Review: ‘Fantasy Island’ movie reboot is thrill-free horror – Los Angeles Times

Classifying Fantasy Island into a genre quickly becomes a fools errand and one roughly as unsatisfying as the film itself. With its Blumhouse pedigree front and center, this cinematic remake of the 1970s and 80s TV show imagines itself as a horror movie. But Fantasy Island lacks scares, thrills, gore and practically every marker of the genre.

Its no comedy either, despite the best efforts of perennial on-screen dirtbag Ryan Hansen and would-be comic relief Jimmy O. Yang. Theres not enough emotion or stakes to qualify it as a drama. Instead, the movie can only be classified as something truly terrible, escaping any other categorization that would make it resemble an actual film.

The concept should work in theory: taking the creaky bones of the television series that aired before its young target demo was even born and twisting it to its darkest conclusion while filling it with lazy, winking allusions to a show they probably dont know existed. An island that offers you your deepest desire isnt only going to have people wishing for world peace; humans are often selfish beings, and what they truly hunger for is more likely to curdle in their stomachs than leave them satiated.

However, screenwriters Jeff Wadlow (who also directed), Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs squander the solid premise, somehow simultaneously dumbing it down and overcomplicating it. This is a profoundly stupid movie at every point in its overlong 109 minutes, proffering what it thinks are revelations and shocks, but wont be a surprise to anyone who has managed to stay awake.

Its story seems simple enough on the surface: a group of contest winners arrives on a remote island, where they learn that they will be able to experience their fantasies. (Hence, Fantasy Island.) Theres Melanie (Lucy Hale), a haunted young woman who wants revenge on Sloane (Portia Doubleday), the popular bully who made her school years miserable. Gwen (Maggie Q) aches for a second chance at a moment that would have changed her life. Meanwhile, Patrick (Austin Stowell) wants to be a soldier, though he never was able to enlist. Brothers and bros JD (Hansen) and Brax (Yang) just want to party together. Way to aim high, dudes.

So the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Pea) and his assistant Julia (Parisa Fitz-Henley) work to give them what they want, but its unsurprisingly not what they expect. The island mutates their desires, and soon what seem like innocuous wishes have caused bloodshed but only a little, because this is a PG-13 horror movie.

This isnt Wadlows first time working with Blumhouse, but both Fantasy Island and his Truth or Dare are among the brands weakest films. Both are nonsense from a narrative standpoint and the worst examples of horror today; they each display a lack of thoughtfulness and an absence of any real terror. The script isnt the only problem; the visuals are as dull as the rest of the proceedings, with some camera angles and cuts revealing a complete shortage of understanding of the medium.

Ultimately, a trip to Fantasy Island possesses all the value of a timeshare sales presentation without the free vacation and its equally a scam. Anyone who watches the film will feel like just as big a sucker as its characters who initially think theyve won when they arrive in paradise only to discover theyre actually in hell.

Fantasy Island

Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Playing: In general release

Read the rest here:
Review: 'Fantasy Island' movie reboot is thrill-free horror - Los Angeles Times

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Review: ‘Fantasy Island’ movie reboot is thrill-free horror – Los Angeles Times

Now Scream This: The Best Horror Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day – /FILM

(Welcome toNow Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: If youre venturing out to the cinema this Valentines Day weekend and can catch a screening of After Midnight, I urge you to do just that (or watch it on VOD). Between all the other obvious date night choices looking at you Sonic The Hedgehog none understand the beauty of love and complexity of emotion on a more honest scale. That and its also about monsters. Youre here for horror picks, and I gave you a bonus because the holiday spirit is alive, my friends. That said, if youre staying home this V-Day with takeout and a streaming movie, weve got you covered there as well.

Chris: Happy Valentines Day week, screamers. I hope youve all remembered to buy your significant other a card, at least. If not, maybe get out there and get one. Or just make one. All you need is construction paper and a big marker. Yeah, thatll do the trick. And if not, why not recommend some streaming horror movies for your loved one? Say, Baby, I love you so much, I want to watch these horror movies with you. Swoon!

Matt: Is there anything sexier than Tom Atkins in a massively gory slasher remake? My Bloody Valentine (2009) is the most fun Ive ever had in a normal movie theater setting, as my Friday night screening devolved into a raucous midnighter by virtue of content alone. This movie cuts your heart out and serves it on a silver platter (quite gruesomely), while also allowing Jensen Ackles a chance to color outside his normal performative lines. Its not the sharpest pick-ax in the mine, but for my money, a worthy watch for couples who crave a quintessential Valentines Day massacre (and have already seen the original).

Chris: Lots of gory fun here, and plenty of scenes featuring my favorite kind of 3D cliche: Stuff FLYING DIRECTLY AT THE CAMERA. Look out!

Matt: Is there anything more chivalrous than Micah Sloats undying love for Katie Featherston in Paranormal Activity? Sure, it may be one of the reasons Toby gets so angry and aggressive, but no underworld demon is gonna possess Micahs woman! Well, or so he hopes, which we know goes helplessly awry. Its a valiant white-knight effort, Micah. All those dude-bro aggression and threats towards a blanket-hog demon. If only Cupids arrow could pierce and slay entities who do not appear to the naked eye.

Chris: This movie still holds up. The many sequels? Ehhh, not so much. Still, its crazy to think that from this tiny little film, Blumhouse sprung forth.

Matt: Colm McCarthys Scottish werewolf tale about young love is everything Valentines Day is about. Forbidden romance, beastly awakenings in fits of passion, Celtic black magic partners who hunt and slay together. Outcast features supporting appearances by Kate Dickie, James Nesbitt, and Karen Gillan, but leading charisma between Niall Bruton and Hanna Stanbridge is what drives home adoring chemistry. As their heartstrings intertwine, bodies pile up with the appearance of some nightly creature stalker that represents more than a simple horror monster. As an indie representation of love in all its forms and what dangers such emotions can unleash, Outcast is more than those ho-hum riffs youve seen pounded out countless times before.

Chris: I could make an extremely dated Hey Ya! joke here, but I wont. Anyway, I havent seen this.

Matt: You wanna talk about true love? How about having your brain transplanted into an animatronic dinosaur and not scaring your girlfriend away. Yes, youve read those words in the correct order. Tammy And The T-Rex is about Paul Walkers quest to return his squishy cranial tissue into his human body, while currently powering a mechanical dinosaur prop that schoolyard crush Denise Richards still loves with all her heart. Such tender moments between a rubber Jurassic stage prop and an inspiringly committed Richards, as mad scientists are crushed into bloody pulp in the name of unstoppable romance (John Carl Buechlers work). This movie is a rare trashterpiece that also works as an unexpected recommendation for couples, so how can I resist? Come for the possessed Tyrannosaurus, stay for the slapstick mortuary sequence when trying to find a new flesh sack for Walkers thinking muscle only a fraction of the weirdness at hand.

Chris: This is in my queue, and Ill get around to it sooner or later! How can I resist?

Matt: I may have recommended Spring in the past, but consider this your yearly reminder that Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have cornered the market on love is a monster storytelling. Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker are divine in their romantic Lovecraftian attraction, embracing the madness that is everlasting devotion. Looking someone (or something) in the eyes and accepting their flaws is so powerful, especially given the alarmist narrative Benson and Moorhead explore. Spring is required Valentines Day viewing for genre fans worth their salt. Ill be back here year after year saying the same ding-dang-doodly thing until every last one of you watches this perfect ode to untamable feelings. I suggest you listen.

