The Insidious films have become known for their unique demons. James Wan’s first film introduced us to “Lipstick-Face Demon,” while his sequel made “The Bride in Black” the primary antagonist. And then there was “The Man Who Can’t Breathe,” who terrified us all in Leigh Whannell’s Insidious: Chapter 3.
This weekend’s Insidious: The Last Key follows in the footsteps of the previous films… but believe it or not, the original draft of the script did not have a new demon in it.
Kalyn Corrigan sat down with director Adam Robitel to talk about The Last Key for an interview that’ll be hitting Bloody Disgusting this weekend, but we’ve got a little taste of that chat for you today. During the conversation, Robitel revealed to us that it was actually his idea, when he was hired to direct, to create an iconic new demon for the film.
“I had to prove to Jason Blum that I could put together a traditional three-point coverage kind of movie, so I went in really heavy, I did a look book and I did a bunch of animated storyboards and really showed them what the movie could be,” explained Robitel, who previously directed found footage gem The Taking of Deborah Logan. “And the earlier draft that Leigh had did not have a demon in it, and I said, ‘Guys, to be honest, when I think of Insidious I think about Lipstick Demon and the iconography of the franchise. You guys need a demon that is kind of evocative of prison and locks and keys.'”
Robitel continued, detailing the origin of the new demon, “So, out of those first couple of meetings I got the job and then we ended up coming up with Key Face.”
Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’re surely familiar with Key Face, who has been prominently featured in the film’s trailers and posters. Much like Freddy Krueger, Key Face has long, slender claws, though his fingers are actually made of, well, keys. The striking character was played by Javier Botet, who is fast becoming a creature icon.
Speaking with Rue Morgue recently, Robitel talked a bit more about Key Face.
“A friend of mine, Jacob Hair—an incredibly gifted guy—had done some early concept art, and I loved the idea of a demon with key fingers, and tapping into that primal, clawlike thing that so many of us respond to,” Robitel told the site. “Because part four is such a pivotal chapter in the mythology, we felt it was a very interesting visual motif. Leigh [Whannell], through the evolution of the project, came up with this idea. There was a long process of getting it right.”
“Like many of us horror aficionados, I’ve seen [Javier Botet’s} tests for MAMA, and was blown away by the stuff he was doing,” Robitel explained, in regards to casting Botet. “He has this incredible physical presence, and I was always haunted by that. I wanted to do as much as we could in-camera, and there was only one man on the planet who I felt could play this demon. We had to move mountains to get him over here from Spain, but it worked out. He was in the makeup chair for about four hours, and he’s very tall and thin and so there were scenes where he was pushed to the extreme, and because of the design and the look of the monster, it was hard for him to breathe.”
Insidious: The Last Key was released into theaters today, January 5.