Exclusive: Natali Jones on Playing Dead Awake's The Night Hag + Behind-the-Scenes Photos - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Natali Jones on Playing Dead Awake’s The Night Hag + Behind-the-Scenes Photos

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Earlier this month, Dead Awake (review), the latest film from Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick, quietly landed on home video formats (Amazon). Well, we couldn’t let that slide past so we got in touch and not only got some behind-the-scenes photos of actress Natali Jones getting made up as the film’s villain The Night Hag, as well as a few modeling shots of the creature, but we also got a short interview with Jones about playing the character!

Dead Awake was written by Jeffrey Reddick and directed by Phillip Guzman. It stars Jocelin Donahue, Lori Petty, Jesse Bradford, Jesse Borrego, Brea Grant, and James Eckhouse.

Dread Central: The Night Hag character is described in this film as being rather timeless and has affected people throughout history (hence the Fuseli painting). How did her seeming agelessness play a role in your performance?
Natali Jones: Actually, thats an interesting question. Her being timeless actually didn’t play a role. I felt that she only knew the present and lived in the present to haunt and isn’t even aware of how long she’s been around. Her being more of a super natural being, time doesn’t exist. I do approach each character completely different though. I’ll create long back stories, sometimes I’ll go more method (just depending), but with The Night Hag, she organically came together.

DC: What challenges are present when you play a character that is so important to the film yet has no lines?
NJ: The Night Hag speaks for herself when she walks into a room. Well, crawls. You don’t know whats going to happen… if your dreaming or awake. I would say the main challenge was the contacts. The make up team at Hawgfly, (Meredith Johns, Jason Vines, Eric Zapata) were amazing and super professional! The make up was head to toe, face prosthetic, chest prosthetic, about 4 hours to put on, and and hour and a half or so to take off. But, we would have to put in the contacts first, because the make up was literally right up to my eye. I don’t normally wear contacts (knock on wood), but they didn’t either, so it was comical in the beginning when we were all trying to figure it out! I did not mind the hours of make up… I absolutely loved it and would do it over and over again!

Even though the contacts were the biggest challenge, they were the best thing that could’ve happen to the costume, honestly. They were light reflective, so if it was really bright or really dark, I couldn’t see, and everyone looked like shadows. But, for example, if the sun was setting, I could see enough to walk. I had to fully rely on my senses, which was super interesting and made her even more powerful for me.

The contacts created the world for my character! Phillip would give me my mark, before I crawled onto the bed and I would have to feel around for an object to use as my mark, or once I hit the carpet, count the number of crawls, before I reached the bed, couch, or whatever it may be, to climb up.

I had to re meet the crew, once I wasn’t in make up, because I only heard their voices, and didn’t know what they actually looked like! The crew and everyone at Hawgfly was great and made sure I was safe around set, even telling me what was for lunch because I couldn’t see what I was ever eating, ha!

DC: What inspirations did you draw from to portray the Night Hag?
NJ: Well, there is the obvious tons of online research, but what was amazing is how she naturally came together for me. In the script, it just says I appear and sometimes didn’t give much description, so a lot of times, Phillip would throw direction at me shortly before, or give me different directions last minute to play with and it all completely worked! Phillip also gave me direction on her movements, making her spider like in one scene, but he also gave me the freedom of playing with her more. She would be more spider like, but also giving her more snake like mannerisms with her lower body, so I actually drew from multiple things, but they all came together as one, once the make up was fully on and we started rolling.

DC: Did playing the Night Hag affect your sleep at all?

NJ: Ha! Nope! And don’t know if thats a bad or good thing, but I guess I have done more horror movies than anything, so I guess I’m used to it. But I also think thats why I was able to add more to her, not coming from a personal place to draw from. I was able to create more and add more to her individuality. I do have so many friends and been approached by so many people that do suffer from sleep paralysis, and it’s absolutely terrifying! And event hough they know me, they still are too scared to see it!

It was so great to finally work with Jeffrey Reddick, and Phillip Guzman, as a director, and such an talented cast and crew, and so thankful they brought me on board! Up next, I’m currently working on a comic book/ feature called MadCat and comic book to be released this fall of 2017!


Synopsis:
From the creator of the immensely successful Final Destination franchise comes the paralyzing thriller Dead Awake. Drawing on the well-documented and infamous affliction known as sleep paralysis, Dead Awake features acclaimed genre actress Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil) in a terrifying new addition to the horror canon as well as Lori Petty (Tank Girl, A League of Their Own, Point Break), and Jesse Bradford (Romeo + Juliet, Bring It On, Hackers).

Dead Awake

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Contest: Win DEATH LINE and DEATHDREAM on Blu-ray

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Attention, ALL readers of Dread Central! Yes, that’s right… every one of you across the globe! We’re helping our pals over at Blue Underground with a contest where they will be giving a Blu-ray copy of Death Line and Deathdream to one of you! To enter, all you have to do is use the form below; and you’re all set!