Chris: A stone-cold classic. Such a sweet, romantic, unique film. Love it.

Read the original here:
Now Scream This: The Best Horror Movies to Watch on Valentine's Day - /FILM

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Now Scream This: The Best Horror Movies to Watch on Valentine’s Day – /FILM

Horror film claimed to have led to death of 86 people comes to cinemas for first time – Mirror Online

A 'cursed' horror film claimed to have cost the lives of 86 people who dared to watch it will be shown in cinemas for the first time.

The creators of 'Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made' say the movie contains a 'secret' which can only be seen by some audiences - and those who witness it are 'certain to die'.

Thought to have been made in the 1970s, the movie tells the story of a brother and sister who are so distraught by the death of their pet dog that they decide to dig their way to hell to rescue their pet's soul, as reported by the Daily Star.

Filmmakers David Amito and Michael Laicini insist the curse is real, resulting in two major tragedies - but, as yet, there are only plans to screen the horror in Japan, so those hoping to test the theory will need to pack a suitcase.

Amito and Laicini claim that during one showing at a 1988 film festival in Germany, the cinema caught fire and killed 56 movies fans.

They then say in 1993 there was a second fatal screening in San Francisco, this time killing 30 members of the audience when the 'building exploded'.

American horror director Eric Thirteen became aware of the film at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival a year ago and says he was determined to put it before a wider audience.

He struck a deal with Uncork'd Entertainment for the terrifying tale to be screened throughout 2020 in cinemas across Japan, where it has attracted attention on social media.

With some fans avoiding the showings at all costs, the legend has only made a few other brave souls even more determined to go along.

One of the few fans to claim to have already seen the cult horror wrote on IMDB: "Antrum was super effective in making me feel like I was watching something I shouldn't be.

"Super scary, uncomfortable, disturbing, but I couldn't tear my eyes away."

View post:
Horror film claimed to have led to death of 86 people comes to cinemas for first time - Mirror Online

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Horror film claimed to have led to death of 86 people comes to cinemas for first time – Mirror Online

The Best Movies of 2020 (So Far) – Thrillist

Best Movies of 2020: Good Movies to Watch From This Year So Far - Thrillist

'Color Out of Space' | RLJE Films

Choosing a movie to watch isn't a fraught decision if you know who to trust. That's the simple idea driving this list, which will be consistently updated and meticulously rearranged throughout the year as new titles premiere at film festivals, drop on streaming services, and, yes, find their way into the local movie theater. Likelast year, we'll do our best to keep you in the loop on the explosion-filled blockbusters you can't miss and the more intimate smaller films you must seek out. If it's good, we want it on here.

From skin-crawling horror movies to hard-hitting documentaries, there should be something on this list to satisfy your highly specialized cinematic cravings as the year goes on. We recognize that you're busy and there's a lot of forces fighting for your attention at the moment, so we pledge not to waste your time. These are the best movies of 2020.

For more movies and shows to watch, check out our rankings of Best Horror Movies of 2020.

Recommended Video

Release date: January 31Cast: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Kristine Froseth, Makenzie LeighDirector: Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet)Why its great: The systemic culture of indifference and cruelty that often forms around a powerful serial abuser gets put under the microscope in this studiously observed New York office drama, which draws inspiration from the behavior of Harvey Weinstein while intentionally blurring some of the details. We never learn the name of the tyrannical boss in the story and the exact nature of his crimes are never fully revealed; instead, Julia Garner's assistant Jane, a Northwestern grad fresh off a handful of internships, provides our entryway into the narrative. The movie tracks her duties, tasks, and indignities over the course of a single day: She makes copies, coordinates air travel, picks up lunch orders, answers phone calls, and cleans suspicious stains off the couch. At one point, a young woman from Idaho appears at the reception desk, claims to have been flown in to start as a new assistant, and gets whisked away to a room in an expensive hotel. Jane raises the issue with an HR rep, played with smarmy menace by Succession's Matthew Macfadyen, but her concerns are quickly battered away and turned against her. Rejecting cheap catharsis and dramatic twists, The Assistant builds its claustrophobic world through a steady accumulation of information. While some of the writing can feel too imprecise and opaque by design, Garner, who consistently steals scenes on Netflix's Ozark, invests every hushed phone call and carefully worded email with real trepidation. She locates the terror in the drudgery of the work.Where to watch: In theaters (Watch the trailer)

Release date: March 6Cast: Kris Hitchen, Debbie Honeywood, Rhys Stone, Katie ProctorDirector: Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)Why its great: The modern gig economy is set up so that the customer rarely has to think very much about the person delivering a package to their door. Sorry We Missed You, the latest working class social drama from 83-year-old English filmmaker Ken Loach, is a harsh reminder that those piles of cardboard Amazon boxes have a human cost. The film follows married couple Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and Abbi (Debbie Honeywood) as they attempt to raise their two kids, keep their humble home in Newcastle, and and hold down jobs stripped of conventional protections. As Ricky's domineering boss tells him at the beginning of the movie, he's not an "employee." No, he's his own small business owner and independent contractor. Loach finds dark laughs and absurdity in the the convoluted language of precarity, particularly the way management attempts to sell poor working conditions as a form of empowerment, but he also captures the tender, intimate moments that occur in even the most soul-sucking jobs. Ricky and his daughter find joy in knocking on doors and leaving notes; Abbi, who works as a nurse, genuinely cares for her patients like her own family even if the company she works for refuses to pay for her transportation. Though the script leans too hard on melodrama in its final stretch, setting up scenes that don't always deliver on their dramatic potential, Loach never loses his moral grasp on the material.Where to watch: In theaters on March 6 (Watch the trailer)

Release date: January 24Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan MeyerDirector: Richard Stalney (Hardware)Why its great: For a certain type of movie-goer, any film where Nicolas Cage says the word "alpacas" multiple times is worth seeking out. Luckily, Color Out of Space, a psychedelic adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story from 1927, offers more than just furry animals and unhinged Cage theatrics. Mixing hints of science-fiction intrigue and bursts horror movie excess, along with a couple splashes of stoner-friendly comedy, Richard Stanley's proudly weird B-movie vibrates on its own peculiar frequency. Cage's Nathan, a chatty farmer with a loving wife (Joely Richardson) and a pair of mildly rebellious kids, must contend with a meteoroid that crashes in his front yard, shooting purple light all over his property and infecting the local water supply. Is it some space invader? A demonic spirit? A biological force indiscriminately wreaking havoc on the fabric of reality itself? The squishy unknowability of the evil is precisely the point, and Stanely melds Evil Dead-like gore showdowns with Pink Fl=oyd laser light freak-outs to thrilling effect, achieving a moving and disquieting type of genre alchemy that should appeal to fans of Cage's out there turn in the similarly odd hybrid Mandy. Again, you'll know if this is in your wheelhouse or not.Where to watch it: In theaters (Watch the trailer)

