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For the past 13 years, John Murdy has acted as the Director of Creative Development for Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. And while that title comes with a ton of responsibilities within the park, his main claim to fame is the revitalization and continued success of Universal’s huge Halloween-themed event, Halloween Horror Nights.

Each year in Los Angeles, a bevy of haunts vie for the public’s attention during the Halloween season. While Knott’s Scary Farm boasts grandiose attractions, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights consecutively brings to life the unique and familiar scares inspired by some of the biggest movie and TV franchises audiences have grown to love. This year is no exception, as one of the biggest draws for the event is the premiere of a maze based on Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic, The Shining.

All work and no play and what not…

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insidious the last key trailer

The Insidious franchise may have begun with Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne dealing with a demon in their home, but everyone quickly realized that demonologist Elise Reiner and her technologically proficient sidekicks Specs and Tucker were the real stars of the show. So how do you deal with the fact that Elise didn’t survive the events of the first film? Simple: you make the sequels into prequels.

Following in the footsteps of 2015’s Insidious: Chapter 3, the fourth film in the series takes place before the events of the first movie, bringing the great Lin Shaye back into the fold for another supernatural adventure. The first Insidious: The Last Key trailer is here and the lack of a number in the title is telling – the series is breaking free from the first few entries and is looking to chart a new course.

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Insidious 3 Lin Shaye

Universal isn’t ready to turn off the lights on its Insidious franchise. The studio revealed today that Insidious: Chapter 4 is coming in 2017, with Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan) directing from a script by Leigh Whannell. Lin Shaye will return as parapsychologist Elise Rainier. Watch a cute little video featuring Shaye and Whannell’s official announcement below.

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Insidious horror nights maze

During San Diego Comic Con International 2015, Guillermo del Toro announced that there would be a Crimson Peak maze for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. And today we get an announcement of the second maze for this year’s horror event: Focus Features and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are teaming with Universal Studios in both Hollywood and Orlando to create all-new mazes based on the Insidious film franchise. The Insidious: Return to the Further maze will let guests “investigate unexplained phenomena in the Lambert family’s eerie Victorian home and find themselves at the ghastly séance that unleashes chaos and horror.”

“They’ll journey into “The Further” – a supernatural realm that houses tormented spirits – and face deadly ghosts and demons like the Woman in Black and Red-Faced Demon who will stop at nothing to infiltrate the world of the living.”

See a Insidious Horror Nights maze teaser video and read the full press release, after the jump.

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Insidious 3 trailer header

UPDATE: We first posted an Insidious 3 trailer Monday, but that was released prematurely by the studio. The official version has now been released.

The second Insidious film was a bit of a disappointment. After the stellar, terrifying first film, the follow-up seemed to prioritize story over character and scares. Well, a new trailer for the third film, Insidious Chapter 3, heavily suggests this latest installment will fix that mistake.

Chapter 3 takes place before the first two films and explain how ghost hunter Elise (Lin Shaye) learns about The Further, the parallel dimension where the dead live and thrive. She does that via the plight of a young father (Dermot Mulroney) and his daughter (Stefanie Scott).

The latest Insidious 3 trailer is super creepy while really keeping the story hidden behind a bevy of scares, creatures and mood. It’s a great set up for what’s to come. Check out the Insidious Chapter 3 trailer , and new poster, below. Read More »

Insidious Chapter 2 (2)

File this under “obvious” but a third Insidious film is now officially in development. The second film, Insidious: Chapter 2, grossed eight times its budget over this past weekend and ends with a cliffhanger setting up a new direction for the franchise. A sequel was inevitable. Now Blumhouse, FilmDistrict and Sony are wasting no time in letting fans know the series will continue.

While director James Wan won’t return to direct (“I am finished with the horror genre,” he recently said), writer Leigh Whannell (left) will return to pen the third part. Whannell wrote the first two films in addition to co-starring. Read More »

James Wan Insidious 2

There really is no better title for the sequel to 2010’s Insidious than Insidious Chapter 2. Like a book filled with intense cliffhangers, the final moment of the first movie begged for more, and in this sequel we get that moment and so much more. This is the story of the Lambert family, including Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, and it picks up right at the end of the first film. But the sequel also delves into the past, helping to complete the puzzling and frightening story co-created by director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell. (The team that created not only Insidious, but Saw too.)

Back in July, before Wan got to work on Fast and Furious 7, I got to chat with the writer and director of Insidious Chapter 2. We discussed how the sequel goes deeper into this universe’s mythology, the choices made to get there, how footage from the first movie was incorporated, what they knew and didn’t know going into the sequel and much more.

Check it out below but beware. There are minor spoilers and the interview is best read after seeing the movie. Read More »

Insidious-Chapter-2 Wilson Simpkins

How can you get “The Ultimate Insidious Experience”? Find out after the jump. Also:

  • Daniel Craig wants more “irony” in Bond 24
  • How did Shaun of the Dead inspire The World’s End?
  • The Scorpion King 4 is a thing that is happening
  • The new Transformers 4 logo has claw marks
  • Toys R Us is ready for the influx of Dinobots toys
  • Vin Diesel flirts and fights in new clips from Riddick

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Insidious Chapter 2 Bed

Some people are so terrified by horror movies that they can hardly even bear to watch them. And others are so delighted by them that they’d willingly walk into the creepy locales portrayed in them.

For those who fall into the latter category, Universal Studios Hollywood is building Insidious: Into the Further, a maze based on the hit thriller by James Wan. The attraction will be part of the annual Halloween Horror Nights celebration at the park. Hit the jump to learn more about what spooky highlights you can expect.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ah, yes, the Fast and the Furious franchise: Where a man can fly from one fancy speeding car to another in the middle of the highway while a tank wreaks havoc in the background. See that photo and more after the jump. Also:

  • Jocelin Donahue is young Barbara Hershey in Insidious 2
  • Helen Mirren teases some of her big action scenes for Red 2
  • Yes, Rafe Spall will appear in Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End
  • Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Trek character is a very modern terrorist
  • Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talks Transformers 4
  • A Good Day to Die Hard unveils a Valentine’s Day-themed spot
  • The gang’s all here in a fresh batch of stills from Fast & Furious 6
  • See some colorful high-res images from The Muppets… Again

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