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Event Report: “INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3” Into The Further 4D Experience!

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While this may seem somewhat of a generic mantra for a horror fan, this writer is always searching for that next big scare. As haunted house experiences get more and more interactive and the media landscape changes, that search becomes increasingly adventurous and new. But while I’ve experienced horror in theme park attractions, theaters, haunts, video games and many more places, I’ve yet to experience horror in the world of virtual reality. However, INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 was willing to change that with their now-touring ‘Into The Further 4D Experience’.

The heat was blazing when this writer arrived in Miami, breaking a sweat in the curbside wait for a cab to my hotel. Obviously, I should have expected as much; in my northeast homestead, the temperature has finally climbed above 50 after a grueling winter, so the climate of Miami should have been adjusted for accordingly. However, any chance to travel is a chance worth taking, especially with the promise of a truly immersive horror experience.

Our stay in Miami began with a private dinner with INSIDIOUS mastermind and CHAPTER 3 director Leigh Whannell. Select horror reps from around the press world, including part-time FANGO/GOREZONE contributor Heather Buckley and former FANGO web editor Sam Zimmerman, made up the table for this dinner, where we candidly conversed with Whannell about the INSIDIOUS films, the golden age of VHS, COOTIES and the pros and cons of ‘90s horror, among other things While the conversations were raw and hilarious, they were also off-the-record, but we would have our chance to get the good stuff out of Leigh the next day following our 4D experience.

The following morning, the journalists converged once more to head out to the big show, and I don’t think anyone quite knew what we would be walking into. After all, not many of the select few there had any experience with the much-hyped Oculus Rift technology, nor did we know exactly how it would be presented. Such mystery was even still present when we pulled up to our final destination, as we saw two trailers parked side-by-side as tech specialists (dressed in full Tucker and Specs garb) ran about the structure.

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After signing a health waiver (always a great sign of things to come) and a chance for a photo-op with a life-size statue of Parker Crane (a/k/a the Bride in Black from the INSIDIOUS films), we were ushered in groups of three to the trailers. Of course, the narrow halls of the trailer gave an immediate feeling of claustrophobia, and sported an INSIDIOUS-informed decor. After a greeting from a doorman, I was then separated from the group, going through an INSIDIOUS walkthrough (including bumping walls, flashing lights and live actors in full ghost regalia) before entering the first room. Following a short video (featuring footage from CHAPTER 3), we were given instructions to go to the next room for the Oculus Rift experience.

In the next room over stood another techie as well as an antique chair and a bright red door, where I was instructed to sit and put on a pair of goggles and headphones. With the advances in VR tech, these accessories were incredibly lightweight and comfortable, and replicated the room around us. Suddenly, this writer was launched into the world of INSIDIOUS, finding myself face to face with a virtual “Elise” in an all-too-familiar suburban home, where you’re stuck in a session gone wrong as wandering ghouls come at you from literally every direction (the experience works in all 360 degrees, so when you feel something breathing down your neck, you can turn around to see it face-to-face). But then, the lights go out, and things get really scary as cloaked bodies gravitate their way ever-so-slowly around you, and there’s nothing you can do but wait… until the Bride in Black shows herself once more in a terrifying reveal.

Following the 4D experience, there’s one last scare to be had (although it may be too good to spoil here), and upon our exit, we were treated to a one-on-one interview with Leigh Whannell, which will be hitting FANGORIA.com tomorrow morning. As an experience, this writer cannot recommend enough that tried and true horror fans give the ‘Into The Further 4D Experience’ a try; it’s a truly immersive endeavor that takes a hold of your senses and plunges you head first into terror. You can see a sneak peek at the experience below, which will be running until the opening weekend of the film on June 5th. The list of tour dates for the experience are as follows:

April 24 – 26: Chicago at C2E2
May 2 – 3: Philadelphia at South Street Spring Festival
May 15 – 17: Los Angeles at LA Live
May 22 – 23: San Francisco at Carnivale
May 29 – 31: Dallas at The Dallas Fan Expo (Comic Con)
June 5 – 7: New York City with location TBD

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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