#SDCC15: M. Night Shyamalan Talks The Visit and Wayward Pines - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

#SDCC15: M. Night Shyamalan Talks The Visit and Wayward Pines

Published

on

The Visit

M. Night Shyamalan has had a storied career in the film industry which thus far has ranged everywhere from vehemently praised to absolutely maligned. Still, he keeps plugging away and currently has a kick-ass TV show on the air called “Wayward Pines”; and his new movie, The Visit, looks like a psychotically good time.

We caught up with Night in the midst of Comic-Con, and he had a lot to say about both projects and his approach to filmmaking.

I love scary movies,” Shayamalan tells us. “I never really considered my previous films as scary though… but The Visit? Yeah! This is the one. The intention of the film is to thrill and scare. I mean, sure, with The Sixth Sense and Signs, there were some terrifying things about those films, but I would consider them more thrillers than horror films. Making The Visit was A LOT of fun, and that translates to the screen when you watch the movie. The weirdness of The Visit is actually my favorite part. It’s mischievous. When watching the flick with an audience, invariably people start reacting; they’re like ‘What the fuck? What did I just see? What does that even mean?’ The audience intuitively knows that they’re being fucked with but in a very fun way. Pulling the rug out from the viewer and making them laugh and scream is what it’s all about for me. I really got into the dark comedy aspects of The Visit. The movie is just brimming with David Lynchian strangeness. I like it.

M. Night Shyamalan

Shyamalan is very much known for having his films feature some mega-sized twist. We asked about his tendency toward surprising the viewer.

In order to do that, you as a filmmaker have to be okay with something,” Shyamalan elaborates. “That something is you have to be okay with the audience not knowing where they are for a while. You have to be fine with them coming to a conclusion against you. The more an audience commits to their assumptions, the more that you have them. When I first saw The Exorcist, I fell instantly in love with the shape of that movie. It starts in the Middle East, then it gets really quiet for a while, and then it just RAMPS up; and The Visit has that kind of structure to it. It’s meant to build slowly at like 10 miles per hour, then 15, the audience goes, ‘Ugh, I just want them to push it to the edge already.’ Audiences today are used to action-porn or CGI-porn to the point in which they just shut down. With me, I’m trying to hook them. Make them think. The speed keeps building and suddenly – WHAM – we’re at 60 miles per hour but it suddenly feels like 90. The audience gets that adrenaline rush, and that’s the shape, you know? You have to have confidence to make them think that the shape is ‘this’ and then morph into another one.

As he’s both a writer and a director, we wondered what part of the process most excites him as a filmmaker.

I love the solitary nature of writing. That process usually takes me about six to eight months. Towards the last couple of months I start letting other people in to read it. I really need that decompression time just for me and the characters to listen and to learn. Once I’m ready to get a bit more physical, the director in me takes over. I’m very gregarious. I enjoy trying to help and inspire people. By the time I’m done shooting, if I have nothing left in me at all, once I’ve given a project everything I have to the point in which I can no longer even get up… then I know I’ve done it correctly. Then we head into the editing room, which isn’t as solitary of an experience because obviously you have your editor there, so it’s slightly safer because you’re no longer in the moment. The next step is promotion, which lasts a couple of months. After all that I’m ready to be alone again… searching for the next story or character. That’s been the cycle for me; it’s like the passing of the seasons.

For The Visit the horror comes from an older couple, and we all know… old people can be pretty frightening sometimes. Especially when they’re acting kind of odd. We asked Night about the nature of his latest scare duo…

No matter how you slice it, when people begin acting odd, things can get frightening in a hurry. Something that’s frightening to a viewer triggers their sense of the unknown. It could be little things… a noise in another room, even a job offer or a commitment to a relationship. All of those things can trigger an unknown fear factor. It’s interesting that fear can be triggered by having an elderly person do something that is just crazy weird. The situation can be both hilarious and scary. You’re having two emotions boiling over at the same time. That’s what I wanted The Visit to do to the audience. The challenge of the movie was striking that perfect balance between humor and horror. This one took me a LONG time to edit. Much longer than I thought. The very first cut that I put together was like a full-on art house film. Then I went comedy, like it had all of these comedic tones, then I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s anchor this as a thriller.’ Once I came to the conclusion that the predominant spine of the movie was indeed a scary thriller that becomes a horror film, then I knew which of the other things… the artsy things… the humorous things… could stay in service of the movie.

Creepy Night

And what of making a smaller film instead of the usual big-budget Hollywood fare?

Working with Blumhouse Productions and Jason [Blum] has been so liberating. There are very few producers in this world who fulfill the task of being there and supporting the filmmaker. He kept telling me to keep going and that he believed in what I was trying to say with this movie. Jason is the guy who works tirelessly to get everyone to believe in a project. He confronts everyone who tells him, ‘No this isn’t something,’ and tells them, ‘It is! You need to stick with it.’ I’ve seen him do this over and over again.

As for “Wayward Pines,” it’s already been stated that the show was “probably” only going to be running for a single season, but given its success, we inquired whether or not a second season is being talked about or is at all in the cards.

