The red carpet at the world premiere of “Insidious: Chapter 3” was scarier than most, with one of the film series’ demons, the Bride in Black, showing up in full costume, pretending to choke the film’s stars at the TCL Chinese Theatre Thursday.
Leigh Whannell, making his directorial debut, said he knew fans would be expecting a lot from the film.
“The most challenging thing for me was to try to make a film that was as scary as the first two,” said Whannell, known for his writing on “Saw” films and the previous two “Insidious” movies. “There were big shoes to fill and I really tried. You try, you do your best, you put it out there and then other people take over. You can’t control what audiences think of it, or reviewers think of it.”
Producer Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge”) said he was excited to view Gramercy Picture’s “Insidious 3” with a big audience.
“It’s one of the reasons I love scary movies — you get to see a physical reaction,” said Blum.
“Insidious 3” follows teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott), who attempts to contact her late mother. After seeking help from a psychic (Lin Shaye), Brenner and her father (Dermot Mulroney) must figure out why a powerful demon is following her — and how to stop it.
“It’s an incredible story,” Scott said. “It’s super dark and really intense. Even though it’s really terrifying, for a scary movie it’s also really touching on a personal, emotional level.”
Whannell said that emotional level is as vital to the movie as the horror of previous “Insidious” films.
“This film, I really tried to put a lot of emotion into,” Whannell said. “I wanted the sub-story line of the film about Quinn losing her mother to be just as important as the scares. In a perfect world people would walk out of this film terrified but also, maybe they’ve cried or been touched emotionally.”
Blum is known for his success creating micro-budget films and said he plans to keep pushing for them.
“I don’t like to do big budget,” said Blum. “I like low budget because it gives us creative freedom, and that’s what (Blumhouse Productions) is based on, so that’s where we’re staying.”
The scares continued at the Emerson Theatre after-party.
“Insidious: Chapter 3 ” scared up $1.6 million in previews at 2,150 locations Thursday, edging out Melissa McCarthy’s comedy “Spy,” which garnered $1.5 million.