Exclusive - Rachel Matthews Talks Happy Death Day - Dread Central
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Exclusive – Rachel Matthews Talks Happy Death Day

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Happy Death Day, the new horror comedy from director Christopher Landon and producer Jason Blum, has an unusual premise that’s been described as Groundhog Day meets Scream – and that’s pretty apt, though a touch of House on Sorority Row could be thrown in there as well. Rachel Matthews plays the typical Kappa brat who rules her roost of girls with a mixture of love and hate. Although her character, Danielle, doesn’t take part in the horror, Rachel still has a lot to say about the filming of Happy Death Day and offers some interesting insights.

Dread Central: The story has a lot of twists and turns. What were your thoughts when you first read it?

Rachel Matthews: When I read the script, I thought it was super interesting. I mean I know they’ve been doing a lot with the Groundhog Day type premise, but what I loved about this was that a lot of those films avoid the concept, like it’s an original, but this one hits it on head first and is aware of its everyday loop and cycle. It plays the comedy in that as well. What’s fun for me is, reading the script is kind of tough to see this all come into fruition and then when I got to see the film I totally forgot just how much this film has romance, it has the comedy, it has the horror and it was so exciting. It was brought to life.

DC: What was it about playing the so-called “bitchy girl” that appealed to you?

RM: Danielle, especially on paper, is the type of role I am so drawn to. I think those types of characters are so much fun. They’re heightened, they’re a little bit ridiculous, they also are very real. They’re the stereotypical sorority girl. So Danielle is the president of the Kappa, so she is the mean girl. But I think she genuinely thinks all of her offensive comments are coming from a good, genuine place. Like she is looking out for all her Kappa sisters. It just happens to come off super offensive. Which I think is a lot of the comedy in it. But she is Tree’s frenemy in a lot of ways. Danielle sees Tree as her best friend and she’s also extremely intimidated by Tree, as you will see in the film and there’s moments where Tree gets a lot more of the attention or she wins the boy over and you can see a vulnerable side to Danielle and she really is just a very insecure little girl at the end of the day. It’s very much a love/hate relationship between the two of them.

DC: You director is a male, and he’s not college-age, so… were you allowed input as to some of the things a young woman would say and do?

RM: What was great was, I was given a lot of freedom with this role. I thank Chris Landon for that. He really brought this character to life and he and I were able to come up with funny moments and one he got one piece that he liked, he’d be like ‘Okay Rachel, do what you want in this scene or improvise.’ There was a lot of improv for me and my character which was such a blessing. A lot of actors don’t get that privilege and especially with more of a comedic role, it’s so nice to have that confidence of a director on set to be able to improvise and collaborate. Also, he’s just the most relatable human being. He’s hilarious, he’s such a kid at heart, he’s is so young, so there isn’t really this feeling of a gap between adults and teens. Whatever you want to call it, we all feel kind of the same age just because of his liveliness, his ability to connect to everyone and it really was him that drove this project. And everyone on set was so excited to come to work every day and I think that is the always the director’s role, to set the tone. And I am so lucky for how he set his tone, we all are, we all talk about it all the time about how blessed we feel because he was so trusting, so fun, creative and he really set the tone for an open line of communication. Whether you wanted to try a new idea or he thought this moment could be fun or you had a problem. And I think with that he was really able to connect with each one of us and bring out the most genuine part of each character.

DC: IMDb lists Happy Death Day as your first and only role?

RM: Well, I’ve had some small parts. Everyone was so welcoming and taught me so much, and I really have to thank Jessica for that as well, she was definitely my go-to on set. She really helped me, which – you know it’s intimidating being in that type of a production for your first feature and she helped with everything. She really was such a rock.

DC: What made you want to pursue a career in acting?

RM: It started at a young age. I was doing community theatre, I was in New York, I was at NYU doing musical theatre and straight theatre. There’s something about acting for me, that makes me feel incredibly alive and I think you have a huge opportunity to just reflect society in a lot of ways. It’s like holding up a mirror to society and I think that’s so exciting and there’s nothing more powerful – and that right there is what makes me want to do this every single day, no matter the grind. And to be able to share other people’s stories. You know, I was never in a sorority, I’ve heard about the horrors from a lot of my friends at USC or other fun colleges, that have that [pecking order]. And so being able to play those types of characters or, you know, whether it’s the character of Tree and she is having to deal with facing her own reality of who she is as a person, now that she has every single day. What are the decisions she’s making? How she’s treating people. You really get to see who you are as a person. And so much as it is a horror story, it really shines a light on to – just a lot of reality – young girls and whatever they’re having to deal with relationships, with parents, with themselves. So I think when you look past all the other aspects, it really is powerful. There’s nothing more powerful than being able to tell stories – for me.

