Silent hill revelation creature guide The making of the blair witch project Director interviews Content suitable only for those aged over 18 years
EDITOR’S NOTE Claire Richardson, Editor
Hello again Fright Fans! So, here we are at the darker end of the year and what better time than to kick back and take in a new horror movie or two. Whether you like your horror on the big screen or in the comfort of your own home, we at Fright Club are happy to cater to your needs with some real treats. To celebrate the release of Silent Hill: Revelation in cinemas, we take a look at some of the more gruesome, chilling and iconic creatures to come from the games and films. We’ve also got a great image gallery to whet your appetite before you see the film. We’re also taking a look at a couple of cult classics from the horror genre, with a look back on the making of The Blair Witch Project, and also some favourite moments from the sci-fi horror Cube. We’ve got some great interviews for you too, with the director of the chilling The Possession (on DVD and Blu-ray in early 2013) and also the director and producer of the upcoming Brit zombie-fest Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (on DVD in January). That’s it for this issue; don’t forget to check out our new and improved Facebook page on facebook/frightclubuk. And also on Twitter on @FrightClubUK As always, you can submit content to the e-magazine on firstname.lastname@example.org Until next time...
CONTENTS PAGE 1.
he Making of t Project Blair Witch
PAGE 5. Silent Hill Gallery PAGE 7.
Gangsters, Guns and Zombies Q&A
Silent Hill Creature Guide
PAGE 12. 15th Anniversary of Cube
The Possession Inte rview
CONTRIBUTORS: RUSS GOMM We want your horror stories! To contribute reviews, stories, images or anything else please contact email@example.com Fright Club Magazine contains advertisements, views, opinions, and statements of the individuals participating herein. Lions Gate UK Limited and its affiliates do not represent or endorse such advertisements, views, opinions, or statements. Lions Gate UK Limited, 60 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NU © 2012 Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK. All Rights Reserved.
“I’m scared to close my eyes; I’m scared to open them!” By Russ Gomm In February 1785, several children accuse Elly Kedward of luring them into her home to draw blood from them. Kedward is found guilty of witchcraft, banished from the village during a particularly harsh winter and presumed dead. By midwinter 1786 all of Kedward’s accusers along with half of the town’s children vanish. Fearing a curse, the townspeople ﬂee and vow never to utter the name Elly Kedward again. Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick were your typical film students with the familiar dilemma of how to make a movie. The difference was that these two wanted to make something unique and weren’t happy to follow in the footsteps of thousands of others. They wanted to create their own path into the film industry. The two had become friends after finding a common interest in the arts and spent their time at the University of Central Florida making short films and trying to pin down that one idea that would blast them into the big time. It was a late night in 1991 in Sanchez’s apartment that the two uncovered the beginnings of an idea which would lead to one of the most profitable independent films in the history of cinema. The two were sitting around drinking and discussing horror films, talking about some of the best that had ever been made and they decided that there hadn’t been a film that had really scared them since they were kids. It seemed there was a real lull in horror film making at the time and nobody was making the type of films they wanted to see. Being fans of a ‘documentary’ style of film making that had been popular in the 1970s, with such films as CHARIOTS OF THE GODS (1970), THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (1972) and the Leonard Nimoy series IN
SEARCH OF… (1976 – 1982) Sanchez and Myrick were both clear that they had similar ideas in mind. They finally came up with an idea to do a very realistic film about some explorers and what happened to them while they were filming their own journey. This led to a campfire style storytelling session in which they created a 200 year old legend about an outcast, a cursed town and a series of unexplained disappearances. After graduating in 1994 the pair continued working together including creating a collection of short films BLACK CHAPTERS. Sometime later, the horror movie they had often talked about resurfaced in their thoughts and Myrick decided to pitch the film to Producer and college friend Gregg
Hale. Hale was very keen on the idea and advised Myrick that if they wanted to go ahead with the film that he would give them $5,000 to get them started. With that offer the pre-production stage had begun. Sanchez and Myrick met up and created the script outline for the film which was initially known as THE WOODS MOVIE and soon became THE BLACK HILLS PROJECT. They enlisted the help of two other friends they had made at college – Robin Cowie, and Michael Monello and the collective became known as the Haxan Five. While brainstorming, Sanchez came up with the idea of the three missing college kids coming from Montgomery College – the school he originally went to. He also
video containing a brief history of witchcraft and a history of the Blair Witch of Maryland and
