With the release date of June 5th right around the corner, fans of the Insidious franchise cannot wait for the third chapter in the series to hit theaters. “Insidious: Chapter 3” serves as a prequel to the first two movies and brings back fan favorite, gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). This time around, the story reveals how Elise reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
In order to celebrate the release of “Insidious: Chapter 3,” Focus Features have created a haunted house experience like no other. Members of the press were invited to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and wouldn’t you know it, I just happened to be the very first person there. Was there a line of people behind me, anxiously awaiting their chance to step inside the doors of this haunted house of horrors that looked like it came straight out of the movies? Um, no. Then Sally, the studio rep, informed us that several press members had actually cancelled as a result of them being “too scared,” her words.
So all eyes rested on me, as I stood in front of the building, externally smiling as if it were no big deal, internally frowning and wondering if this experience would legitimately frighten me. I love horror films, I’ve been watching them since I was 12 years old and I don’t scare easily. Actually, I don’t seem to scare at all but I thought maybe, just maybe, this undertaking might do the job and since I really liked the first Insidious movie (director James Wan did an excellent job creating a legitimately creepy and ominous atmosphere) I thought if they can recreate at least part of that, then it might just work.
When you look at the ‘house’ that you are about to enter, it doesn’t look too big from the outside but don’t let that fool you, like Dr. Who’s Tardis, there is, surprisingly, quite a bit of room to move about. Having said that however, if you suffer from claustrophobia, you might want to give this one a miss. While there is some room inside, it is pretty confined to long, narrow hallways and extremely tight spaces. As you approach the building, you are greeted by a familiar face, the Bride in Black and if you’ve seen the first two movies then you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. She genuinely looks happy to see you coming to her abode.
Before you make your way down the first hallway, you are informed that you must find Room #2 and naturally, being haunted, there are plenty of eerie goings on, doors banging, wind blowing, ghouls appearing out of nowhere and then you navigate another long hallway and come across your room. Inside, it is pretty cramped and you must watch a video that will appear in front of you. In short, it tells you that in the next room, you will be subject to virtual and physical scares and surprises at any time. You must wear a cutting-edge Oculus Rift (virtual reality) headset that will allow you to interact with Elise Rainier up to 360 degrees. As you sit across from her in an old, spooky setting, while she is talking to you, make sure to look all around the room, in front, to your sides, even behind you and you will notice some very strange and supernatural occurrences that will affect you directly. This was the best part of the experience for me, actually being able to interact with the film you’re watching from the comfort of your creeky, old chair.
Afterwards, you are prompted to leave the room by a ghostly assistant and make your way down another long-winding hallway before exiting the building. When I stepped outside, I was able to view some of the many random photos that were taken of me making my way around the house and they can send these images to your e-mail address or your social media account. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Was I frightened? Honestly? No. In a haunted house setting such as this, it all comes down to a matter of timing and you pretty much know what to expect. I’ve been through so many of them in my life that I just have fun with them although to be perfectly honest, I could see where specific moments might frighten those who are easily scared but just keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie!” Or is it???
The “Insidious – Into The Further 4D Experience” will be at Long Beach Towne Center in California from June 5th thru June 7th.
“Insidious: Chapter 3” opens in theater June 5th