Roesch, Michael & Scheerer, Peter (Alone In The Dark) - Dread Central
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Roesch, Michael & Scheerer, Peter (Alone In The Dark)



Screenwriters Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer began their working relationship with director Uwe Boll some five years ago when he was setting out to helm Sanctimony. Like so many scribes, Roesch and Scheerer paid their dues and as we know, if ya pay your dues, stick with this wacky biz we call filmmaking, eventually your break will come. Eventually. This month sees the first of two projects penned by this screenwriting team making it to the screen. Alone in the Dark is in theaters now; later this year the doors will be re-opened on House of the Dead (with Michael Hurst behind the camera).

Dread Central was able to track down the writing pair recently to briefly chat about the former project which stars Christian Slater as Edward Carnby, a character who made his introduction solving spooky mysteries on the computer scene in the Alone in the Dark video game. Since that first game’s debut Carnby’s exploits resurfaced in sequels and even a short-lived comic book.

Ryan Rotten: Did this project come about as a production deal where you and Peter were hired on to write the script or did you two write it on spec and then shop it around?

Michael Roesch: When Uwe started the development for Alone in the Dark in early 2003, we were working on the script for House of the Dead 2. On the day we had finished it, we sent it out to Uwe and the producers. Everybody loved this script, and they called us on the same day, and hired us for Alone in the Dark.

Peter Scheerer: So instead of having a break we wrote both scripts back to back!

RR: The character of Edward Carnby joins the ranks of past and present “paranormal/supernatural” investigators – from Carl Kolchak to Hellboy to Constantine. What was the most important aspect about creating a memorable character? Did you go back to flesh out Carnby’s personality?

PS: Yes, we used several elements of the game for Carnby’s personality, but it was extremely important to expand the character. You have to show Carnby’s needs and desires, his relationship with other persons and we wanted to see the “normal” live of a “paranormal/supernatural” investigator, which is in fact not normal.

MR: We also took several elements of the back story of the game and expanded them.

RR: Speaking of the game, I have to ask: Obviously you guys are fans, right? Or were you unfamiliar with the material then caught on to the game…

MR: We knew the game, but had not played it completely. After we got hired Peter started to play and didn’t stop till he had completed the game. I like video games very much, but Peter is a really avid gamer, and has played every game you can imagine.

PS: Alone in the Dark is a classic game, and it was great fun to play it again while we were writing the script.

RR: Similar to Carnby’s persona, you had to expand the universe of Alone in the Dark to accommodate an actual story-driven film too…

PS: The movie is telling a new adventure, a story set after the last game. So we took elements from the game, like the main characters, but also expanded other things.

MR: For example, in the game you hear about Bureau 713 and that Carnby was a former member of it. In the movie Bureau 713 has a much bigger role. A Special Forces unit which fights against creatures – that is way too interesting not to show more of it!

RR: Agreed, and from what I’ve seen, the movie looks creature-heavy…you guys have any favorite monsters movies of your own?

PS: Aliens, Predator, the old Jack Arnold movies.

MR: Aliens is a fantastic movie, it’s my favorite creature movie.

RR: I heard that Uwe and Co. were aiming for a PG-13 rating for Alone‘s release. Was the initial script geared towards this audience or was it much harder-edged? Was there anything that got cut either in the script stage or post-production that was really cool?

MR: The movie is R-rated. I have heard the rumors about PG-13, but it was never planned for that rating. Uwe planned the movie for a R-rating from the beginning. He is a fan of hard horror movies. I can hardly imagine him planning a horror movie for PG-13!

PS: But anyway, the rating is more a decision made by the director than by the screenwriters. You can shoot the same script as well for PG 13 as for a R-rating. For example, when we write “He blows his head away”, then you can only show the blood splattering against a wall, and you have PG-13. Or, you can show the head exploding with all the brain and blood flying around, and you are happy to get an R-rating and not NC-17.

RR: Did either of you have involvement in Alone during the pre-production (aside from penning the script) or principal photography process? Were re-writes at all necessary to fit Christian Slater’s persona?