Release date: March 13Cast: Sidney Flanigan, Talia Ryder, Thodore Pellerin, Ryan EggoldDirector: Eliza Hittman (Beach Rats)Why its great:The Port Authority bus terminal provides the backdrop for a good deal of the drama and the waiting in Eliza Hittman's powerful portrait of a teenager traveling from Pennsylvania to New York to have an abortion, a procuedure she can't recieve in her home state. Quiet and watchful, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) observes the world around her from benches, bus seats, and doctor's office chairs, dragging an enormous suitcase through the drab interiors of various midtown locations. She doesn't tell her parents about her pregnancy or her trip. She's joined by her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), who wants to be a supportive friend and a sounding board. Still, the two don't talk much. The movie's most striking image shows the two holding hands in a moment of shared vulnerability, like their bond transcends language. As a filmmaker, Hittman is most interested in behavior and gesture, approaching her story with the type of careful rigor that allows for poetic moments to emerge in unexpected places. It's a style that's especially suited to the challenging emotional terrain of the material.Where to watch: In theaters March 13 (Watch the trailer)

Release date: March 6Cast: John Magaro, Orion Lee, Ren Auberjonois, Toby JonesDirector: Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women)Why its great:First Cow, Kelly Reichardt's evocative and wise tale of frontier life, begins with the discovery of two skeletons in the woods. An unnamed young woman (Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat) and her dog, echoing the human-and-canine pair at the center of Reichardt's 2008 road story Wendy and Lucy, come upon the bones in the modern day Pacific Northwest. Then we flash back to a time when the Oregon territory was far less developed, an era of perilous opportunity and rampant exploitation, and meet Cookie (John Magaro), a bashful and unassuming cook for a team of unruly fur trappers. Eventually, he befriends the wandering King-Lu (Orion Lee), a Chinese immigrant who claims to be fleeing some Russians. The two stumble on an opportunity to make some money: a wealthy landowner (Toby Jones) brings the first cow to the region. Cookie and King-Lu decide to steal the cow's milk at night and use it to bake sweet honey biscuits, which they sell at the local market. The story has an allegorical quality, gently pulling at classic American notions of hope, ambition, and deception. Reichardt, who chronicled a similar historical period in 2010's neo-WesternMeek's Cutoff and an equally rich male friendship in 2006's buddy comedyOld Joy, has a gentle human touch that never veers into sentimentality. On a literal and metaphoric level, she knows where the bodies are buried.Where to watch: In theaters March 6 (Watch the trailer)

Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter@danielvjackson.

Like us on Facebook to get the best of both worlds.

We see that you already have an account. You're good to go!

There was an error signing up. Try again.

The Best Movies of 2020 (So Far) - Thrillist

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on The Best Movies of 2020 (So Far) – Thrillist

‘The Lodge’ Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala on Building Atmosphere and Referencing ‘Jack Frost’ [Interview] – /FILM

Filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala know how to let a movie get under an audiences skin. Even the simplest of their shots, such asRiley Keoughscratching her knees, elicit discomfort. They maintain that mood of dread throughout the their newest film,The Lodge, their followup toGoodnight Mommy.

Their latest is a chilly head trip of a horror movie about bottled-up emotions exploding into fear, terror, and mystery. Its an unsettling experience best seen blind. This movie lingers long after the credits roll, Chris Evangelista wrote in his review. After the conclusion, I stumbled out of the dark theater into the sunlight, disoriented, excited, and, yes, a little scared. As long as more movies are likeThe Lodge, the horror genre will be in great shape.

Franz and Fiala met when Fiala was babysitting Franzs children. The two bonded over horror movies. Years later, that chance encounter has given the worldThe Lodge. Recently, we spoke to the duo about the horror movie in a mostly spoiler-free conversation about messages, telling a story without heroes and villains, and the Michael Keaton holiday classic,Jack Frost.

Whats it like promoting a movie likeThe Lodge? What have been some telling reactions or questions?

Severin: For us, its hard to talk about it because we dont want to spoil anything or talk too much about it.

Veronika: Thats the hard part.

Severin: Its really hard to what to say about it because we dont want to, its a movie best watched blind. Now, its great if you dont know anything, I think you have the best possible experience. And of course, we love to talk about our work but sometimes we dont because we dont want to ruin the experience for people.

Veronika: Sometimes its interesting when people talk about the father character because they blame him or they say, Oh, how can he leave them at the lodge? Which is strange for us Europeans because, actually, I know a lot of men who kind of would give the new girlfriend and the kids an opportunity to get to know each other and also would leave them in a house, which looks totally safe. So why not? But as an American, I think its kind of an American thing. This father, this protective father thing, and he has to protect the family.

Severin: Father needs to be a hero in a way.

Veronika: Yeah. Father needs almost to be a hero.Actually, for us, no one has to be a hero.

Severin: I mean ideally in our movie, there are no heroes and no bad guys in that sense. Were all humans and we all make mistakes and if youre not able to properly talk about those mistakes you made, then it can create something terrible. But I think the message, if there is one, is talk and be open about your scars.

Veronika: Theres no message. What are you talking about? We dont do messages.

Severin: I think there is.

Veronika: I dont think so.

Severin: Yeah, I think so. Because we did the scene, there is. Its something that we, that keeps coming back to us. I think there is something.

Veronika: No, I dont, obviously, I dont like the expression message. I think you should get people to think. Thats the message.

But there is something you wanted to say, right?

Severin: As said before, hopefully, its a horror film without any monster in it. So its about human beings and I think thats something we want to say about society and about human beings. Its not black and white. Every one of us is capable to be a lover, or a murderer or, everyone has everything inside of himself and its all depending on the situation you are in, in a way. I think this is very fascinating to us and we feel like saying, okay, this is an evil person, makes life and films and everything lot easier. But were not for easy. We like complicated stuff. We like the difficult stuff.

Children are not always innocent like more conventional horror movies.

Severin: I think were never interested in conventional pathways or formulas. We ask ourselves, If those characters were real people, where could they possibly go? Even if they go down the road, which is maybe not a good for a movie plot, theyd take a turn that the movie plot usually wouldnt do. Were interested in that turn. I think the original script ended much sooner. And we were interested in, what would happen after the ending? What would happen after, if it was a conventional film and it ended there, whats after the ending? And thats what kept us going and writing and we felt we need to discover whats happening with those people after it all ends.

[Spoiler Warning]

What was the original ending? You two sort of started from scratch with the story, right?

Veronika: We kind of liked the idea that they wanted to create purgatory in a way and then, in the end, theyre stuck and then accept that purgatory.

Severin: Actually, they dont want to create purgatory.

Veronika: No, they want her to believe being in purgatory

Severin: Believe, and then they create it in a way and then theyre stuck. And the question is, what happens if youre stuck in purgatory? Thats what interested us most, actually. But thats the thing because you made it sound like we had to start from scratch with this script, thats not true. I think its just, we have a very specific way of telling our stories and of how we want to tell films in a visual way and without much dialogue and very atmospheric. And Sergio to be fair, he wrote it, not for us, he wrote it just for himself. And it was a great, playful, very entertaining, thrilling script with such, it was so funny. It had so much funny dialogue and we feel so sad for Sergio because hes a master of writing all those amazing dialogues.

Veronika: We took all of the fun out of it [Laughs].

Severin: Yeah, we took the fun out and were sorry for, Sergio, we are sorry. Thats not what we are good at and what were interested in. So we had to change it in a way. Not because it was not good, but because it was not ours.

