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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Images Reveal The Insanity That Is "Mandy"


Tons of new images reveal the insanity that is "Mandy". The film is a new horror experience starring Nicholas Cage and directed by Panos Cosmatos. It hits theatres September 14th and costars  Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy and Olwen Fouéré with Richard Brake and Bill Duke.

"Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.”









Trailer Released For Blumhouse Horror "Hurt"


The trailer has been released for Blumhouse's upcoming horror "Hurt". The film is directed by Sonny Mallhi and stars Emily Van Raay, Andrew Creer, Bradley Hamilton, Stephanie Moran, and Natalie Olivia Clarke. Check it out below. 

Rose moves into a house in the woods close to her sister after her boyfriend gets deployed and things don’t go right when Halloween night arrives.

Trailer Released For "Elizabeth Harvest"


The official trailer has been released for upcoming horror "Elizabeth Harvest". The film is directed by Sebastian Gutierrez and stars Abbey Lee, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds, Matthew Beardand Dylan Baker. It makes a theatrical debut and On Demand August 10th. 


Newlywed Elizabeth (Abbey Lee) arrives with her brilliant scientist husband Henry (Ciaran Hinds) to his magnificent estate, where he wows her with lavish dinners and a dazzling tour of the property.  The house staff, Claire (Carla Gugino) and Oliver (Matthew Beard), treats her deferentially but she can’t shake the feeling something is off.  Henry explains that everything in his world now belongs to her, all is for her to play in — all except for a locked-off room he forbids her from entering.  When he goes away for business Elizabeth decides to investigate and finds she may not be who she thinks she is at all.

Teaser Trailer For M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass" Released


The teaser trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass". Third in the "Unbreakable" Trilogy, the film focuses on James McAvoy’s supervillain The Beast. Glass is set to hit theaters January 18th.

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

August Release For Apocalyptic Thriller "What Still Remains "


Strike the Sun Entertainment is very proud to announce that WHAT STILL REMAINS will open in cinemas on August 10th and on VOD nationwide on August 14th, 2018.
Twenty-five years after a viral outbreak decimated the population, the remaining survivors still fear that deadly illness and the feral “Changed” it has created. Against this post-apocalyptic backdrop, a young woman loses her family and struggles to survive on her own in the wilderness. When a lonely traveler offers her a place in his community, she must decide if the promise of a better life is worth the risk of trusting him. But as she ventures out into a world she’s never known, she discovers there are far more dangers than the legends of savage beasts from her childhood. Numerous factions of humanity still endure and she will learn people can become their own kind of monster.

What Still Remains stars Lulu Antariksa (T@gged), Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time), Mimi Rogers (The X-Files), Dohn Norwood (Hell on Wheels), and Jeff Kober (The Walking Dead). It was written and directed by Josh Mendoza.

Release Details Announced For "Devil's Cove"


Trailer premiere for award-winning independent thriller DEVIL’S COVE, in theaters this August

In his award-winning feature directorial debut, opening August 3 in L.A theaters, director Erik Lundmark serves up a roguishly electrifying indie take on Thelma & Louise that pits an interracial couple against a dark highway.

New girl in town Toni (Christelle Baguidy) is unhappy in her marriage to the vehement Rick. Not surprisingly, her eye catches that of another- Jackie (Chloe Traicos in an award-nominated performance), a woman who recently escaped a jail sentence involving the death of her child. When Rick (Cameron Barnes) gets wind of the passionate relationship his wife is having with Jackie, he erupts into a fiery rage. In an act of self-defence, Toni and Jackie end Rick’s life. To stay out of jail, the duo hit the road – one with many twists and turns in it.
Made for just $10,000 by Leomark Studios, the truly independent “Devil’s Cove” premiered at the New York City International Film Festival where it was nominated for two Best Actress awards (for Chloe Traicos) and Best Original Screenplay. Director Erik Lundmark also won a Global Accolade at the Global Accolade Awards.
Chloe Traicos, Christelle Baguidy, Cameron Barnes, Westworld’s Michael Keyes and Sammy Anderson co-star in Devil’s Cove, opening in theaters August 3.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Poster And Release Details Announced For "Cynthia"

Check out the poster released for upcoming horror film "Cynthia". The release comes ahead of the film and stars Comic Con appearance. It is directed by Devon Downs and Kenny Gage. "Cynthia" is due out September 18th on DVD/VOD and stars Scout Taylor-Compton, Sid Haig, and Bill Moseley.


