SXSW 2012: Writer/Director Joko Anwar Talks Modus Anomali and More! - Dread Central
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SXSW 2012: Writer/Director Joko Anwar Talks Modus Anomali and More!



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SXSW 2012: Writer/Director Joko Anwar Talks Modus Anomali and More!In writer/director Joko Anwar’s latest film Modus Anomali, a mysterious man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest.

Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse and before he can understand what’s going on, he finds himself alone and separated from his family. As he comes across several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, indicating something far sinister than just keeping time, he knows that the race is now on if he ever wants to see his family alive again.

As a filmmaker known for his strong visual style in previous films like The Forbidden Door and Dead Time: Kala, Dread Central had the opportunity to sit down and chat briefly with Anwar while in Austin last week for the 2012 SxSW Film Festival to hear more about the story inspiration for Modus Anomali, his experiences working on the thriller and why he always likes to keep everyone guessing- with both his movies and his career.

Check out the highlights of our interview with Anwar below and look for more on Modus Anomali and the SxSW Film Festival coming very soon!

Dread Central: Let’s talk a bit about the story of Modus Anomali and how that came about.

Joko Anwar: This was a movie that I had planned on making for many years, even since before making The Forbidden Door, so once I finished that movie, I thought the time was right to take this story that has been in my head for years and just get it written down. The name of the movie comes from my last film – there is a street in it called Modus Anomali – and that’s where the original idea started because I always loved the name.

I think I work a little differently than a lot of other directors; stories just come to my head they just start to take shape inside there. It takes years in my head to bring the characters and everything to life but when I start writing everything out, it only takes a short time so once I started writing Modus, it was really a quick process for me.

DC: I know that in Modus you use clocks and time as a theme and I feel like time is a very interesting factor or theme to use in horror movie because a lot of times when you are watching things there’s never that sense of urgency, but here- everything is urgent. Is that the kind of feel you were going for with this- that there is that sense of urgency to your story?

Joko Anwar: Time is definitely a device people use to put in a film to raise the stakes and I think it is the same case with this one. In fact, time is more like a character itself in this movie and I think in all my films, I always talk about time. It’s fascinating to me, especially when you can have two different time eras clash together; what a fascinating juxtaposition.

DC: You clearly have a certain kind of visual sensibility with your films and I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about when you’re creating stories what are the things that speak to you? Or when you are trying to create a story, what is it you are trying to do for the audiences watching them?

Joko Anwar: I always put myself as the audience because when you watch so many films, you tend to get bored watching the same kind of genre story over and over again. A lot of stories these days seem formless to me so when I’m making films, I usually put an odd twist on things or incorporate some new ideas with a twist to keep things fresh.

I know that the usual reaction of people who watch my movies is that they usually hate them or they love them- I’m okay with both of those, just as long as they don’t say they’re bored (laughs). For Modus, I wanted to do something different than I had before so there a little more handheld camera work because I wanted there to be that feeling of imperativeness. The first half of the film we went with a totally handheld approach and we put the camera next to him or behind him because we wanted the audience to be right there next to him as he’s going through this race against time. It just felt right to do it that way but for the second half of the film, we used a more composed style for reasons that I cannot really say without giving too much away but the style changes all make sense.

DC: With half the movie being handheld, did that change up your own filmmaking style a bit when you were shooting then?

Joko Anwar: I don’t know if I really have a certain kind of filming style because if look back at movies like Joni’s Promise to Kala to Forbidden Door, they’re all very different. So I wouldn’t say I had to change my style of filmmaking for Modus Anomali but I believe the spirit is still the same even if the stories are all different.

I originally planned to shoot Modus in real time but that didn’t work out. The story takes place from 5 pm to 9 am the next morning so I wanted to shoot it in that sequence, but since we got hit with weather and everything, we then had to shoot the movie in 10 days.

DC: What was the casting process like for Modus Anomali?

Joko Anwar: We did the usual audition process of course and ended up seeing like 9,200 people for the whole eight person cast. It was a lot to handle. But one thing we did differently for this movie is that we opened up the audition process on Facebook and Twitter just so we could see some people that maybe we wouldn’t have normally seen through the usual channels. That worked out great because we actually got three people who have never acted in films before for this movie. And they just blow you away.

DC: Well, you mentioned the fact that you like to keep people guessing from one movie to the next so that you’re not going to give them the same movie again and again; is that your plan for your next feature film too?

Joko Anwar: Actually this is going to be my last horror movie for a while, but as a filmmaker, though, I do think it is very dangerous of us to feel comfortable and concentrating on making movies that fall into one kind of box or one kind of genre because we as creator will feel safe and not want to challenge ourselves. We can talk about filmmaking as entertainment or whatever, but it is still art, and with art the thing is you have to keep it challenging, especially to yourself.

So when I am ready to do my next film, it probably won’t fall into the world of genre movies, but I will definitely circle back to do another genre film down the road, for sure.

SXSW 2012: Writer/Director Joko Anwar Talks Modus Anomali and More!

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31



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.

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



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!”


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.

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



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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