[Spoiler Over]

Veronika: Because we like to create a certain atmosphere and to be able to do that, we need as few dialogues as possible.

Severin: Its about silence.

Veronika: Yeah, its about silence. And its about just watching people maybe or listening to something. Usually, screenwriters dont write this down in the script.

Severin: Theyre afraid it might be boring.

Veronika: So we always, when we write like a script ourselves, we always kind of ask ourselves, Oh theres a dialogue that could be a shortcut and it tells everything, but tell it in a scene or tell it with images instead of just talking? This is a very specific way of wanting to create a movie.

Severin: Its why our scripts are usually theyre like maybe 60 pages long.

Veronika: Goodnight Mommy was something like 62 pages.

Severin: And because there is so little dialogue and the problem is Thats okay. In Austria, all films that are government, state-funded in a way. In America, where bond companies and production companies and banks. Thats hard to argue to sell, this is only 60 pages and then you work on an eighth of the page and you work your whole day and then they are freaking out and saying okay going to need 80 shooting days for the whole thing. How is it going to work out? We know our way of making films and somethings, atmosphere, ambiance, this takes a lot of time for us and we know its important and its going to pay off. Another thing we are much quicker with dialogue scenes because we love improvisation and I think we can do maybe seven or eight pages if it contains a lot of dialogue. But if its the visual and atmospheric stuff, it just takes longer. And I think we know that about us, but its hard if you do films in a different system and people dont know you and dont know the way you make films. So we had a hard time like explaining it to companies all the time, how we believe its right for the movie.

Where does imagining the atmosphere start for you both? Like you said, its a long process, but what were your initial ideas about how you wanted the sound and images to unnerve people?

Severin: Actually, one of the very first ideas was to start, because the movie starts in the summertime, to start in the like more colorful way and kept moving camera and stuff and then to go nearly to a black and white feeling just like white snow and darkness. That was one of the earliest ideas I think.

Veronika: Originally we even wanted to start with idyllic garden actually and flowers and like an artificial garden in front of the dollhouse.

Severin: It should have a David Lynch feeling to it.

Veronika: Should have a David Lynch feeling in the beginning that is like an artificial garden. And you never know. I mean, we really throughout, as Severin always say, we like this feeling that you dont know where to go. And you dont know if you will be on the ice, on the ice surface, and you go on and you dont know, you hear it cracking and you never know, is this going to break? Or is it safe? And so we liked this idea that you, kind of, go through the whole movie and you never know, is this now true? Is this real? Is this one of the layers or one of the tricks.

Severin: Yeah, we tried to film like it was an idea of a Thimios, our cinematographer, very early on to film the actual lodge as if a dollhouse, and then we had his dollhouse created, which looks like the lodge and we wanted the audience never to be too sure where they are right now. And maybe larger question is who is playing with the puppets in the dollhouse, but also in the real lodge, whos playing with those people?

Veronika: Then were kind of actually shellshocked when we find out, were starting to shoot at the same time Hereditary premiered at Sundance and we only heard, Oh, its about the dollhouse, its about the family in a house. Its about a trauma in the beginning. And we were like, Oh my God, whats going on? Actually, it was only a week ago that I saw Hereditary because I always said, I want to see that. I want to see it. Because its strange. Theyre like certain similar ideas we had basically at the same time. I mean I asked, he was first, but we didnt know.

Severin: The funny thing is we got to know him. Weve got to know Ari Aster at one point.

Veronika: I told him.

Severin: Yeah. I think what might inspire like similar visuals and similar sense for storytelling is that we realized we share our love for film history and for similar films. So I think we both admire the same filmmakers and love the same filmmakers. I think this leads to something that might be connected in a way.

Veronika: But I was very glad that Ive seen it because, yeah, it has some similarities, but people ask us. So for me, it was time to confront myself. And actually, I think the dollhouse, with Ari Aster, its a very kind of, shes just building dollhouses. Its not, its not more or less than that. But in our case, I think its used differently.

Very different. I have to ask about one of the biggest scares in this movie, which is the clip fromJack Frost.

Veronika: [Laughs] Yes! You are the first person asking us about Jack Frost.

[Laughs] Another movie about loss.

Veronika: It was very difficult, actually.

Severin: Its a very long, very sad story for us. Because it was always in the script and then there were different movies, some cheesy Christmas flick, whatever. Then we started to look for movies we could potentially use and came across this clip of Jack Frost with our editor and we fell so in love with it and it was way longer. Its not like it is in the movie. We had this huge Jack Frost sequence in the film.

Veronika: And the thing was similar.

Severin: We watched it [for a] very long time and every time we watched our movie in the editing room, we watched it a hundred times. Were only looking forward to the moment when they watch Jack Frost because then we could see Jack Frost and we loved it so badly. But unfortunately, it turned out that Michael Keaton seems not to be a great fan of that movie. Thats why we had to use a very short excerpt and without Michael Keatons voice. And so that was the only clip we could use and we still love it, but we would have felt much more of Jack Frost in the movie.

See the article here:
'The Lodge' Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala on Building Atmosphere and Referencing 'Jack Frost' [Interview] - /FILM

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on ‘The Lodge’ Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala on Building Atmosphere and Referencing ‘Jack Frost’ [Interview] – /FILM

The real star of Bong Joon-hos Oscar-winner Parasite? The house – The Guardian

Pretty much every actor in Parasite puts in a note-perfect performance, but as the film unfolds theres no doubting the star of the show. The house where the bulk of the action takes place a gloriously opulent modernist building, shot to ensure no gleaming surface or painstaking furniture arrangement goes unnoticed is truly a thing of wonder. Bong Joon-hos big-screen creations to date include amphibious man-eating mutants and genetically modified superpigs, but this pad might just top the lot.

Within the film, this is the home of the well-to-do Park family and brainchild of a hotshot celebrity architect; in real life, its the result of four carefully crafted sets and lots of clever editing. The upshot is the appearance of a luxurious labyrinth of burnished wood and crystal-clear glass, all towering tastefully over the best-kept lawn this side of Wisteria Lane. Bongs film imparts many vital lessons, and chief among them is that there are few things in life more pleasing than a perfectly positioned coffee table.

But like his flesh-and-blood monsters, this invention contains its fair share of menace too. As our downtrodden heroes find themselves drawn to the house, first fawning over it and then getting to work covertly moving in, Parasite sets itself within a small but distinct band of movies in which the setting is paramount and a place of ostensible domestic bliss becomes twisted into something else.

These films can belong to various genres, though the most common is horror. The Bates Motel, Cuesta Verde and Hill House have all entered movie lore for the scares hidden within, part of a grand tradition that has passed from Repulsion to Hereditary via Amityville. While Parasite isnt exactly a horror film, what it does share with these movies and their spiritual sibling, the home-invasion thriller is a slow-burn first act that doubles as a private tour of the grounds, showing us all the quirks and intricacies that will inevitably come into play later. Not so much Chekhovs gun as Chekhovs laundry chute, Chekhovs rickety treehouse or Chekhovs remotely operated patio door.

