Review: MTV's Scream: the series - Episode 1

Full Disclosure up front, I am not the biggest fan of the Scream series overall. I do genuinely love the first one and still remember fondly the night me and my friends went to go see it for the first time. It was a refreshing horrific blast and everyone was into it. It at the time saved horror as well as damned it in a sense that everything that followed, stuck to the Scream template. The sequels at the time of their release were certainly enjoyable for what they were and there is no denying that the Ghostface costume itself is a horror icon even if it's rep has been tarnished by the goofy appearance it takes on in the Scary Movie films. Still as much good as I can say about the first film, there is twice as much bad as I can say about the 3 sequels that followed. With each sequels killer reveal growing increasingly silly, they lacked the excitement and even care that the first was handled with. They each certainly had their moments, but overall I find them to be not so great. Still with that being said, I have no problem with any horror fans loving them. I can totally see why fans of the series like it, regardless of my appreciation or lack thereof for it's sequels. The one thing the Scream films always had going for them, were characters you could relate to and or root for. Whether you were a fan of Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott, Jamie Kennedy's film geek Randy, David Arquette's bumbling yet heroic police deputy Dewey or Courtney Cox's bitchy yet somehow still likable reporter Gale Weathers, there was someone you could grasp on to and take interest in to see how they would deal with the events that were unfolding. Even for myself, as a person who doesn't hold the series in high regard, I like all those characters and was always interested to see what they would be up to in the next installments. They were the heart and soul of the series and you didn't want to see them get offed by Ghostface. Which brings us to my thoughts on MTV's SCREAM: The Series.

When it was announced that MTV would be bringing Scream to the small screen, I originally thought to myself, well that can't be a good idea being that it's MTV yet it can't be any worse than Scream 4 was, can it? To provide you with further context let me provide you with my thoughts on part 4. I was actually pretty excited when it was announced, I was there opening day to see it and was supremely let down, mostly because I really was hoping for something that would help align it with the grimmer style of horror that had become so popular, and was hoping to see a slightly more serious and menacing take on Ghostface, as I felt there is still alot of potential with that costume,character and setting. What I got was nothing at all like that, it was bloody sure, but it was also extremely goofy and too cute for it's own good with all the excessive focus on being meta and webcams, etc. I totally get the intention and the statement they were trying to make with it, I just feel it was handled so clumsily and the ultimate reveal was so underwhelming and "silly" that I just checked out. So part of me probably thought maybe THIS will be the way to get the Ghostface and Scream story I was hoping for in part 4. Well, I could not have been more wrong.

As much as I disliked Scream 4, at least it had a few real new characters who's personality, in addition to the series stars of Campbell, Arquette and Cox. Which brings us back (finally) to this new TV incarnation of Scream. The first GLARING problem with his new series is the characters, I didn't buy them at all. I did not buy them as high schoolers, I did not buy them as friends and I did't even buy them as actual people. Aside from probably the one character Audrey (who for some reason carries a video camera with her like the kid from American Beauty) played by Bex Taylor-Klaus, the rest of the bunch are just a terrible collection of way too old, one note cliches, who as of this first episode couldn't even breathe any new life into said cliches. Granted nobody in the original film really screamed high schooler either, and whomever was responsible for assembling this cast might have been forgiven for casting far to mature looking had they actually got some actors with personalities that stood out. I cannot recall a more bland, unlikable cast, which is funny as the Randy-esque character Noah goes on a diatribe about how we are supposed to care about these cliche'd characters for a horror tale that revolves around them to work. Well I certainly did not, not in the least. It is the cast that was the major failure for me in this show, nothing felt real or organic and thats a problem that can come with an MTV production.

I haven't even touched on the actual STORY of Scream the series yet. No longer is Woodsboro the main setting of the original film and I would have been okay with that, but I watched the episode and still can't remember where this new story takes place, I DO remember some bizarre inclusion of a backstory of some deformed killer with an elephant man complex who terrorized this new town many years ago. It was such a wierdly out of place concept to throw into the mix and I am not sure I will be sticking around to see how it pays off or plays out, but we do get a "someone grabbed me from under the water in the lake scene" that would feel much more at home in Friday the 13th than Scream. There are some threads set up to try to make us wonder who the killer may be and that is done successfully enough aside from the fact that I honestly didn't even care because everything else that accompanied it in this episode was so damn dull. I can't leave out my thoughts on the new killer who I don't even know if we can refer to them as Ghostface because well, they have a new mask that doesn't look quite as bad or as blow up dollish as it did in the promo photo it released. It wasn't bad, but their "voice" was a poor man's impression of the orginal Ghostface voice which is iconic in it's own right. Still this new killer didn't do enough in this episode either except ripoff the Drew Barrymore murder from the first one in a sequence that in all honesty was probably the highlight of the show, yet still was not anywhere near as effective as the original scene it was ripping off. Not to mention there is a big loose end from that scene that is never mentioned again and I am hoping that is on purpose because if not, it is simply laughable how that could be overlooked.

