Director Joe Lynch Talks Everly, Action and Putting Salma Hayek in a Cage - Dread Central
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Director Joe Lynch Talks Everly, Action and Putting Salma Hayek in a Cage

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The Salma Hayek-fueled rocket-ride Everly (review) is thrilling audiences. And director Joe Lynch is loving the response. Recently Lynch sat down with Dread Central to talk about the making of Everly and his thoughts on recent reactions to the film.

Lynch came right out of the gate with a comment that anyone who’s seen Everly could have guessed. “We wanted to make a roller coaster ride in 90 minutes,” Lynch said. And that pretty much sums up Everly. In a previous interview Lynch described the movie as “Die Hard in a room.” As unfathomable as that statement is, it’s pretty much true.

Joe Lynch

So what kind of reaction is Lynch getting to the film? Very positive with one word repeatedly coming up… fun. “In the last couple of months I’ve noticed that the word ‘fun’ is an easy way of dusting any kind of criticism under the carpet,” Lynch said. “People would say, ‘What did you think of the movie?’ ‘It was fun.’ Kind of like, ‘Meh’. But I never understand how fun became kind of a bad thing. I think any time you hear a movie is fun, I want to see that over hearing it’s ‘riveting!’, ‘spellbinding’ or a ‘tour de force’. Those things make me go, ‘Okay, I’ll probably get a screener at the end of the year and watch it for Academy considerations.’ And that’s not to knock any of those movies at all. But I still love to go to the movies to see something that’s fun. Especially if it’s fun that pushes a couple of buttons, too. We wear fun proudly on our sleeve. That’s really what we were going for from the beginning.”

Lynch is finding Everly to be a unique experience for him as a filmmaker because it’s affecting him in a way none of his other projects have in the past. “It’s not a perfect movie,” Lynch said. “I’m not sitting here going, ‘I’ve done it! I’ve conquered the formula!’ No movie is perfect, but I can still watch Everly, which I still find is a weird rarity. Usually I’ll sit outside of the theater during screenings. I never really want to subject myself to something I’ve seen a million times, but this is one that’s just so much fun, especially when you watch it with an audience.”

A couple screenings in particular really hit home with Lynch. “We recently played the movie in two places,” Lynch said. “We played at the drive-in… and seeing the movie there had to be one of the best days of my life. I’ll remember it on my death bed. As my life is flashing before me in a montage, a couple frames of that montage will be dedicated to me sitting at that drive-in, the one that I’ve been going to for the last 10 years, sitting out there in the open air with a bunch of people and watching my movie up there on that screen. That was epic. People were honking their horns. It was perfect.”

Lynch continued, “Then we created a midnight show. My god, what an amazing audience. That’s the kind of audience we were kind of making Everly for. You never want to say to an executive or a financier, ‘We’re making a midnight movie,’ but I speak for the producers and myself and the other filmmakers, our hearts were in this genre. Of course, everyone wants to make a commercial movie, but at the same time, we wanted to cater to those things that made us love these particular movies, those particular thrillers, those particular foreign films, and obviously, our love for the horror genre as well.” Lynch said.

But this is not just a shoot ’em up bloodbath. Everly is much more than that, and Lynch talked about the intricacies of the picture. “Life is not consistently a comedy. Life is not consistently a horror film (although some people may think that),” Lynch said.“When I wake up in the morning, sometimes life’s a horror show; by the time I get home at night, it’s a comedy. And, in the case of events in Everly, in one lone night, you need to have those moments that let the audience know that there’s an emotional component attached as well. There’s some serious parts, there’s some parts that are a little more emotional, there’s a lot of screaming and yelling, and there’s some gunfire and explosives. But if you don’t have that levity, if you don’t have that slight sense of humor to the proceedings, then it’s going to be a bit of a slog. At least for this movie, we knew we wanted to make, not a B-movie, but a B+ movie.”

At this point, the big question arose. How the hell did you get Salma Hayek to put herself through the torment required of an actress to play the part of Everly? “Every day, she would come in and be like ‘Oh my god, what have we done now?’ Lynch said. “But always in good spirits because she’s a professional and she knows she’s got a job to get done. She really trusted in us in saying, ‘I know this is crazy. I know this is insane. This is the kind of movie we’re making, but just remind me how crazy we’re going.’ She never balked at anything.” Impressive.

There was one particular scene that really pushed Hayek to her limits and it involved confining her in a cage. Lynch talked about how this developed. In trying to decide how to work a particular scene and make a huge cage kind of disappear out of the way, the filmmaking team came up with a great solution. “Togo Igawa, who played The Sadist said, ‘Why don’t we put Salma in the cage?'” Lynch said. “Originally, the cage was just going to kind of dance away, but I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ Then I thought, ‘She’ll probably never go for this’ because I remember at one point during our many discussions her saying that she’s claustrophobic and she’s not going to go for that. But what a great idea. So I bounced it off the producers and they said, ‘That sounds great! I don’t know if she’s going to go for it.’ So we had to be a little bit strategic on how we asked her. The next morning I just kind of slipped it in there and said, ‘Oh, Salma, I think we figured out a great way of dealing with The Masochist scene. What if we put you in the cage?’ And shockingly, she said, ‘That’s a great idea.’ I think she probably regretted that decision because when we put her in the cage and tied her up, you could just tell she was not happy or comfortable. And frankly, who would be in that situation?”