DC: What’s it like being in a horror movie, with no horror for your character?

RM: Yeah, it’s funny because for all my scenes I forget I was shooting a horror film for the most part. I felt like I was in a different genre. But when I was on set I was able to see some of the cool special effects or more of the action scenes – it was so exciting to watch. And I think my favourite thing, especially with any horror film, is watching something being shot without any of the music, without the editing – it really is so crazy to watch and what it turns into once production happens – it’s exciting watching the actors, they’re so talented – especially all the times Jess has to die. And the different ways she’s waking up. It’s really exciting to see when she’s working and just how dedicated you have to be to the reality that you’re living in. Whether that effect is in front of you or it happens in post, it’s tough, but she really did a great job.

DC: What’s the first horror movie you ever saw, or that affected you?

RM: That one’s super easy. It was The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and I was eight years old, and horror’s been a big thing in my family since I was little – our favorite genre, we always watch horror movies – but that movie, I could not sleep, I was terrified and I would say for a good couple of years after that, that I could not have birds fly over me, I couldn’t be around birds. I genuinely thought that they were going to attack, that one had such an impact on me. But it’s such an amazing film – it just terrified me.

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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Want a LEGO Godzilla Set? Here’s Your Chance!

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The longest-running franchises in cinema history, the Godzilla films have created a cultural icon in the form of the titular beast. Simply hearing its roar or seeing its silhouette is enough to let us know precisely what we’re looking at. Having ventured out of cinema and forayed into TV shows, comic books, video games, and countless merchandise options, Godzilla still hasn’t managed to break into one of the world’s most popular toy company: LEGO. However, that might change if BRICK_101 has their say via LEGO Ideas, where they submitted a design based on the 1954 original film!

Here’s the description from the site:
This model contains approximately 850 LEGO pieces, stands 9 inches (23 cm) tall, and measures 17 inches (44 cm) from head to tail. Godzilla has had many different designs over the years, but we based ours on the original 1954 movie. The arms, legs, jaw, and tail are hinged to allow the model to be posed in a variety of positions. In addition to Godzilla, the set also includes a small microscale train for Godzilla to stomp on or chomp on and a flame piece to represent Godzilla’s atomic breath.

The website allows people to submit their own ideas (such as this Call of Cthulhu set) and then allow the public to vote on whether or not they want to see it get made. Should the idea get 10,000 votes, it then gets moved up the ladder within LEGO’s headquarters and a decision is made to see if they want to make an official set.

So, if you want to see LEGO make an official Godzilla set, click on the link above and cast your vote!

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#Brainwaves Episode 78 Guest Announcement: Legendary Film Composer Harry Manfredini

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The Friday the 13th franchise without the music of Harry Manfredini would be like peanut butter without jelly. McDonalds without the Big Mac. Knetter without Creepy. His music defined a generation of horror fans, and few could have done it better, if at all. Now Manfredini brings his equally as unique voice to Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

Join us this coming Wednesday, February 21st, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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Supernatural Irish Horror Beyond the Woods Hits Home Video and VOD This February

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Supernatural Irish horror Beyond the Woods makes its way to DVD and VOD from Left Films!

Shot on location in Ireland, Beyond the Woods echoes the creepy supernatural horror of recent Irish genre hits The Hallow and The Canal, with its eerie and grisly tale of an unknown evil.

Synopsis:
Seven friends meet up in the Irish countryside for a secluded weekend getaway but unfortunately for them a fiery sinkhole has opened up in the mountains nearby. It’s burning hot, spewing out sulphur and casting a hellish stench over the local area. Determined to make the most of the weekend, the group decide not to let the noxious atmosphere get to them…but it’s getting worse. Soon the troubling hallucinations begin as an ancient evil starts to take hold. What malevolent force has crawled from the sinkhole and will any of them survive the weekend?

Following a successful run on the festival circuit where it picked up the Best Feature Film Award at the World International Film Festival Montreal in 2017, Seán Breathnach’s spine-chilling low budget nightmare finally makes its way to UK and North American DVD and VOD courtesy of Left Films.

On digital/VOD February 5th, DVD February 19th.

UK DVD AMAZON
UK VOD ITUNES
US VOD ITUNES

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