Overall I was skeptical on this new take on the Scream concept, especially with it being an MTV production. I went in with zero expectations and turned out to be still disappointed. To give you an idea of how much I disliked this show, I generally never bother to write negative reviews for the site, to me it's just a waste of time. However "SCREAM" is a big deal for horror fans, and a show based on that should be as well. There is plenty of potential for a GOOD and REAL Scream series, but I am pretty certain this won't be it. Time will tell if it gets better, but I am pretty sure by that point I won't care or bother to find out.

Deb Raises Hell

Well it took a while, but we finally got around to doing a Hellraiser themed photoset. It wasn't exactly pre-planned, it just kind of happened and sometimes those result in the coolest images. In this particular instance, Deb and I were hanging out kicking around ideas, thinking we could probably do something cool if we put our minds to it. We eventually landed on Hellraiser. There are so many ways you can go about doing something related to those films, the obvious route would normally be something cenobite related. However that requires alot of prep, makeup, and time. All of which on this particular evening we didn't really have. What we did have was some candles, some prop replica prints from Hellraiser II and the iconic Lament Configuration puzzle box. So Deb, who is a big fan of the films, landed on this one particular scene from Hellraiser II as inspiration. It was a fun way to spend an evening and resulted in some pics that while relatively simple, are still very different from other stuff we have done on the site. It was fun trying to figure out how to do something a bit more with them during the editing process, which is when we decided to add some of the blue electricity so prevalent in the films when the puzzle box is activated. Deb is always a pleasure to shoot with and be around and its great to get her input on anything we work on. I have a feeling these won't be the last Hellraiser themed shots Deb and I do, so I consider these to be part 1 of this photo set, hopefully we can get a little more bloody and weird in round 2. Till then though, hope you guys enjoy these as much as we do. 

Alternate Wardrobe image 1

Alternate Wardrobe image 2


It's been just over four years since the first Insidious film hit theaters and turned a relatively small 1.5 million dollar budget into a worldwide gross of over 97 million. I still remember sitting down in the theater having no real clue what I was getting into as I stayed away from the trailers as I often try to do. It was a great movie going experience, the crowd was into it and there were plenty of screams throughout. I remember thinking what an unexpected yet pleasant surprise it was that I found so much of it to be extremely creepy. The cast was great, with Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne lending the film and it's proceedings plenty of credibility. Even when things could have gone horribly wrong with the introduction of Elise (played by the always reliable Lin Shaye) and the comedic ghost hunting duo of Specs and Tucker, the film still managed to hit all the right marks and leave a lasting impression. I was sure to tell everyone that would listen to check it out and mostly everyone that did enjoyed it.

When news broke of Chapter 2 being made, I was particularly enthused to see what Wan and Whannell had up their sleeve. When the time came to finally check it out, I ended up being split on how I felt about it. There were plenty of things I genuinely loved as I found certain scenes to be chilling and eerie like the hidden room with the church pews filled with sheet covered corpses. Other aspects of the film I was less than enthused with. I thought some of it crossed the line into camp or came off as a bit unintentionally silly, particularly some of the Elise versus the ghosts stuff. Still once I knew what to expect those elements felt a bit more at home and were less jarring on subsequent views. The film still had strong and likable characters, and James Wan did some great things with the stylish look of the whole thing which is always one of his strengths. So while some of the film didn't go where I may have wanted it to I still loved where it left off.  Which brings us to Chapter 3...

Right off the bat, Chapter 3 does not take place where the previous film left off. Chapter 3 is a prequel that takes place before Insidious 1 and 2, yet AFTER the prequel portions featured in Chapter 2. You still with me? So Chapter 3 focuses on two distinct storylines. I would consider the main one the story of Quinn Brenner (played perfectly by horror newcomer Stefanie Scott) and her stern yet loving father Sean (Dermot Mulroney). The second storyline focuses on Elise Rainier who begins the film as a much different Elise than we know from the previous two installments. Everything kicks off when Quinn, mourning the loss of her mother, seeks out Elise in an attempt to contact her mother from beyond the grave. As you can imagine things don't go as planned for anyone and all hell breaks loose. The films story is built on the theme of learning how to cope with the loss of a loved one is front and center and creates a parallel narrative for both Quinn and Elise. Now If you have read my reviews before I tend to not go into spoiler territory and will do my best not to do so here. I just don't care for reviews that recap the story of the entire movie, thats not a review to me, it's a summary.