And, yeah, as it turned out, Hayek really didn’t appreciate being in the cage. But she did it and the scene turned out great. What a trooper! “So what you see on camera, the crying, the tears, the nervousness, the utter want to get the fuck out of there, that was all her,” Lynch continued. “That was real. The second we called ‘cut’, she said ‘Get me the fuck out of here!’ Everybody rushed in and untied her and she bolted the fuck out of there. All of that is in the movie. It’s there and the fact that people are so affected by that scene is a testament to her bringing her real life and her real fears into that moment.”

And the dedication Hayek showed by going outside her comfort level was mirrored by the entire cast and crew of Everly according to the director. “Everybody involved in the making of Everly was incredibly passionate about making this movie, making it fun and making it something you’d never forget,” Lynch said. “We weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here, but if you get on our coaster and latch in and you’re yelling and screaming and having a blast by the end, then we did our job.”

There are some fantastically unique camera angles used in the movie, one of the most memorable being the opening scene which is shot from over a doorway as a broken and naked Everly pulls herself through. “Dramatically, we wanted to peer down at Everly at her lowest,” Lynch said. “I always wanted to have this god-like view of her to show how small and how fragile and how weak she is at this point. Then, she walks past a shower curtain and you have all these little images of her at the same time and, to me, that’s someone being shattered and broken into pieces But the idea was if we break her down to her lowest form, or her lowest emotional state, and allow her to fight for herself and build herself up to this sort of phoenix rising out of the ashes.”

According to Lynch, Everly would not have been the same film without the incredible work done by the team creating the sound. “Let me just give a quick shout-out to the guys who did the sound on the movie,” he said. “Sonic Magic in LA. Trevor Gates did the sound design. Very rarely will you ever get a sound designer who gets a main, on-end credit in a movie. He’s the one who designed all the sound F/X for the movie. A lot of it was completely created just for us, and I think it’s a character in the movie. How he was able to sustain an entire action scene over the phone, how he was able to give life to things like Maisey’s doll… There’s so much of the world that you need to hear, to be enveloped in the audio of it. The assault scene in the opening, the assault scene on the camera. Such a complex, important part of the filmmaking process is the sound, and Trevor from Sonic Magic and Jonathan Wales killed it. I cannot recommend them higher.”

The astute viewer may have noticed a familiar face in the finale of the movie. Lynch talked about his cameo in Everly. “I had to, I had to do it,” Lynch said. “It was partially practical, like, ‘Oh crap, we could probably save on a local if we just had someone from the crew…’ and I was like, ‘I’ll do it!’ Who doesn’t want to direct a bunch of actors while wearing a SWAT team outfit? It was pretty badass, I have to say. And very sweaty. I think they had to hose that thing down when I was done with it.”

SPOILER ALERT
Okay, maybe not a total spoiler, but we don’t want to take any chances. Anyway, if you’ve seen the film, read on. If you want to be totally uninformed of any aspects of the end of the film, skip these last few paragraphs.

So, we here at Dread Central would like to recommend Everly Lives as the title for a sequel that just screams to happen. Lynch discussed that possibility. “When we sold it to Crime Scene, Adam Ripp, the head producer there, had said, ‘I want it to have a sequel. I want to know what happened after that final shot,'” Lynch said. “That’s kind of how we designed it. And if it never happens, I still love movies like that that keep things as open-ended as possible, because, who knows, in 20 years, there might be a sequel and we’ll find out what happens then.”

Lynch continued on his inspirations for continuing the story. “The idea of a bigger world outside of that room we see Everly in was always very prevalent. We were always building around the room,” he said. “Like, why is Taiko in America with his Yakuza faction? So we came up with this whole backstory. So we come up with Taiko importing the ideals behind Yakuza to America. And I was like, ‘Why hasn’t anyone done that before?’ How the city around them is affected by Taiko. There’s a lot more story around it. Like how Gareth did The Raid and The Raid 2. There’s a very particular subset of action going on in this tower, but there’s more to the story than that. So then, when you get to Berandal, here’s the world for better or worse. If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. I was so enriched by the almost heat-like world that he created around it. That was something we were always discussing and I think time will tell if we ever get a chance to do that, but there are definitely storylines we want to explore more if given a chance. For me, the biggest thing was I know what happens to Maisey next. We know. We have a very good idea what happens to her.”

“The biggest thing for me is when people walk away from the movie is if they are asking about what happened to these characters. Then we’ve done our jobs,” Lynch said. “Because, when you’re watching an action movie, or a genre movie, it’s very rare that you go, ‘Well, what’s next?’ If we’ve done our jobs right, people want to know what happens after that last show, and hopefully someday we’ll find out.”

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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