Insidious's third entry comes to our cinema screens next Friday and marks the debut of Leigh Whannell, who co-wrote the first two entries with James Wan.
The two Aussie filmmakers began their career with the Saw franchise, although now it seems they've parted ways and are headed on to bigger things. "It was a bit melancholy, it felt like we were breaking up the band!", laughed Whannell.
Wan's certainly moved on from the modest roots of Insidious, having directed the summer blockbuster hit Furious 7. "That was always a dream of his, to direct a $200 million movie, so he's happy. I wanted to get into directing myself, so this has been a lot of fun for me as well."
Attempting to direct a film, especially a franchise film, can definitely be a daunting task. "It's not something you can be thought in a school, you have to learn at the coal face."
"I talked to Wan before I started this, but I got a lot of advice from this seminar at the Writer's Guild in Los Angeles. Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) and Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Please Give) gave this great talk with a lot of practical advice. It's weird, I always thought directors spoke in really abstract terms, y'know? Ethereal and so on. But one piece of advice Billy Ray gave, which really stuck with me, was to change your shoes during lunch on a shoot! And he was right, because you're walking around so much, you're going to wear out your feet!"
"There was loads more, as well. Another one was to go around and personally thank as many crew members as you can find at the end of the day. You might think that's just, y'know, common courtesy - but it really does help."
Whannell cited a number of visual influences on Insidious 3, including staff favourite The Exorcist. "I always thought it had a great way of mixing the supernatural and the reality of something extraordinary to this family, that's what we tried to get at it in Insidious. Myself and the DOP sat down and watched Seven, for a lot of the visuals we were trying to get at it - we watched a lot of David Fincher's work, actually."
When it came to influences, Whannell quickly marked out fellow Australian George Miller. "I loved Fury Road. I thought it was so different, so experimental for a blockbuster. Angus Sampson's a friend of mine, he plays the Organic Mechanic in the movie, so maybe I'm being a little biased!", Whannell chuckles.
But did he get to meet George Miller himself? "I did, I got to talk to him at the premiere. I was kind of starstruck, I grew up on Mad Max so to meet him was a trip."
So, what's next after Insidious for Leigh Whannell? "I definitely want to keep directing, I want to do an original piece - not a sequel or a franchise."
Insidious 3 is in Irish cinemas on June 5th.