For the first two acts I would say the film really sets everything up nicely and has a great sense of dread and everything is played dead serious. Which is something I was really pleased to see being that I had hoped this installment would take on a more serious tone than the previous one. The actors are all game here, especially Stefanie Scott who really is able to get you on her side early on with her innocent and likable performance. It is that performance that makes you feel all the more sympathetic and fearful for her when things start to take a turn for the worse. Mulroney does well enough with what he is given to work with here, where a lesser actor may not have provided a strong enough presence, Mulroney does so with ease in what could be considered an underwritten part. Still it may have been underwritten by necessity as there is plenty of time and development given to Lin Shaye who is the heart and soul of Chapter 3. This is essentially the "origin" story of the Elise we come to know in the first two films as she struggles to use her gift after suffering a huge personal loss. Whannell and Angus Sampson who reprise their roles as Specs and Tucker are also given a tiny bit more backstory. Though I will say there is a little brother character in the Brenner family who probably could (and should) have been removed altogether and the film wouldn't have lost a step and maybe would have made the Father/Daughter bond a bit stronger as a result. Still the main cast members all bring something worthwhile to the table.

One of the big things about this film is the fact that series co-creator Leigh Whannell is running the show. Whannell in his first time as director (he is the film's writer as well) does a lot of things right here. When I spoke to him a month or so ago, he said he felt this story was worth telling because he really was interested in exploring Elise's past and learning more about the character. He also stated how William Friedkin was a big influcence on his approach for the film, as well as implementing all he learned working alongside James Wan in their previous ventures together. Insidious Chapter 3 looks great, it feels as if it's in the same world as the previous 2 films, yet still carves out it's own space. Whannell also stated the main "demon" of the film was quite scary and I really did like it's design and the scenes it was involved in even if it's backstory or reasoning is thin at best. There are two specific scenes where Quinn comes into contact with it that are simply masterful and show Whannell's understanding of what makes a horror film work. Plenty of creative shots and nicely set up scares fill the first half  or so and I was really excited as it was all coming together nicely. Still the film was not without it's hiccups.

As stated before, the first two acts of the film is particularly strong, creepy and refreshing for the franchise. It expands on the world of the first two films by making it seem larger than whats going on inside those three or four houses where everything prior has taken place. I was totally on board as some of the early set pieces and scary scenes were very intense and well staged. So it was a bit of a letdown for me, when the film kicks into it's final act, and it cannot match the intensity of the first half (sans a pretty cleverly executed possession scene) perhaps the final act felt a bit too familiar of climaxes that have come before it in the series which is possibly what bothered me. I love the concept of the ghost world of "The Further" and would love for them to expand on it just a bit more, but here it felt not where near as scary, a bit rehashed to an extent and that dulled it's effectiveness I felt. This lead me to wishing the whole thing played out a bit differently. There were also a few scenes in that last act that reminded me of some of the unintentionally silly or cheesy stuff that really bothered me in the second film. Some of that stuff here, especially scenes where Elise must physically go toe to toe with one of the dead/ghosts, doesn't play well on screen, and kind of took me out of a film that I was really wanting to get behind due to all the love and care it is made with. Make no mistake though Chapter 3 isn't one of your run of the mill "product" films such as the dead on arrival Poltergeist remake. Leigh Whannell and the cast put their all into this film and they truly believe in the material and their characters and even when the film falters at times, that love for what they are doing still shines through.

Insidious is a strange franchise in a sense that it seems to have divided horror fans into groups who like it and don't like it. Some people just do not like this type of horror film no matter how much care is put into it and they feel it is more of a studio product pg-13 ghost movie when it is really not. It is essentially an independent film that hit it big, just like another of Whannell and Wan's creations did, when they created the Saw franchise. People were very split on those films as well and the sequels worked to varying degrees of success. So in the end my initial feeling on Insidious Chapter 3 was that it starts out extremely strong and intense and along the way kind of loses steam and brings in some of the elements I had hoped might not resurface while leaving me wishing for a much more intense and scary climax, Still for die hard fans of the series, you will have another solid installment that expands on the Insidious universe and it's characters while also opening up room for more unique stories in the future. For non fans of the franchise, this one won't be the one that makes you change your mind, as it wears it's pedigree proudly on it'sleeve. I myself lay somewhere in the middle of those which makes sense seeing as how my feelings on the film are split down the middle, for all the good and creepy things it does well, it also does some things I would rather it didn't that stymied my excitement. That can be a problem for a lot of films that start out so strong and then falter a bit towards the finish line.

