Playing Cards Turns Deadly in Gabriel Olson's The Bridge Partner - Dread Central
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Playing Cards Turns Deadly in Gabriel Olson’s The Bridge Partner

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thebridgepartnerWord of The Bridge Partner, a 14-minute short directed by Gabriel Olson, landed in our inbox; and since it recently won the “Wes Craven Best Horror Film Award” at the Catalina Film Festival, we thought we’d bring it to your attention so you can keep it on your radar as it makes the film fest rounds.

To date, The Bridge Partner has screened at 20 festivals worldwide while earning “Best Horror/Suspense Film” at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2015 as well as the “Audience Award” at D.C. Shorts.

With regard to the Catalina fest, Olson’s psychological thriller was selected by legendary horror filmmaker Craven himself prior to his passing.

The Bridge Partner is based on a short story by Hugo Award-winning author Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) and stars Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men, Donnie Darko) as housewife Mattie Whalen, four-time Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence (“NYPD Blue,” “Desperate Housewives”) as her bridge partner/stalker Olivia Korhonen, and Oscar nominee Robert Forster (The Descendants, Jackie Brown) as her dismissive husband, Don Whalen.

The film explores what human beings do when confronted with real danger — do we trust our own instincts or the advice of those around us? The story uses an allegorical tale told by one character to another. “We had fun tackling the psychological dance between the two characters,” says Olson. “With the allegory of the sheep and dog in the story, the question became: Can a sheep become a dog, and vice versa? Sometimes we play the sheep in life and take a more passive or timid stance. Other times we’re the dog, capable of lashing out and standing up for ourselves. I loved the symbolism here.”

The Bridge Partner was shot over three days at a Women’s Club in Altadena, California, as well as locations in the San Fernando Valley. It was produced by Sean Barney and Cathleen Alexander with executive producers Jason Michael Berman and Andrew Carlberg. Olson praises the seasoned actors and crew who all brought their passion and utmost professionalism on and off the set.

“It was exciting to rehearse with Beth and Sharon for the first time,” effuses Olson. “They’re so good at what they do, and I loved the depth of thought they put into their characters. It was great to watch Robert step on set and bring the history of the marital relationship to life so beautifully. Crew-wise, I was able to bring a lot of talent from my work in commercials. DP Robby Baumgartner (The Guest and 2nd Unit DP on The Hunger Games and Argo) also brought his vast filmmaking experience beyond commercials and was an incredible collaborator. And [author] Peter S. Beagle was not only super supportive of my noir-ish interpretation of his story, but he also made a cameo in it.”

Currently Olson is planning to capture a larger online following for The Bridge Partner once the festival circuit is completed. He’s also developing several features and looking for other thriller scripts to direct.

For more info, including upcoming screenings, visit: thebridgepartner.com.

Synopsis:
A timid housewife is jolted into a fight for her survival — or her sanity — when her new weekly bridge partner whispers a threatening message.

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Dread Central Presents The Lodgers – Vegas Screening and Wider Release

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Last weekend fans got their first taste of the next Dread Central Presents film, The Lodgers (review); and we’re not done yet! There’s another Dread Central Presents screening TOMORROW, February 22nd, at 7:00 PM at the Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas, Nevada (tickets here); and then the flick will be opening wider the very next day!

To see if the film will be playing near you, click here for a list of cities The Lodgers will be haunting!

Directed by Brian O’Malley and starring Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner, the film made its worldwide premiere at 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival and has since won many awards across multiple festivals.

Make sure to follow and “like” Dread Central Presents on Facebook to stay in the know regarding this and upcoming titles!

Synopsis:
In this Gothic horror tale, a family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins. Bound to the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby, the twins must never let any outsiders inside the house, must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight, and must never be separated from one another. Breaking any of these three rules will incur the wrath of a sinister presence that inhabits the house after midnight.

While Edward is committed to this ill-fated life, he’s becoming more unhinged due to the fact that Rachel is not. Smitten by a local soldier (Eugene Simon), Rachel grows skeptical and begins to rebel, desperate to escape the oppression and misery of their captivity.

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Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!