A scream is never far from a laugh, and while the likes of Panic Room, Dont Breathe and Hush mine their locations for the former, Home Alone outstrips them all by employing the same premise for slapstick. Despite its marketing as an adults-only nailbiter, Parasite probably has as much in common with the hide-and-seek mischief of Kevin McCallister, not least because the film only really catches fire when the households underlings manage to rid the place of its ruling class.

That C-word, though, was never something Home Alone paid much thought to, whereas class is Parasites entire reason for being, peering out from the films every nook and cranny. The angular perfection of the Parks house is more than just a pretty space its a reminder that this family occupy a different world to that of the Kims, whose grubby basement flat is an oppressive mess of chipped tiling and loose-hanging wires. In this regard, Parasite plants its foot firmly on the neatly manicured turf of a third type of house-movie: the one in which a plush bourgeois home conceals bottomless depths of misery.

The idea that picket-fenced paradise is actually playing host to the slow death of the American dream has long given rise to earnest Hollywood fare, from Ordinary People to American Beauty to Revolutionary Road (the clues often in the artfully ironic title). Parasite, which prefers acid satire to heartfelt drama, has its truer kindred spirits in The Stepford Wives or Blue Velvet. These films hedgerowed havens might have been intended as quintessential Americana, but Bong shows that the depravity of suburban affluence is hardly exclusive to the land of the free.

Oddly for a film set in present-day South Korea, Parasite also has plenty in common with a very specific strain of British period drama, where a bitter and unspoken class divide plays out within a grand stately home. Gosford Park, Downton Abbey and The Remains of the Day are all touchstones here, using a lavish domestic backdrop to drive home the poisonous master-minion relationships therein. And if youre especially clever, your house can itself serve as a handy visual metaphor for the very themes its picking at: Bong has cited his admiration for Joseph Loseys The Servant, a po-faced study of repressed envy in which characters are kept apart by a staircase.

The genius of Parasite is that it takes that idea to a whole new level, but also that it manages to drop in on so many genres along the way: broad comedy, queasy slasher, class-war psychodrama. Not that it takes up residence in any although that house will stay lodged in your brain for some time.

View original post here:
The real star of Bong Joon-hos Oscar-winner Parasite? The house - The Guardian

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on The real star of Bong Joon-hos Oscar-winner Parasite? The house – The Guardian

[Set Visit] Covered in Blood on the Set of Joe Begos’ ‘VFW’ – Bloody Disgusting

Article contributed by Cinestates Preston Fassel.

Spoiler warning. Its a place out of time, a nexus where the memories and aesthetics of different eras collide in ways both striking and nostalgic. The walls are wood-paneled 70s teak, the sort youd find in a basement rec-room or the kind of bowling alley where the sound of organ music never stops. The lights washing over it all are all 80s neon new-wave, phosphorescent purples and blues and magentas washing over it all in cascading waves. The awards decorating the walls are timeless- plaques honoring the service and sacrifice of men and women from Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm. And in the center of it is a man who is very much of the now, a hipster beard and retro t-shirt bedecking his lithe body as he ducks and weaves with a dancers grace, camera in his hands, capturing a scene that would be surreal even if it werent for the incongruous clash of eras and aesthetics here: Men in stocking hats and undershirts and suits and fatigue jackets watch over a terrified girl as what appear to be hordes of the undeadare they zombies, mutants, some Lovecraftian abominations?lay siege to the place. The man with the camera bobs and weaves, a cinematographic ballet, his feet nimble and sure, slipping around debris and detritus without ever looking down, never faltering as the men swing bats and axes and clubs at their attackers, besting them all. At last, the final nemesis hits the floor; the men breathe heavily, their battle donefor now.

Cut! Someone yells.

Watching from the sidelines, transfixed by the scene, is writer/director Laura Moss, the auteur behind the smash short film Fry Day. Today, shes here as a visitor, an observer, casting her professional eye on the production of VFW, FANGORIAs latest tale of blood, men, monsters, in which an aging group of war veterans decide to wage one final battle against a ruthless drug lord intent on silencing a girl who knows too much.

The cameraman is spectacular, Moss says to me. But wheres his director?

Ive got the pleasure of telling her: That was the director.

VFW is the kind of movie only FANGORIA could make in 2019: A throwback horror that dispenses with any of the niceties of contemporary studio filmmaking for an unapologetically bloody, transgressive romp that pits an army of drugged-up, feral punk-psychos against literal army veterans ready to die with honor. Shot on location between a real VFW in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (specifically post 2494, home of the most welcoming crawfish boil in the DFW) and the abandoned Forest Theater, which has stood vacant since the early 90s, its a film that wears its odes to the past on its sleeve. The ethos is pure grindhousefind the right locations, the right names to put on the poster, amp up the violence to 11 and have at it. Having at it is Joe Begos, perhaps the perfect choice to helm such a project. Having cut his teeth on low-budget genre flicks Almost Human and The Minds Eye, hes a director with a sensibility firmly rooted in the filmmaking ethos of 42nd Street, when a director was also cameraman, cinematographer, and whatever else the production needed him to be. And while hes got DP Mike Testin on hand to keep things on an even keel, to watch his dancers approach to shooting you almost get the impression hes ready to take this on single-handedly.

Adding to the grindhouse ambiance is the cast, a rogues gallery of rough-and-tumbles with legitimate horror and exploitation cred, from Black Godfather himself Fred Williamson to David Patrick Warriors come out at play-aayyy Kelly to Stephen Lang, terrifying todays audiences with his turn as a blind death machine in the Dont Breathe franchise. Even George Norm Wendt is here, simultaneously throwing more horror experience into the mix and giving the film that extra 80s vibe. Theyre a group of guys whove seen it all and done it allparticularly Williamson, who, when queried about his thoughts on the film, took a pull from his stogie and politely told me, I cant tell you anything. Theyll kill me. I know where the bodies are buried. To see them in action is a revelation: the 83-year-old Williamson lifting extras playing hypers the marauding, drugged-out, 28 Days Later-esque fiends who comprise most of the films baddiesup in the air by their shoulders and flinging them across a barroom; Lang rampaging across set with a prop axe like a high school linebacker; Martin Kove and William Sadler getting into the action with a pair of prop weapons, Kove a hockey stick, Sadler a foam baseball bat studded with nails, pounding away at a couple of extras. Not that they arent gentlemanly about it.

Im not really gonna hit you with this thing, Sadler says. Just gonna swing it like this.

But I dont want him to just swing it like thisbecause today Ive slipped into the role of a hyper myself for an unexpectedly blood-soaked sequence in which a quintet of hypers breach the perimeter of the VFW and run afoul of a particularly gruesome booby trap.

Hit me, I tell him. I got a hard head. Right here, on the bald spot. Wont feel a thing. Sadler swings like Barry Bonds after a day at the doctors office. I dont feel it. Neither, it seems, does the female hyper beside me, similarly encouraging Kove not to pull any punches. You dont sign up to die at the hands of Kobra Kai and The Grim Reaper and not want to get hit.

Good, Sadler says. Youre pros. We understand one another.

Can I pretend to choke you? I ask.

Yeah, choke me, hit me, lets make it look good.

