Interview with Adam Robitel, the filmmaker behind Escape Room, The Taking of Deborah Logan & Insidious: The Last Key

With Infamous Horror, I am lucky enough to have the chance to know many actors and directors of horror filmS. I did many interviews and my latest is with Adam Robitel, the filmmaker behind Insidious: The Last Key, Taking of Deborah Logan & Escape Room. Here’s our full interview:

1- Where is your love for Horror films come from? 



Adam: My love for horror comes from my grandmother. I grew up in New England, New Hampshire not far from you in Quebec and I was raised on really scary ghosts stories. It was in 1978 and my grandmother had a type of a Ouija Board and there was some scary spirits attached to the Ouija Board and she told me some stories that scared the crap out of me as a kid. She had a dog that just died and we asked the board where the dog went and the spirit spelled out, “look to the fireplace” and just as they did, all the logs and wood in the fireplace fell down into the perfect shape of a Collie dog burning in the fire. So I was raised with stories like that and it scared the shit out of me. I think i choose horror because of stories like that. I was raised Catholic and you know anybody who was raised Catholic, we are a little bit superstitions.


2- Would you make a movie on the creepy stories from your childhood? 


Adam: i think it’s tough because we’re talking about the Ouija board and its been done alot so unless I come up with something genuinely original. They certainly influence my work now. 


3- Would you accept the challenge of making a new Friday the 13th movie or a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre or a new A Nightmare on Elm Street if you had the chance? 


Adam: it’s really tough. You know I’ve done Insidious Chapter 4 and even though I loved the experience I want to come up with something original. It’s really hard that make the fans happy. Obviously they had a huge success with the last Halloween but you know, I don’t know. I want to do more original stuff. I had a pitch for a new Friday the 13th which I really like and was very excited about. Which was what if you set it in winter and camp Crystal Lake have been dead for 30 years. 

Jason has been hiding and the United States have been doing a lot of fracking, which is this way to pull natural gas from the ground. They try to pull gas from the ground instead they stir up Jason in his habitat.

It was all set it winter and you take the final girls from the first couple of movies. You meet them and they have a support group system for women involved in abusive relationships. 

It’s very female centric their son or their daughter goes to Crystal Lake, maybe a journalist or vlogger of some time and the ice has been frozen. This character goes missing so then the final girls go to find him, link up with the local sheriff. When they try to get to camp, we find that a massive tree is blocking the path, so they are forced to drive out on the ice. They find some kids playing hockey, but a few have fallen through and are near drowning, so the sheriff stops to help them. We get this great, iconic image of a few kids in goalie masks in the black, ice water and then we realize that Jason Voorhees is actually under the Sherrif’s SUV… So the beginning of the movie is an epic slaughter on the ice in the middle of winter. I think were ultimately at the point the studios want the same thing for a franchise like Friday The 13th.


4- How were your feelings when you saw that Escape Room was a major hit at the Box Office and that Sony wants to make a sequel?


Adam: it’s really cool because with Escape Room I feel like if people liks it, have fun with the movie that it could be the next Saw or Cube so I am really grateful that it did so well. You know I knew it was an international idea that people around the globe would like. Escape Rooms are really popular in the US and I wanted the audience to feel like they were part of the game, as they experienced the film. I can’t say I was totally surprised but i am really grateful that it did so well! 


Sam: Well congrats because me and my girlfriend LOVED the film so much. We liked the original idea. 

Adam: Well thanks so much! Have you ever been to an Escape Room game? 

Sam: No.

Adam: Ok they’re all over LA. There’s like 500 in LA or whatever and you know it’s really popular in America. I’m sure you’d like it. 

Sam: I’d love to play. Also, what I liked with Escape Room was that it’s an original idea and that it looks like Saw, which I love so much, but in the same way had its own personality that puts the film in a really good place in the Horror genre. 

Adam: Well thank you for saying that. From the start, my producers didn’t wanted to have alot of blood and violence, they wanted a movie that they could show to their kids in someway. They were thinking of a PG-13 movie and it was a challenge because I had to shock people with a suspense without being too violent, so it was nice. Also what was challenging was that we had to do different rooms. They had to be totally different but thrilling for the fans so it was a nice challenge. 

5-  Do you want to go in the same direction for the sequel or you want to do something totally different? 


Adam: I can’t talk much about it because we are in development right now but we are definitely going in a completely different direction and we’re trying to outdo what we did with the first movie. We have alot of really cool ideas that we hope people will like.

So do you have a completed script? 

No. We’re in the scripting phase right now and we have the outline and the writer is fast at work right now.


6- Would you like to make many more found footage? 


Adam: I love Found Footage movies and when they are done well, they can be really scary but the problem is right now the theatrical distributors seem to shy away from found footage because of the production value. 

7- How was it to shoot your film Taking of Deborah Logan? Was it harder since it was a found footage? 


Adam: of course because when you start, you starts with small budgets and I had 20 days of filming. We really planned well so because of that and since everything was well scripted and on the page, the filming went well. It was really just about performances and the actors were fantastic but yeah it was really challenging, we had a very small crew. You know when you make movies with small budgets, you have more control on it and when the film is bigger, there is more voices and notes to appease. It becomes less your singular vision, in some ways. 

 

8- In 2018, we saw your film Insidious 4 being released worldwide. How was it to work with James Wan, Leigh Whannell & Lin Shaye? 


Adam: it was great. I’ve known Lin Shaye for a long long time. I was an actor back in the day and i did a couple of horror films with her so we’re friends. Also James Wan is someone inspiring, he is really passionate and probably the greatest horror luminary working today. Leigh Whannel is a legend and I learned a ton from him. Those guys had so much success so early and they’re just really cool, down to earth dudes. I feel blessed to be working among them. 


9- Beside Escape Room 2, do you have any horror film(s) written at this time that you’d like to make? 


Adam: i am doing a movie with Sam Raimi that we describe as a Supernatural Don’t Breath, which we just sold and a horror series, produced by Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa. I am very excited to dabble in television. 

 

You can follow Adam Robitel on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adamrobitel

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