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Ever been driving in the woods and see or hear something that you cannot explain? Something so shocking that it makes your skin crawl off of your spine? Yeah, those moments, that usually chalked up to something completely innocuous, can be mucho unsettling. Such is the case with our bloody exclusive clip from the latest sliver of Sasquatchploitation, Primal Rage, which illustrates what can happen when you play with your food.

Directed by Patrick Magee, who co-wrote the film with Jay Lee, Primal Rage stars Andrew Joseph Montgomery, Casey Gagliardi, Eloy Casados, Justin Rain and Marshal Hilton. You can also catch this one of the big screen as on February 27th, Fathom (tickets here) will be hosting a one-night theater event for Primal Rage.

Enough talk! Get your Squatch on!

Synopsis:
Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley and Max Carr are stalked by a terrifying creature that might be Bigfoot. Soon they find themselves embroiled in a strange land of Native American myth and legend turned real. Hopelessly trying to survive, with a handful of unsavory locals, they must fight back against this monster in a desperate battle of life or death.

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The Strangers: Prey at Night Set Visit Part 2: Screams and Flames

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[SPOILERS] As mentioned in our earlier set visit story, The Strangers: Prey at Night maintains the same feeling of isolation as the original. Even though a full-fledged production was going on in Gatlin Lake Getaway, it is hard to shake that feeling of being totally alone once wandering away from the set lighting. The dark surround woods start to close in and threaten to swallow any who stray too close to the tree line. Then the silence is broken as a beat-up 1972 Ford Ranger’s engine revs and a scream slices through the night.

Back on the lit street, the familiar looking truck has collided head-on with the side Wagner County Sheriff’s SUV. At the driver’s seat of the Ford is a man sporting a white cloth bag as a mask. The Bagman has returned. His appearance has not changed. The empty sockets of the mask still glare ominously and the painted smile poorly hides the stranger’s murderous intent.

An air of frustration surrounds the Bagman as he attempts to free the truck from the SUV. In vain, the Ford revs and struggles to no avail. Bad news for him, but good news for whomever the Bagman was pursuing. The law enforcement vehicle, with its lights flashing, had been driven by a young woman decked out in a black Ramones t-shirt and blood-splattered jeans. Her hair is jet black. The woman’s skin is streaked with dark blood and open slash wounds. The dark punk eye makeup is running, but the wearer is not.

It is obvious that this woman has been through a lot as she limps from the wreck. The context of her current state is not clear, but the shrieking that emanates from her as she produces a lighter and throws it to the ground under the collided vehicles speaks volumes. It can only be assumed that she has been chased, slashed, and emotionally beaten for hours. The scream is packed with emotions from fear to outright spite and rage. It is so powerful, in fact, that the crew members uttered stunned laudations.

As the gasoline ignites, the flames climb and spread of the mangled metal of the two collided vehicles. The Ford’s engine still violently revs as the Bagman emotionlessly tries to break free. The young woman is slowly backing away, unaware of the chain reaction occurring. The darkness of 1 AM is broken by two giant fireballs that erupt, engulfing the metal mayhem in the middle of the street. The surroundings fall silent, cut is called and the crew erupts in exclamations at the awesome spectacle.

This powerful moment was brought to us by Bailee Madison (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark).

The Strangers: Prey at Night was now on its twenty-second day of shooting and only eight more days remained. The cast and crew are well accustomed to their routines and the late night shoots have become second nature. When asked if the constant schedule of night shoots had been difficult, Madison elicited some of the virtues that the darkness has to offer, “There’s something very vulnerable about night shoots. You are emotionally in a different place when you’re awake and rested in the daytime. I think for something traumatic like this, you need to be able to access different emotions; at night you’re a lot more capable.”

At this point in production, Bailee’s character has seen a lot of action. A heavy amount of blood adorns the actor’s arms and a thick clotting mass of the red stuff covers most of her forehead. Keeping track of that damage for continuity from day to day looks like a grueling task, and makeup department head Jodi Byrne dropped some details about the process, “We have continuity photos and we take pictures of Bailee constantly throughout the day … We have to determine which takes are actually going to be used in the film and we move from that point.”

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive..

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Exclusive Clip – Primal Rage

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