Cold Moon is a Southern Gothic chiller based on the bestselling novel Cold Moon Over Babylon by the late Michael McDowell, author of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. While the story is indeed quirky, it doesn’t feel like you’re watching a Tim Burton flick. Co-writer and director Griff Furst puts his own stamp on it.
You really wouldn’t think of Furst for something like this. He’s better known as an actor, but as a director he’s the “water-monster guy” – his previous feature credits include Lake Placid 3, Swamp Shark, Ghost Shark, and Alligator Alley. Next up for him is Trailer Park Shark (you know we’re first in line for that one!). There are no sharks in Cold Moon, though there may be a trailer park or two.
The story centers around the Larkin family, who live in the small town of Babylon in Florida. They are struggling, as they owe beaucoup bucks to the bank run by cold-hearted Nathan Redfield (Josh Stewart). When sixteen-year-old Margaret Larkin (Sara Kathryn Bellamy) is murdered and her body found in the murky lake, things go from bad to godawful. Spirits of dastardly deeds past come to light, and Redfield seems to be getting the worst of the otherworldly wrath.
Other cast members include Frank Whaley, Candy Clark, and the incomparable crowd-pleaser Christopher Lloyd. There’s even a cameo by the infamous Tommy Wiseau! (Wiseau wrote, directed, and stars in the camp neoclassic The Room.) “We are the group of actors that have been around in a lot of films, even though we weren’t always the leads. Between Frank, Candy, Christopher, and myself,” says Stewart, “we are the longtime working actors, and it’s a unique group to be in. It’s a bizarre and unique world we are in, in Cold Moon.”
“It takes place in a Southern town in Florida, and there are some stereotypes in play. You have a family that controls the bank and you have a family that controls the farming and this person owes some money and that person is doing some bad things. It’s all of those strange, bad, odd, and scary things that can happen in small-town politics. I’m dancing around this because I don’t want to give too much away.”
We wonder if the movie, like the novel, could be described as Southern Gothic. “Well,” says Stewart, searching for the right words, “this film doesn’t play like a straight horror film; it’s more of a psychological thriller with some horror elements in it. It’s just a head-trip. It’s kind of hard to explain. There’s so much to it. Griff has made something smart, beautiful, and caring in some weird way. But it’s also totally screwed up.” He adds, “Characters from the past come back to haunt the living. They tend to rear their ugly heads.”
Stewart is no newbie. You’ve seen him on TV quite a bit; he’s best known for his role as Holt McLaren in the hit series “Dirt” and as Detective William LaMontagne, Jr., in the long-running “Criminal Minds.” He’s also done his share of horror movies. He was in The Haunting of Molly Hartley and The Collector and The Collection, to name a few. Since he works so much, always cast in something new it seems, we wondered what his criteria are for accepting a role. He can’t possibly accept them all!
“First it’s the story, and then it’s how the puzzle piece of the character fits into that story. In this case, Nathan is a guy who comes from a wealthy, prominent family. But in small towns there’s a lot of things and people he gets tied into. He’s a complicated dude. There was a lot to do with him, and when I play a character, I want to have things to explore. To me, that’s the most interesting and fun in acting – when you never know where you’re going to end up.”
Next, Stewart will be in Insidious: The Last Key. We know very little, not even his character’s name. Yes, we asked. Stewart chuckles and says, “I can’t tell you because if I did, I’d be strung up.”
He did say that he enjoyed working with the director, who is new to the franchise, Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan). “Adam is the sweetest dude. I love him to death.” Since Robitel has years of experience acting in films before getting behind the camera, did they already know each other? “No. I met him in the audition process.”
How does it feel to be in the Insidious world? “Doing films in this genre, way back to The Collection days, anytime Jason Blum has his name on it, you know it’s going to be something that’s treated properly. He allows filmmakers to make the film they want to make. He puts a great group of people together, and then he lets them play. It’s no secret the success the company has had, and of course James Wan and Leigh Whannell are the best. Just to be a part of this franchise, in how well it’s done, is great. Just from a creative standpoint. They got into this world that’s grown to four films now, which is a testament to all the people involved. Just getting to be involved is so fun and unbelievable.”
From Uncork’ed Entertainment, Cold Moon is in select theaters and on VOD on October 6th.
About Cold Moon:
A chilling tale of supernatural vengeance arrives this October 6th with Cold Moon, directed by Griff Furst and co-written by Furst and Jack Snyder, in theaters and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Starring Josh Stewart (“Shooter,” The Dark Knight Rises), Christopher Lloyd (the Back to the Future series), Robbie Kay (“Once Upon a Time,” Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Candy Clark (“Twin Peaks,” Zodiac), Rachele Brooke Smith (Center Stage: On Pointe, The Nice Guys), and Frank Whaley (“Luke Cage,” The Doors), Cold Moon is based on the novel Cold Moon Over Babylon by the late Michael McDowell, author of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Tommy Wiseau, Madison Wolfe, and Laura Cayouette co-star in the film, which was produced by Furst’s Curmudgeon Films.
In a sleepy Southern town, the Larkin family suffers a terrible tragedy. Now the Larkins are about to endure another: Traffic lights blink an eerie warning, a ghostly visage prowls in the streets, and graves erupt from the local cemetery in an implacable march of terror…
And beneath the murky surface of the river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form to seek a terrible vengeance.
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