Also, to learn more about the titles, simply click on the names, and you’ll be taken to Blue Underground’s website, where you can see specifics about each film!

To reiterate, this contest is open to people across the globe. Anyone, anywhere, can enter. However, the contest ends next Tuesday, May 1st, at 12 midnight ET, so make sure you enter before then!

Death Line:
When a prominent politician and a beautiful young woman vanish inside a London subway station, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence of Halloween) investigates and makes a horrifying discovery. Not only did a group of 19th century tunnel workers survive a cave-in, but they lived for years in a secret underground enclave by consuming the flesh of their own dead. Now the lone descendant of this grisly tribe has surfaced, prowling the streets for fresh victims… and a new mate.

Deathdream:
In this shattering variation on The Monkey’s Paw, grief-stricken suburban parents (Academy Award nominees John Marley of The Godfather and Lynn Carlin of Faces) refuse to accept the news that their son, Andy (Richard Backus), has been killed in Vietnam. But when Andy returns home soon after, something may be horribly wrong: Andy is alive and well… or is he? Produced and directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas) and written by Alan Ormsby (Deranged), Deathdream was one of the very first films to confront the domestic ravages of the Vietnam War. More than forty years later, it remains one of the most chilling horror films of all time.

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ALTERED PERCEPTION Opens in Theaters and on VOD/Digital in May

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We’ve been telling you about Altered Perception, from Blanc/Biehn Productions, for a while now; and today we have some exciting news to share.  The film is heading to limited theaters and will also be hitting VOD/Digital early next month. The full list of theaters, several stills, and more details can be found below.  In addition, you can watch the trailer at the top of the page.

The cast includes Jon Huertas, Jade Tailor, Nichola Fynn, Jennifer Blanc, Matthew Ziff, Mark Burnham, Hallie Jordan, and Ehmrys Cooper. The producers are Danielle Artigo and Dylan Matlock with executive producers Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Jon Huertas, Hallie Jordan, Steve Romano (who also served as Director of Photography), and Lony Ruhmann.

Altered Perception was written by Travis Romero, creator of the USA series White Collar, with Jon Huertas and Jennifer Blanc (story by Romero). SKD acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the psychological thriller, which was directed by Kate Rees Davies in her feature-length debut, and Cinedigm will release the picture theatrically and on Digital and TV VOD on May 4th with a DVD release to follow in June 2018.

Here are the Altered Perception theater locations:

  • Laemmle Music Hall – Los Angeles
  • AMC Woodridge 18 – Chicago
  • Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley – Dallas
  • Studio Movie Grill Pearland – Houston
  • AMC Aventura Mall – Miami
  • AMC Southfield – Detroit
  • AMC Arizona Center – Phoenix
  • Emagine Lakeville 21 – Minneapolis
  • Studio Movie Grill – Tampa
  • Tower City Cinemas – Cleveland

Synopsis:
When the government attempts to produce a designer drug aimed at correcting the false perceptions that people develop during trauma and stress, the implications are deadly. Advertised as a cure for socio-political tensions, four couples volunteer but end up with far more than they bargained for as their past and present are examined while taking variations of the new drug. However, this causes them to doubt their own memory, perceptions – and even their own sanity in this thriller in the vein of Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty.

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When Does That DEATH WISH Remake Hit Blu-ray?

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I don’t know about you but I went ahead and skipped Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake starring Bruce Willis in theaters. But I do plan to check it out on Blu-ray.

And speaking of which today we have word that the film will be hitting 4K Ultra HD May 22 and Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand June 5.

You can check out the cover art to the right and the full list of special features below and then let us know if you plan to own the film on Blu-ray in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The film is a remake of the Charles Bronson-led 1974 film of the same name, which itself was based on Brian Garfield’s original novel. This film is directed by Eli Roth from a script written by Joe Carnahan and stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dean Norris, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, and Kimberly Elise.

It hits 4K Ultra HD May 22 and Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand June 5.

Special Features:

  • Commentary w/ Eli Roth & Roger Birnbaum
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary w/ Eli Roth & Roger Birnbaum
  • Mancow Morning Show Extended Scenes
  • Sway in the Morning Extended Scene
  • Vengeance and Vision: Directing Death Wish
  • Grindhouse Trailer

BUY IT HERE!

Synopsis:

Dr. Paul Kersey is a surgeon who often sees the consequences of the city’s violence in the emergency room. When home intruders brutally attack his wife and young daughter, Kersey becomes obsessed with delivering vigilante justice to the perpetrators. As the anonymous slayings grab the media’s attention, the public begins to wonder if the deadly avenger is a guardian angel — or the Grim Reaper itself.

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