remembered that his sister went to Blair High School and instantly exclaimed that their project should be about the ‘Blair Witch’ – and thus the title was born and sealed in one swift statement; THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was under way. With their new title in place the next step was to find three individuals who were willing and able to take on the almost insane task of portraying the three leads in the film. In the summer of 1996 the audition process began. Over the course of a year and a thousand auditions the perfect leads were found. Joshua Leonard was picked first and joined the process and helped find Heather Donahue and Michael Williams. Once these three were in place the filmmakers found themselves in charge of something dynamic, exciting and serious. The next job was to secure the rest of the money needed for the initial $25,000 budget. The idea was to produce a footage reel to show around to potential investors. The team at Haxan produced an 8 minute short entitled THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT: THE STORY OF THE BLACK HILLS DISAPPEARANCES, a very creepy and enthralling
finally detailing how three student filmmakers had gone missing while making a documentary about the witch and that police had released the footage to the team at Haxan Films to piece together. Many investors completely believed what they saw which led to the Haxan Five gaining their budget and also a realisation that what they were doing already had gained a level of credibility from some fairly important people. Nearing the amount they needed, producer Cowie put in the final amount to give the film its intended budget and Phase One of the project was soon to be underway. In October 1997 the team assembled in Maryland to shoot the first part of the film. Most of the month was spent out in the woods planning and preparing everything for the locations that the actors would be using. On 19th October the actors arrived and began their preproduction phase and becoming the new characters. During the next couple of days the three ‘student filmmakers’ stayed together at a hotel and went about filming various things, including an investigation of a local legend – Cry Baby Bridge.
Heather had already begun to write the infamous journal that would become part of the legend later on during the ‘investigation into their disappearance’. Between October 23rd and October 30th history was written as 8 days in the woods would produce some of the most gut wrenching and thought provoking footage cinema-goers had ever witnessed. As Josh, Heather and Mike ventured further and further into Seneca Creek State Park (known as the Black Hills Forest for the film) just outside Gaithersburg, Maryland, the drama soon took over and much of what is seen on screen is a realistic portrayal of three kids in a highly charged and stressful situation. They knew little of what would happen to them over the course of the week and had only been given brief details before leaving for the woods. Heather even took a newly purchased hunting knife with her just in case sleeping in a tent with two guys became a little dangerous. The three actors weren’t told that the Blair Witch and all the mythology were concocted for the film and although they knew the film was fake, they thought the legend was real. During the early scenes where they interviewed the townspeople they were also unaware that the people they were talking to had all been planted by the directors and included Sanchez’s own sister Sandra. This created reality really helped to push the actors into a completely frantic and emotional state and they were left wondering about their safety from this horrifying legend, it even led to some highly charged footage – some of which was left on the cutting room ﬂoor due to being too realistic.
The three actors had been given a military issue global positioning system to guide them to the designated filming locations and each day a small personal package would arrive giving them basic scene directions and brief location details for the day. Sanchez, Myrick and Hale hid out in the woods following their moves while dressed in camouďŹ‚age gear. They would wait for nightfall before building rock formations outside their tents, hanging the mysterious (and iconic) Stickman figures from the trees and worst of all, subtly playing tapes of the sounds of crying children. The intense ordeal led to many unscripted outbursts and real dramatic situations, each day pushing the three actors to their very limits and capturing each moment on film, but unknown to them the production team was never far behind just in case of emergency. The remaining few months of 1997 were spent in a frenzy of getting back to normality and resting while still trying to watch and log over 20 hours of footage that had been captured over the 8 full days of shooting. Finding themselves short of money one of the two Hi8 cameras used in the film was promptly returned to Circuit City under the 30 day money back guarantee and the team began trying to raise more money to complete the film as their vision was only half realised at this point. Another $35,000 was raised so that Sanchez and Myrick could proceed onto Phase Two of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. The next step in the production was to last almost another
