Exclusive - Ruby Modine Talks Happy Death Day - Dread Central
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Exclusive – Ruby Modine Talks Happy Death Day



Happy Death Day, the new horror comedy from director Christopher Landon and producer Jason Blum, takes place on a college campus – but the movie is smarter than you might think. Still, it’s fun to rip on the stereotypes, and Ruby Modine embodies the “weird, nerdy roommate” as Lori. We caught up with the actress to find out more.

Dread Central: Even though you yourself aren’t as involved in the horror scenes as some others, it still looked like a pretty spooky set – especially the hospital where Lori works.

Ruby Modine: It definitely had a spooky vibe because when you’re on the set of a horror film there’s that little ominous layer, like a breeze floating. But because there’s an element of comedy in the film it was also extremely funny. So it was really, really great. Chris [Landon] has such good energy about him, like, you were really excited to go to set every day, everybody in the cast had a great time. So it was exciting to go to work but you were kind of on your toes because you were afraid something might pop out at you at any random point during the day.

Photo Credit: Nathan Johns

DC: In the movie, the main character lives the same day of her murder over and over again. But she’s the only one who’s aware of it. What was it like having to be Lori in the same situation every day and yet not knowing it?

RM: It had to do with a lot of memorization. Because as you saw, Lori was always writing in her journal but it was a little bit difficult – you know you have to remember your eye line and your facial expressions – it was just about staying in the same. You have the thought process every day, you’re thinking about specific things and just knowing that you just have to stay in that thought process, and then you go off of how your co-star is going to be acting. So Jessica Rothe, who plays Tree, she was aware of the fact she was living the same day over and over again and so you stay in that thought process and then you get to act of, of how’s she’s acting in the day. So it was just about memorization and then allowing yourself to act of, of her reaction to what was happening.

DC: What were your thoughts when you first read the script, not knowing how it would it all turn out?

RM: I was excited. As I was reading the script I caught myself really excited every time I flipped the page, because I just wanted to know who the killer was, and every time I thought that Tree got out of it, you flip the page and it goes, ‘Tree wakes up’. I found myself stamping my foot going ‘No way! You can’t be serious’. But it was exciting and I liked that element because it has that Groundhog Day feel, but it also still has the comedy behind it and there’s some really beautiful scenes in it that Jessica does. So I was happy about it and I knew that it was going to be really fun and I’d never done anything that was repetitive like that, so I was excited about it all.

DC: The audience reaction is going to be the same, I think. Have you seen the finished film?

RM: I have. It was so incredible watching, just at the beginning the Universal logo repeating that way and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, this is gonna be such a fun ride.’ The way that you imagine how something will be at the end is usually always going to be different from what it comes out as, because you’re not the one putting it together – it’s in Christopher’s mind. I was so happy with the end product. It kept me on the edge of my seat, I was laughing, I was screaming, and I’m not kidding when I say that. I was legitimately laughing and screaming throughout the whole time I watched it, so that was great. And I knew it was going to be scary.

DC: You have a scene or two with the creepy serial killer who is hospitalized in the movie… What’s the actor who looks so scary, actually like?

RM: Rob Mello and I have actually stayed in contact since filming. He is so lovely and so funny and just so artistic. And he and I were goofing around – he was the spookiest one not only in his character but on set he had way too much fun. Laughing around with me and scaring me, but it was great working with him. It was easy because he’s an easy-going person and you just talk to your co-worker about what the choice your gonna make works. And yes, working in the hospital was definitely creepy and that hospital in real life is just as creepy as it is on the screen.

DC: Was it actually a practical set in a hospital?

RM: Yes, but it was abandoned at the time. I’m not sure if it’s been rebuilt at this point but there were definitely areas of the hospital that were shut down and then there were other areas that had been brought back to life for the film. I don’t have any knowledge at this point as to where the hospital is at now. At that point there were areas that were closed down and there were areas that were very, very creepy.

DC: Do you remember the first horror movie you ever saw?

RM: I was in fourth or fifth grade and I went for a sleepover at my friend’s house and she put on the original IT. And it was so scary that I stayed under the pillow the whole time and I actually had to leave the room, that’s how absolutely terrifying it was. And to this day, I used to be a bigger fan of horror because I could handle it better then, I get scared much easier. But I still watch them. I just saw the most recent IT film in theatres.

DC: How did it stack up against the first IT?

RM: I think it did a really good job. And usually I feel like, ‘you shouldn’t remake it’ and probably that’s not the best thing for me to feel but
I think that the IT film lived up to the first one. And the kids were so good in it, oh my gosh, it was just terrifying. Bill Skarsgard is so terrifying in that film!

DC: Would you like to act in more horror films?

RM: It is something that I would love to do again. But I never know what is going to be happening in my future so I just put it into the universe and say hopefully I will be doing another horror film because I enjoy them a lot.

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.

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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Vampire Hunter D: The Series Gets Writer For Pilot Episode



It’s been a little while since we’ve heard news about “Vampire Hunter D: The Series”, the CG-animated series based on Hideyuki Kikuchi’s titular character. However, some new news broke today over at ANN as they’ve reported that Brandon Easton, who is writing the scripts for new Vampire Hunter D comics, has been tapped by Unified Pictures to write the pilot for the series. The pilot will be based on Kikuchi’s “Mysterious Journey to the North Sea” storylines, which make up the 7th and 8th titles in the book series. Unified is making this series in conjunction with Digital Frontier, the Japanese animation studio behind the CG Resident Evil titles.

Easton told the site, “I’ve had to manage the expectations of three entities: the creator Hideyuki Kikuchi, the producers at Digital Frontier and Unified Pictures, and ultimately myself. This means that you have to find new and exciting ways of telling a story that has a set of concrete rules that have been fully established by the novels.

