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Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

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Having survived a buffeting Southern electrical storm en route from Los Angeles to Baton Rouge, this writer touched down in Louisiana on December 14 of 2009 and, following a rather eerie stroll through a seemingly abandoned airport and a ride with a cabbie whose previous fare had been arrested, arrived unscathed to the set of the then-shooting feature Mirrors 2.

With the written-by Matt Venne (White Noise 2) and directed-by Victor Garcia (Return to House on Haunted Hill) flick to debut this Tuesday, October 12th, at Screamfest LA (you can purchase tickets here) and set for a DTV release October 19 through Twentieth Century Fox, we thought it high time to bring you our chat with Garcia and co. as well as some stills from the set.

A sequel to the 2008 Alexandre Aja-helmed film Mirrors, the sequel stars Nick Stahl, William Katt, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Lawrence Turner, Stephanie Honore, Christy Charlson Romano, Jon Michael Davis, Evan Jones, Wayne Pere, Lance E. Nichols, Ann McKenzie, and Jennifer Sipes and revolves around the character of ‘Max Matheson’ (lead Stahl), a recovering addict, who takes a job as a night-time security guard job at his father’s department store and then begins to see visions of a young woman in the store’s mirrors. Unsure whether his visions are side effects of his prescription sleeping pills or actual reality, he begins to look deeper into the source of the images in the mirrors, and when employees of the store turn up dead and he subsequently becomes a suspect in those murders, he must expose the ghostly girl’s connection to a scandal within the department store’s walls in order to prove his innocence and put a stop to the supernatural rampage.

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Filming at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux in the heart of Baton Rouge (a mixed-used space, part jazz club, part apartment housing), Mirrors 2 at the time was knee-deep in F/X shots (severed legs and heads were in abundance with KNB’s Kevin Wasner and Alex Diaz on hand to bring the grue, returning from the first Mirrors to again provide the gore).

I think this one has a lot of good gags in it,” Wasner told us during a balmy 2AM rainstorm from a second-story gallery, “but what’s different about this one is there are a lot of gags where we are mirroring visual effects with our effects, which I think is the way to go nowadays. We feel like with just practical that a lot of times it can be limiting, in hiding blood tubes and morphing heads onto things, and so in this film in particular we’ve been mixing in a lot of digital (with the practical), and it’s been working out really well. A lot of the time makeup effects guys are all, ‘Man, it’s gotta’ be only makeup effects,’ and digital guys are all, ‘Man, digital is the only way to go,’ but I think digital and makeup guys really need to learn to work together (in order) to make it happen, and that’s what we are doing here.

We had only three weeks to prep for this one, which wasn’t much,” said Diaz of their time for practical FX pre-production, “but we got everything here, and we have a couple of great decapitations!

Dread accompanied Wasner and Diaz to set (that particular sequence involved some horrific shenanigans in the cramped quarters of one of the building’s apartments above), and sure enough, the blood flew, with actor Jon Michael Davis suffering a particularly gory slash of his Achilles tendons. Other grisly shots followed, although we’ll keep those on the down-low so as to not spoil Mirrors 2’s ‘money shots.’

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

While we chatted with director Garcia, the man proved to be not only open, honest and affable but also very much a fan of the genre he was directing (the filmmaker is currently in post-production on Hellraiser: Revelations as well as in pre-production on the ‘home invasion’ film Torn Apart).

I got the script from my agent, and I was pretty familiar with the original Korean movie (on which Mirrors 2 is based) and the previous Aja movie so I wanted to take a look at it to see what we could do with it,” director Garcia told us of how he was signed to the project. “It was one of those weird jobs that you get through a Skype conference call with the studio. Normally it doesn’t work like this – you have to really sell your idea, but (with this they) apparently already liked my work, and it was really cool. I wasn’t expecting much to happen, but it did.

Having received the script only four months prior to the shoot (Mirrors 2 filmed for a total of twenty-three days commencing in November of 2009), Garcia said of his thoughts pertaining to the material, “It’s brilliant, and the project was moving forward and they were looking at other directors, too, so everything happened really fast. Within a month I found myself in Baton Rouge prepping the movie. Prep actually didn’t get started until I arrived here.

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

With the budget much lower than the original, “It was hard to fit all of our ideas into the script in such a short (pre-production) time and budget. It’s kind of a stylized film. I’m trying to veer a little bit away from the look of the previous one. It was shot in Romania; they had all that great architecture, and it was really moody and Gothic and hardcore, and with Mirrors 2 I kind of wanted to do something new. One of our locations was a museum with different architecture, and it’s kind of shiny and new and looks completely different (from the locations in the previous). The original stands alone and that’s great, but we are making our own Mirrors (with this one).

