NJ filmmaker Anna Chazelle steps into the world of horror with ‘Narrow’ – Asbury Park Press

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In her new movie, Anna Chazelle is stepping, very carefully, into the spotlight.

Chazelle, the filmmaker and actress born and raised in Princeton, makes a big impression with the horror short "Narrow." The film is available via streaming service Shudder through July 25 as part of Etheria Film Night'sEtheria Film Festival 2021 short films showcase.

Directed by Chazelle, "Narrow" is about a woman (also Chazelle) trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, putting one foot in front of the other on a thin path through the landscape as she's stalked by a mysterious entity.

Chazelle confidently balances between ambiguity and world-building, giving her audience a few key pieces of information and then asking them to figure things out for themselves.

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"I was very adamant from the start that I didn't want to explain too much of the world," said Chazelle."I love post-apocalyptic worlds and I love horror and the ones that Ifind myself continually drawn to are the ones where I feel like they really trust the audience with the information they've presented and that they don't feel the need to over-explain too much."

Chazelle, now based in Los Angeles, is the sister of Oscar-winning "Whiplash" filmmaker Damien Chazelle, andappeared in his films "La La Land" (2016) and "First Man" (2018).

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Filmed in August 2019 at a ranch in Los Angeles' La Tuna Canyon, "Narrow" premiered in August 2020 at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival and has since played the HollyShorts, Nightmares and HorrorHaus Film Festivals.

Next up for Chazelle is the feature "Anemone," a psychological thriller set to be produced by Arclight Films and Zero Gravity. The script is complete and she's gearing up for pre-production, hoping for a late-summer or early-fall shoot.

Looking ahead, she said she's also thought about expanding the world introduced in the 10-minute "Narrow" into a larger work at some point down the road.

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Citing bold works of modern horror such as "The Babadook" (2014), "It Follows" (2015), "A Quiet Place" (2018) and "It Comes at Night" (2017) as favorites, Chazelle explained that she's drawn to post-apocalyptic worlds wheresomething that seems minor has changed.

"But the question is, then, 'What is the ripple effect it causes that forces us to adjust as humans, to adapt?' ... I've always found the most effective horror is in what we don't see ... Our imaginations create something much more horrific than what can actually be created through practical effects or through CGI.... My favorite films have always kept the creatures more in shadow."

The Etheria Film Festival runs June 25 through July 25 on horror streaming service Shudder. For more information, visitetheriafilmnight.com.

Alex Biese has been writing about art, entertainment, culture and news on a local and national level for more than 15 years.

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NJ filmmaker Anna Chazelle steps into the world of horror with 'Narrow' - Asbury Park Press

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