Exclusive: The Void's Troy James Talks Contortion, Horror, and What's Next! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: The Void’s Troy James Talks Contortion, Horror, and What’s Next!



The Void

This year brought the incredible horror film The Void (review), which delighted audiences with its stunning use of practical FX. And as with any film that features fantastically crafted outfits, we have to remember that there are actual people who don these terrifying visions and bring to life these monsters. There’s a reason that horror fans know and love people like Kane Hodder, Doug Jones, Javier Botet, etc… These people don’t just put on a costume and go through the motions, they embody the character they become and create something memorable and amazing.

Related Story: We Chat with The Void Composer Martin MacPhail of Blitz//Berlin; Exclusive Audio Sketchbook Reveal

I’d like to introduce you to “Twisty” Troy James, who appeared in The Void as well as Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain”, and may very well be the next big name when it comes to contortionists and body horror! Below is an interview with James, who discusses his incredible ability, what it’s like to be in a movie like The Void, and what’s next for him!

Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter.

Dread Central: Alright, I gotta know what’s going on with your body. How are you this flexible?

Troy James: I have no idea. I was born preternaturally flexible. I like to think it was because I was born 4-months prematurely, but otherwise… *shrugs*.
The physicians of social media have decided I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. That’s news to me, but maybe I should go with that.

DC: How long have you been able to do these amazing contortions?

TJ: I have always been this flexible. no training, or practice required. In fact, when I was young I took it for granted, thinking everyone could bend their body like I could – that it wasn’t abnormal. It wasn’t until the other kids started teasing me for it being weird/gross that I realized something was up. I got super embarrassed, and hid my ability until high school where it suddenly became the coolest thing, and everyone loved it.

DC: At what point did you realize this ability would be great for horror?

TJ: Hmm… To pay my way through undergrad, I worked as a ride operator at Canada’s Wonderland, a theme park in my city. Sometimes when ride were down, or lines were long, I would entertain guests with flexible tricks. One night, my ride crew forced me to show the managers my talent. They liked it so much that they asked me to switch jobs to act as a monster actor during their end of season Halloween Haunt. I got to dress up in a cool costume with amazing make-up artists transforming me into whatever they wanted before I was let loose to roam the park, frightening everyone I could find. Turns out I was rather good at it.

DC: You appeared in The Void, which has received a lot of acclaim from the horror community for its usage of practical FX. What was it like being in that film?

TJ: The Void marks my first time ever appearing on film ever. I was a complete novice and had no idea what to do. And this wasn’t even like a student film that you would make in your parents’ garage or basement for free pizza. They flew me out to Sault Ste. Marie. It was the real deal. I was super nervous, but luckily the cast and crew were the nicest people you could possibly meet.

Everything was tangible. Blood flowing down the walls; violently exploding bodies; squishy, gross-to-the-touch monster guts; oh, and the creatures…

When I first make my appearance in The Void, I am covered with a sheet, lying in a wonderfully contorted position. So, we are shooting this scene, I am chilling out in position, sans sheet waiting for the next take. One of the production guys comes over to talk to someone else. They are both chatting over my body for a minute or so when I decide to turn my head to get a look at them. The guy freaks out. He thought I was a prop all that time, and the sudden movement just ruined him. Score one more for practical FX!

I actually didn’t know what I looked like on film until I saw the release. Kudos to Steven and Jeremy and everyone else involved for their vision and technical skill. It was a blast working with everyone on set.

DC: When you’re wearing all of the makeup and prostheses needed to turn you into a horrific abomination, how does that impact your ability to contort and, furthermore, how does it help your performance?

TJ: At its core, I was wearing a custom-built body suit and mask, which fit pretty well, and allowed me free range of motion. (Thanks, Devon!) The magic really came from Nicola’s awesome paint job, and Steven’s skill at sculpting. I’m not even moving, and it’s terrifying.

The fact that the suit is skin tight enhances the effect because you get to see everything twisting and moving in ways that most bodies don’t. I felt a twinge of pride during the screening in Toronto when I appeared onscreen and the audience gasped audibly.

DC: It seems like this ability to contort your body is perfect for horror roles but if you could choose to venture into other genres, where would you like to go?

TJ: Motion Capture! I want to be in video games! Ubisoft! Hey, are you reading this?

DC: Both Doug Jones and Javier Botet are widely recognized in the horror community for the physicality they bring to their performances. Do you think we’re going to add the name Troy James to that list?

TJ: Ooh, they are good at what they do. People keep mentioning these two masters, but then they say my name in the next breath and I have to stop them because if they are Horror Royalty, I am more akin to a Slightly-Distressing Peasant. I did get meet Doug at a wrap party for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain” though. He’s so nice! Javier fills me with equal parts admiration and envy.

I’ve got some work to do, but don’t forget about me! When I’m upside down, I can open and close doors, zip up and down stairs, hop onto stuff… Oh! and I’m actually rather speedy when I decide to stop twisting about and get to it. You wouldn’t me haunting your house at night!

DC: What’s next for you?

TJ: I have a few Horror/Sci-Fi gigs coming up, and I’ve raised a few eyebrows in Japan. A trip there may be in the cards. Ah! I want to see Sadako and Kayako, from the Ring and the Grudge respectively. Can you imagine the three of us together? You haven’t seen the last of me yet.

The Void

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Must-See: Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees Fan Short Film



The short film titled Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees made its much-anticipated debut on YouTube channel CallMeJeff86 on January 15th, 2018.

The film is a passion project that pits two horror movie icons against each other; it’s Michael Myers from Halloween against Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th in a bloody fight to the finish.

What are you waiting for? Give the 3-part short a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

Michael Myers Versus Jason Voorhees is written and directed by Mason C. McDonald and stars Jeff Payne as Michael Myers, Dustin Miller as Jason Voorhees, and John Alton as the Vengeful Father.

Don’t forget to follow the film on Instagram and Twitter!

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PG-13 or R? The Strangers: Prey at Night Gets Official MPAA Rating



Earlier this week we let you guys know that there is a killer The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art competition going on and you can read all the details on that right HERE.

But today we have some cool (if expected) news that The Strangers: Prey At Night hs officially received an R-rating from the MPAA.

The sequel has been rated R for “horror violence and terror throughout, and for language” and I think that makes about as much sense as we could have expected.

For those who are interested in such bits of trivia, the original The Strangers was rated R for “violence/terror and language” so there you go! Impress your friends with MPAA trivia.

Would The Strangers: Prey at Night getting a PG-13 have affected your enthusiasm for the upcoming film? Let us know below!

The Stranger: Prey at Night is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) from a script by Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai. It stars Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Lewis Pullman.

The film hits March 9, 2018.

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. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit The Strangers.

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Artist Reimagines Superheroes as Tim Burton Illustrations



The world of Tim Burton has always been full of imagination and wonder built on a surreal and often horrific foundation. Films like Beetlejuice and Sleepy Hollow capture the imagination with stunning visuals, all based on the mind of the visionary director. Burton’s artwork was also featured in his illustrated poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories.

Burton’s work has not only amazed viewers for over three decades, it’s also been an inspiration to countless artists and creators. Enter Los Angeles-by-way-of-Russia artist and animator Andrew Tarusov, whose work has been used by companies such as Cosmopolitan, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Maxim, and more. In a series he simply calls “Tim Burton’s Superheros”, Tarusov took 10 of the biggest comic book characters and gave them a dark twist that is 100% befitting of Burton’s style.

You can see a gallery of these images below. To see more of Tarusov’s work, head on over to his official website.

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