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Annabelle: Creation – Set Visit Interview with Stephanie Sigman

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Stephanie Sigman is known for glamorous roles, most notably as a Bond Girl in Spectre, so her playing a nun in the new Annabelle: Creation movie might seem like a bit of a stretch – but, she’s a pro and she nails it.

Annabelle: Creation is a period piece set in 1957, and Stephanie plays Sister Charlotte, a kindly nun chaperoning six young orphans as they seek refuge in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mullens (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto). She tries to help enforce the rules of the house, because Esther Mullens is bedridden and Mr. Mullens isn’t around much. The main rule is: Do not enter their dead daughter Bee’s room. Bee’s room is sort of a shrine, and that’s where Annabelle lives (and when we say “lives” we mean that literally).

We got the chance to talk with Stephanie on the set between takes. Here’s what she had to say.

Dread Central: Tell us a little bit about your role.

Stephanie Sigman: I play Sister Charlotte and in the story she takes care of six girls. I never thought I’d be doing a horror movie, but I couldn’t resist this. So I said yes to this character, and this story, because it’s very interesting. I think it’s not just a gender movie, it’s a round and nice story. I just love this character. She’s very caring, and her goal is to take of these girls.

DC: Does the fact a priest had to come and bless the set worry you at all?

SS: I wasn’t thinking of that at the moment, no. Now that I put it together it makes sense. When I told my grandmother I was doing this movie, she was like ‘oh my god no, it’s so scary.’ She was really worried. She is really religious and yeah, it makes sense. I put it together, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I was just thinking that it was very challenging and interesting. [I went] from playing a mistress of Pablo Escobar to playing a nun. That’s challenging. I’m very grateful to the producers and the director because they saw my tape, dressed as a normal person, I would be sexy, but normal, and they had the imagination to see me as a nun. Not a lot of people would see that. A lot of people in the industry, they only see you as the characters you have played before.

DC: Your nun outfit is not traditional, but does it still help you feel like the character?

SS: The outfit gives you everything. It’s very easy when you have everything on, and when you don’t you have to work a little bit harder [because the clothes do it for you].

DC: We heard the costume designer actually made your nun’s habit from a photo of a country sister taken in the 1950s.

SS: Yeah. I saw the photo, the actual photo of the nun. The costume is pretty much the same. It’s kind of what you would think of a nun, but in the fifties.

DC: Do you believe in ghosts?

SS: I do believe in energies, sure. I believe in good energies in the living, good energies all around. So yeah, I do believe that supernatural things happen.

DC: Talk about working with six child actors.

SS: I read the script and everything was fine there, but here doing it, it takes a different meaning. That’s because you’re working with the actor – which, by the way, these girls are amazing [and] I’m learning so much from them; my respect, I admire them so much – but yeah, you’re doing it and sometimes you have to change a little bit here, a little bit there. It’s just not as you imagined it would be. Everything changes at the word ‘action,’ at the moment, so I think it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on at the moment. I feel like one of the girls sometimes. So we’re talking sometimes, and they’re so smart and so mature. It’s very impressive. Sometimes I feel like I’m learning from them instead of the opposite, which makes sense, [because] these kids are really smart. It helps me a lot. They were actually teaching me how to play this game, I don’t remember the name, but it’s the one where you put the stones in every hole… Talitha loves that game, and she was teaching me how to play it. She’s a very conscious person, conscious of others, conscious of the world. I’m just very surprised in the best way, just to watch her work and be so disciplined and dedicated. It’s not hard to play, because she’s my favorite, she’s so amazing.

DC: How did you find the ‘in’ to Sister Charlotte?

SS: More than going for the religious aspect of the character, I listened to how parents are with their kids because I think she’s very nurturing with the girls. So I think that’s very important. I don’t have kids, and I actually don’t have children around in my family, so I’m trying to do my research on that, trying to pay attention if there’s a parent and a child around. Again, they make everything easier because not only are they great kids but they’re great actors. I probably have the same experience as the kids, [because] I started acting seven years ago, and they started acting seven years ago. We talk about how many movies they’ve made, our experiences on set, [and so] it’s sort of like artist to artist, as if you were working with a grownup.

DC: What is it like to work with David?

I would say different. I think he’s very excited because this is his second time on set, his second movie, so it’s really sweet to see him getting really excited. He also has a great and fresh vision for what he wants. I can see he knows what he wants, and I really like that because for being a second-time director he knows. He’s like ‘I got it, I got what I wanted.’ I don’t say anything because I feel as an actor you have to trust the director you’re working with, and sometimes it’s hard, but you have to trust and I’m trusting him. So if this is not good, it’s his fault. [laughs]

David Sandberg directs from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote Annabelle. The film stars Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija 2, Deliver Us from Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter), and Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (TV’s “Without a Trace”) and Miranda Otto (Showtime’s “Homeland”).

Serving as executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada, Dave Neustadter, and Hans Ritter. Collaborating with Sandberg behind the scenes from his Lights Out team are production designer Jennifer Spence, editor Michel Aller, and composer Benjamin Wallfisch; they are joined by director of photography Maxime Alexandre (The Other Side of the Door) and costume designer Leah Butler (Paranormal Activity 3 & 4).

Currently scheduled for release on August 11, 2017, Annabelle: Creation is a New Line Cinema presentation, an Atomic Monster/Safran Company production. The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Synopsis:
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Annabelle Creation

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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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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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