Still as someone who has enjoyed the franchise well enough, I can certainly say you definitely should check out the film for yourself as it is still worth watching and you will certainly get some superbly crafted horror moments throughout. I feel even for myself that I may enjoy it much more on a second viewing as I did with the second knowing what to expect. I can also say that I do look forward to what director Leigh Whannell does next because despite the things I did not like in the film, he has proved himself to be a more than capable director with the work he has put on display here while getting solid performances from his cast who help carry the film even when it doesn't work as well. Insidious Chapter 3 went back to the past for its story and I am now interested in seeing what the future holds for Chapter 4, just like the Saw franchise there are a few paths that are set up it can take and after all is said and done,and even with a few bumps in the road, I am still interested in seeing how deep into the Further this franchise can go.

INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3: An Interview with Dermot Mulroney & Stefanie Scott

Just about a month ago we had the opportunity to sit down with Insidious Chapter 3 director (and series co-creator) Leigh Whannel and talk a bit about the new film. It was a great time and you really got the sense of how passionate he was about the project. Now we were lucky enough to be able to chat for a bit with two of the stars of the latest installment in the Insidious series, Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott. Having watched the film the night before (review will be up later this week) it was all fresh in my mind and had a number of questions planned out for the duo. You never know what an interview will be like and it can be slightly nerve wracking before you sit down, however Dermot and Stefanie were two of the nicest and enthusiastic people I have come across while doing this. You get the feeling just from talking to them that they are genuinely excited about the film and their work in it. So while I only had so much time to talk with them, they provided plenty of insight and info into the process of making what would actually be the first horror film of their careers.

please note this interview contains minor spoilers if you haven't seen the trailer.

As you can see they were a particularly lively interview, especially Dermot who really gets in depth with his answers. Stefanie was just a vivrant personality whom you could tell was very excited for this opportunity to star in a film series she was already a fan of prior to coming on board. It was the type of interview where you definitely wanted to ask more questions and discuss more with them. They both also were very quick to praise Leigh Whannell for whom this is first time in the director's chair.  I can't thank them both enough for an enjoyable time. We will talk more about their contributions to the film when we post our review later this week.

Stefanie Scott on set as Quinn Brenner

Dermot Mulroney who plays Sean Brenner with writer/director/co-star Leigh Whannell

One person who was not in attendance was Lin Shaye who plays series mainstay, Elise Rainier. The film is as much hers as it is Mulroney's and Scott's. Recently she was honored at Wizard World Philadelphia as "The Godmother of Horror" as she has appeared in more than 20 horror films in her career including A Nightmare on Elm Street and many more.

"Honoring Lin Shate as the Godmother of Horror was a no-brainer as we celebrate Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia this Mother's Day weekend," said Wizard World spokesman Jerry Milani. "Lin's legacy in films of all genres make her queen of the movie scene, and her unparallelled, haunting performances in so many movies, especially the INSIDIOUS franchise, make her the obvious and deserved choice for the Godmother of Horror Award"

Of her role in INSIDIOUS:CHAPTER 3, Share says "I'm kind of the unlikely hero. I'm not the hot young guy or the gorgeous girl. I love the character, and so do the fans. I have a really youthful fan base, which is so much fun for me because I'm so old. I am the happiest I've ever been in my entire life. "

Aaron Sagers, renowned horror and film enthusiast, officially presented Lin with the honor during a special Wizard World Presentation. Shaye provided fans with insider information on the new film and discussed her statys as the rare older woman to defy industy stereotypes while staking her claim in the horror genre.

Insidious Chapter 3 opens Thursday Night, June 4th.


The day has finally arrived as TrueHorror Music's first release is here. As Days Go By from La Garçonne is now available to purchase in two forms. The first and best way is to grab one our beautiful limited edition purple cassettes which also conveniently includes a free digital download code for the full album. This limited edition is a run of 50 and they are already close to half way gone via pre-orders. So snag one while you can if interested.

Grab the limited edition cassette HERE

You can also simply purchase the album digitally via a variety of outlets such as our preferred BANDCAMP , Amazon and of course iTunes. Follow any of those links and you can sample the album as well as be able to grab the album instantly. 