"Cynthia" is a horror film about the 'perfect' couple and their desperate obsession to have a child.

Release Details Announced For "Patient Zero"


Stefan Ruzowitsky's upcoming zombie horror "Patient Zero" has been given a August 14th release date. The film, starring Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, and Stanley Tucci, hits VOD with a limited theatrical run coming September 14th. "Patient Zer" releases courtesy of Vertical Entertainment.

The story takes place after a super-virus has turned humankind into highly intelligent, streamlined killers. Smith portrays an asymptomatic victim who can communicate with the infected and must lead the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

Clip Released For "3: An Eye For An Eye"


Check out the clip released for Uncork'd Entertainment's upcoming release of "3: An Eye For An Eye". The film is directed by Lou Simon and expected on streaming platforms August 7th. It stars Aniela McGuinness, Todd Bruno, Mike Stanley, and Katie Carpenter.

A man and a woman kidnap her rapist in order to extract a confession from him. They need to get his confession on tape because he has made up an alibi. Locked up in the basement of a remote home, he is unwilling to confess on camera and continues to assert his innocence. With time running out, how far are they willing to go for justice and what if they are wrong?

Artwork And Trailer Release For "Along Came The Devil"


Gravitas Ventures has released new artwork and official trailer, along with movie release details, for upcoming supernatural thriller "Along Came The Devil". The film stars Jessica Barth, Matt Dallas, Sydney Sweeney, Madison Lintz, Heather DeVan, and Bruce Davison. Ithits DVD and VOD August 10th.

Ashley (Sydney Sweeney, “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is sent to live with her estranged Aunt Tanya (Jessica Barth, Ted 2) . While in her old hometown she has visions of her deceased mom, driving her to contact the spirit world. Ashley unknowingly unearths a demonic force, which leaves her loved ones fighting for her soul. The film also stars Matt Dallas (Painted Woman), Bruce Davison (Insidious: The Last Key), Madison Lintz (“Bosch”), and Heather DeVan.

Poster Released For Tristan Risk's "Parlour Tricks"

We are thrilled to announce that House of Hiss, in partnership with Bad Cookie Pictures has finished post production on Parlour Tricks, a new horror-comedy short from the wacky mind of Tristan Risk. Risk, well known on the horror scene from American Mary, Frankenstein Created Bikers, Aliens Ate My Homework, Ayla, and ABC’s of Death 2.




Set in the 1920’s, Parlour Tricks follows a family who summon an unexpected guest during an unusual seance.
The film stars several well known Vancouver performers such as Gidget Gravedigger (Caravan of Creeps, Dark Entries podcast, Abracadaver Cabaret), Emma Eldritch( Abracadaver Cabaret, Dark Entries podcast, Osculum Infame), Tyler Nichols (Howard Lovecraft and the undersea kingdom, 28 Geeks Later), and Sean Covernton (Princess Blasteroid, The Basketball Game, Trick or Treat:The Halloween Party).

Also behind the camera, Cinematographer and Editor Jordan Barnes-Crouse (Extra-Ordinary Amy, Ghost Can, The Sleep of Endymion) and Producer/Production Designer Topher Graham (The Man in the Rabbit Mask, Punks Vs. Lizards, Madre De Dios) with additional support from Selena Raskin, Ben Gammound, and Burns the Dragon.
The film will feature an original score by Kris Wood (Blackberry Wood) and the poster was created by Sean Covernton. Parlour Tricks will be making its festival run this year, you can follow news and updates on the facebook page, 

Release Details Announced For "Welcome To Hell" Anthology


Release details have been announced for upcoming horror anthology "Welcome To Hell". The film, formally titled "Tales Of Hell", will be released by Wild Eye Releasing on October 9th. "Welcome To Hell" stars Bill Oberst Jr. It is available for preorder at Amazon.

