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FrightFest 2017: Venture into London’s Underground With This Exclusive Short Film Crypt

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Tonight marks the end of Horror Channel’s FrightFest 2017 but we’re not going to let it go to rest for another year just yet! Last night, Eitan Arrusi’s short film Crypt made its UK premiere (ahead of the UK premiere of the Korean thriller The Villainess) and now we’re here to help bring it to the world via an exclusive online reveal!

The short follows a salvage rescue team who go into the bowels of the London subway system after a series of catastrophic events point them in that direction. What they find lurking below the surface is a nightmare that is about to unleash itself upon the world above.

Below is the full teaser along with an interview with Arrusi that goes into the concept of the film, its future, and what’s next!

Dread Central: Can you tell me about the inspirations that helped create Crypt?

Eitan Arrusi: I’ve always been fascinated by the world under London. It struck me as an amazing location to set a film. Millions of people walk over it everyday, but few have any idea of the hidden depths right under their feet.

There’s over a thousand miles of tunnels and underground rivers and the more I explored it, the more it struck me that I could visually imagine it like an amazing spaceship. It’s an environment that moves effortlessly from the claustrophobic to the epic.

It’s so amazingly rich in history and mystery. It inspired me to start thinking of stories to set down there. I naturally thought of Nigel Kneale. I’ve always been a big fan of his work and “Quatermass and the Pitt” is such a cool movie. I also love muscular action films and “Pitch Black” always impressed me as a wonderfully crafted blend of character, action and creatures.

I knew that anybody reading the script would ask, what will this look like and why should we let you make it?

I’d become fascinated with some Proof of Concept films I’d seen online. Several struck me as really exciting, like Neil Blomkamp’s work in the “Halo” shorts and “Alive in Joburg” and the Fede Alvarez short “Panic Attack”. They inspired me to develop my own proof of concept for “Crypt”, both as a way of directing something thrilling and to help people get a sense of my vision for the film.

DC: Crypt feels like it wants to not only be a feature-length film but also the beginning of an umbrella of story-driven narratives, like comics, video games, etc… If you could take it in any direction, where do you think the story would find the most fascinating way forward?
EA: Thanks for saying that. It’s exciting that you can see all that potential in the idea.

First of all there’s the feature film. I’ve been working on a script, which is nearly there. I can’t say too much about it, but it builds on many of the elements in the teaser.

I’ve also been developing the idea for a television series and think I’ve got a cool take on it. It would be more futuristic but still keep the gritty feel I wanted to achieve in the teaser.

I’m a huge comic book fan, as well as playing more than my fair share of computer games. I actually created one of the first “interactive movies” called Burn:Cycle for Philips long dead format CD-I. It started my love affair with computer graphics and visual technology.

It would be great to develop the idea for a technology like VR, I think there’s a lot of buzz but not much killer content for that yet. Reminds me a lot of where the tech was when I worked on Burn:Cyle.

DC: Let’s talk a bit about the technical aspects of the short. What did it take to put this production together? What were some of the challenges you had to face?
EA: The first challenge was how to shoot the film quickly and efficiently. My producer, Michael Elliott of Emu films, found a wonderful location in London which was a series of five huge tunnels all in a row. We were able to build and pre-light each of the tunnels for a different location in the teaser and that allowed us to shoot the whole thing in two days.

I knew going into the short that I wanted to get very hands on with the VFX. I saw the way technology had evolved and made shooting and post-production on films much cheaper while maintaining the quality and I wanted to find a way to do that for VFX as well.

I approached a good friend of mine, Alexis Hagger of Lexhag, who had worked on my debut feature and suggested we set up a VFX pipeline, outsourcing elements of the VFX to another country and then finishing the final elements in London at Lexhag with me in the room supervising the shots directly.

We found a partner in India, called 5E Digital, they agreed to send us the software for each shot so that Lexhag could open the files and continue working on them with me.

It was really exciting to deal with this technical challenge. Figuring out which elements from a shot could be sent abroad and which needed to be done over here, with me squeezing the best out of them creatively. Having been through the process of making the teaser I know what the pitfalls are for making the film and how to get even better VFX in the feature.

DC: What’s next for you?
EA: I’ve taken a break from working on screenplay assignments to focus on getting Crypt made. I’m thrilled that people will get a chance to see the teaser, but it really is a draft for the final film. I’m looking forward to upping my game for the feature and being able to tell a great story in this genre – I can’t wait to work on new, more vicious creatures.

