'Insidious: Chapter 3' Brings Scares at Hollywood Premiere

Leigh Whannell Stefanie Scott Hayley Kiyoko  - H 2015
AP Images

Leigh Whannel directs the prequel.

Hollywood got spooky at Thursday night's L.A. premiere of Insidious: Chapter 3 at the Chinese Theatre

The prequelwas met with screams of fear and excitement as the audience watched the screening between fingers, with their ears covered or with their hands firmly grasping the arm rests.

Before the curtains drew completely back, producer Jason Blum joked that Insidious was never a red carpet premiere movie until director Leigh Whannel specifically asked for it. The desire for the premiere treatment only makes sense for Whannel since Insidious: Chapter 3 marks his directorial debut. However, it’s not his first foray into the film since he acted and wrote the previous two. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, it helped to begin his directing journey with a franchise he considered “familiar and familial.”

Whannel took the directing reigns from friend and frequent collaborator James Wan who recently directed Furious 7.

“[Wan] was helpful when he needed to be. He was very busy doing Furious 7 and he came in, he visited the set," said Whannel. "He was like this sort of spirit, to use an Insidious reference, that was hovering behind me and I knew that if I needed to text or call him, I could but he was actually really helpful by what he didn’t do. He didn’t crowd me or tell me this was wrong or that was wrong. He just let me make the film I wanted to make.”

It’s clear that Whannel did justice to the film he wanted to make as producer Jason Blum expressed hope for working with a directorial Whannel much more in the future. Blum wasn’t the only one with admiration for Whannel’s work. Halyley Kiyoko, who plays the main characters best friend Maggie, told THR that she has loved Whannel’s work.Lin Shaye, star of all three Insidious films, explained to The Hollywood Reporter what makes the Insidious films so potent for viewers.

“The way that Leigh unfolds the story is really fascinating and very savvy. Because everyone in the story, myself and the Brenners, have  all had losses and that’s what brings us together and makes Elise able to re-commit to her gift. So it’s a beautifully told story as well as being a wonderful horror movie.”

Among those involved with the film, other guests at the TCL Chinese Theater screening included Pretty Little Liar star Keegan AllenAquarius co-star Grey DamonFuller House’s Jodie Sweetin, singer Becky G, Glee star Heather Morris and several Disney actors including Dog with a Blog’s G. HanneliusI Didn’t Do It’s Olivia Holt and former A.N.T. Farm star/singer China Anne McClain