"Welcome to Hell" consists of seven short films – After Hours, Dead Therapy, Family Time, Lucid, Maternal Instincts, Narrative and Slit – from film-makers Michael Aguiar, Sam Mason-Bell, Henrik Berregaard, James Cullen Bressack, Brad Bruce, Colin Clarke, Jeff Kacmarynski and Tony Newton.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

My Review Of "The Rift: Dark Side Of The Moon"


Directed by Dejan Zecevic, "The Rift: Dark Side Of The Moon" is a sci-fi horror that takes familiar concepts and folds them into a mash-up of spy thriller and nightmare tripgasm. It stars . Ken Foree, Katarina Čas, Dragan Mićanović, Monte Markham, Denis Murić, Miroljub Lešo, Sonja Vukićević, Ratko Turčinović and Mick Garris. 

An American military satellite crash lands in Eastern Serbia and a team of US and Serbian agents are dispatched to secure the remains of the satellite, but when they locate the crash site all is not as it seems.

With a kickoff more familiar to low budget black opd, I Spy movies, "The Rift: Dark Side Of The Moon" sluggishly and clumsily starts out. It is a beginning that feels forced into plotline and makes for a questionable start. I just knew I was gonna check out before the story really took off. Oddly enough , I hung in and found myself curiously intrigued, much like waiting for a train wreck.

Once "The Rifts" concept takes murky shape, and the sci-fi tropes really become centerstage,  the film becomes a managabe, all be it, mediocre experience. The acting stays choppy,  and filled with over acting and melodrama. Oddly enough it starts to actually work in the film's favor. Much like many of the bad but good episodes of the reboot to "Outer Limits" back in the day.

The special effects are mixed with almost trance influenced psychedelic CGI moments, and very horror inspired practical effects reminiscent of Lovecraft adaptations. Pick one. Overall I ended "The Rift" entertained, impressed even. What starts as a hot mess,  so I thought, rebounds into a neat lowbudget ride into a little slice of Hell. (2.5/5)

My Review Of "The Open House "


"The Open House", written and directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote, released on Netflix January 19th 2018. The horror film stars Dylan Minette, Piercey Dalton, Shari Atkins, Patricia Bethune and Aaron  Abrams. It is a temped nightmare scenario that plays on fears of home invasion- "the killer is in the house".

Following a tragedy, a mother and her teen son move to a relative's vacant vacation home, where eerie and unexplained forces conspire against them.

Angel and Cootes' script is rough to watch at times, too many times, to be honest. The concept, though generic as it may be,  held promise, but the indecision is a killer that just keeps hacking at moment after moment in this movie.  A strong beginning worthy of any horror story setup quickly falls short as aimless and almost random moments clog the film's story. 

The effects are minimum, with most the film forcing the viewer to latch on to creepy atmosphere, character play that feels detached, and shock gags that seem more at home on shows like 'Evil Things' or 'A Haunting'. With on exception.  The final act- my favorite part. It was bloody brutal and horrific in its cruelty. Still not enough to save "The Open House". 