year. Phase Two included editing the footage from the woods and shooting all of the mythology that Sanchez and Myrick had created, including interviews and old documentary footage. Sanchez had previously worked as a web designer and knew enough about it to develop the most interesting aspect of the project in what would become the most impressive marketing scheme ever seen for a film. Blairwitch. com went live in May 1998 and gained a little attention at first. The website gave enough information but not too much. It began to sow the seeds of what was coming soon. It also led to the whole world falling for the biggest hoax since Orson Welles WAR OF THE WORLDS radio broadcast 70 years earlier on October 30th 1938. On THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT page at IMDB the actors were even listed as missing, presumed dead. Everyone was in a state of confusion. During the editing stage many creations emerged including a mini documentary STICKS AND STONES which highlighted some of the mythology and a trailer was created for a show entitled Split Screen. When the trailer aired in April 1998 it sent viewers into frenzy, it also advertised the website and helped
it gain over 20 million hits before the film ever opened theatrically. Editing of the feature film continued and the first cut was completed with a running time of 2 and a half hours. In October, after much discussion and further editing, the film was finally cut down to 87 minutes and ready for an audience. An interesting note here is that the original plan for the film was to include much of the Phase Two mythology footage intercut with the footage from the woods. Although it would have made for interesting and compelling viewing it was decided that the woods footage was good enough to stand on its own. They would soon find out just how good it was. In January 1999 the Haxan team took their creation to the Sundance Film Festival and although they knew the film would do well, they had no idea how much it would change all of their lives. Saturday January 23rd 1999 would be the night that changed everything. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was screened in the midnight slot and had attracted so much attention that it sold out fast. 180 people were turned away from the screening as it was completely packed out. The screening was better than anyone had ever hoped
and led to Hale and Cowie spending the rest of the night with executives from Artisan Entertainment. Sanchez and Myrick went back to their hotels to sleep, but they ended up getting very little sleep as at 3am Hale called to tell them that Artisan wanted to buy the film. Every half hour Hale would call the directors to update them on the current state of the meeting and then one final call at 6am simply informed them that they had sold the movie to Artisan for $1.1 million. Artisan were unsure of the ending of the film and put up some money for reshoots. Sanchez and Myrick took the money and shot four alternate endings and managed to grab some more Phase Two mythology footage while they were at it. As it turns out the alternate endings didn’t work and it was decided to stick with the original finale. The film went back to the editing room brieﬂy with a few small changes here and there. The sound mix on the film was dramatically improved and a couple of new scenes were added to help audiences understand the sinister ending of the film. A new 82 minute version of the film was completed in time for the trip to the Cannes Film Festival where the film played successfully and gained the Prix De Jeunesse Award. After the return from Cannes, Sanchez and Myrick began working on the 45 minute documentary THE CURSE OF THE BLAIR WITCH. It was produced for the SciFi channel and contained all of the Phase Two footage that had been shot and detailed the entire history of the Blair Witch and the mystery of the missing college students. All of the hard work creating a full and believable mythology was to pay off.
It was designed as the perfect set up for the feature film, containing all the information viewers would need to fully appreciate the film. It also spread the fear dramatically and caused viewers to believe what they had seen. The hysteria that was created was unprecedented. The documentary premiered nationwide in America on July 11th just a few days before the film itself was to be screened to the public. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT premiered in New York on July 14th 1999 to a packed house. The screening was so busy that Sanchez and Myrick had trouble getting into their own film. The cinema displayed an exhibition of Blair Witch artefacts to further fool the viewers into believing the legend that had been created for them. It worked, and
two days later the film opened on 27 screens across America. At the beginning of each day most of the days performances were quickly becoming sold out. Over the opening weekend the film made an incredible $1.5 million dollars and was already a financial success. The following week the film opened on over a thousand more screens and nearly $30 million had soon been made at the box office. During its nine week run at cinemas across America the film earned an incredible $140 million. Another $100 million was added to that total when the film was released overseas. Just like the footage that Mike, Josh and Heather returned from the woods with, there are hours and hours of stories about the making of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Some of the tales are remembered fondly, some less so, but one thing is for certain, the film – and indeed the making of – is something that will not easily be forgotten.
Silent Hill Gallery
Gangsters,Guns and Zombies Q&A Ahead of the DVD release of Gangsters, Guns and Zombies, we had the chance to talk filmmaking with director Matt Mitchell and producer Clare Pearce about the trials, tribulations and also fun to be had making a gritty horror movie.
