Dread Central Tours Halloween Horror Nights' Insidious Maze - Photos and Film Details Abound! - Dread Central
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Dread Central Tours Halloween Horror Nights’ Insidious Maze – Photos and Film Details Abound!

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This past August 21 Dread Central joined John Murdy, the creative director behind Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, which kicks off September 15th at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the then-under-construction maze Insidious (based on the Blumhouse franchise, as well as the upcoming latest installment in such, Insidious: The Last Key). Read on for word and exclusive photos.

Directed by series newcomer Adam Robitel and opening in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 5, 2018, Insidious: The Last Key stars series regular Lin Shaye as Dr. Rainier, who faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet: in her own family home, and during our tour, Murdy offered us some juicy narrative tidbits of what we can expect in the film, as well as within the maze from which it spawned.

Arriving to the lower lot and to the maze’s façade just adjacent to the Jurassic Park ride, Murdy told us, “This is the third Insidious maze we’ve done during my time at Halloween Horror Nights, starting in 2013 with Insidious: Into the Further, which was really focused on the first two movies, and then in 2015 when the third movie came out, we did another maze called Insidious: Return to the Further. Insidious has always been a fan-favorite for us.”

“In working with Blumhouse,” he stated of the maze’s conceptualization, “I’m on the ground floor with them in regards to maze development, so they let me read the script well before shooting (of the film) had ever taken place, and what really jumped out at me was that this could be different from the other Insidious mazes we’ve made, particularly in the setting in which we start. In the previous mazes we did the Lambert house, which was the little boy’s house from the original film. The house we are standing in front of right now is the Rainer house (located in the film) in New Mexico, which is Elise’s parent’s house, the house which she grew up in.”

“And what’s different about this movie,” he continued, “is that (the characters) get a telephone call like they often do to investigate a paranormal happening, but Elise then realizes that the address (of the occurrence) is that of her childhood home. And through the course of the movie, we start to realize why she has such dread in returning to her home town, and particularly to the house that she grew up in, because this is where she first encountered the paranormal, and we are going to hint at that.”

In doing so, Murdy and co. will attempt to induct guests into the world of Insidious before they even enter the maze.

“First of all, (Insidious characters) Tucker and Specs, just like we’ve done in the past, will be live performers that will interact with you in the queue,” he revealed, “and (in the maze) you’ll see more than one new nemesis (from the Insidious universe) that we get to work with: there’s The Red Haired Ghost, and there’s also a demon character called The Key-Faced Demon, and then once you get into the Further there’s a bunch of other ghosts as well. So we realized that we could probably do a whole maze from the new film alone, but we also know that our fans love this franchise, and if they went through an Insidious maze and didn’t see the Red Demon, or the Black Bride, or any of the other characters from the other films, that they would be disappointed. So we decided to use the Further as a way to visit the other films, as well as to hit all of our favorite characters from all of the Insidious franchise.”

As for the new film’s narrative, and what Murdy has created from it, “The film takes place in New Mexico, and early on when Elise is a young girl, she sees a ghost in her house, and he’s wearing this weird duck mask, that looks like one of those vintage Halloween masks, before consumer (Halloween) products were available. So we use him as sort of a guide for the first part of the maze, and we’ll see him appear and disappear.”

Moving through the maze and into a period perfect living room, Murdy further revealed that, “Elise’s dad in this scene is a ghost. His name is Gerald, and he’s watching a news report about the Cold War. Because we are in the 1950’s, Elise’s dad has a bomb shelter in his house, and in this particular scene we (also) have Elise’s mother, who met an untimely end. There will be an animated character here (representing her) in the maze with cables wrapped around her throat, convulsing with its legs kicking. And not only does the dad have a fallout shelter, he has a secret cell attached to it, because we learn in the movie that he has some girl chained up (in it).”

“What’s ironic when you are working on a maze on a film that’s this far out in front of you,” concluded Murdy, “is that the shooting script is never representative of the finished film, due to editing or re-shoots. So we always have to make a decision, as to whether or not include things from the script in the maze or not. The movie doesn’t come out until January 2018, and the trailer probably doesn’t come out until October, and (as such) Jason Blum said to me, ‘This (maze) is probably the greatest trailer for the film.’ And it is, because our guests get to live parts of this movie before they’ll ever even see a trailer for it.”

For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios, visit HalloweenHorrorNights.com. Join the “Halloween Horror Nights” conversation using #UniversalHHN on Facebook at Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood and Instagram; Halloween Horror Nights on Twitter and Periscope @HorrorNights. Add username “HorrorNights” on Snapchat for nightly live content, and watch the terror come to life on the Halloween Horror Nights YouTube Page.

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