#SDCC16: Lawrence Grey Talks Lights Out; Potential New Project/Sequel - Dread Central
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#SDCC16: Lawrence Grey Talks Lights Out; Potential New Project/Sequel

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When you schedule for Comic-Con, you ideally have everything set weeks in advance. This works well for shows you have yet to catch up on or newly launching series. What it doesn’t work so well for are films launching the same weekend. Even as an extra special press person, I still don’t get to screen it until at most a couple weeks beforehand, and in many cases only a few days. I didn’t get to see Lights Out (review) until Monday, but booked today’s interview with producer Lawrence Grey weeks ago. So going into seeing Lights Out, what was at the forefront of my mind was, “Please don’t suck, or this is going to be awkward.

Lo and behold, the film was great. Amazingly soIt’s incredible that a new director working on his first major motion picture was able to pull off such an extraordinarily scary, innovative, and quality project. So naturally, I had a number of questions I wanted to ask Lawrence about the hit he had on his hands. He had a lot to say in our brief time together, so here’s the juiciest bits.

lawrence grey

Right off the bat, my first question was just how exactly Lights Out turned out so well. With a first time director who had previously only worked on short films, you’d expect the studio pushback and control to mess everything up. So I asked, what was it like getting the film together? What was the adjustment like for David Sandberg?

Lawrence Grey: When I first started talking to David [Sandberg] about getting this made, I told him, ‘If you want to get anything done in Hollywood, you’ve got to bring an armored battalion to a knife fight.’ And that’s how we approached this right from the start. So I first approached Eric Heisserer about writing the screenplay, and he was already on board because of the short film Lights Out is based on. From there, I had the confidence to approach James [Wan] and say, ‘Hey, remember 15 years ago when you showed me your short for Saw? Well, we have the next James Wan on our hands.’ He was skeptical at first, but after I got him to watch the short he got very serious and asked, ‘Is he really this good?’ I said, ‘Better.’ So with James on board, we got together the best team that we could to realize this vision.

He continued on to explain what the process was like for Sandberg:

Lawrence: You know, David is a really hands-on, do-it-yourself kind of guy. He’s going from making short films himself in his apartment with his wife to millions of dollars of budget. He’s used to setting up the lighting, the shots, the script, doing the editing, everything except being on camera, which of course Lotta [Losten] did. So when he shows up in Hollywood and I’m showing him around his first set, I’m pointing out the first camera with the first cameraman that union rules dictate he can’t touch, and then point out the audio guy all the way on the other side of the room, it was a bit of a culture shock. He wanted to get down and dirty and do it all himself. When he got all the assets finally and got to put the movie together, he was right in his element.

He went on to elaborate on Sandberg’s journey as a director:

Lawrence: It’s fun to see how far he’s come in such a short time. I just visited him on the site of Annabelle 2, and he was the lord of his domain. He was comfortable getting everyone in line and making sure this vision came to life. I think that this one is going to do much better than the first [Annabelle film]. You look around the set and just see how much this reflects and breathes Wan’s vision of The Conjuring. It makes me really excited to work with him again.

Lights Out

Intrigued, I pushed this point a little more:

Lawrence: I can’t talk about the project at this point, NDA and all of that, but we have an undisclosed project in the works. I’m definitely excited to work with him [David] again in the future.

Trying to get some insight, I asked about the future of the Lights Out franchise:

Lawrence: We put a lot of work into making this world real and interesting. We didn’t have any throw away characters. Whereas most horror films would have a throwaway boyfriend character, Bret was a real, strong person with his own opinions. As for Rebecca, she went from being a selfish, angry person to having to sacrifice to save what was left of her family. Now that these traumatic events have happened, where does that leave them? The decision not to allude to a sequel was a conscious one, but not because there’s nowhere for the story to go. There was originally an epilogue where we saw that Diana was still alive, but decided to take it out because it undermined the climactic finale. Sophie, for love of her family, gives her own life in a very visceral and final manner. She doesn’t want to die, and as a victim of mental illness the whole film takes her life into her own hands in a final and noble way. To then cut to a scene where we find Diana was still alive would just suck all of the emotional weight and impact out of it. I was afraid audiences might find it to be a downer, but we found in test audiences that it was one of their favorite parts of the film.

lights out

I said that this totally hypothetical second Lights Out film would make the perfect undisclosed future project that an NDA would prevent him from talking about. So I asked when we might hear more about this. Here’s what he said:

Lawrence: Well the film opens tomorrow, and already the public reception is through the roof. The success of the film will of course be up to audiences. We really hope fans will go and see Lights Out, and we hope that means we could possibly have more information soon.

My final question was about the future of the industry, James Wan, and David Sandberg:

Lawrence: I have no doubt that David isn’t going to just be regarded as one of the greatest horror directors, but one of the best people working in the industry period. With the establishment of Atomic Monster, James Wan is ready to take over the entertainment world. He has so many ideas that he wants to realize himself, but also a real passion for giving new directors their chance to shine. With what we saw from David, you can expect a lot of great things to come from Atomic Monster in the future.

With that, my time was up, and I had to make my way to my next appointment. With how great Lights Out is, I expect more news about this “I cannot confirm nor deny that it is a sequel” project any day now. Go see Lights Out if you haven’t and check out Annabelle 2 in 2017. Stay tuned for more Comic-Con 2016 coverage!

Lights Out

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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