What inspired you to create Gangsters, Guns and Zombies? A – Matt: Clare and I had been working towards making a feature film ever since we started shooting music videos with our company “London Music Video Ltd”. I’d been coming up with plenty of terrible ideas, but it wasn’t until I came up with the title for GGZ that the story sort of tumbled out of my skull. I was watching the behind-the-scenes interviews for an independent British film that should remain nameless. It was basically about rich people and their feelings about the small country village they lived in. During a particularly pompous moment, one of the producers/writers (I honestly forget who) said something like “…it’s wonderful to work on a British film that is about something, you know? It’s a story about real people that really needs to be told, much better than the usual gangsters, guns and zombies rubbish you see these days…” – I literally jumped up saying ‘that’s a film I’d want to watch: Gangsters, Guns and Zombies!’ A – Clare: I had recently left working as a producer/director in broadcast TV and bumped into Matt on a location viewing, he told me that he wanted to make feature films in the near future. Shortly after, Matt and I formed our company and started shooting music videos/ adverts, with a plan to shoot a feature film. After many conversations and including
Matt’s lightning bolt for the film name, we began script discussions. As soon as I read the first draft script from Matt and Tali, I loved the idea! What was the creative process that you went through in order to produce/direct this film?
It was tough going to be honest, for everyone. But we were also blessed with some incredible actors and crew, all of whom, pulled back together for this one last push to finish the film – and those last extra scenes that we wrote and shot are some of my absolute favourites.
A – Matt: There is a famous Hitchcock quote: a film is made three times, when you write it, when you shoot it, then when you edit it. I wish this rule of threes applied to GGZ! I wrote the script with my long suffering wife and co-writer Taliesyn Mitchell, then once we had finished shooting, we then discovered while editing – mainly because of our budgetary problems (i.e. we basically didn’t have one) – that we not only needed to shoot pickups, but also write whole new scenes! It was a nightmare situation. But during all this, the film’s Producer Clare Pearce somehow managed to not only keep us all sane, but also get everyone and everything back that we needed.
A – Clare: After reading the script, I knew it was going to be a tough one, as we had absolutely no budget and not a lot of time to raise one. It was clear to me that we would have to be pulling in as many contacts as we could to get the production shot let alone finished. I pulled in every favour I could, I think we all did! If we stumbled or something didn’t work out we would just re-write and find away around it. We were very lucky with the actors and crew, after a while and astonishingly things started to work our way; people really did help us out. I think they could see our passion for the feature. I think we all believed in it enough to make it happen no matter what.
What challenges did you face in creating this? A – Matt: Wow, you mean apart from not having a budget to speak of? Not having enough time to set up most shots, let alone actually get them? Not many. A – Clare: Our biggest challenge by far was the time and budget, if we had had a bigger budget then it would have been much less of a challenge but saying that on GGZ half the fun was the element of the team pulling together, it was a fun nightmare and I wouldn’t change it. You have also created comic book prequels for the main characters, what led you to do this? A – Matt: I always love getting a look at movie artwork, even storyboards, anything I can get my hands on that add to a film. So when the opportunity came up to write a series of short prequel comics that build on the film and its characters I jumped at it. A – Clare: What led us to do that, ha ha ha ha… MATT led us to do that! I was busy with pre- production for
our next film and trying to get on with that. Matt told me about his idea of wanting to create the comics and I said immediately “ Matt, leave it alone, we have deadlines we need to meet” but I could see his passion in the comic idea and once he gets that look, there is no persuading him. He took a good 10 minutes trying to persuade me. Now I think it’s a great idea! What was the most rewarding aspect of creating this film? A – Matt: Apart from finishing my first feature film against all odds? I’d have to go with the lessons I’ve learnt and the friends I’ve made. A – Clare: The most rewarding aspects are the experiences we had. I learned so much and the people we met along the way were amazing. One of the main lessons for me is learning the film industry, I came from working in TV and TV producing is very different to film producing. The experiences and knowledge we gained, we will never forget and that will help us in our future projects. If, like in the film, zombies did appear in the streets, what would your skill be to survive? A – Matt: I would only need three things: my wife, a copy of Max Brooks ‘Zombie Survival Guide’ and a samurai sword. A – Clare: I guess compromising with them is not gonna work! Ha ha, erm!! I would hire a granny and a shotgun to be by my side, so at least I would be totally
entertained before my head gets eaten. Any advice for budding film‐ makers out there? A – Matt: I would have to say start writing and start shooting, any way you can. A – Clare: Just do it! If you want to make a film the best way is to just make it and be confident in your script. If you are passionate enough, you will find a way. So, what are you up to next? A – Matt: We have a number of crazy new feature films lined up and ready to go for next year and are already in pre-production of the first of these. A – Clare: We have already a number of films on the go at the moment and we are all very excited about it. If you were not “making movies”, what would your other dream job/s be? A – Matt: I’d want to be a paperback writer. A – Clare: I would be making music videos but we are doing that too so, I’m pretty lucky. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. What is your favourite horror movie and why? A – Matt: Cabin in the Woods, because it’s all horror movies. A – Clare: “The Shining” - that part in the maze, I still love it, no matter how many times I see it! ‐ Thank you very much!