If we do take on a second season, I really want to approach it the right way,” said Night. “We’re not just going to say yes to another season because we can. I’ve been sitting with the writer of the book, Blake Crouch, and it’s important to be confident in what we’re doing and how we are doing it. As a storyteller I don’t think I could guide anyone if I wasn’t sure of where my aim should be. If we can get everything right, we will definitely talk about another season.

The Visit was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars Kathryn Hahn, Ed Oxenbould, Erica Lynne Marszalek, Peter McRobbie, Olivia DeJonge, Deanna Dunagan, Benjamin Kanes, Jon Douglas Rainey, Brian Gildea, Shawn Gonzalez, Richard Barlow, Steve Annan, and Michael Mariano.

Shyamalan produces The Visit through his Blinding Edge Pictures, while Jason Blum produces through his Blumhouse Productions alongside Marc Bienstock (Quarantine 2: Terminal). Steven Schneider (Insidious) and Ashwin Rajan (Devil) executive produce the thriller.

Look for it in theaters on September 11, 2015. For more info follow @TheVisitMovie on Twitter, and visit stayinyourroom.com.

Synopsis:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable) and producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious series) welcome you to Universal Pictures’ The Visit. Shyamalan returns to his roots with the terrifying story of a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.

the-visit-1

The Visit

The Visit

The Visit

Comments

Advertisement
Comments

News

Oy! HANNUKAH THE MOVIE Aims to Get Made After Nearly a Decade

Published

on

This menorah has nothing to do with the story but, c'mon! It's a freaking T-rex menorah!

As a Jew, seeing holiday-themed horror movies is both a wonderful and bittersweet occasion. I love seeing my friends celebrate the holidays that are near and dear to their hearts but elevated with the viscera, gore, and terror that I so dearly love. But while Christians have films like Black Christmas, Santa’s Slay, Gremlins, Red Christmas, Krampus, etc…, the amount of horror films centered around Jewish holidays is slim to none. Don’t get me wrong here, okay? I’m well aware of population dynamics and, therefore, interest in a given subject/life experience. It’d just be nice to see something like that now and again.

Oh, but what’s this? Looks like writer/director Eben McGarr is ready to move forward on his near decade long project Hanukkah The Movie, a “TORAH-fying new tale of HORAH!” I get it. Sensible chuckle awarded.

Obediah Lazarus is the son of Judah Lazarus, the original Hanukkiller. In 1983 Judah terrorized NY for seven nights and was preparing to sacrifice his eight-year-old son, Obediah, on the eighth night. Judah was convinced it was God’s will, like Abraham and Isaac, to sacrifice his only son to God. Luckily for Obediah, police tracked Judah down and stopped the sacrifice, but Judah was gunned down in the process. Warped by hatred with no guidance, Obediah Lazarus becomes a religious extremist, intolerant of non-Jews, “bad Jews”, and those he perceives to be enemies of the Jewish faith. He is about to unleash eight nights of horror.

A group of Jewish teens are getting ready to party for the holidays but are in for a Festival of Frights. With the help of a wise rabbi, they deduce that the murder victims have violated Judaic law and that their only chance at survival is to embrace their faith.

The film has supposedly taken care of the majority of pre-production, so they’re now on Indiegogo with the goal to raise $100,000. Not a small amount but certainly not an unachievable goal. If a potato salad Kickstarter that wanted $10 ended up with nearly $56,000, I think this has a chance.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Trailer: Man-Made Ghosts Invade OUR HOUSE This July

Published

on

IFC Midnight will be unleashing director Anthony Scott Burns’ feature debut Our House come July 27, 2018. The film stars Thomas Mann and Nicola Peltz and today we have the flick’s spooky trailer for your viewing pleasure.

You can check out the poster to the right and the trailer below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Our House is directed by Anthony Scott Burns from a script written by Nathan Parker and stars Thomas Mann and Nicola Peltz. It’s produced by Lee Kim, Martin Katz, Ulf Israel and Karen Wookey. Executive producers are John Davis, Nick Spicer, Kyle Franke, Derek Dauchy, Noah Segal, Adrian Love, David Kehrl and Reik Moller.

The film hits via IFC Midnight this July 27, 2018.

Synopsis:

The story of a young genius who accidentally invents a device that amplifies the paranormal activity within his family’s house, possibly bringing back the spirits of loved ones — and unleashing things that are far worse.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

AMERICAN HORROR STORY 8 Begins Filming This June

Published

on

American Horror Story Season 6It was just the other day that we let you guys know that Billie Lourd will be back for the upcoming 8th season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story.

And today we have word via Deadline that the new season, rumored to be titled AHS: Radioactive will begin shooting around June 16.

Are you excited to hear filming will soon begin on AHS 8? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

AHS Season 8 stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billie Lourd, Kathy Bates, and new cast member Joan Collins, who will play Peters’ grandmother. Murphy has revealed he’s interested in casting Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family) as well.

 

 

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC