Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell -- the creative team behind the Saw franchise -- are sunny and effervescent in a way that would seem to belay their chief cinematic interest: horror films. Their new film, Insidious, veers away from the torture porn sadism of Saw, and instead revisits a somewhat more gentle subgenre: the haunted house picture. The story concerns a young family who move into a creepy house, but the twist is they actually move out of the place, and the evil juju seems to follow them anyway. Bubbly and greatly enjoying each others' company even after working so much together, the boys make their case for you to check out their latest work.
Describe your film in a single tweet.
James Wan: It's a haunted house movie with a twist.
Leigh Whannell: I would say, it's a classic haunted house movie filtered through the bizarre sensibility of the Saw guys.
What's a good log-line for this movie?
JW: We have the weird mixture of taking really gritty, realistic things and mixing it with this sort of baroque, garish, almost Italian sensibility. I would say it's Poltergeist meets a possession movie, The Exorcist, there you go.
LW: It's not really, but yes.
What three films would Netflix recommend from someone who enjoyed this?
JW: The Sixth Sense, The Others and Paranormal Activity, maybe. Towards the end of this film, I would say this film is -- oh, it's Poltergeist meets David Lynch!
LW:Now you're including everything. Let's just say it's Poltergeist meets The Lives of Others and uh, let's throw some other films in there. I Heart Huckabees?
JW: Exactly! No, but really, I would say The Sixth Sense, The Shining, and Susperia.
LW: You wouldn't say The Others?
Perhaps, we should move on. Okay, should you drink before or after the film?
LW: I think you should drink after the film, because you don't want anything to impair your judgment. There are things hidden in the corners you don't want to miss
And what should you drink?
JW: You should have an 'old fashioned' because this is an old fashioned ghost story.
Nice, man, you tied that together. Finally, should you see this movie alone or with friends?
JW: I would say definitely with a group of people.
LW: Your friends are safer!
JW: Leigh and I have sat in a few times with a public audience, and seeing their reaction to the film, it's one of those things that makes me go “I'm so happy to be making these types of films” because you can really see people getting into it: people screaming and jumping and you know, laughing at all the right points, as well. So, I would say, yeah, it's a fun thing to go out with a bunch of friends.
Insidious opens today at The Pearl and the UA Riverview.
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