Just a few months ago Dread Central was invited on a visit to the set of James Wan’s highly anticipated sequel Insidious Chapter 2, which was using the super creepy (and most likely haunted) Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles as its primary shooting location.
During our set visit we had the opportunity to tour Linda Vista, which is not only being used for a hospital setting but is also being utilized as a soundstage of sorts, with sets being constructed inside the hospital that incorporate locations we first saw in Insidious (more on that soon). As someone who has been lucky enough to tour Linda Vista for several other productions, it seemed like an unusual choice to build an entire living room or bedroom inside the hospital, but in reality it was a decision that was demonstrative of the production’s indie roots, which chose to go the creative route for their flashback scenes.
We also toured parts of the hospital that were being used that day and featured returning co-stars Leigh Whannell, Barbara Hershey and a new character named Carl (Steve Coulter), who are having a discussion about an unfortunate soul who castrated himself.
After we finished up watching more shooting with the trio, we headed into a press conference-style room to chat with Whannell, Hershey, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, producer Jason Blum and director Wan, who joined us just a little bit later on in our conversation with the gang from Insidious Chapter 2. During the conversation, we heard more on what fans can expect from the sequel (which also happens to be kind of a prequel), their thoughts on collaborating and much more. Wan also hinted to us during the set visit that this sequel might be his last horror film (we of course now know that Wan has picked up the Fast & Furious mantle for part 7, which THRILLS us to no end) and both he and Whannell discussed just what makes them click as collaborators.
Read on for a breakdown of the five major things we learned during our set visit, and tomorrow we’ll be posting a Q&A with the cast as well as Blum and Wan for Insidious Chapter 2. Look for the sequel’s trailer to debut soon with the film arriving in theaters on September 13th.
Here are the five things we learned:
The Entire Original Cast is Back: Insidious Chapter 2 is a direct sequel to Wan’s original 2011 film; when we meet with the cast at the conclusion of our tour of Linda Vista, they’re all wearing the very same clothes we saw them in at the conclusion of Insidious and inform us that a few of these characters are now stuck in “The Further” and others are left picking up the pieces in real-life. Whannell commented on the continuation by saying, “It’s surreal to see everyone; this is a sequel that brings back everyone from the first film so it just feels surreal. And they’re also all wearing the same clothes they wore in the first film so as you can tell, they’re stuck in ‘The Further.'”
Insidious Chapter 2 is Also Prequel of Sorts: During our set visit tour, we learn that the story in the sequel return to the family’s second home living room which was reconstructed inside the hospital for a scene that further explores just what really happened to Lin Shaye at the conclusion of Insidious. Those shots will be used specifically to marry the two films together.
Later on in the tour, we also visit the chapel inside the Linda Vista where production has reconstructed Callie’s bedroom from the first home for another special scene. There are also some pivotal flashback hospital scenes from the 1980’s involving Barbara Hershey’s character interacting with other recognizable faces from the first Insidious, but the iconic actress will be portrayed by rising star Jocelin Donahue (House of the Devil, The Burrowers) for those scenes.
The Linda Vista Hospital is Not Only the Primary Shooting Location but Also a Creepy Prop House: During our tour, we visit a records room that will serve as a location for Insidious Chapter 2 but rather than haul in thousands and thousands of sheets of paper and folders, production utilized the real records they discovered left behind throughout the Linda Vista, some even dating back to 1905. We were also told that some of the prop guys reportedly sensed something around them as they culled the entire facility for records so it was now a rule on set that everyone travels in groups of two or more.
Expect More of “The Further” in Insidious Chapter 2: Whannell explained during our interviews that audiences will be experiencing more of the other-worldly realm in this second chapter in their story. “It’s hard to say without ruining it but I would say that this film definitely spends a little more time. At the end the first Insidious, we just follow Patrick’s character in there and I’d say this film starts from a point where we have more knowledge of this place. I feel like everyone’s living in this world and trying to take it seriously so hopefully this second film, even though it includes these ideas like The Further, will still feel like it’s firmly based in reality.”
Whannell added, “One of the great things about a haunted house movie is watching unsuspecting people slowly uncover something is wrong. With Chapter Two, we’re using the same family and we’re missing the lack of knowledge you would normally get; we’re not changing to a different family so we needed to come up with something really scary. So when something peeks around the corner, they’re not like ‘What’s that?’
“They know exactly what it is (laughs). But I do think we came up with something that could scare the family anew; something that could turn it around and different angle and it almost takes the film into a new genre. Almost.
The Ghosts at Linda Vista are (Un)Alive and Kicking: While this writer remains a total skeptic when it comes to the world of the paranormal, a few stories were exchanged while visiting the set of Insidious Chapter 2 that gave me goosebumps, including one from Whannell who described a spooky encounter he and his wife had one night while doing some ghost hunting.
According to Whannell, “So I’ve been here twice after midnight with ghost hunters- we found these guys on the internet and we went to dinner with them and then they brought us here to Linda Vista, which I didn’t know existed at the time. The one security guard lets us in and we walk into this ostensibly abandoned hospital where all the equipment and files have been left as they were on the day it closed down. So then later, I came here with my wife and we sat in the surgical room which is supposedly the most haunted room according to these guys; we sat in the dark for an hour going, ‘is anyone there?’ and lo and behold, no one says ‘yes.’ So we leave and my wife said, ‘that was such a bummer, I wanted to see a ghost.’ She said she was sitting there so excited to see a ghost and kept said ‘if there’s a ghost in here show yourself- possess me, do whatever you have to do.'”
“So then a few months later her friend buys her a voucher to go see this psychic and he basically asked her, ‘have you been to this place recently?’ She said, ‘we kind of went on this ghost hunt’ and the guy was like, ‘you can never go there again. You came this close to taking something home with you.’ He asked her if she had seen any blue lights and she told him that she had remembered looking up and seeing these little blue pin lights; she thought it was when you can’t see anything and see all these shapes and colors happen in front of your eyes. And he said, ‘that was your aunt and your stepbrother holding back the spirits.'”
Click here for a Q&A with the cast and crew in attendance.
The famed horror team of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell reunite with the original cast of Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins in Insidious Chapter 2, a terrifying sequel to the acclaimed horror film, which follows the haunted Lambert family as they seek to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions is producing (with Alliance financing). FilmDistrict will distribute the film theatrically in the United States, with Sony handling the majority of domestic ancillary rights. Alliance will distribute in Canada, the U.K. (through its Momentum Pictures subsidiary), and Spain (through Aurum); and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions will distribute in all other international territories.
Look for it on Friday, September 13th! Stay tuned for more as it comes.
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