Anyone who has seen the “Insidious” movies will tell you: The Further is really, really not somewhere you want to go. To quote Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye): “The Further is a world far beyond our own, yet it’s all around us, a place without time as we know it. It’s a dark realm filled with the tortured souls of the dead, a place not meant for the living.” Lovely, right? Well being the slightly crazy horror lover that I am, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to immerse myself into the world of “Insidious,” bringing myself as close to The Further as humanely possible. Which is exactly what I was able to do, thanks to the “Into the Further 4D Experience” that just made a far too short stop in Miami.
Here’s a more in-depth description of the experience:
Experience the world of INSIDIOUS like you never have before. The “Into The Further 4D Experience” is a fully immersive experience that will take you physically and virtually into the world of INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye) will be your guide on an intense 4D experience that will bend your perception of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘the further.’
Think of this as the evolution of the haunted house experience – a place where analog meets digital. INTO THE FURTHER is a walk-through haunted house with a unique virtual reality / oculus rift component, which creates a truly scary ‘ride’ that has never been done before. And just when you think the experience is over, you’ll realize it’s only just begun.
An evolution indeed. The first word that comes to mind when thinking back on this experience is “revolutionary.” And Leigh Whannell, the writer and director of “Insidious: Chapter 3” – who we were lucky enough to have on hand for interviews during the press preview — completely agrees with that sentiment.
“This ‘Into the Further Experience’ has gone further than any other promotional immersive experience,” says Whannell. “It goes beyond even just the Oculus Rift glasses. Because there are live scares, people touching you…it’s really something we’ve never seen before. And I’m really proud of the fact that this is the first film to really go this far.”
The experience began with me walking down a pitch-black hallway, where I was suddenly accosted with shouts telling me to go to my room. Once I entered the said room, I was instantly overcome by a wave of minor claustrophobia as I stood in the box-like area, with only the sound of some unsettling music and a screen telling me that the experience would be starting shortly. Having gone in with very little knowledge of what to expect, I wasn’t quite sure what I was waiting for, and I continued to stand in that room — as my palms slowly started to sweat — waiting for the unknown.
After a few minutes of anxiously waiting (and wondering if they forgot about me), a door to my left finally opened. I was greeted by an attendant, who sat me down in a chair and helped me adjust the Oculus Rift goggles and headphones. As soon as my goggles were on, a big red door appeared in front of my eyes – it was time to enter The Further.
I’ve done my fair share of haunted houses throughout the years, but this was definitely unlike anything I had ever done before. Equipped with the Oculus Rift goggles, as soon as I virtually entered the mysterious red door, I found myself face to face with paranormal investigator Elise Reiner (Lin Shaye), warning me that I entered The Further. She continued to guide me through the experience, but I quickly became less interested in what she had to say, and much more intrigued by the power of these nifty goggles I had on. As I started to take a look around, I noticed that as I moved my head to the left and to the right, there was more of the room to take in, and more scenery to see. The somewhat pixilated images aside, it didn’t feel like I was looking at a screen; despite my knowledge otherwise, I was nonetheless overcome by the sensation that everything I was seeing was in fact surrounding me – a sensation that grew all the more terrifying as some familiar ghosts inched their way closer to me.
Things quickly turned into chaos when the room violently started rumbling — the tea set in front of me suddenly got flipped over, and the very chair I was sitting in started to shake. “Look at me!” Elise ordered. But of course, it was hard advice to follow when the Bride in Black was to my left, looking just as menacing as you remember from “Insidious: Chapter 2.” Before I knew it, the Bride appeared right in front of my face, eliciting a loud scream from me in the process. An “Insidious: Chapter 3” title card came up, and I felt myself getting sucked back into the real word as that virtual reality red door slammed shut before me. The experience was over.
And while I wish it lasted longer, two weeks later it still lingers in my mind as the future of the haunted house experience. Fans of horror in general (and “Insidious” in particular) should go out of their way to seek out the “Into the Further 4D Experience” if they’re lucky enough to have a stop in their city.
The tour continues in Chicago, and will be followed with stops in Philadelphia, L.A., San Francisco, Dallas, and New York.
Get your free tickets at: www.intothefurther.me