THE SiLEnT HiLL CREATURE FiELD GUiDE: The shifting realities of the SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D universe comprise one of its most dynamic aspects. The characters discover reflections in other realities, other perspectives, of their own desires, feelings, and fears. Michael J. Bassett (Director) explains, “This is one of the elements that can be found in both the games and the film. Horror is rooted in the subconscious of the person experiencing it. What is deeply embedded in each of us becomes real. Intimacy, the unsaid, the deep-rooted thus become driving forces of the film. This can be seen vividly with the creatures and their triggering of our fears and feelings. The result is striking.” “The thing about the function and nature of the monsters in Silent Hill is that it isn’t about a single thing,” Bassett adds. “It’s about what this place does to the minds of the people who go there and that stuff is projected outward to create the monsters they then see and experience. The world of Silent Hill is a very subtle, intricate world and you try to allow for those interpretations and depth to be there for the audience who want to see that depth.” In order to continue the widely acclaimed work that had been achieved on the first film, creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos and Paul Jones, a special make-up and creature effects designer, worked together again to give life to these horrific monsters and characters...
RED PYRAmiD Imposing, iconic, sinewy and positively deadly, Red Pyramid first appeared in the second SILENT HILL video game. His nightmarish form was later adapted on the big screen in Christophe Gans’ SILENT HILL film. “In the game, he’s a manifestation of the character’s psychosis within that world,” says Bassett. “I am using him again because he is so visually striking. He is an extrapolation of the executioner who existed in the 1600s when the colony of Silent Hill was first founded. He represents the father, the protector of Alessa. For me, he represents masculinity taken to an extreme - violence and power.” Throughout most of SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D, Heather is unaware of Red Pyramid’s motivation. She believes he is a threat.
“He’s the servant of a higher power, and trapped in Silent Hill,” says Bassett. “He’s a watcher, he’s a creature that goes beyond the immediate, superficial fear and violence and aggression of Silent Hill’s creatures. He has a bigger purpose than that.” Playing Red Pyramid is Robert Campanella, who first slipped into the role in SILENT HILL and makes an encore performance in Bassett’s film. Bassett explains why it was ideal to bring him back: “He’s a dancer. He’s also the creature choreographer for the whole movie. For a time, I thought, let’s get a bigger guy. But he moves in a particular, agonized way and Roberto gets that. We experimented with getting a lighter, fiberglass helmet. Basically, you cannot see. So we created this grill to give him a little visibility. What we discovered is that it was very hard for him to do an overarm swing whilst wearing that helmet. We had to do all of the fight carefully to allow for full movement.”
THE nURSES Anyone traversing the grounds of Silent Hill knows to keep very, very far away from these lethal ladies. Unfortunately, for Vincent and Heather, meeting them was unavoidable. Hideously disfigured, these nurses stand prone until the slightest sound sends them into attack mode. “The nurses are a fan favorite,” Bassett says. “They’re grotesque, sexy ladies in strange latex skin-tight suits who are out to gut and eviscerate you. I loved them in the first movie and I wanted to use them a bit differently in my movie. Knowing we were going to be in a medical environment gave me a great opportunity to bring them back.”
The director did not call upon the first film’s nurse performers because he was looking for a new group of women with, “more flexibility.” In the opening shot when you see my nurses, the camera tracks across them in the surgery room, the girls are bent over and twisted. There are only certain dancers who could do that, so we used experienced dancers who were able to give me some slightly unusual maneuvers.”