With hitting comes blood though. Lots and lots of blood. In fact, you could say that, perhaps next to Stephen Lang, blood deserves second billing. After getting into position, my fellow hypers and I are outfitted with blood tubes running beneath our shirts thatll activate on action; as theyre being taped to our torsos, Sierra Russelshe of modern SFX legends Josh and Sierra Russel, himself outside getting an exploding head gag readyis filling out mouths with blood to spit once the cameras roll. And, once everything is in place, Sierra is on the floor between our legs with a blood canon at the ready, augmenting not just the tubes or the mouth stuff but an additional set of hoses attached to the top of a beer keg that plays an integral role in the scene. Joe, squatting now like a modern dancer feeling the earth, holds his camera at the ready. Were about to get pummeled. And were about to get very, very wet.


And theres swinging. So much swinging. And blood. So very much blood. So very, very much blood. It flows down our chins. It flows out of our chests in great, tidal spurts, like the gushing of a dozen arteries, dousing the fronts of our shirts, our jeans, soaking our boots in great thunderstorm puddles. Sierra activates the canon and the world turns red, filling our eyes, the camera lens, the room.

By the time its all done, we make Ccile de France at the end of Haute Tension look like she got a smudge on her cheek.

Once under a showerhead, though, the water quickly streaks pink and its amazing how quickly it takes to get clean. Some fake blood stains the skin, requires the use of shaving cream and special shampoos and loofahs caked in toothpaste to remove. Not VFWs blood, though. For as much as Joe Begos has innovated in the realm of camera work, so have Josh and Sierra Russel innovated in the realm of fake blood, inventing their own special concoction especially for this shoot, in addition to working with Begos to design the hypers unique, veined-out look.

Normally we go to Smart and Final, Josh tells me, referring to a food supply chain in Cali. We buy imitation syrup like McDonalds uses by the gallon. But not for this shoot. There was going to be so much blood we were worried about stickiness. So it was that Josh and Sierra innovated their own type of fake blood that uses as one of its primary ingredients something simultaneously simple and genius: Dishwashing soap.

As soon as water hits it, it activates it, Sierra says.

We used lots of hot tub anti-foam to prevent sudsing, Josh tells me. Once the water strikes it, though, Russel FX blood does indeed activateone moment you look like youve just been gutted alive, the next you havent got any red on you. That means not a lot of downtime spent getting cleaned up in between takesleaving more time to soak up the unique ambiance around VFW post-2494. Outside the facility is a playground similarly out of time, with sturdy old picnic tables and an antique merry go round (DO NOT Touch Merry Go Round says a perpetually weather-ravaged sign), and while practical effects shots are being readiedlike the pool table getting set to explodethe cast lounge around on swingsets, in the doors of trailers, on tabletops. Its time for rumination, or smoking, or, in the case of Travis Hammer and Dora Madison, who play the films primary baddies, working out on a pair of Olympic rings set up for them by the crew. Heya pair of scantily clad, ripped drug lords gotta stay looking ripped. The old pros of VFW are a contemplative lot, though. Williamson and Sadler discuss the CAA crisis. David Patrick Kelly is eager to discuss German opera. A group of actual veterans shows uptheyre holding an outdoor meeting while we shoot insideand they knock back Sam Adams and discuss plans and minutes in the ochre light of the setting Spring sun. The man hosting the meeting is a veteran of Iraq; at the head of a picnic table is a vet in a WWII cap. Some of the extras drift over to shake their hands; theyre appreciative. Theyre glad were all here. It isnt often your VFW hall plays host to a horror movie. Theyd like to attend the premier. Conversely, were welcome to the next crawfish boil.

I sit for a moment with George Wendt and ask him if theres a role he would like to define his legacy, rather than the barfly for which hes best known. He smiles tenderly, like a man wholly at peace with his legacy.

No, he tells me. Im Norm.

The end of the day finds me chatting with another SierraMcCormick, the former child star playing against type as a rough-living teen too well versed in the underworld. Shes been in horror movies before, sure, including VFW producer Dallas Sonniers own Some Kind of Hate, but, those were a far cry from this bacchanal. Is she out of her element here? No, she is not. Do you like horror movies? is like a secret code phrase, and suddenly shes telling me stories of watching Salo and Serbian Film on Christmas morning, and were swapping recommendations of the gnarliest grindhouse movies we know. Its a special experiencethe horror fan in the horror movie, contributing to the genre they love. Its appropriate in its own unique wayher character is, after all, the heart of the film, the unifying soul that brings these aging warriors together. What better than to have the actress playing the heart of a horror movie be such a fan herself? If there are better omens, I dont know them.

Its my final day on set and weve made encampment at the historic Forest Theater in Dallas, a once grand place gone to ruin. It smells like the most antique antique store, an extra comments, and its a perfect summation. If the VFW was a place that was timeless, the Forest has been lost to time, the interior gutted, desiccated wooden staircases seeming to lead to nowhere. Its appropriatethis is Hyper Headquarters, a filthy, rotting drug den where the dregs and desperate of society congregate to give themselves over body and soul to their addictions without looking back, so it only makes sense it should stand in contrast to the homey VFW as a place defined by rot. The Russels set up shop in the old food court, extras lining up to get their hyper makeup and grime applied. Tonight Begos will be filming a Blob-like shot of the ravenous hordes charging out of the theater and towards the building across the street, which is being used for the exteriors of the VFW (the outside of 2494 is too sweet looking to occupy an urban hellscape). Rain is in the forecast. Do any extras want to go home? Should we wait to shoot? Fuck no. This is FANGORIA, and this is horror, and a little rain never stopped FANGORIA or horror.

The hypers are in their makeup. Cameras are at the readydue to the nature of the shot, Begos has had to augment his handheld with a crane, though hes going to be there in the quick of the action, too. Forty-plus men and women congregate in the doors of the Forest. Rain is coming down in great, sweeping sheets, stinging to the touch, the rain so hard as to almost blow it sideways. But for the lights of the theater, its pitch black. Is everybody ready?

This is Joe Begos. This is FANGORIA. This is VFWthe bloodiest, most insane horror movie youre going to see this year. Of course, everyone is ready.

In the rainswept black of a Dallas night in April, the hordes charge.

Continued here:
[Set Visit] Covered in Blood on the Set of Joe Begos' 'VFW' - Bloody Disgusting

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on [Set Visit] Covered in Blood on the Set of Joe Begos’ ‘VFW’ – Bloody Disgusting

Spiral: Everything We Know About The New Saw Movie – GameSpot

While no one was particularly surprised when it was announced in May 2019 that a new Saw movie was on the way, the fact that comedian Chris Rock was set to co-write and star in it was unexpected. But it turns out that Rock is a long-time fan of the series, and two months later, the next Saw movie was in production.

Saw is one of the most successful horror franchises of the past two decades. The original 2004 movie, which was directed by James Wan and written by Wan and Leigh Whannell, was a huge hit, grossing $103 million from a tiny budget of $1.2 million. The film's inventive blend of gritty cop thriller and intense horror kickstarted a series that was known for its inventively gruesome set-pieces and increasingly complicated storylines. The insane trap-setting maniac Jigsaw became one of horror's most iconic villains, and the series inspired a whole sub-genre of gory imitators.

Of course, no movie series remains popular forever, and the commercial disappointment of 2010's seventh movie, Saw 3D, led the franchise to take a much-needed rest. Seven years went by before 2017's Jigsaw. While this prequel/reboot didn't quite hit the box office heights that the series did a decade earlier, it was successful enough to show that interest was still there. The ninth Saw movie is set for release in May--it's titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw and looks set to take the series in another intriguing direction. So here's everything we know so far about it...