As for the casting of Nick Stahl (known to genre fans for his turns in Disturbing Behavior, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the series “Carnivale”), Garcia said, “He was the first to sign on! It happened within forty-eight hours (of going out to him), and that was great! Then it was time for the whole process of trying to bring more names, and my casting director did a great job. I’m really happy with the cast, and it makes things exciting.

Garcia was as equally thrilled with the acquisition of the talents of KNB FX.

I was trying to get them from the beginning,” stated Garcia. “I met Greg Nicotero (he of the ‘n’ in KNB) a few years ago, and they worked on the previous Mirrors, and I just wanted them to be involved. I knew that whatever (effect) they were going to deliver, that I could make it a close-up, and it would work, and so far that’s what they have been delivering. My background is as a FX technician so you want to have people in the effects department (as a director) that you can really trust. It’s like with my director of photography, Lorenzo (Senatore). I met him three years ago, and he was the DP on my first film (Return to House on Haunted Hill), and I know exactly what I can expect and can really trust him. It’s the same thing with KNB. I don’t have to worry about anything when it comes to them.

It took a while for the blood to run, however.

Because of time issues and pre-production, we’ve had to push most of the gore to the very end,” said the director, who at the time had merely four days of principal photography remaining, “so the first day we were shooting with prosthetics, Lorenzo came to me after the first take of that effects shot and said, ‘We are finally making a horror movie!’ It was so exciting! I was like, ‘I know, dude. I need more blood here!’

It’s been a really intense shoot,” mused Garcia of Mirrors 2, which has been nominated in the category of ‘Most Anticipated Non-Theatrical Coming to Disc’ by the Reaper Awards, which takes place this coming Tuesday, October 12, at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA. “It’s going to be weird going back home when we wrap, kind of like it was all a dream. It’s been like a family – people working like a family, all day and night and just really having fun. Everyone’s been enjoying the process. I mean, we aren’t saving lives; we are making movies, and we are lucky to get paid to make movies. Just enjoy it!

Check out more images below!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!

Sean Decker

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Inside Remake Gets New Poster and U.S. Release Date

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It’s about time.

It has been a whopping four months since we shared with you guys the red band trailer for the upcoming English language remake of Inside starring Rachel Nichols and Laura Harring.

Today we have an all-new poster for the film (via our buddies at Arrow in the Head), and the one-sheet also boasts the remake’s U.S. release date. Yes, Inside will be hitting Stateside on January 12, 2018.

You can click on the poster to the right to check it out in higher-res. After that make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’re planning to check out this remake in the comments below!

Miguel Ángel Vivas directed the Inside remake.

Produced by Adrian Guerra and Nuria Valls at Spain’s Nostromo Pictures, the remake was written by Manu Diez and [REC] creator/co-director Jaume Balaguero. “We took the original idea and made it an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more Hitchcock-ian than a splatter-fest,” said Guerra.

Again, Inside hits U.S. theaters and VOD January 12, 2018.

Synopsis:
Pregnant and depressed, a young widow tries to rebuild her life following the fateful car accident where she lost her husband and partially lost her hearing. Now, about to go into labor, she’s living in a remote house in the suburbs when, one Christmas night, she receives an unexpected visit from another woman with a devastating objective: to rip the child she’s carrying from inside her. But a mother’s fury when it comes to protecting her child should never be underestimated.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 Rated R for Creature Violence/Gore and Language

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Five months ago we shared the news that there was a secret sequel to the 1999 killer sharks vs. Tom Jane and LL Cool J movie Deep Blue Sea filming, and today we have the sequel’s rating.

And it’s about what you’d expect. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Yes, the upcoming shark attack sequel Deep Blue Sea 2 has been rated R by the MPAA for “creature violence and gore and for language.”

Not only that, but we have a few words on what we can expect from the sequel via a creative executive over at Warner Bros. named Matt Bierman.

“We are a true sequel,” Bierman said regarding the sequel. “We wanted to keep to the spirit of Deep Blue Sea and why people love it. The research that was used on the sharks in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes from the mythology and storyline of the first movie. We have given the lead shark a personality and hope the fans will embrace that as it really helps the storytelling and the narrative in a way that [the] first one didn’t. Deep Blue Sea 2 has a slightly slower build, but once the rubber band snaps, things go boom really quickly!”

The lead shark has a personality? How could that be a bad thing?

Let’s just hope there aren’t scenes of the rugged Tom Jane stand-in lovingly hugging/stroking the shark after it does something cool and telling the new guy how the shark (nicknamed Bruce) is just “misunderstood.”

…And then the shark saves everyone at the end. Called it.

The sequel is directed by Darin Scott from a screenplay by Erik Patterson, Hans Rodionoff, and Jessica Scott and stars Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes, and Michael Beach.

The movie is set to premiere on Syfy sometime next year. Once we know the exact date we’ll let us know so stay tuned!

“Deepest. Bluest. My head is like a shark’s fin…”

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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