To pull off the look of the nurses, FX artist Paul Jones and his team needed to paint every exposed piece of flesh on each performer, then squeeze them into their costumes and apply the distorted latex face. So, what makes the nurses a “fan favorite”? Bassett believes, “It’s a combination of visceral horror, the way they move and the uniform. It’s repulsive and sexy, it’s the paradoxical tension between those two ideas. That’s why they’re a great monster in the Silent Hill pantheon because they do two things to you at the same time, which is diametrically opposing.”
THE mAnnEQUin monSTER In her journey through Silent Hill, Heather encounters this spider-like creature pieced together from mannequin parts. This thing “uses the mannequin as a carapace and turns his victims into mannequins. Later, he breaks them apart and uses the pieces to possess and manipulate,” explains Bassett. “Mannequin monster is a not an entirely new creation because within the games, mannequins are used. There are a few shots of them in windows in the first movie, and I wanted to move that along a little bit. The mannequin creature in the games I liked and I thought we could develop and enhance that and come up with something which is a weird combination of human body parts and spider-like energy.” This multi-limbed threat is the only fully-digital creature in the film. “While I do like to do practical FX on set, there was no way to capture the fluidity of the creature’s movement that way,” Bassett admits. “There’s a repulsive beauty to it and if you look, in close-ups, there’s wonderful artistry on display with the cracks and tiny details.”
THE miSSionARY “There is a monster in my film which is a genuinely new creature. No progenitor in any of the games,” Bassett says of the feminine, mysterious being in SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D which is known solely as The Missionary. “The Missionary represents the mother, sometimes quite literally. In a very broad way, I liked the idea of a creature that is out to convert you in a very literal sense. I wanted to create a creature that was a counterpoint to what Red Pyramid is - which is masculinity. I thought, what if you had the brute force of Pyramid with the ferocity of the blades of this Missionary creature. The lack of eyes on her is a very much Silent Hill thing.”
The Missionary’s design came courtesy of Patrick Tatopoulos. FX artist Paul Jones recounts, “One of Patrick’s strengths is that he comes up with iconic designs. The Missionary, the ultimate Silent Hill assassin, is loosely based on one of the characters from the game and was modified to suit Michael’s story. Her design, however, is original. She has an almost featureless face, lips drawn back into a permanent snarl, receded eyes without lids, and what looks like a medieval bear trap clamped around her skull with four blades that swing around her cheekbones and over the top of her head. Then we installed additional blades into her limbs.” In realising this design for a 3D movie, Jones and his team of thirty people created twenty different versions of the Missionary’s head until they achieved one that would read properly from all angles. The costume itself was derived from over a hundred different pieces. “All from a variety of sources,” says Jones. “Some involving tried and true industry materials and some custom made innovations.”
15TH ANNIVERSARY OF CUBE Top 6 moments (because... cubes have 6 sides...): I would argue that this is one of the best sci-ﬁ horror ﬁlms ever made. Big statement. The running time isn’t ‘astronomical’ and the cast were mostly unknowns but what sticks in the mind about this little gem from the late 90s is that it did something different with the genre and was bold about what it was doing. Here are 6 of, what I think are, the best moments in Cube (Spoilers herein):
“You remember Scaramanga? You know the bad guy in The Man With the Golden Gun?”
This is probably about as light as this film gets, when Holloway and Quentin discuss their current situation and Quentin states his theory. He is adamant that they have been imprisoned simply as “some rich psycho’s entertainment”, which Holloway then meets with fits of giggles. While initially amusing, this moment carries some foreshadowing of what will come later in the film.
“Ijust wanna wake up” place, all of
6 strangers wake up in an unknown very little idea them from different walks of life and with in this nightmare. of why they were chosen to participate come together at Frightening stuff. From the moment they ts around the the beginning of the film, from various poin as they each try to cube, there is a palpable sense of dread n singled out for this figure out why they personally have bee unusual kind of torture.