You can also sample the album by watching the video below

La Garçonne is the solo project of Whistler, Canada based singer-songwriter/producer Ranya Dube. Armed with a macbook pro and a neon lit right brain, Dube creates moody electro-pop laced with new wave, post-punk and synth pop influences perfect for night time listening.

To Ranya, La Garçonne is a passion project that fell into the right hands and landed her a spot on the soundtrack to the acclaimed 2014 horror film, Starry Eyes which features the second single we released entitled Zebra Kids . To our newly launched label, La Garçonne is a diamond in the rough and inspired us to start this music label in the first place. The first single "I'm On Punch" garnered much praise and kind words as it was premiered on Baeble Music where they wrote "If "I'm On Punch had been released in 2011 when Nicholas Wending Refn's cult classic "Drive", had been released, it's easy to hear it being all over the film's glossy 80's sheen soundtrack"  

We couldn't be more excited about welcoming Ranya into the family and feel it is a perfect place for her and her music. To see just why we feel this way you can check out our in depth interview with her HERE . In it we discuss everything from life to music and of course her undying love of the horror genre which helped make her a natural fit as the flagship artist for our newly minted TrueHorror Music imprint.

To help launch the release we have a video of the albums title track AS DAYS GO BY created by Ranya Dube, Stella Gardiner and Emily-Jane Robinson with makeup by Elin Dannecker.

LA GARÇONNE - AS DAYS GO BY from Ranya Dube on Vimeo.

We really hope you all check the album out and hope you discover just why we felt so compelled to take a chance on this artist and go forth with this project.

TrueHorror Music: La Garçonne - Zebra Kids

TrueHorror Music proudly presents the second single "Zebra Kids" from the upcoming debut album "As Days Go By" by La Garçonne.  Zebra Kids was the song that started it all for this project between La Garçonne and It was upon first hearing this track in the background of the acclaimed horror film "Starry Eyes" (directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch), that prompted us to do a bit of digging to find out more about this song and the artist that created it. We listened to it non stop and eventually contacted La Garçonne herself and got the wheels rolling from there. The track provides a melodic yet bouncy, dream like soundscape thats perfect for late night lounging. Listen for yourself below! and also check out our write up on Starry Eyes here

As Days Go By releases on 5/26/2015 and is now available for pre-order digitally and as a limited edition purple cassette (digi download included) You can pre-order them at the following links below.

Limited Edition Cassette Pre Order
Digital Pre Order

Listen to the previously released first single "I'm On Punch" below.

TrueHorror Music: An Interview with La Garçonne

So yes, we started an independent record label, TrueHorror Music is now a reality. Our first release "As Days Go By" by La Garçonne is not what one would call "horror music" so we have often been asked "What does any of this have to do with horror?" Which is a reasonable question, but beyond the fact that the label, which is an extension of our site, was never intended to strictly be "horror themed" music. However that doesn't mean our first release doesnt have it's own ties to the horror genre. 

It was while watching the horror film Starry Eyes that her music first caught my ear, afterwards being the music lover I am, I did some research which eventually led me to contacting her and listening to more music which had a wonderful new wave, night time listening vibe that I love, it was after listening to it over and over again that the decision to launch this label was made, with the intent that the music of La Garçonne aka Ranya Dube, would be our first release. Which as it all turned out was the perfect project and the perfect person to deal with in our first venture. I have had alot of fun getting to know her while we put this project together and wanted to ask her a few questions so that you the potential listeners could get a better feel for just who it is putting together this amazing music that inspired us to take a chance. 

One concern I had when approaching her about this project was the fact that while her music had just been featured on the soundtrack to an acclaimed horror film, I wondered how she would feel about having all her music be associated with a horror based website/company. As it turns she out was more than okay with it. 

TH: Being a horror website and a record label titled "TrueHorror Music" what made you comfortable about being involved with us as your music isn't necessarily horror themed music? 

LG: As a kid, horror movies were all I watched! I still remember going to the video store with my older cousin Shelly, they had a massive horror section and we would rent 3 or 4 films every weekend until we made our way through every VHS box on those shelves. I am so inspired by the 80's, and our generation watched those films all when they were brand new and at some point in time everyone was scared of Freddy, Jason or Michael. These days when you see photos of them or the cover art for those old VHS tapes, it helps place you at that point in time to when the horror genre was so huge and every new film was like an event. Obviously horror is still huge, but I will always have a great deal of love for those older films and how they scared me. To this day those are still the ones that scare me the most. So your site being based on horror was cool with me since I am a horror fan and have so many fond memories involving the genre. It didn't feel odd to me at all moreso like a good fit!

