Horror Central's very own L.A. Gore talks Dark Horse (2014) with cult actor Tobin Bell and writer Charles Agron!
L.A. Gore here on behalf of Horror Central and we are here with the one and only Betsy Rue! Quickly becoming a scream queen in her own right, starring in such movies as Groupie, My Bloody Valentine and Rob Zombies Halloween 2, appearing in True Blood, Femme Fatale and currently promoting her brand new movie, Lucky Bastard. Betsy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with Horror Central.
Thanks for having me!
Of course! I just finshed Lucky Bastard last night and have to say, wow! The concept of the film is so simple yet universally applicable. I almost wonder why it hasn’t been done before! Can you tell us a little about what was going through your mind as you were reading this script?
Well, that’s exactly what was going through my mind, I was like Wow, this is kind of interesting, I’ve never heard of a movie like this before! I thought that this could be quite a ride if it’s done right, and the found footage genre was compelling to me because I had never done one before. The challenge of getting used to a camera in your face and actually addressing the camera was tough, because you are always trained to ignore the camera. So, yeah, that’s pretty much what was going through my mind as I was reading the script.
Very cool! One of the things that really struck me about your performance was during the scenes where you were reacting to the genuine creepiness of Ernest, you came across as believable and 100 percent authentic, which is rare in the found footage genre, I was so impressed! Was there any real life inspiration that you kept in mind while delivering this performance?
Not so much, I mean, I’ve come across some creepers. When you do horror movies, you usually get some kind of creeper fan. I mean, they are very passionate about the genre. So, you get some of that. But really what is was was I didn’t develop much of a relationship with Dave and we did that on purpose because I wanted it to be authentic and uncomfortable. So it was easy for me to see it from Ashley’s perspective of “Okay, why is this guy so weird and creepy?
The Upper Footage (2013) follows socialites Blake Pennington, Will Erixon, Taylor Green and Devon Petrovsky on a quest to embrace everything the New York night life has to offer. Nothing is off limits to the quartet- and after scoring a generous amount of cocaine and picking up a woman known only as “Jackie”- they retreat back to Blake’s apartment, where the real party gets underway. The stage is quickly set for the audience to genuinely dislike the majority of the characters, as the dark nature of both Blake Pennington and Devon Petrovsky take over from the get-go, and the viewer is overcome with a sense of dread and uneasiness.
Back at the apartment we witness the group snorting copious amounts of drugs, and the more they consume, the more everything seems to spiral out of control. The sights are set on Jackie (whose face is pixilated throughout the feature to “protect the identity of the victim”), and she is reluctantly convinced to expose herself to the camera. The accompanying scene was omitted from the picture under the pretenses of respecting Jackie’s family, but the viewer is led to believe that either consensual or nonconsensual sexual acts began to transpire between Jackie and two of the three men.
After the footage picks back up, we see a very different scene beginning to unfold. Jackie is hunched over the toilet, vomiting and convulsing as a result of a cocaine overdose. This is laughed off at first, but as the group discovers she is no longer moving, panic sets in, and Blake, Will, Taylor, and Devon are left deciding what to do next.
Am I the only one who remembers Prank from 2008? Directed by Heather Lagenkamp and Danielle Harris and starring Jennifer Blanc, Prank was set to light the horror world on fire. The only problem was… We never got to see it. It disappeared off the genre map and everyone was left to wonder. Fast forward to 2013 and Danielle Harris finally hits the nail on the head with Among Friends, and since this one has actually been released, we can gladly refer to it as her directorial debut.
Among Friends takes place at a twisted dinner party. Bernadette serves as the psychotic hostess, and takes it upon herself to distribute justice amongst her friends that have wronged either themselves or each other. From a drunken ménage à trois to date rape, the punishments are served one by one, and it’s up to each friend to vote for what happens to the other person. Justice isn’t served without meaning at this party, rather it is methodical and cruel. Castration, scalping, nailing hands to the table, and sawing off fingers; it’s all just an average Friday night at Bernadette’s house.
The cameos in this film might be more memorable than the film itself. Jules, tripping on mushrooms, has a vision of Michael Biehn strapped to the table beside her, and in what might be standout scene of the film, clearly sees Danielle Harris herself in the famous clown costume from Halloween fame uttering the name “Rachel…Rachel”. AJ Bowen does a fantastic job in this film in his role of Adam, continuing his recent horror movie familiarity (House of the Devil, You’re Next, Hatchet II, A Horrible Way to Die). And of course, Mr. Kane Hodder himself as the Limo Driver. I found it quite humorous to see the mighty Jason brought down by such small woman.
Among Friends is an amazing addition to any collection out there. Danielle Harris has proven herself time and time again to be the reigning champion of the horror world. This movie offshoots murder with personal vindication and exposes how far human beings will go when they believe they have been wronged. The storytelling is miles ahead of the mainstream horror movie, brilliantly written by Alyssa Lobit. Danielle Harris has finally added director to her resume. And that’s a damn good resume.