“We haven’t been moving in circles the rooms have”
(SPOILER) This is the moment when the remaining members of the group realise that their prison is more complicated than they realised as they figure out that while they have been moving from room to room trying to get to the edge, the rooms have been moving around too - “like a combination lock” Leaven theorises. They realise with very little time before the next rotation that they should have stayed in one place rather than crawling around trying to avoid traps and almost certain death.
for the This one word becomes a kind of slogan ns at the others, film. Maths-whizz Leaven yells her frustratio ns and level of stating that the sheer number of equatio r way through the mathematics involved in navigating thei voice in the corner maze is ‘astronomical’. However, a small n, an autistic young of the room picks up on everything. Kaza l threat to their man who was initially seen as a potentia when it is revealed survival, quickly becomes their salvation head that Leaven that he can calculate the numbers in his al indeed. needs to complete the puzzle. Astronomic
“Don’t even think about anything 2. tha t’s not right in front of ya.”
You would think that a man who is known as ‘The Wren’ because he has managed to “Fly the coop” and escape from a large number of prisons would be the one to survive this particular prison too. Not so. Rennes, an escape artist, is caught out by a particularly nasty trap fairly early on in the movie. This is made more ironic by the fact that just before this he gave a speech to his fellow prisoners;
“No more talking. No more guessing. Don’t even think about anything that’s not right in front of you. That’s the real challenge. You’ve gotta save yourselves from yourselves.” Cue acid to the face.
“There is no way out of 1. her e!” Tensions are running high; the group are stuck in a red room and have almost lost one of their number to a deadly trap. Whilst taking a break, Quentin confronts the nihilistic Worth about his lack of engagement with the rest of them, in fact seeming to enjoy their discomfort. The reason is revealed when Worth confesses his own deep, albeit unwitting, involvement in the construction of their nightmare. Needless to say, Quentin does not take the news well: cue violence.
INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR OLE BORNEDAL We’ve read about a real life Dibbuk box... how much was the movie version inspired by it? A lot! Juliet and Styles studied the story and elaborated on it - but had it not been based on what happened to that family who were in possession of the Box - and the event that followed - there would have been no movie. With possession being at the centre of a fair few horror films over the years, what prompted you to go down the route of a possessed box? Was the Pandora’s Box angle appealing? It was a Director-Craftman challenge. Usually I write my own stories - and I was in a process of writing this 400 page long war epic, which is gonna become a very big Danish-German project in 2013. Sam Raimi called me and gave me the challenge of doing this tale, which was a challenge - it being perhaps the strongest American genre. And a genre that suffers from very often very superficial characters that are absolutely incomprehensible to identify with as an audience. I don’t like those movies. Trying to add a human angle to it was the challenge. There is a scene where Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character researches into possession online with some scary results. How much research did you do for the movie and what
were some of the real life stories that shocked you or shaped the final film? I didn’t do any research really. Not more than an average curious guy does on the internet. The film is shaped by my own fears and my own neurotic anxiety for a certain light, a certain color of a voice, a timing in suspense that let me and the audience know more than the victims on the screen do. Exploring the dark sides are always challenging. Trying to see what you cannot see.
Once she became that character - I started interviewing her as that little girl. She fell apart in front of the camera, started crying her heart out. The difference in the Em character, from so many many other “possessed innocent little girls” in scary movies - is that Em is TORMENTED by this thing inside of her. It makes her SAD. She doesn’t just run around in the movie with this demonic smile on her face, being perfectly all right with scaring the hell out of everybody. It makes everything vulnerable - and real - I guess.
How did Natasha Calis cope with the challenging role? How did you direct her? I more or less brought her into a sort of trance in the casting session. “Transformed” her into being Em.
How was the Sam Raimi involvement in the film considering his horror lineage? How much influence did he have over the project? As an American producer his influence is of course BIG. It was his decision to bring me in - but after that had been settled, I was more or less left “alone” with my own creative interpretation of the story. Some of my choices challenged the other producers on the show. But Sam was always supportive whenever we had a conflict. He is a filmmaker himself. And that makes him a good producer. Do you think audiences have had enough of low plot, large budget special effects laden movies and are seeking more in depth character driven pictures such as The Possession?
What was it like working with the other cast members; Jeffrey and Kyra seem to be of that league of actors that can transverse genres? Well, they are intelligent great actors. And if I should ever try to nail down what makes a brilliant actor it is that rare combination of being divinely PRESENT and intelligent. Apart from that - they were just as brilliant to work with as so many other great actors I have met in the past. It’s the source of filmmaking - and where I put my greatest effort. The work and the intimacy with the actors and constantly trying to avoid the clichés - find new angles and interpretations.