See the rest here:
Spiral: Everything We Know About The New Saw Movie - GameSpot

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Spiral: Everything We Know About The New Saw Movie – GameSpot

Dark Army Will Be a "True Monster Film" – /FILM

Paul Feig has offered an update onDark Army, his somewhat secretive new Universal monster movie. In a new interview, the filmmaker reveals hes currently working on a script rewrite, and he hopes that the film will be his next if all goes according to plan. On top of that, Feig spoke a bit about what hes going for withDark Army not so much a horror movie, but more like an old school true monster film from the classic Universal days.

Whats going on with Paul FeigsDark Army? A rewrite. Speaking with Collider, Fieg said: I wrote a draft and got thoughts from the studio, and now Im in the middle of a rewrite on that right now, and so hopefully thatll be my next movie. If its not, itll be the one after whatever I do next. But yeah, Im very excited about it, too. Its just, you want to get it right.

Much ofDark Army remains in darkness, but its been rumored that the movie will feature both classic Universal monsters and new characters as well. And Feig more or less confirms that, stating that hes aiming for something that recalls the old school vibe of the Universal movies, and that hes bringing characters over from old movies:

I really want this to bring the same feeling that those old monster movies that I loved growing up watching [did]. Im not as interested in doing a horror movie as I am in doing a true monster film. So, hopefully that will see the light of day. You never know in Hollywood these days, but I love it. Im very excited about it. Im excited about the characters that Ive created and about some of the ones that Ive been able bring over from the old movies.

Dark Army is part of Universals new plan to try to revive their classic monsters. After their Dark Universe idea went up in smoke withThe Mummy, the studio went back to the drawing board and decided to take a more individual approach to things instead of a big cinematic universe. They haveThe Invisible Man opening this year, and are currently planning theDracula spin-offRenfield andThe Invisible Woman (which wont be connected to The Invisible Man, despite its title). And a story the other day revealed that there were still hopes to get aBride of Frankenstein remake made at some point. The studio isalso working onThe Monster Mash.

As a fan of the Universal Monsters, Im all for all of this. If Universal can hire interesting filmmakers to craft new takes on classic tales, Ill happily watch them. Theres a lot of material to work with, provided they dont screw it up again.

Read more:
Dark Army Will Be a "True Monster Film" - /FILM

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Dark Army Will Be a "True Monster Film" – /FILM

Joe Hill Reveals the Secrets of Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ – The Daily Beast

Joe Hill may be Stephen Kings son, but hes also an acclaimed genre writer in his own right, and after years of development hell, one of his biggest hitsLocke & Key, a graphic novel series created with artist Gabriel Rodriguezhas finally made it to the screen courtesy of Netflix.

The story of a mother and three kids who move to their ancestral Massachusetts mansion in the wake of their fathers murder, only to discover that the place is filled with magical keys that grant them wondrous powersbe it the ability to transform into ghosts, teleport to anywhere in the world, change their appearances, or manipulate othersits a wild and spooky tale about loss, memory, and coping with scarring trauma. Its also a work thats been surprisingly tricky to translate for television, as Hills saga flamed out first as a series for Fox (in 2010-2011), and then as one for Hulu (in 2017-2018, replete with a premiere helmed by It director Andy Muschietti), before arriving on Netflix last Friday.

For the 47-year-old Hill, whose novels Horns and NOS4A2 have previously received the live-action treatment, Locke & Keys journey may have been bumpy, but it was the natural result of trying to get it right. And though it makes significant changes to his source material, the new seriesspearheaded by Losts Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill, with a first episode co-penned by Hillis something about which the celebrated author is excited, calling it the most Netflix-y Netflix show that ever Netflixed.

More of a remix than a diligently straightforward retelling, this Locke & Key plays like a cross between Stranger Things, The Haunting of Hill House, and It, with closely-knit young protagonists navigating an ominous milieu marked by secrets and danger, and confronting a shared past steeped in mystery, suffering, and violence. Establishing a fantastical world thats at once familiar and distinctive, as well as rich enough to support a potential multi-season franchise, it seems primed to be a breakout hit for the streaming service.

Thus, we couldnt resist talking to the man behind it all about the shows major and minor alterations to his graphic novel, what its bombshell surprises mean for potential future seasons, and his childhood experiences on the set of Creepshow alongside godfather of gore (and Locke & Key player) Tom Savini.

Locke & Key has certainly had a tumultuous adaptation history.

Much has been made of its long journey to the screen, and the fact that there were two other pilots before it landed on Netflix. At least coming from prose fiction and publishing, the idea that a story needs multiple drafts before you finally hit on its best possible version doesnt seem that strange to me. I go back to J.J. Abrams working on The Force Awakens. They had this tremendously great stroke of good fortune, which was that Harrison Ford broke a leg while working on the film. On the surface, it seems like if your big star breaks a leg, thats probably a bad thingand Im sure Harrison Ford wasnt happy about it. But it meant they had been filming for a month, and they could look over what they had done and see what they loved and what they didnt. Then they had six weeks to revise the script accordingly, to play to the strengths of the material, and to skate away from their weaknesses. I think that as a result, they wound up with a really fresh, exciting return to that universe. Id say the same thing happened to Locke & Key, in that with every iteration we got a little closer to the best possible version for the story on screen.

Did you ever think it might not be adaptable?

No, I never really did think it was unadaptable. I think the problem was, the graphic novel puts the graphic in graphic novel. Its a pretty explicit work of horror fiction that happens to feature teenagers and children in peril. In that way, its not so different from something like my dads book It. But when youre talking about a TV show, and you have youthful protagonists, the question is, can we really do horror, and how much horror are we talking about, and whats the nature of this horror, and whos watching our show? I think the ingenious solution Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill hit upon was to lean into the fantasy elements of the comic, because there are a lot of strong Harry Potter-ish, C.S. Lewis-type fantasy elements in the comic.

Then, you can address the horror elements by making horror part of the conversation of the show. So you have these characters, the Savini Squad, who celebrate the gross-out special effects of Tom Savini. And you have a lot of conversations about how people behave in horror movies when faced with a scary supernatural enemy. Its not quite as meta as Scream or Joss Whedons The Cabin in the Woods, but it does manage to bridge the divide between fantasy and horror by including horror in the conversation without making the show itself a real hard-R.

What was your role in this adaptation, and did you enjoy reworkingor remixingyour own material in this unique way?

I think that, in the same way HBOs Watchmen isnt an adaptation of Alan Moores comic, but they took elements of the comic and shook them up into a new configuration, this is one way to keep the material fresh for fans of the source material, while still giving yourself the freedom to do something thats optimal for that particular form. TV has a set of strengths and weaknesses, just like comic books have their unique strengths and weaknesses. When you do an adaptation, you want to play to your form; you want to make something thats great TV, not a flat, straight, fixed adaptation of whats on the comic-book page.