TH: Being that you are a big horror fan what are some of your favorite horror films?

LG: All of the Halloween films, Friday the 13th specifically 6, 7 & 8, Pet Sematary, Cujo, A Nightmare on Elm Street especially 3 & 4. I also love American Werewolf in London andthe original Piranha. I could go on and on as we literally would watch whatever we could get our hands on, but those I named would be the ones I love most. 

TH: We will get back to the horror stuff momentarily as I obviously find it interesting and I know our readers will as well, but can you tell us some more about your music background? What are some of your earliest memories of getting into music?

LG: When I was about 3 years old, my dad gave me a huge bag full of 45's and I am pretty certain that is when my obsession began. I remember in my early years listening to KISS and ABBA religiously until my grandparents got Heart of Glass by Blondie on vinyl. It immediately became my favorite song and the rest is history. I would say though the album I listened to the most in my life is Appetite For Destruction by Guns n Roses. I always wanted to be a Black Sabbath type band but when I was living in England everyone loved Oasis so I just ended up making synth music instead. I love synth music too but I always thought I would be comfortable on stage rocking out. 

TH: The songs on "As Days Go By" have a very 80's new wave electro feel, can you tell us a bit about what led you to the creation of the music found on the album?

LG: A long time ago I tried to figure out what music meant to me and what I needed it to be in my life. I knew I needed to be making music so I played in bands that werent doing what I wanted to be doing until one day, I met my friend Paul. He was the first person I played with where what we made sounded good to me. I started my first band Villa Cola with him and he taught me alot about engineering and how to record things. We tried to play live but we weren't very good because we were both very shy and as it turned out didn't like people watching us. Our band eventually fell apart becayse we realized we were making music for all the wrong reasons and it left me in a really weird place. Since I was a bit down at that point. I just started playing music for the sake of playing music. I didn't go out much and just lived in a bubble where I would just sit with headphones for hours at a time, writing tons of songs, some I actually finished and these are the ones which are being released on the album. 

TH: The album has a very 80's new wave feel, could you explain why you went that route when creating it all? 

LG: It mostly sounds 80's because of what I had access to while making it. To make guitar music you need pedals and all sorts of expensive equipment. It sounds 80's but when I start a song I just start it with a beat or a melody and just add on from there. Since I use a computer, it really dictates my sound so it's not always planned the way it eventually turns out, for me it is definitely a bit of a spontaneous process when it comes to creating the actual song. I if I had more equipment I could probably hone my sound to be more specific to how I initially hear it in my head, but it never turns out that way, though I think that describes alot of creative mediums really. As far as the 80's sound goes, when I write, I go through all the snyth sounds and then layer them until I get the feeling that I am looking for so that I can sing over it. I also love reverb which gives it the more lo-fi feeling. I have always said I am not the biggest fan of modern production so with what I have done, it's just turned out sounding 80's due to my methods and tools. 

TH: Having discussed this with you before, while it's clear you are obviously very passionate about music and have a knack for it, you are also very much into video and film now, how did that come about and what are you working on now? 

LG: A while back I made a few music videos with my friend Emily for my first band, then I decided to edit a short film for a friend which showed me the other side of editing which to me is the hardest part of making a film. Over the next couple of years I worked as a DP, producer, camera assistant/focus puller and did more editing. I also made some music videos for myself with my other friend Stella, most so I could learn more technical things like using a green screen and advanced editing techniques.  Finally I worked on my first feature and that was when I realized that I actually dont want to work on other people's stories which was a good feeling in a sense that I had always aksed myself what I wanted to do with my life and that really helped me figure that out. 

TH: Getting back to the horror side of things, what are your thoughts between music and film, especially in horror films? 

LG: Music for me will make or break a film. I'm pretty extreme when it comes to this stuff though because if I don't like the music they've chosen for a film, I will stop watching something immediately but when music is used properly, it will elevate a film to the next level. It really dictates how we feel when we are watching something. Horror films are scary in a lot of ways because of the music. If you watch it on mute, it will more than likely not be anywhere near as scary or effective. 

TH: What would you say is your favorite music from a horror film?

LG: Well to me it's more of a sound effect but the signature percussive sound and breathing effect in the Friday the 13th films (ki ki ki or kill kill kill ha ha ha) As soon as your hear it, you know Jason is coming and it's going to be disasterous when he shows up. We used to play the Nintendo Friday the 13th video game all the time as kids and I love the music on there as well!

