Elise has always been the one to help other families with their spiritual problems in the Insidious films. When the latest prequel, Insidious: The Last Key, centered on Elise’s own childhood, it altered actor Lin Shaye’s previous backstory she created.
“I had a whole different idea of who she was as a child,” Shaye said. “What Leigh [Whannell] created was far more powerful. Having come out of that kind of duress as a child with an abusive family even makes her a stronger adult.”
With the film available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital, Shaye shared with Bloody Disgusting how she originally saw Elise’s childhood.
“I had always seen her as a loner, thinking she maybe was an only child and her abilities appeared because she spent time in quiet and alone,” Shaye said.
“I think what Leigh created is a real arrow pointing to the fact that no matter what your beginnings are, you can endure them and become a strong wonderful person, which she does become as an adult. When I read it, I was flabbergasted, to be honest. I never thought I had a family like that, let alone the issues I had to face as a child.”
Insidious: The Last Key shows how Elise developed her powers to commune with spirits while growing up in an abusive household. The final cut did not reveal everything, however.
“There’s one deleted scene where I talk about my father and my past where I had a boyfriend,” Shaye said.
“My father wouldn’t let me bathe and he wouldn’t let me go to school until finally, I was so dirty in school that they started calling me Smelise instead of Elise because I smelled so bad. It was a digression from the storyline so it was deleted. It’s this rich idea which I kept with me even though it wasn’t in the movie of what my father had done to me as a child. He made me work and made my life hell. There are children who live with families like that and don’t discuss it, so I think it opens up doors for young people to also acknowledge that if they’ve had a bad beginning, they can still come out of it and be givers.”
The Last Key also showed a new side of Specs (Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson). Since the new clients have young, beautiful daughters, Specs and Tuckers awkwardly hit on the girls while trying to free their family of the evil spirits.
“I think she has great regard for the way they behave, sometimes even if it’s not the way she would behave,” Shaye said. “I think they needed to be their way. I think she finds it somewhat bemusing. They’re her sons in a way. They’re goofballs and she knows they’ve got their weak points, but I think she finds it sort of endearing in a way. She’s quiet and lets them carry on. Who knows, there could be a romantic section in the next Insidious between Specs and Melissa. Who knows? It’s opening the door to a new part of their personality too which I think is endearing and of value.”
The end of Insidious: The Last Key catches up with Insidious 1 when the Lamberts call for her help. If Insidious 5 moves forward in the story, Elise would only be a friendly spirit in The Further.
“I have no idea if there is a next one, where that one will go because we have wrapped up Elise’s living story anyway,” Shaye said.
“I’m hoping there will be. If he brings up the subject I’ll just be extremely happy to be involved obviously, and hope I will be involved.”
They could always slot a new story between Chapter 3 and The Last Key.
“People have been asking Leigh,” Shaye said. “None of us really know and I don’t think he’s even thought about it. They could have her teenage years but then I wouldn’t be in it probably.”
Until then, Shaye will appear in another horror franchise, although not the Herbert West: Re-Animator remake listed on IMDB. “No, The Re-Animator I don’t know anything about,” she said.
However, Shaye is preparing to film The Grudge with director Nicolas Pesce. She did not want to spoil the new Grudge’s take on the mythology but was ready to get started with Pesce.
“I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet,” Shaye said. “I was invited into the project and I’m really looking forward to it because the people that do know him say that he’s a wonderfully talented guy. I think it’s going to be a really fun project. I don’t want to give away any secrets though because it’s a very rich story, a lot of twists and turns people won’t expect.”
Fans of Shaye from her Farrelly Brothers movies will be happy to know she’s going to do more comedy soon.
“I think I’m going to do some work on a little comedy that a friend is doing, playing kind of a very broad almost costumed character which will be really fun, taking me back to some of my early roots like Kingpin,” Shaye said.
She’ll never leave horror behind though, and thanks the fans who have supported her in Insidious and other movies.
“I’m filled with gratitude to all of you, including Bloody-Disgusting.com who’s been a great supporter of me and the work I’ve done,” Shaye said. “So thank you so much for all of that as well and I hope we go into The Further further and further.”