Overall this is a sad "should'a', could'a', would'a'" experience through and through. The beginning should have catepolted "The Open House" into a nightmare setup. The mother-son in unknown environment,torment both by circumstance and evildoers, should have brought out scares and fears that took aim at the true plot, and the ending with the reveal and terrifying nature would have hit home and satisfied horror fans. But hey- "should'a', could'a', would'a'" -right. (2/5)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

August Release Date Announced For "Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich"


Press Release:
We are excited to be working with RLJE Films on the terrifying new vision of Charles Band’s horror classic, PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH.
The film made its World Premiere earlier this year at the Overlook Film Festival and will be released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on August 17th.
PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH stars Thomas Lennon (I Love You, Man, “Reno 911!”), Jenny Pellicer (“State of Affairs”, “The Bridge”), Nelson Franklin (“Black-sih,” “New Girl”), Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up, This Is 40), Michael Pare (Gone, The Virgin Suicides), Barbara Crampton (“The Young and the Restless”, You’re Next), and Udo Kier (Downsizing, Melancholia, Blade).
The film is written by S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99) and co-directed by Sonny Laguna (Wither, Animalistic, Blood Runs Cold) and Tommy Wiklund (Wither, Animalistic, Madness). Award winning SFX artist, Tate Steinsiek (The Amazing Spider-Man, Knock Knock) serves as principle Creature and Puppet Designer.
In PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH, Edgar (Thomas Lennon), recently divorced, returns to his childhood home to where he finds a nefarious looking puppet in his deceased brother’s room. He decides to sell the doll for some quick cash at a small-town convention celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the infamous Toulon Murders. All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets at the convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.

Frightening Michael Myers Image Released

Check out the frightening image of Michael Myers released in EW first look. The new "Halloween" film hits theatres on October 19th and stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Judy Greer, Virginia “Ginny” GardnerMiles RobbinsDylan Arnold and Drew Scheid. Nick Castle returns to drop bodies this Halloween.


A British documentary crew comes to the States to visit Michael in prison for a retrospective of the maniac’s night of terror — but their project becomes way more interesting when Myers escapes custody, retrieves his signature mask and seeks revenge on Laurie, with others naturally being part of his impressive career body count along the way.
In the decades following the fateful Halloween night that forever altered the former babysitter’s life, Laurie has armed and prepped herself for Michael’s inevitable return — to the detriment of her family, including daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson.

New Intense Trailer For "Unfriended : Dark Web" Released


A new intense trailer for upcoming horror "Unfriended: Dark Web" has been released ahead of the July 20th release date. Written and directed by Stephen Susco, the film stars Betty Gabriel, Colin Woodell, Andrew Lees, and Connor Del Rio. Check it out below.

Unfolding in real-time UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB is the most terrifying horror yet from the producer of GET OUT, HAPPY DEATH DAY and THE PURGE, and the makers of UNFRIENDED. When a 20-something finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop, he and his friends are unwittingly thrust into the depths of the dark web. They soon discover someone has been watching their every move and will go to unimaginable lengths to protect the dark web.

Poster And Trailer For "The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina"


A teaser poster and trailer has been released for Netflix's reimagining of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. The upcoming series "Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina" stars Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman. Hilda and Zelda will be played by Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto.


Reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, this adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature – half-witch, half-mortal – while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.

Poster Release And Details On Upcoming "Hell Fest"

Check out the teaser poster for upcoming horror "Hell Fest", directed by Gregory Plotkin. It stars Amy Forsyth (Rise), Reign Edwards (Snowfall), Bex Taylor-Klaus (The Killing), Christian James(Nashville), Roby Attal (The Long Road Home), Matt Mercurio (Black Lightning), and horror icon Tony Todd (Candyman). "Hell Fest" is slated for a September 28th release.


College student Natalie (Forsyth) is visiting her childhood best friend Brooke (Edwards) and her roommate Taylor (Taylor-Klaus).  If it was any other time of year these three and their boyfriends might be heading to a concert or bar, but it is Halloween which means that like everyone else they will be bound for Hell Fest – a sprawling labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes that travels the country and happens to be in town.  Every year thousands follow Hell Fest to experience fear at the ghoulish carnival of nightmares.
But for one visitor, Hell Fest is not the attraction – it is a hunting ground.  An opportunity to slay in plain view of a gawking audience too caught up in the terrifyingly fun atmosphere to recognize the horrific reality playing out before their eyes.  As the body count and frenzied excitement of the crowds continue to rise, he turns his masked face to Natalie, Brooke, Taylor and their boyfriends who will fight to survive the night.

