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Stefanie Scott and Dermot Mulroney on How Authentic the Horror is in INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3

y0GSIjsThe cast of the upcoming horror film, Insidious: Chapter 3 were in attendance at Wondercon in Anaheim Ca. this past weekend. In attendance were stars Stefanie Scott, Dermot Mulroney, Hayley Kiyoko and Angus Sampson, along with producer James Blum. Stefanie Scott and Dermot Mulroney who play a daughter and farther duo in the film, paired up for a round table interview with us. The two discussed the authenticity of the horror in this film as well as Stefanie Scott doing her own stunts.

Q: Coming into a well established franchise and you guys being newcomers, how well were you received by the cast and crew?

Dermot Mulroney: I was amazed at how much this existing storyline and this franchise really welcomed the new actors. Leigh’s [Whannell] idea to tell the origin story and to go back in time, is just a fantastic idea instead of having it continue into the future and demon find another family and just go down a chain of episodes of families in trouble, this restarts it and it gives him [Leigh] a great license. For one thing, to bring back Lin Shaye, who’s really the godmother of horror, why wouldn’t you figure out a way to bring here back to life? So he did that and got to introduce a great new family story. It finds us in the middle of dealing with a loss of Quinn’s mother, who is my wife, so it’s really a fractured family at that time. You can see the love but it’s not working out great and then tragedy strikes and all hell breaks loose. It’s a great, simple idea of rebooting of a time beforehand ’cause it’s six years previous to the first ‘Insidious,’ which in my mind, leaves room for ‘Insidious’ 4. We’ll see how that all works out. Wouldn’t you go again? [Stefanie]

Stefanie Scott: I would so go again! I don’t know how much more Quinn can take but like I would break two arms, I would do it all. I want to do it so bad!

Q: Were you fans of the horror genre before joining ‘Insidious’?

Stefanie Scott: I love horror movies! I love scary movies, I love haunted things, I love ‘The Shinning,’ but I love the first two ‘Insidious’ movies as well. I mean, I’m a teenager so I would go on a Friday night like a bunch of teenagers and go see the first two movies.

Dermot Mulroney: And I’m the father of a teenager, so I find myself as the guy driving four boys to the Thursday night midnight showing of ‘Evil Dead 4,’ which is a really, seriously f-ed up movie. Ours is much more psychologically damaging and will leave just a deep a mark, I guarantee you. For me, it’s so great to work with an authentic actor. They didn’t hire a twenty-two year old to play a teenager, you know. And they didn’t hire the typical horror teenager either, where it’s some girl in trouble. This is a real person that’s struggling with life issues, grief and loss. The bad guy in this, is really bad. It’s not like a haunting, they’re actually possessing the soul of the living being. [The film] has heart to it.

Stefanie Scott as Quinn Brenner and Dermot Mulroney as Sean Brenner


Q: Do you guys feel that this one is going to be just as scary or scarier than the previous two films?

Stefanie Scott: Oh, it’s way more terrifying than the other movies.

Dermot Mulroney: Yeah, we think it’s way more terrifying, we really do. Leigh [Whannell] wrote them all, so his spirit is in all of them but really, his handprint is on this one in a way where he got to infect exactly what he wrote. Once a writer hands of a project to a direct, it goes into different interpretations and all sorts of other things play on that but Leigh was able to take the script and make it exactly how he wanted, which is a sign of a great director. Blumhouse and the production, afforded him that which doesn’t always happen. Everything ended up falling into place cause he really had the creds [credentials] to do it justice. He’s in the movie as well and I think his character Specs and Tucker really make the movie if you ask me. This bares a greater resemblance to ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Shinning,’ there’s actually Easter eggs from ‘The Shinning’ if you’re looking closely, there’s several visual references to some shots of Kubrick. The poster for this movie really tells the story.

Q: From the teaser trailer, it looked like you just got the tar beaten out of you. Can you describe some of the traumas that you had to go through?

Stefanie Scott: It was intense. I loved doing my own stunts, I’m all about it. It was so fun and yes, they gave me pads but you can see that every time I’m whipped out of the frame or every time I land on the floor, that’s me. It was fun. I definitely had some battle wounds but it was great. I had a really good time with all of the stunts. I grew up a dancer so I think it’s kind of a dance in a way just a little less graceful.

Dermot Mulroney: But you stuck the landing.

Stefanie Scott: Well, how I was supposed to but with some crying and screaming and some screaming in my ear (laughs). You were a great supporter father.

Dermot Mulroney: I did stand over there quietly and support you.

Q: Stefanie, as a fan of horror, did you take anything away from this since it was your first time doing a horror film?

Stefanie Scott: I learned a lot from the movie and this is the darkest film that I have ever done, I just came off of ‘Jem and the Holograms’ which is a musical comedy, like really outrageous. So for this, it’s like night and day, this being the night portion of that. I learned a lot from Leigh and Dermot, especially through character development in the film and preparing for the role. We had to listen to certain pieces of music for certain scenes. The journal in the film, I actually wrote the whole thing as Quinn and little pieces here and there helped bring the most authentic part of Quinn, into the movie.

Dermot Mulroney: What sort of related to your question, I’d love you to know that I thought it would be quite a challenge to work on a straight up horror film because I’ve never done a horror movie. I thought it would be hard because you would have to sort of pretend a little more than normal cause it’s in a different reality than a regular drama or romantic comedy. But I’ll tell you what, there’s a scene where Specs, Tucker and I are walking down a hallway and I could not believe how terrified I was. I’m telling you, you’re walking that slow, the set’s dark, you can hear the guys breathing. The atmosphere that Leigh created on the set made it feel real! It was something I really didn’t expect but there was something working with us on that set, I’ll tell you that for sure.

Insidious: Chapter 3 hits theaters June 5.

Here’s the synopsis of the film:

The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.