Jessica Rothe Talks Happy Death Day - Dread Central
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Jessica Rothe Talks Happy Death Day

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Jessica Rothe is in every single scene of Happy Death Day – the whole entire movie is from her character Tree’s perspective, and so you really have to care about her and want to follow her on her horrific and sometimes hilarious journey. What’s more, it’s technically a body-count slasher, and yet… the body is always hers. You see, Tree is reliving the day of her murder over and over again.

The balance between horror and comedy is a delicate one, and luckily Rothe – along with director Christopher Landon – nailed it. We caught up with Rothe recently to ask her about this most unusual role.

Dread Central: How would you describe the movie?

Jessica Rothe: It’s Groundhog Day meets Scream. It’s about Tree, a college student who is a little bit narcissistic. A little bit! [laughs] Anyway, it’s a lot of fun! Our director Chris Landon is so smart and funny. I love when I read scripts that truly pop off the page, capture your emotions and allow you to invest in the lives of the characters. This was one of those scripts for me. The amazing balance of humor, horror, action and heart is something you just do not find often.

DC: Tell us more about Tree.

JR: Tree wakes up on her birthday – and she does not like her birthday. She carries a lot of baggage with it. And as she is going through her day, everything and everyone is annoying. It’s all basically a fly that she wants flicked out of her way. But at the end of this day, she is murdered by someone who is wearing a baby mask. Which is pretty clever, because the baby is the school mascot, and so these masks are everywhere. It could be anyone. Anyway, she wakes up suddenly, as if from a horrible dream, and realizes it’s the beginning of the same day. It’s her birthday again. And she’s confused – is this déjà vu, is she dreaming, like, ‘What’s going on?’ After she wakes up on the same day for the third or fourth time, she realizes she’s trapped in this horrifying loop where she has a doomsday that’s slowly approaching every single day. She tries everything she can think of, from running away to facing it head-on, to just trying to find out who her killer is, and she never can quite crack it. Anyway, she goes through her life, thinking that she just doesn’t care what other people think, only to realize that she does care a great amount what other people think. And she’s also got a sense of nothing matters, like in one scene she eats a bunch of French fries – and she’s always on a diet of course – but she knows that the next day she’ll wake up again and those calories didn’t matter. I can dye my hair pink, and it won’t have happened. I can walk through the quad naked, and nobody’s going to remember it the next day.

DC: That scene was so funny. What was it like to shoot?

JR: Yeah, that scene was crazy to shoot. Well, the first thing I noticed was in the script it said “tasteful” and since it’s PG13, I knew nothing would show. But still, shooting it… and it was cold! So cold. There were lots of great women on set who would wrap me in coats and huddle around me between takes.

DC: Aside from the unique plot, what else made you want to take this movie?

JR: I knew I had to do this film was when I read the ‘Tree dies six ways while looking for her killer and living her life like a badass set to upbeat pop music’ montage”! This montage is everything that is brilliant about the film. She dates the bad boy, she dyes her hair hot pink, pigs out, and everything. We watch Tree become an active participant in her life instead of a victim, but it is fun, at moments scary, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Tree is a true modern-day scream queen, and her transformation from bitchy victim to badass heroine is one you do not get to see often. I knew that I had to play her, get in her skin, move around and take her out for a spin.

DC: Tell us about the men in Tree’s life…

JR: Well there’s Carter, who is played by Israel Broussard. One of the sweetest people I have ever met! He is the boy whose dorm room she wakes up in every morning. He doesn’t know it’s the same morning, every morning. Only Tree knows that. So as the story goes on, you’ll find out why she’s there – because he’s not normally the kind of boy Tree would spend the night with. He’s a bit of a nerd. A sweet nerd. Then there’s the guy she is sleeping with, one of her teachers. He’s played by Charles Aitken from that series “The Knick” and his name is Gregory. Gregory is married, so the affair is not a good choice on Tree’s part. Her decision to get involved with him is in line with her tendency to push boundaries…and truly seeing how far she can take things. I also think there is a part of her that is self-loathing and feels she deserves to be in pain. And then, someone who reminds her of a past pain is her father [played by Jason Bayle] who she is avoiding throughout most of the movie.

DC: Are you a fan of horror movies?

JR: Oh… hm. Yes and no. I love them but I get scared so easily. My first horror movie was Scream, and I saw it at a slumber party. I was the one kid who, hours later, was still staring at the ceiling while everyone else was asleep! But what I love about Happy Death Day is, yes, it’s scary. But it’s also funny and it’s touching. It’s just smart… and scary! [laughs]

Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon, who co-wrote the film with Scott Lobdell. Jessica Rothe headlines the film, which comes out Friday, October 13th.

Synopsis:
A college student (Jessica Rothe, La La Land) relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.

Happy Death Day

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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