Friday, July 13, 2018

New Title For James Wan's "The Children"

James Wan's next horror has a new title. Though the film isn't due out till April 2019, "The Children" as been renamed "The Curse Of LA Llorona". Directed by Michael Chaves, the film stars Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou, and Sean Patrick Thomas.


The story follows a social worker who, while investigating the mysterious disappearance of two children, discovers her own family might also be in jeopardy.

My Review Of "The World Over"


"The World Over" is directed by Heath C. Michaels and stars Tess Granfield and Brett Keating. The film blends sci-fi and horror in a dark parable with fatal consequence. It is told effortlessly with drama and atmosphere combined to create a twist nightmare.

When a couple discovers a door leading to a parallel world, they find themselves embroiled in a dangerous game of mistaken identity after coming face-to-face with mirror images of themselves.

"The World Over " explores the theory of a multiverse with a clever and emotional story. It is well written and the cinematography is just elegant. In the short amount of time given Michael's characters are nicely developed and genuine. The mix of sci-fi with an almost visceral horror edge feels very millennial, while giving perfect homage to classic elements reminiscent of cult anthology shorts I watched with 'Night Gallery'. Dark, fantastical and nightmarish. (5/5) 

"NIGHT OF THE DEMONS" Celebrate 30th Birthday At Hollywood Horrorfest


Cult film and ‘80s fan favorite NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is celebrating its 30th birthday at Hollywood Horrorfest Saturday, July 28 with the colorful fundraising event benefiting the Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles.  
 

Director Kevin Tenney and his film’s cast and crew, including Philip Tanzini, Cathy Podewell, Kevin Kutchaver, Kathy Zielinski, Steve Johnson, Lance Fenton, Billy Gallo and Hal Havins (more names TBA) will join Tenney for a post-screening Q&A, photo ops aplenty and 80's after-party for all.

Kevin Tenney has been amazing in putting the cast together for this charity event, and we’ve had so many people donate both prizes and their services for free. Everyone’s doing it for the love. Shows you how much respect Kevin and the film have amongst fans and people in the industry” says Festival Director Miles Flanagan.
 
"NIGHT OF THE DEMONS’ 1988 release - grossing over $3 million against its $1 million budget - spawned two sequels and a remake. But did anyone know at the time how successful this little indie was going to be?

"Honestly, if you'd asked any one of the cast or crew members on the set of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS thirty-something years ago, not one of us would've predicted our little low-budget film would become a holiday perennial, and still be screening for hardcore fans in sold-out venues today. We all just did our best and hoped it would find an appreciative audience. Mission accomplished, I guess..." said Tenney.
 
The film’s soundtrack - by Kevin's brother, Dennis Michael Tenney - has also generated a life of its own; it was recently released by Lunaris Records for the first time ever on vinyl, and the festival will be raffling off copies on the night, courtesy of the label.

"This is so far the craziest NOTD reunion screening event ever put on, and the only 30th Anniversary Reunion. NOTD is the ultimate ‘80s horror party film. That's why we've made this more than just a reunion Q&A, but a full-on party experience.”
 
Keeping the ‘80s party vibe going will be a very special appearance from MTV Video Vixen Macha Bennet-Shephard (formerly Annie Hubbard), the infamous ‘Sister Christian’ from the iconic Night Ranger video in her very first event appearance, who is in fact a big fan of the film. Music throughout the night will be provided by another NOTD fan, DJ HiJinXX - flying in from Europe just for the event - spinning the best in ‘80s rock & pop. 

“Plus we’re screening it in the perfect venue,” continues Flanagan. “It’s not a regular cinema but more of a club - with a proscenium stage, full bar and even a retro disco ball for the after-party. It’s going to be awesome. Our own ‘80s prom for adults.”
 