I also have a low budget thriller written by a friend of mine, David Gillhooly, who’s been writing the screenplay of “Crypt” with me. It’s got a working title of “Grant Me Serenity” and is something that can be made on a tight budget. I’m prepping that now and depending on what happens with Crypt, I aim to direct that very soon.

I’m really thrilled that all the Dread Central fans will get to see “Crypt”. It’s your support that will push us forward with the feature. Thanks for all the great questions, it was a blast answering them.

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Interview: Publishing Director Tom Walker on the Love Folio Society Gives to Horror Novels

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Horror fans are quite often collectors. Whether its posters, Blu-rays and/or DVDs, figures, memorabilia, or something else, we’ve always been archivists of the genre in some way, shape, or form. For many, the love of horror extends off the screen and into the pages of a book, where the writings of King, Lovecraft, Koontz, Shelley, and Stoker raise the hairs on the back of our neck and make us afraid to turn to the next page for fear of what our imagination will conjure.

Much like the difference between a bargain bin Blu-ray pales in comparison to a Scream Factory or Arrow Video treatment, the world of books has a similar situation. One can get a generic paperback edition of a book and enjoy a story for all that it has to offer and no one can, or should, fault them for appreciating it in that method. But I think we all know the feeling when we get our hands on a product where love and care exudes from every portion of what we hold. Just think back to that feeling when you got your first Blu-ray with a loving HD restoration, a robust special features section, and gorgeous artwork that made your eyes linger. When it comes to books, that kind of treatment is offered with everyone of Folio Society‘s releases.

Founded in 1947, the London-based publisher aims to release editions that should be “…presented in a form worthy of their contents.” Painstakingly crafted, each book that they release takes months, if not years, for a final product to be agreed upon where every aspect is considered to the nth degree. As they themselves explain, “…each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.”

While Folio Society does not focus solely on genre fare, they have released many classic titles from that world, including the recent edition of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, which featured brand new artwork by frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean. To celebrate those who put enormous amounts of effort into celebrating and cherishing the genre we so dearly appreciate and love, I had the chance to interview Folio Society’s Publishing Director Tom Walker about the company, specific titles they’ve released, and what’s coming next. Please enjoy!


Dread Central: The Folio Society has been creating beautiful editions for over 70 years. Can you tell me a bit about how you not only honour the legacy of the books you have in your catalogue but also the legacy of The Folio Society itself?

Tom Walker: I often feel overwhelmed walking through our library at the scale of what we have produced since 1947 – I know how much energy it takes to get one book right, so to do it with thousands, the library is an extraordinary feat. The thing that surprises me most though is how little we have changed since then. Our goal is fundamentally the same – to bring classic books to new audiences by producing them in a spectacular and lasting form. It’s a thrilling and a noble ideal really, so it feels an honour to be part of a publisher which has such a living tradition running through it.

DC: What do you look for in a book to find it worthy of The Folio Society treatment?

TW: That is a never-ending question, and one we constantly debate within our publishing team. Beyond the perhaps obvious considerations of the book having a stature to carry a fine edition, I look for books that are the best within their genre and will lend themselves well to an illustrated edition. Definitions of ‘classic’ works are slippery, but I like to think that Folio plays its part in helping to canonise certain books and authors, and to ensure they are read and re-read down the generations. The most important consideration for me is always that someone within Folio must love the book – it takes a certain level of obsession to create books like ours.

DC: Clearly an enormous amount of love and care goes into every book that you release. From the paper to the binding, the lettering to the new forewords, the slipcases and the printing… It all combines into something that is as much a work of art as the story the book itself contains. How does this process work for each novel?

TW: Well there are certain elements which are consistent but fundamentally we treat each book uniquely and with the respect it deserves, so when we decide to publish something we’ll think long and hard about how it could best be published, and over the course of it production we will consider every tiny detail. The editor and the art directors will likely have a vision of the final book quite early on, but it will always change through various stages of creative intervention – from the typographer, from the commissioned artist, from the author or introducer. We’re trying to match the form with the content and often that can involve restraint as much as it can involve a lavish design. So long as the aesthetics match those of the book and interplay in interesting ways, we have done our job well. We’re hugely fortunate to have an in-house team which loves creative collaboration and makes such a process possible.

DC: The Folio Society doesn’t discriminate by genre, offering anything from comedy to tragedy with everything in between. For horror fans, that means a great deal as the genre often gets looked down upon. What responsibility do you feel The Folio Society has in showcasing the validity and importance of all styles of writing?

