Renee Olstead Talks Unfriended - Dread Central
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Renee Olstead Talks Unfriended

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Unfriended

I think we can all agree that the internet is one of the most deadly places to hang around, especially when there’s the spirit of a dead classmate terrorizing your Facebook page or wreaking havoc inside of your iTunes playlist.

In all seriousness, we here at Dread Central were pleased to be able to chat with the ever-so inviting star of Unfriended, Renee Olstead. So huddle around your laptops and enjoy our talk about what creeps her out, her role in the film, and upcoming projects!

Unfriended hits Blu-ray and DVD on August 11th!

DC: Can you start off by giving us the lowdown on the film – what’s it all about?

RO: Unfriended, I think, is a very innovative and creative film that people haven’t seen before – we’ve spent so much of our lives being engrossed with what’s on our computers that it’s easy for people to buy into it as well because most people in one way or another have experienced one form or another of internet negativity and the idea of how it can take on, and actually become, the monster. It’s been really interesting to see the reaction because people aren’t used to seeing horror in that world, and it’s gotten a really good reaction so far.

DC: What was the shoot like? I can imagine it wasn’t your conventional filming setup – did they just sit you down in front of the computer and let you go?

RO: Yeah, it was pretty innovative – there was a lot of work that went into it. We all had our own camera rig attached to our computers, and we were fitted with Go-Pros, and there was also a small light attached to our laptops as well. It was really fun – we shot in 80-minute long takes, so it wasn’t the traditional movie shoot with scenes and camera turnarounds – all the things that you’re used to doing in smaller pieces. This was more of a fluid, one-shot moving sort of deal – it was a lot of fun, and I think it pushed us as actors because there’s a lot more things at play like someone’s worried about the framing of our computers, making sure that they get the same shot at different moments in case they needed to edit, and matching up with the script at the right point because they wanted to keep the audience interested by not giving them one static shot and to keep everything changing – I also think that it plays into the fear that you’re feeling. It really was a lot of fun and it pushed us – we had a great team of people that were giving us direction, and it was a lot of fun to shoot – definitely different though.

Cybernatural

DC: Now, what is it personally that scares you about this film?

RO: I actually got really scared when we were making this! I don’t do well with horror films, and I get really scared. Now that the movie is on digital download, and people can watch it on their laptops, they can experience what we were, and there were times during reshoots we were watching playbacks of characters and scenes I’d done where I didn’t know what was going to happen – I was legitimately screaming! I don’t do horror movies very well, but I like The Exorcist! (laughs)

DC: You’ve acted, done a bit of soundtrack work, and I just recently saw that you have a producing credit coming up – which one do you find the most personally rewarding, and if you could look down the road about 20 years, where do you see yourself?

RO: That’s a very good question – I’ve always been really creative, and I think it revolves around whatever is inspiring me at the moment. I have a background in music, and I signed with Warner Brothers when I was twelve and put out two albums with David Foster. I always try to keep moving – I look at a script and think, “This would be so much fun to play,” and I think that I can try to bring a bunch of different elements to those characters. It just depends on what’s happening in my world, but I’ve been very fortunate to find a tablet for my creativity.

DC: Last one – after the release of this film, what can we expect to see from you soon?

RO: I have a new movie called Tell-Tale Lies, and we’re doing a screening and a Q&A out here in L.A., and the distribution should be shortly thereafter. It’s an Edgar Allan Poe story (based on the Tell-Tale Heart) that’s been retold on a college campus with a bunch of rich kids who think they can get away with anything. So there’s that, and then there’s something else in development, so August is going to be a very crazy-busy month for me as far as filming goes, so I’m excited for that as well.

Unfriended

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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