The party will also include celebrity raffles (with prizes donated by Arrow Video, Wild Eye Releasing, Susete Saraiva, Mull House Pinworks, Dead End Toyz, Will Turner, Hello Gorgeous Creations, Knee High Horror, The Horror Corner and Lunaris Records) as well as NOTD cosplay competitions and much more. The Q&A will be moderated by celebrated journalist Pat Jankiewicz (author of Just When You Thought it Was Safe - a JAWS Companion).

Guests are encouraged to dress accordingly, with prizes for best - or worst - ‘80s attire, with more ‘80s horror icons expected to be on hand to and party like it’s 1988. Tickets, available now at demons.brownpapertickets.com, are very limited, and once sold out online will be unavailable at the door. Doors open at 6:00pm at the Mayflower Club (11110 Victory Boulevard, N. Hollywood, CA 91606).
 
HHF is accepting film and script entries through FILM FREEWAY. Enter now as regular rates end on June 16. 
 
 


Trailer And Images Revealed For Upcoming Horror "Pledge"


Check out the trailer and movie images released for Daniel Robbins' upcoming horror "Pledge". The film premieres at Fantasia on July 24th. It stars Zack WeinerPhillip Botello, Zachery Byrd, Cameron CowperthwaiteAaron Dalla Villa, and Jesse Pimentel

A group of freshmen are offered a chance to pledge what they believe is an exclusive fraternity. FEW GET IN. NONE GET OUT!






First Clip Released For Movie Maverick Retrospective "King Cohen"


The highly anticipated King Cohen, the true story of writer, producer, director, creator and all-around maverick, Larry Cohen,  will receive a full theatrical run across the U.S beginning July 20 in L.A (with other cities in the weeks to follow),  courtesy Dark Star Pictures.
Cohen, best known for resourceful low-budget horror and thriller films that combine social commentary with prerequisite scares and welcome humor, is responsible for celluloid classics including Black Caesar, It’s Alive, Q: The Winged Serpent, and The Stuff. He was also a major player in the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s, as well as a prominent Hollywood screenwriter (Phone Booth).


The acclaimed film features interviews with such industry luminaries as Martin Scorsese, J.J Abrams, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, John Landis, Fred Williamson as well as Cohen himself. Cohen’s remarkable one-of-a-kind career, from 60’s TV series creator (Branded, The Invaders), to 70’s and 80’s independent film icon and beyond, is chronicled with freewheeling and insightful verve.



Winner of the 2017 Fantasia Fest Best Documentary Feature Audience Award, King Cohen hails from Rondo Award-winning writer/director Steve Mitchell, whose film and television credits include co-writing the beloved cult horror/comedy Chopping Mall. King Cohen is a La-La Land Entertainment production, in association with Big And Tall Pictures and Off The Cliff Productions. It is directed and produced by Steve Mitchell and produced by Matt Verboys and Dan McKeon.


King Cohen begins its theatrical run July 20 in LA, with other cities to follow.


 
Synopsis: Buckle up for KING COHEN, the true story of writer, producer, director, creator and all-around maverick, Larry Cohen. Told through compelling live interviews, stills and film/TV clips, the people who helped fulfill his vision, and industry icons such as Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, John Landis, Michael Moriarty, Fred Williamson, Yaphet Kotto and many more, including Larry himself, bring one-of-a-kind insight into the work, process and legacy of a true American film auteur. Few can boast of a career as remarkable or prolific, spanning more than 50 years of entertaining audiences worldwide.






Thursday, July 12, 2018

Documenting The Paranormal, "Darkness Reigns", And Casper Van Dien : My Interview With Andrew P. Jones

Andrew P. Jones' "Darkness Reigns" is a paranormal experience within a paranormal experience - sort of.  The film follows a documentary film crew on set as they journal the behind-the-scenes action of a paranormal film shoot. A mix of supernatural entanglement sets into motion a deadly sequence of nightmarish events

Jones, a lover of the paranormal genre, documentarian and indie filmmaker, creates an ambitious story, produced on a microbudget. He also snags genre icon Casper Van Dien, a legend in the making of the horror and sci-fi genres. I was privileged enough to have an opportunity to interview Andrew P. Jones about "Darkness Reigns" and working with Van Dien.

ASouthrnLifeWhere did the inspiration come from for "Darkness Reigns? 
Andrew P. Jones: Darkness Reigns was inspired by my personal love of the paranormal, as well as my experiences working in the indie film business. I also wanted to figure out how to make a film in an unthinkably short amount of time, so the long, continuous takes was my answer to that.

ASoutherLifeHave you always been interested in the paranormal or did your interest come about from an experience?
Andrew P. Jones: I have always had a general interest in the paranormal.  It's fun for me to stay at "haunted" hotels.  I have made documentaries on the subject, and I have a TV show I'm developing that I think offers a fresh, new take on the ghost hunting genre.  I shot a pilot for that and it involved traveling all over the country and working with a multitude of paranormal researchers.  I would imagine I've been on more ghost hunts with more of a variety of paranormal groups than anyone on the planet.

ASouthernLifeDarkness Reigns" is sort of a "movie within a movie", the making of a horror film and the paranormal experience, how important was it to tell the story this way, and how hard was it to keep the fluidity of your concept?  
Andrew P. Jones: Creating a movie within a movie is challenging on a tight budget because you need to film what looks like a working film set.  The upside is that we didn't need to worry about equipment being in the shot, or clearing away things we might normally clear away.  I remember once my DP, who was operating the camera, stopped during a rehearsal and said, "I need to change this... I caught my shadow on the wall."  A normal thing for a DP to notice.  But after a moment of contemplation, I said, "wait, no it's OK... it's SUPPOSE to be there.  We know there is a cameraman shooting this.... it's his footage we're watching."  So, it was odd to break old habits but it gave us total freedom.

ASouthernLifeWhat classic films told in a similar style did you draw influence from- if any?  
Andrew P. Jones: We get the "found footage" thing a lot, which baffles me.  There is no footage that anyone finds.  It's documentary style.  It's "continuous footage."  So... I get the Blair Witch comparison a lot and there really is zero similarity.   I tend to pay homage to the 80's and 90's when there were more practical effects and movies were a little more about interesting characters.  I think there is a little nod to The Shining in that it's set in an old hotel and there is a cool bar that we had some fun with.

ASouthernLifeIn the film Casper Van Dien plays himself, how was it working with such an iconic talent, and was it always your intentions to have him in the movie?
Andrew P. Jones: When I wrote the script, probably five or six years ago, I had no idea who that might be.  Once my casting director got involved, she pitched me a few names, and I pitched her a few... but honestly Casper was pretty much top of her list.  And I thought it was a great choice because he's not a cliche. It would have been easy for that character to become a joke, and I didn't want that.  He's respected as an actor and beloved by his Starship Troopers fan base.  He has a strong following in family films too.  More than anything he was a joy to work with and I'm at the age where that carries a lot of weight.  After thirty plus years in this business, I like to surround myself with good people who are going to make the experience as enjoyable as it can be, and that is Casper for sure.

ASouthernLifeWhat projects do you have slated now that "Darkness Reigns" is out there, and will it be paranormal in nature?
Andrew P. Jones: I am working on a family film called Harriet Houdini that is near and dear to me.  I also have a couple period dramas that are based on true stories that I am trying to raise money for.  I have a wonderful Christmas movie that I'm hoping to make soon.  All in all I have six features and three TV shows in various stages, so, I'm keeping pretty busy.

ASouthernLifeWho are some other big genre names you would like to work with? 
Andrew P. Jones: I don't think in terms of genre names.  I love actors.  I tend to love the really great character actors, and there is a long list of those I hope to work with like Stephen Root, Len Cariou, Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall... too many to list.  But, I still have a lot of movies to make, so, there's time.

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