TW: Often the very best writing is to be found in non-traditional genres, as I’m sure your readers will have noticed. Writers – particularly those with something genuinely new to say – don’t always like being confined to the expectations of a conventional genre. Horror, science fiction and other genres have undoubtedly been a refuge for some of the finest writers over the years. Folio is also in a unique position for a publisher in being able to showcase a wide range of genres – most publishers will tend to specialise in certain areas where we range quite freely. A lot of our readers will buy whole libraries from us, and no good private library will ever contain one genre. It’s thrilling too to be able to introduce readers to new authors they wouldn’t otherwise have considered except through us.

DC: Getting into specific titles, what can you tell me about the creation of your release of The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories? Was there anything that stands out about that particular release?

TW: That was an unusual project in a number of ways, not least because we produced two editions at the same time – a limited edition alongside our collector’s edition – and I must say the collector’s edition is in itself quite an extraordinary thing. Two elements stand out most for me with this edition. The first is the introduction by Alan Moore. It’s one of the finest I’ve commissioned in a decade of working at Folio, and makes the case for Lovecraft in a hugely compelling fashion. Secondly the vision at work here is very much that of the artist, Dan Hillier, who was involved in every level, from the artwork to the slipcase and solander-box box design to the decision to blacken the foredges of the book. It’s one of those projects where everything came together in a serendipitous and very fun way, and I think it stands up to Lovecraft’s extraordinary tales.

DC: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is obviously a huge title for horror fans across generations. How do you go about honoring such a title?

TW: When we decided to publish this novel –an easy decision! – we were looking at artists to commission and came across the Lonely Road edition which had been illustrated by Caniglia. We knew of his work already and were so impressed by it that we asked Lonely Road if they would allow us to re-use it for our edition. They were graciousness itself, and through working with Caniglia we were able to include some material from him unique to our edition and what we ultimately produced is, I think, quite stunning.

DC: You have a glorious edition of The Shining from Stephen King. Will we see any more offerings from The Folio Society for King’s work?

TW: I do hope so. Watch this space!

DC: It seemed over the past several years that physical media was going to slowly disappear as electronic options became more and more popular. However, we’re seeing a resurgence of love for being able to have something tangible. What is your stance on physical versus digital, especially in your field where Kindles and Nooks and tablets are obviously very convenient?

TW: I’ve always felt that the rise of digital media has been Folio’s greatest opportunity. We all read so much online and on tablets but the pull of the physical isn’t going away, and I think Folio is part of a resurgence in crafted and thought-through objects – and writing – which people appreciate all the more as so much of our media is so ephemeral.

DC: What is coming up that you’re excited for at The Folio Society?

TW: It takes somewhere between eighteen months and three years to create a Folio Society edition, and I am always most excited about the books we have in the programme that far ahead. But I can’t tell you about any of them! A couple which have just been released I’m particularly proud of are Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf – both amazing novels, and both now in Folio formats which are utterly addictive.

DC: To end things, I’d love to know what is your dream book that you would love to be able to bring into The Folio Society’s catalogue?

TW: My dream book is always the next book I add to the catalogue, so luckily for me I don’t have to choose – you do!

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Bob & Mews Return in STRANGER THINGS 3 Promo

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One of the best surprises held within this past season’s Stranger Things 2 was Sean Astin as Bob. Another great addition was Dustin’s kitty Mews. But alas these two things were not meant to be.

And so it is utterly delightful to see them together for the first time in this new promo trailer for the upcoming Stranger Things 3.

You can check out the promo below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The show stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton.

Synopsis:

A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.

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Which Classic Movie Would Rob Zombie Like to Remake?

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This past year, Rob Zombie hosted HDNet’s 13 Nights of Halloween. During the gig, he was asked a series of fan questions in a fun video, which you can check out in its entirety below. One of the fun questions was “Which horror movie would you like to remake?” And Zombie’s reply was very interesting.

One thing I always thought was possible was to remake The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Zombie said. “Because the creature itself, in that phenomenal suit they constructed, could be exactly the same. So I think Creature from the Black Lagoon could be a cool one.”

How would you feel about a Rob Zombie directed remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

Remnants of a mysterious animal have come to light in a remote jungle, and a group of scientists intends to determine if the find is an anomaly or evidence of an undiscovered beast. To accomplish their goal, the scientists (Antonio Moreno, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell) must brave the most perilous pieces of land South America has to offer. But the terrain is nothing compared to the danger posed by an otherworldly being that endangers their work and their lives.

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