I would like to begin this glimpse into Jessica Cameron's directorial debut 'Truth or Dare' by pointing out that I had high expectations for the scream queen's anticipated film. However the motion picture that pushed it's proverbial cork screw into my retina was entirely unexpected as it truly surpassed my expectations and that of the atypical “Safe” film debut by a director.. It was a masterpiece painted in gore and the controversial, the beautiful and the simply cringe worthy. BLOODY FUCKING BRILLIANT. I'll get more into my analysis of the film after we take a step back and take a look at the plot itself.
Truth or Dare follows a doomed group known as “The Truth or Dare Devils”, friends and talented film-makers who've found success with viral videos depicting the troupe playing dangerous yet fake interpretations of the social game we all have played at one time or another. It is in their most recent filming of the popular internet based “reality” show, that one obsessed fan decides that not only should he be a part of the upcoming episode, but lend his own demented form of “realism” that he believes the show is lacking. The events that follow will prove to be eye-opening for those whom chose falsehood in the shadow of truth, and painful for those who thought “dare” was a welcomed friend.
As horror fans, we take what we can get these days. Most theatrical releases are less than original, and if we even see them at all, odds are the majority of us go in with our expectations low. Though there have been exceptions recently (the fantastic “You’re Next” comes to mind), mainstream producers seem to target a very specific audience for a quick cash grab, either in the form of the all-too-popular remake, or the monotonous sequels that (most of) us die-hards are neutral of anyway.
In this day and age, the bottom line is profit. This almost always means sacrificing the budget of the film and capitalizing in earning more revenue than it took to produce the picture in the first place. The easiest way to achieve this, or so it would seem, is the found-footage genre of horror. Though Cannibal Holocaust is usually noted as the “first” in this series, it was The Blair Witch Project that catapulted this style into the mainstream psyche and left an almost constant string of successful “do-it-yourself” motion pictures in the memory of the movie going audience.
With this fact virtually undisputed, it is without question that big business filmmakers are aware of the fact that the horror audience is growing tired of the found-footage films. As excited as we were for films like Cloverfield, [REC], and Paranormal Activity, the magic has worn off, so to speak, and we are all left asking each other the same question: what next?
20th Century Fox has come close to answering that question for us in the upcoming release of the Matt Bettinelli-Olpin directed Devil’s Due, coming to theatres January 17, 2014. The trailer itself has generated some buzz in the horror world, yet mostly for how it reminds us of The Devil Inside and feels reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby. Yet they have taken things quite a step further, and by navigating through the official movie website, you will arrive at a tab under the title of “Convert”...
The Human Race (2013) follows 80 confused people from all walks of life after they are plucked from their everyday lives to participate in a race to stay alive. Each participant in this competition of life or death hears their own voice in their heads telling them the rules of a game being played in an unknown location, 'If you are lapped twice, you die. If you step off the path, you die. If you touch the grass, you will die. Race... or die.' The struggle to survive and determine what brought these doomed people together for this contest of futility will prove exhausting and lethal.
In the slew of films depicting a group of unrelated individuals forced into the ever-present battle to the death, there has been many of noteworthy films. From Battle Royal to the new Hunger Games Franchise inspired by the novels of the same name, a niche is being carved from the genre that is oddly pleasant to watch. It is in the vein of such films that The Human Race makes it's presence known as a unique and inventive stab at the horror premise where seeming everything has become redundant.
What I found separated The Human Race from similar films that preceded it, was an incomparable cinematic brilliance and perhaps the most rounded group of actors I've ever seen in an independent horror film. Taking the lead and showing that “handicap” is a misnomer is Eddie McGee. Former Big Brother winner and inspiration to those whom have followed his career, McGee's role solidifies him as a role model for fellow amputees and industry newcomers alike.
Open Grave follows the events that unfold when John, a middle aged man with no recollection of who he is our why he is in a pit full of bodies, climbs from the chasm of death to inevitably meet others who are burdened by similar memory loss. In a struggle to figure out the circumstances of their amnesia and who is responsible for the macabre that lurks in the unknown outside, tensions and confusion culminate to something none of them could have anticipated.
This is undoubtedly the most brilliant work to date from Director Gonzalo López-Gallego. A meeting of some of the most underrated actors in the last decade, cinematography that makes the abundance of awards the film won entirely justified, and spot on writing...Open Grave flawlessly injects you with a state of morbid curiosity equaled to that of the characters themselves. As much as I'd like to spew all this film's secrets and correlate it to the specific genre which it impeccably perfected, a promise that you will be awestruck is going to have to suffice.
The Dirties follows two high school friends as they collaborate on a film project about taking revenge on their tormentors and fellow classmates which they've nicknamed “The Dirties”. As their film evolves, and their friendship faces it's own unique challenges, it becomes apparent that one of the two friends has taken the notion of revenge to the next level.
Perhaps the most anticipated film of 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures 'Godzilla' has caused quite the uproar in the horror community.
Starring Ken Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, and written by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont, and Dave Callaham... The 2014 release has undoubtedly the perfect storm of talent involved to see this film into the Godzilla history books.
ENJOY the official trailer for the film that has horror and sci-fi fans foaming at the mouth, and stay tuned... As Horror Central will keep you up to date on all things 'Godzilla' (2014)!