TH: Your music has been featured in horror films, most recently Starry Eyes, how did you feel about this and why do you feel that your music fits in the horror genre in some way. 

LG: Thats a good question, I am not totally sure but I guess it might have to do with the fact that when I write my songs, I am thinking about movies or scenes in my head, so perhaps this quality comes through in them? Also there is the DIY aspect of it. Most of those films are made out of passion and not because of huge budgets from studios creating a product. My songs are the same so maybe thats why they go well together? Another of my songs will be appearing in the upcoming film
The Demolisher , it's director Gabriel Carrer put me in touch with the producer of Starry Eyes so I owe alot ot him as well. 

TH: While you are focused on the other side of the lens now, would you ever consider filming or scoring your own horror film? 

LG: Absolutely! scoring one would be pretty cool for sure. If I made my own horror film it would be more psychological like a Starry Eyes as opposed to a slasher. David Fincher is one of  my biggest influences so something like "Seven" would be more my style. Perhaps it's not exactly horror but it would have that grim vibe that I find frightening.

TH: We know now you are all about the classic horror films we all love, but what are some of the newer horror films you have enjoyed? 

LG: I don't know if I would classify these as pure horror but I am a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro and his group of director proteges. Stuff like Pan's Labrynth and The Orphanage creeps me out. On a personal note I thought Starry Eyes was brilliant when you think of how small their budget was and that they were able to make something that was so much better than alot of stuff coming out of Hollywood. Off hand I also really enjoyed Let The Right One In, Drag Me to Hell and The Descent a great deal. 

TH: So getting back to your music before we close this out, how does it feel to see your music collected in cassette form? 

LG: It feels actually insane to me that in 2015, this has happened to me. As a kid my cousin and I used to take advantage of a loop hole in the old Colombia House's "get 12 tapes for a penny" deals. We amassed huge collections of tapes. So my headphones were permanently glued to my ears throughout those years, So this tape means a great deal to me and I hope whoever finds one in their possession gets that same great feeling they used to have when they would listen to a new tape for the first time way back when.

La Garçonne - As Days Go By is now available for pre-order digitally and in limited edition purple cassette. Release Date is May 26th. 

The Insidious Experience: An Interview with Leigh Whannell

Insidious has gone from a small low budget horror film to a full blown horror franchise powerhouse. The little horror movie that could came out of nowhere and ended up being a huge hit, becoming the most profitable film of 2011 while earning a total of 97 million dollars off of it's reported $1.5 million budget. Insidious delivered a fresh take on the haunted house genre by crafting a story which combined the best of the genres concepts and blended them with new ideas and an artistic eye. Upon the huge success of the first a second film "Insidious Chapter 2" was quickly put into production and would continue the story of the first as well as adding new story elements via flashback sequences which served to flesh out the characters history. Both films delivered plenty of creepy imagery and sequences and I clearly remember the first film scaring the hell out of my crowd, causing many to scream, jump and others just to sink into their chair covering their eyes. It was great time and I myself remember finding it to be one of the best new horror films in recent years. I am a huge fan of creepy films that give you chills and Insidious did just that anchored by it's strong cast of characters. I was excited when the second film was announced and it too picked up right where the first left off. The same combination of spooky fun and eerie set pieces was here and for the most part just as effective. The franchise has certainly divided audiences, it's PG-13 rating warding off the hardcore gorehounds who feel there is no place for yet another ghost related film in the world, while there are others who enjoy the care and effort put into these films and find the suspense and creepy scenarios to hit all the right notes. Such is the world of horror fandom. Still the films remain in the hands of those who truly care about it and are not simply "hired guns" cashing a check. That is one of the aspects I respected about it, it was a passion project for it's creators and I personally feel it shows in the final product and for me that makes all the difference in the world.

 Fast forward to 2015 and we are nearing the release of the latest chapter in the Insidious Saga, Chapter 3. This time in place of his partner James Wan is series co-creator and star Leigh Whannell. This will be Whannell's first time directing after years in the film industry as an actor, writer and producer on a number of films from Saw to Dead Silence and of course the Insidious series. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to a special press event for the "Insidious Chapter 3 - Into the Further 4D experience (more about that in a bit) as part of the films promotional tour. As part of that, I was able to sit down with Leigh himself for a quick interview. It was all very last minute and I wish I had more time to formulate my questions prior, however I did get to ask him the majority of stuff I had prepared which he was more than happy to answer. You can watch the interview below.