Meanwhile, the studio has also announced that Ryan Benjamin is taking over as the artist and colorist on the Vampire Hunter D: Message From Mars series with Richard Friend inking the issues.


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Watching A Quiet Place’s John Krasinski Get Scared by Freddy on Ellen Will Brighten Your Day



I was just researching the new Platinum Dunes horror-thriller A Quiet Place and stumbled across this video. It features the film’s writer-director and star John Krasinski getting scared by a man dressed as Freddy Krueger on “Ellen.”

It’s as much fun as it sounds, and I’m sure it will make your day. It sure as hell just brightened mine.

Give it a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

John Krasinski directs the film, which will be the opening night entry at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Emily Blunt stars alongside Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.

A Quiet Place will then open wide on April 6.

In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threatens their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.


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Interview: Director Jeff Burr Revisits Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III



Director Jeff Burr was gracious enough to give us here at Dread Central a few minutes of his time to discuss the Blu-ray release of his 1990 film Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Recently dropped on 2/13, the movie has undergone the white-glove treatment, and he was all-too-happy to bring us back to when the film was being shot…and eventually diced thanks to the MPAA – so settle in, grab a cold slice of bloody meat, read on and enjoy!

DC: First off – congrats on seeing the film get the treatment it deserves on Blu-ray – you excited about it?

JB: Yeah, I’m really happy that it’s coming out on Blu-ray, especially since so many people bitch and moan about the death of physical media, and this thing made the cut, and it’s great for people to be able to see probably the best-looking version of it since we saw it in the lab back in 1989.

DC: Take us back to when you’d first gotten the news that you were tabbed to be the man to direct the third installment in this franchise – what was your first order of business?

JB: It was fairly condensed pre-production for me, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of time to think about the import or the greatness of it – it was basically just roll up your sleeves and go. It was a bit disappointing because a lot of times in pre-production you have the opportunity to dream what could be – casting had already been done, but certain decisions hadn’t been made yet. A very condensed pre-production, but exciting as hell, for sure! (laughs)

DC: R.A. Mihailoff in the role of Leatherface – was it the decision from the get-go to have him play the lead role?

JB: No – I totally had someone else in mind, even though R.A. had done a role in my student film about 7 years earlier, and we’d kept in touch, and I’d felt strongly because I’d gotten to know him a bit that Gunnar Hansen should have come back and played Leatherface, which would have given a bit more legitimacy to this third movie. He and I talked, and he had some issues with the direction that it was going – he really wanted to be involved, and it ended up boiling down to a financial thing, and it wasn’t outrageous at all – it wasn’t like he asked for the moon, but the problem was that New Line refused to pay it, categorically. I think the line producer at the time was more adamant about it than anyone, and Mike DeLuca was one of the executives on the movie, and he was really the guy that was running this, in a creative sense. I made my case for Gunner to both he and the line producer, and they flat out refused to pay him what he was asking, so after that was a done “no deal” I decided that R.A would be the right guy to step into the role. Since New Line was the arbiter of the film, he had to come in and audition for the part, and he impressed everyone and got the part. He did an absolutely fantastic job – such a joy to work with, and he was completely enthusiastic about everything.

DC: Let’s talk about Viggo Mortenson, and with this being one of his earliest roles – did you know you had something special with this guy on your set?

JB: Here’s the thing – you knew he was talented, and I’d seen him in the movie Prison way back in the early stages of development and was very impressed with him, and he was one of those guys that I think we were really lucky to get him on board with us. I really believe that The Indian Runner with he and directed by Sean Penn was the movie that truly made people stand up and notice his work. Every person in this cast was one hundred percent into this film and jumped in no questions asked when it was time to roll around in the body pits.

DC: It’s no secret about the amount of shit that the MPAA put you through in order to get this film released – can you expound on that for a minute?

JB: At the time, I believe it was a record amount of times we had to go back to the MPAA after re-cutting the film – I think it was 11 times that we went back. What a lot of people don’t realize is after Bob Shaye (President of New Line) had come into the editing room and he thought that it was very disturbing, and cut out some stuff himself. He thought that it would have been banned in every country, and it was banned in a lot of countries but so were the previous two. It was definitely on the verge of being emasculated before even being submitted to the MPAA, and I would have thought just a few adjustments here and there – maybe a couple of times to go back…but eleven? It was front-page news in the trade papers then, and I think that the overall tone of the film was looked at as being nasty. The previous film (Chainsaw 2) had actually gone out unrated, and with the first film being so notorious, I think it was a combination of all of that, and now even the most unrated version of this would be rated R – that’s how far the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

DC: Looking back at the film after all this time – what would be one thing that you’d change about the movie?

JB: Oh god – any film director worth his salt would look back at any of their films and want to change stuff up, and with this being 28 years old, I can look back and say “oh yeah, I’d change this, this and this!” You grow and learn over the course of your time directing, and this was my third movie and my first without producers that I had known, so the main thing that I’d do today would be to make it a bit more politically savvy. I had always thought that they wanted me to put my vision on this film, and that wasn’t necessarily the case, so maybe I’d navigate those political waters a little better.

DC: Last thing, Jeff – what’s keeping you busy these days? Any projects to speak of?

JB: Oh yeah, I’ve got a couple of movies that I’m working on – I’m prepping a horror movie right now, and then I’ve got a comedy film that I’m doing after that. You haven’t heard the last of me! I’ve had a real up and down (mostly down) career, but I still love it – it’s what I love to do, and it’s still great that after 28 years people still want to talk about this movie, and are still watching it – that’s the greatest gift you can get, and I thank everyone that’s seen it and talked about it over all these years.



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