Leigh Whannell
Leigh Whannell Facebook

The horror genre works well as a metaphor to address social issues, states filmmaker Leigh Whannell, known for franchises like "Saw" and "Insidious". He is therefore keen to make a horror movie that addresses some social issues in the world.

As a viewer, he would like to see a horror movie about the ongoing sexual harassment scandal, and told through the eyes of a woman director.

"The genre itself is hard to explain. But it works really well as a metaphor. You can say a lot about the scene without directly saying it... I would love to make a horror film that addresses some of the social issues in the world," Whannell told IANS in an interview over the phone from Hong Kong, where he was promoting "Insidious: The Last Key".

Asked about the issues he wants to address, Whannell said: "Take anything from what is happening politically in the US or just anything that is going on right now. I think there is a lot of uncertainty in the world."

Whannell also praised "Get Out", a horror film centred on an inter-racial relationship between a black American man and his white partner. The movie was a satire on racism and it was critically lauded.

"A horror film like 'Get Out' which came out earlier this year (was good). That was a horror film that really addresses racism in the US. They did a really good job with that... You could go along and really take in the theme or you could just watch it for pure enjoyment of a well crafted-horror movie."

At the moment, there are debates around women's safety in showbiz as some well-known men in power have been accused of using their position to harass people.

From Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback to Kevin Spacey, several men from Hollywood have been accused of sexual assault and harassment. The controversy has raised several questions.

Whannell, known for writing, acting, producing and directing, feels the whole issue can be the right metaphor for a horror movie.

Expressing his views rather metaphorically, he said: "In Hollywood or the world, this is how issues get solved. They need sunlight. A rock is being kicked over and has exposed all the insects beneath it. You can't put the rock back.

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"The issue is out there, so I hope that this constitutes a change in the world and in the filmmaking world. I also think horror genre needs more women directing (a project). I would love to see a horror film being directed by a woman and one that addresses all the sexual harassment struggles that women are facing. It would be a right metaphor."

Whannell, who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and later moved to foray in Hollywood, joined hands with James Wan to write and make scary films which became successful. He is known for co-writing "Saw" and "Dead Silence" and made his directorial debut with "Insidious: Chapter 3" in 2015.

As far as his acting stint goes, Whannell has worked in films like "Saw", "The Matrix Reloaded", "Insidious", "The Mule" and "The Bye Bye Man".

At the moment, Whannell is looking forward to the next part in the "Insidious" franchise. Sony Pictures Entertainment India is releasing the film in India on January 5.

"Insidious: The Last Key" is the sequel to "Insidious: Chapter 3" and a prequel to "Insidious" and "Insidious: Chapter 2". Lin Shaye's Elise Rainier, whose character died in the last part, will be back in the prequel.

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In the supernatural thriller, Elise Rainier will be facing a personal haunting in her own family home.

"I think the role of a sequel is more, but different. You need to give the audience more than what they saw in the last film, and being new enough. You don't want to reiterate the same old thing. I have tried to do that with 'Insidious' films. I have tried to do something different all the time."