really scares me, but certainly some unexplained noises that I investigated and found no answers to,” Wilson said.
It’s only fitting that Blum, who’s behind the “Paranormal Activity” franchise and horror flicks “The Purge,” “Sinister,” and “Dark Skies,” is familiar with the paranormal world.
“I saw a ghost once at an apartment I lived at in New York in the basement,” he said. “I lived under the street level and I saw a figure standing at the end of my bed once and I was very scared by that.”
For Ty Simpkins, who plays one of Wilson and Byrne’s sons in the thriller, one particular movie scene in which he’s attacked by a gaggle of ghosts was as horrifying as it gets.
“There was one scene where maybe 20 or 30 ghosts come out of my closet,” Simpkins said. “Like seriously, that terrified me. I went under my cover and was kicking my knees because I had to fight them and my knee hit my eye. That’s how scared I was.”
However, his on-screen parents were amused on set. Both said the technical aspect of filmmaking made the shoot more fun than fearsome.
“These kind of movies, they’re so technical to make,” Wilson said. “(Director James Wan) is so great at crafting the scene. In fact, a lot of it he does, it’s all so practical, you know, reveals and stuff. It’s like someone literally hiding right next to you, then they move out of frame then they pop up. It actually is funny. If anything, you’re trying not to laugh.”
Byrne said she enjoys the genre because it requires multiple elements to merge together in order to create suspense.
“It’s so fun as an actress to do this sort of thing, just to see the end result after something so technical comes together,” she said. “It’s really like a dance: the camera, the actors, everything to get the timing right for the fear and the tension.”
The stars, as well as celeb guests like Slash from Guns N’ Roses, later made their way to the after-party at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Event-goers even dared to enter the Halloween Horror Nights “Insidious” Maze, which featured replicas of the haunted rooms and artifacts featured in the movie.