As you can tell from the video, Whannell is a very humorous and easy going, down to earth person who is extremely passionate about horror and film. That passion is sure to extend itself to this supernatural world he has helped create and these characters that inhabit it. It is also apparent that he was very excited at the ida of reteaming with actress Lin Shaye who plays Elise, to get to tell more of her story and what she has gone through. It is when hearing him discuss her involvement and what her character will be tasked with here that I really started to anticpate seeing this new film and seeing what they have in store for her and audiences alike. I knew I would only have a few minutes to speak with him and naturally the more questions he answered the more that popped into my head that I wouldn't be able to ask. There is one however that I do regret not being able to ask and I was kicking myself after because I had thought of it earlier in the day as well. I would have asked him with James Wan having been the visual force behind the first two, how does he intend to put his own stamp on the franchise and this universe from a directors standpoint. It is one of the things I am most looking forward to seeing, just how does this film differentiate itself from the others while still being part of the same story in a sense.

UPDATE: Luckily, Whannell was kind enough to check out this article and took the time out to answer this unasked question via twitter. I can't thank him enough for this because by doing so he has stopped me from continually kicking myself forever for forgetting to ask it in the first place.

So there you have it, he definitely will be putting his own twist on the films visuals and I am looking forward to seeing how his visual influences come into play on screen. Listening to Whannell speak about his characters and horror in general even for a short while, I have no doubt that he is up to the task and I am rooting for him to succeed and deliver a new and creepy experience for audience to fear.

Now speaking of creepy experience, the other part of the day involved what you see in the photo above, that is one of the two trailers that house "The Further 4D Experience". Fans of the series know that the "The Further" is the name of ghostly otherworld populated by the lingering spirits of the dead. As part of the films promotional campaign Focus Features is inviting you into that world via what is best described as part haunt, part virtual reality experience. The Haunt part is similar to your traditional haunted house many visit during October, once you enter. You are in a dimly lit hallway featuring props and set design that match the film. My favorite item being the bizarre gas mask wearing, wooden mannequin seen in Elise's basement in part 2.

After you are greeted by your host at the end of the Hallway, you have to make your way through another short corridor till you reach another very dimly lit small room, you enter and sit down in a chair, it is hear that you will make use of Oculus Rift headset which is a fancy name for REALLY good virtual reality headgear. Once you place this on securely you are instantly transported to the living room of Elise's house and she is there with you. Actress Lin Shaye filmed all new material for this I imagine, and as she speaks to you warning you of dangers abound, you can freely turn your head looking around the room and up at the ceiling and you feel as if you are truly in this space. Inanimate objects move around the room, you see shadows in the windows, you feel a draft or something gently brushing against your shoulder, then it starts to get extremely creepy. I won't spoil it here in case any of you will be attending one of these, but I can say without a doubt that this is the closest I have ever felt to being in an actual horror movie. A haunt is one thing and those are awesome fun and can be scary as well, but this is a totally immersive experience where special effects come to life before your eyes, you feel as if you are in the movie and it's awesome. My only gripe would be that it is too short even if I understand the concept of time constraints and budgets. I had never used the Oculus Rift technology prior to this event and it was extremely impressive, I can imagine it not working for all things they have been applied to, but for Insidious where you literally are just sitting in someones living room it all feels very natural.

The Further 4D experience is a free exhibition that will be major cities within the next month leading up to the films release. It doesn't take more than 15 minutes tops to complete the entire walk through, but it was still a very enjoyable time. I can't recommend someone to drive for an hour to go to this unless you are A. really bored and/or the more likely B. just want something different and unique to do that won't be around long and can be your first fun stop during a night out. For that I can definitely recommend it as it is definitely very cool just not something that will take up your night. Overall I truly had a fun time with all of this. It was really cool to be able to meet and interview Leigh Whannell, I enjoyed talking with the different friendly people from Focus Features such as Kirstin and Ryan discussing movies, horror and other related topics. In addition I also got to meet some other new like minded people while waiting to go into the experience itself. All of this has easily helped heighten my anticipation for the next chapter in the Insidious Saga and much kudos go to Focus and everyone involved with the Insidious franchise that helped put this all together at no charge to us, the visitors, Nothing wrong with promoting the film while offering us the fans a fun way to experience what it feels like to be trapped within the mysterious Further.

They also tweet these photos out to you after you exit, pretty cool.

If you are interested in attending I would suggest tweeting to @InsidiousMovie for passes the closer you get to event hitting your town.


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