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WonderCon 2015: Blumhouse Scares Audiences With ‘Unfriended, ‘Insidious 3’, ‘The Gallows’
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Blumhouse WonderCon Panel 2015 Unfriended

Blumhouse Productions was on hand at WonderCon 2015 to give a sneak peek of their “found footage” thriller The Gallows; Unfriended, which takes place entirely over a Skype-esque chat; and Insidious 3, directed by Leigh Whanall, as well as to made a surprise announcement by showing some footage for Sinister 2.

We will post more Unfriended and Insidious 3 content in the coming days, but hit the jump to read a description of the footage of the two films, plus details on The Gallows.

Founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions Jason Blum was the first to be introduced. A producer on all three films participating during the panel, Blum talked about The Gallows, which he described as a “found footage” film. Recognizing that the storytelling method may be a bit monotonous, the producer said that this film would differ from the others because it finds a way to build the horror and scares in an organic way. Blum said that to make the film organic, the story had to be told as natural as possible. From upcoming directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, The Gallows opens in theaters on June 10, 2015. Here’s the official plot synopsis.

Twenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy—but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.

For Unfriended, our own Emilia Funtes already reviewed the film at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, so you can check out her thoughts on it. The film is set entirely on a computer, where a group of friends are chatting over Skype a year after a shamming video was posted online that eventually resulted in a suicide. During their chat, a mysterious caller barges in on their conversation, demanding the identity of the person who posted the video. No one wants to point the finger, and strange things start to occur.

During the presentation, it was revealed that editors had a difficult time putting Unfriended together because of the way it was shot. Actors shot the film together in different parts of the room on the same stage. But these challenges offered them the chance to shoot the movie in an innovative way. Instead of takes, they filmed it as if it was a stage play. As a result, the final scene of the film was actually an 85-minute-long take.

We also learned that the cast built their Skype-chemistry by using the same technology. At times there were 12-hour work days, which would open the door for some improv. Eventually, if they did go too off-topic, they were told – via earpiece – to go back on script. Actors would also be sent private messages in real time to help with the process so that they wouldn’t lose momentum. Directed by Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended opens in theaters on April 17, 2015.

Moving on to Insidious 3, Blum introduced Leigh Whannell, who makes his directorial debut after penning the scripts for the first two films, along with stars Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Hayley Kiyoko, Angus Sampson, and returning star Lin Shaye. We saw two clips during the presentation, one of which we have here below.

The second clip focuses on Scott’s Quinn character, who appears wheelchair-bound wearing a cast on her leg, and a neck brace. She is clearly scared, and she races to a nearby elevator and desperately presses the ground floor button. As she waits, you can feel that chill in the air, and soon decrepit hands appear and reach the for Quinn. Realizing she is at the spirit’s mercy, Quinn is pushed into a hotel room, and falls off. Unable to move, a woman with no hands, feet, or eyes appears and then crawls over to Quinn.

The film’s supernatural villain is being called “The Man Who Can’t Breathe.” According to Whannel, “he’s the physical embodiment of cancer.” Insidious 3 opens in theaters on June 5, 2015.

The Blumhouse panel wrapped up with a teaser for Sinister 2. It was a very quick teaser, but we learn that there is a new family involved. Directed by Ciaran Foy and written by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, Sinster 2 opens in theaters on August 21, 2015.

Video

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