Every horror franchise needs a hook to set itself apart from other series. For Halloween, one could argue that it is John Carpenter's classic (and downright chilling) theme music, while Friday the 13th is now iconic for the unkillable Jason Voorhees' use of a hockey mask. Then there's Insidious, which shares some creative DNA with The Conjuring in how it packages its scares. However, we recently sat down with writer Leigh Whannell and actress Lin Shaye to discuss the franchise's trademarks ahead of the release of Insidious: The Last Key and Whannell explained that the use of astral projection and The Further is what sets Insidious apart from other franchises. Whannell said:

I mean for me, the first thing I think of is The Further, which is like, when we did that first movie we wanted to do kind of a classic ghost movie, that's something that James and I have always loved, your classic haunted house/ghost film. But we wanted to have at least one new element of it and we felt that the astral projection element and this idea of this netherworld called The Further, this sort of black void filled with all of these spirits is something that we hadn't really seen in films before, so for me I find that to be the real point of difference with these movies. It's what separates Insidious from other haunted house franchises like The Conjuring.

We have seen ghost stories told many different ways over the years, but astral projection (think Doctor Strange, except much more evil) arguably feels like it brings something new to the table for Insidious. While most of these haunting movies (even the ones seen in The Conjuring universe) involve demons and spirits invading a familiar environment like a house or an apartment, Insidious adds to that mixture by also featuring a realm that our heroes can journey into in their quest to beat the demons. Leigh Whannell and James Wan needed a hook that extended beyond a simple haunted house in the first Insidious, and they found it by fleshing out the universe with an entirely different alternate dimension.

For an even closer look at our conversation with Leigh Whannell and Lin Shaye about the terrifying next installment in the Insidious tetralogy, check out a clip from the interview below!

Insidious: The Last Key looks like it is shaping up to become one of the more personal entries in the Insidious franchise. Focusing the story squarely on Elise (Lin Shaye) the film will follow her as she returns to her childhood home to investigate a bizarre haunting. Along the way, she will explore the mysteries of her past and face arguably her most personal challenge yet.

Insidious: The Last Key will scare its way into theaters this weekend on January 5. Make sure to check it out, and take a look at our comprehensive 2018 movie premiere guide to find more information on all of the films set to debut in theaters in 2018!

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