In terms of my role, I took a hand in writing the pilot, and I worked with the whole team on the pilot. I introduced a couple of new keys into the storyline, to get some exciting magical conflict around the keys right up front. I thought we could use the Matchstick Key in a really cool way to get Sam Lesser (Thomas Mitchell Barnet) out of prison. When we see Sam in prison in the comic book, he uses a method of escape thats not that supernatural, and I thought it would be more interesting [in the show] to base his breakout on using the supernatural tools of Keyhouse. I did my best to help imagine some good beats and moments and scenes over the course of the season that we could use, that would be fun to see, and that either reflected things that were in the comic in an interesting way, or went in a new direction, but still felt true to the characters and the situation. That said, I was just one hand among many! I was working with some of the best writers in the business. You had Carlton, Meredith, Michael Fuller, Liz PhangI mean, it was a really tremendous room of creative people who were out to make Netflix candy. That was the goal: to make the most Netflix-y Netflix show that ever Netflixed.

He originally puts a pair of scissors through a security guards eyeballs [laughs], which I think is a great example of the kind of thing that we didnt need to do in the TV show.

The alteration to Sams breakout epitomizes the shows shift from fantasy to horror.

He originally puts a pair of scissors through a security guards eyeballs [laughs], which I think is a great example of the kind of thing that we didnt need to do in the TV show. And its OK! If people want that harder, more graphic, hard-R version of the story, the graphic novels arent going anywhere. But that horror always existed, hand-in-hand in the comic, with more whimsical, almost young-adult fantasy elements. One of our more memorable issues was Sparrow, which played with the comic-strip language of Bill Watterson, and is a little bit like a dark-fantasy version of Calvin and Hobbes. I think the show tapped into some of that mood in a really exciting way.

One of the most upfront changes is the name of the town itself, which has been switched from Lovecraft (a nod to H.P. Lovecraft) to Matheson (in tribute to Richard Matheson). Was that to suggest a different type of horror-ish tone for this Netflix version?

A little bit, but the other thing is, over the last decade, Ive become more aware. When I started writing Locke & Key, I think I roughed out the pitch all the way back in 2006. I was working on Locke & Key before I had locked down the sale of my first novel, because it started as a pitch for Marvel Comics. And I knew that the source of the menace would be an otherworldly Lovecraftian thing. Lovecrafts insight into whats really scary is tremendously powerful and still useful.

I think I learned a lot about the guy over the last fifteen years that I didnt know when I started the graphic novel, and I didnt really want to celebrate the racist asshole in a TV show! And Im not a George Lucas kind of guy; I wouldnt go back and change things in the graphic novel, because it reflects what I knew at the time I wrote it, and says something about the culture it came out of. But I think, with the TV show, I realized we didnt need to do that. We can change the name of the town, and celebrate someone else.

Can you speak about the Tom Savini references and cameo, which also feel like part of this desire to pay tribute to great horror icons?

Ive told this story in a few other places, including in the introduction to Full Throttle, my book of stories. I was a child actor on the set of CreepshowI played the little kid with the voodoo doll. It was an independent film that was shot in Pittsburgh in 1981, and child labor laws were different. We didnt have the same kind of rules about having a tutor or babysitter on set. I dont think it had really occurred to anyone that theyd actually have to do something with me when I wasnt filming. So they didnt have a babysitter, and made Tom Savini my babysitter.

He had a makeup effects trailer, and I hung out with him the whole week. He had three or four worktables, and I had a spot where I would sit under one of his worktables. I had a boardgame called The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, and I would play that game against myself and check out what he was doing. And what he was usually doing was disfiguring a movie star or crafting one of his monsters. He was like my first rock star. He was just so cool! And he didnt really seem to know how to talk to a kid as a kid, so he just talked to me like one of the grown-ups. He had a big book of autopsy photos, and I remember looking over it during lunch several times. I was too young to really be grossed out or scared; at a certain age, everything is just information. I thought it was fascinating.

One of the series other crucial deviations from the graphic novel is its cliffhanger ending. How much did you contribute to the reconfigured finale, which makes a second season possible? [SPOILERS FOLLOW]

I dont know how far into the weeds I want to go, only because I dont want to say I did this and others did that. You dont want to run around patting yourself on the back or anything! Its a collaborative thing, and we all put our shoulder to the yoke. I know that, in the room, we talked about how, in the graphic novel, theres a figureits no big secretnamed Zack Wells who is, in fact, Dodge in disguise. He becomes friends with Tyler, and becomes Kinseys boyfriend, and infiltrates the family as a trusted confederate. Thats in the comic, and one of the things we talked about early on that was exciting was, no Zack Wells. We didnt want people who have read the graphic novel to know everything thats going on; we wanted to be able to surprise them in places. We get a couple of big reveals about Dodges plan, but hopefully, if we did our job right, well surprise some folks.

In terms of the seasons ending and the cliffhanger, I would say two things: It was in keeping with the character of the rest of the show, because every episode ends with a cliffhanger, and it sort of goes back to our idea of making the most Netflix-y show on Netflix, because you want people to stay tuned when that little box appears in the lower right corner and says, Next episode starting in five seconds. But the other thing is, the graphic novels covered a lot of material, and I think there was a feeling like, theres too much to exhaust in one season. If you look at the show, it is different from the comics, and yet at the same time, it is the same elements of the comic reconfigured in a new order. And what youre really getting is the first three books: Welcome to Lovecraft, Head Games, and Crown of Shadows. Presumably, a second season would then begin to exploit more of the material in the second half of the comic series.

Have you Carlton and Meredith mapped out a possible second season, and are there particular keys (say, the Hercules Key) that didnt make it into this season that youd like to introduce going forward?

The most exciting thing for me in the first season is seeing the shadows come to life. For me, that was so thrilling. I feel like, when youre a kid, the scariest thing in the world is the darkness under the bed, and seeing that darkness animate and come crawling after youthats awesome! So we made it work with the key to the Crown of Shadows. In a second season, Id love to see the Angel Key, which powers a pair of angel-like wings. That was an iconic part of the comic, and Id love to see those employed so long as we can do it so it looks great. The other one that you can almost definitely count on is the Timeshift Key, which was instrumental to the penultimate book, Clockworks. Weve got that grandfather clock in the front hallits right there in that first episodeand I think its a safe bet that the first time someone bumps into that clock, the Timeshift Key is going to come bouncing off the top of it.

Has working on the show inspired new ideas for future comics installments, and if so, how might they dovetail with the Netflix version?

There are two answers to that. The short answer is Im writing a Locke & Key story right now that is set in the very beginning of the twentieth century and involves some characters that were introduced in various one-shots: the family of Chamberlain Locke. Im working on a story with them right now, and that story will segue into a special Locke & Key eventthis sort of crazy thing were doing, that weve been talking about for years. So in the next year, there should be two or three more Locke & Key issues that do some really exciting stuff that Im pretty confident no one will see coming.

But the other thing is, Gabe and I have plotted out another six-book arc. The original arc was six books long, beginning with Welcome to Lovecraft and ending with Alpha and Omega, and weve got another series that would match the first series in length called World War Key. Im hoping to be working on the first book of World War Key by the end of this summer, and with luck, thats the kind of thing that would be coming out around the same time as a potential season twoif we get a season two, knock on wood!

See more here:
Joe Hill Reveals the Secrets of Netflix's 'Locke & Key' - The Daily Beast

Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
Posted in Horror Movie| Comments Off on Joe Hill Reveals the Secrets of Netflix’s ‘Locke & Key’ – The Daily Beast