YES. I do not understand why noise and fast editing have become the formula for so many movies? In my world silence is much more interesting - and a film that understands its own language and its scenes - a film that has self confidence to believe in itself even when its slow, almost put to a halt - and then can accelerate again as a speeding bullet. It’s music! A film is a symphony - not a music video. Tension is really important in horror films, what techniques did you employ to create and build this throughout The Possession? The techniques are hopefully nothing but the way I sing....that’s how I sing.....that’s how I move the camera. It’s a question of choreography I guess. I don’t know where it comes from.
Your work in the past has been often centred around drama and horror. What is it about these genres that appeal to you? No I don’t really like horror. I was challenged by it in this case - but only because this film was an allegory about DIVORCE. About a family [who] already have fallen apart. But its true I like the big drama. In that sense I’m probably not the usual European director who likes everything to be deeply psychological and understated. Or making stories about Daily Life in the Suburbs of Coxwold. What are your own favorite Possession movies and do you plan to return to the Horror genre soon? I don’t think there will be more horror movies. This was a one time challenge with the genre. I like good stories - not especially any genre as such. I saw The Shining again the other day. Kubrick is still brilliant and will always be. You have had critical and financial successes with films that you have made in both Europe and in America. Which would be your preferred region of cinema to work in? US or Britain. Or where the good story is. It’s hard to make films in DK these days. It’s hard to find the money - and many of my films are sold for remakes in the US and are to be made by foreign directors. I do not see myself in the future do many more Danish movies just to see them being made again. It seems to me as being an unnecessarily detour.
What is your opinion on the supernatural do you have a belief? Or is it all fantasy? It’s fantasy. But then again, what the hell do we know? 50 minutes with Derren Brown can always make my world turn upside down. And wouldn’t the world be a less exciting place if the world was just the world as we saw it?
Any creepy tales from the set? Things exploded without reason. Light fixtures exploded - with no electricity connected to them - the warehouse that contained all of our Props - burned down one week after wrap. No cause found for the fire. The usual crazy stuff. Would we have noticed if this had been a Love Story? Perhaps not. Now, it being a horror movie - everybody noticed. But I don’t wanna go there. I do not need to face any other Demons than the demons contained in myself. That’s where all the demons are - not OUTSIDE - but INSIDE all of us. There they lie inside a little box, waiting for us to open it. And the art of living is to try to avoid opening that Box - keep it closed - and be a nice and caring person.
COMING ATTRACTIONS... 7th January: Gangsters, Guns and Zombies on DVD
When Zombies begin appearing on the streets of London, people think it is the end of the world. After completing an armed robbery, getaway driver, Q thinks that the most difﬁcult job is behind him, at least until he notices that people have started to look and behave very strangely. Attacked at random and cut-off from their safe-house, Q and the rest of the gang must go on the run. Relying only on their wits, information about a second possible safe house and a single tank of petrol they make their way through various dangers and some of the more unusual Zombies... What started as a simple job now becomes a ﬁght for survival against the ever increasing Zombie horde.
9th January: Texas Chainsaw 3D in Cinemas
Texas Chainsaw 3D continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where for decades people went missing without a trace. The townspeople long suspected the Sawyer family, owners of a local barbeque pit, were somehow responsible. Their suspicions were ﬁnally conﬁrmed one hot summer day when a young woman escaped the Sawyer house following the brutal murders of her four friends. Word around the small town quickly spread, and a vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounded the Sawyer stronghold, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family – or so they thought. Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. After embarking on a road
trip with friends to uncover her roots, she ﬁnds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars…
21st January: The Possession on DVD and Blu‐ray
Based on a true story, THE POSSESSION is the terrifying story of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil. Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host. Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and Kyra Sedgwick (TVs: The Closer), THE POSSESSION is directed by Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch) and produced by horror master Sam Raimi along with Robert Tapert and J.R. Young.
28th January: Fear Itself on DVD
This horror series features some of the world’s most renowned horror writers and directors including: John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Brad Anderson (TVs The Wire, The Machinist), Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 2-4, Repo! The Genetic Opera), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator). This 13 episode series contains chilling stories about ghosts, cannibals, serial killers, zombies and features a great cast, including; Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Elizabeth Moss (TVs Mad Men), Anna Kendrick (The Twilight Saga) and many more.