MR: We were not involved in the production of this movie, only in screenwriting, but we visited the set for some days. It was fun! We haven’t done a re-write for the actors, but the actors and Uwe changed a lot of things. Both Stephen Dorff and Christian Slater changed a lot in their characters and in their lines.

PS: Uwe mixed our draft with a different draft of a Canadian writer [Elan Mastai] and he also wrote a new ending. As Michael said, the actors changed a lot of things, too. So a lot of people were involved in the development process. It will be really interesting to see how much remained from our draft.

RR: Since Boll’s an avid gamer himself, what kind of participation in the screenwriting process did he have, if any at all? What did he want to see carried over from game to film?

PS: Uwe was involved very close in the screenwriting process. We discussed which elements he wanted to have in the movie. Then we wrote several treatments, before we started to write the script. When we get hired for a script, we are writing the script for the director, so it’s important to write it in a way he likes it.

MR: Uwe wanted to keep the mood of the game and the main characters. The plan was to tell a new adventure in the life of Edward Carnby, a story which is set a year after the last game.

RR: Is there potential for further Carnby adventures, do you guys have anything in mind that you’d like to see?

MR: Absolutely. Edward Carnby is a great character.

Peter: We have no specific story in mind right now, but it would be an interesting possibility to go into another direction, for example to stay closer to the game in a sequel.

Many thanks to Michael, Peter, Uwe and the Lions Gate team! Continue the Alone in the Dark love and read the Foywonder’s interview with director Uwe Boll right here!

Discuss your thoughts on Alone In The Dark in our forums!




Darren Lynn Bousman Teams With Russo Brothers To Expand The Tension Experience



The Russo Brothers

Recently, The Tension Experience announced that they will be teaming with Anthony and Joe Russo’s company AGBO to develop new immersive experiences, destinations and brand partnerships.

In this new joint venture, AGBO will be joining as producers of the groundbreaking show and support the development and expansion of Tension to more cities.

We’re always searching for new and innovative ways to interpret narrative,” said Anthony and Joe Russo. “We’re beyond impressed by the wholly immersive experience that Tension has brought to all of their shows, and we look forward to helping them expand their reach.”

The Tension Experience was created nearly three years ago by director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV), writer Clint Sears and producer Gordon Bijelonic. The immersive theater experience allows fans become the stars of their own real-life, cinema-quality thrillers that have taken place all over the country, incorporated nearly hundreds of actors.

As a consumer, I became passive… I sit back and I watch while things happen around me,” Bousman says. “I wanted to feel more engaged. I needed something to wake me up and inspire me. Immersive theater did that. It forces the audience to be active. We want to create environments where the audiences are the stars… Their action unlocks the narrative.”

When we embarked on this journey our goal was to change and disrupt the traditional storytelling format,” said producer Gordon Bijelonic. “We wanted to give our audiences a true visceral experience incorporating all five Human Senses.”

The first planned project is the creation of a permanent destination in Las Vegas. This high-end interactive entertainment and nightlife experience will be a fully realized living and breathing world ready to react to all of the audience’s individual choices and decisions and will also incorporate new and cutting-edge technology that will be in play before, during and after you step through their doors.

This is the most fulfilling creative endeavor we could possibly be involved with. It’s unparalleled in its scope and possibilities,’ stated writer Clint Sears. “The team feels that their experience along with the unparalleled creative force of AGBO will help create the most exciting immersive collaboration in the world.”

For more information on the Tension Experience visit

About The Tension Experience:

The Experiences, a newly formed venture of the Russo Brothers’ AGBO and The Tension Experience, intend to be the leader of immersive entertainment through live theatrical experiences, brand activations and the use of unparalleled cutting-edge technology.


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Claire Foy Refuses to Cooperate in New Clip from Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane



We have already shared with you guys a number of clips from director Steven Soderbergh’s new horror-thriller Unsane starring Claire Foy, Juno Temple, and Amy Irving (Carrie). Not that that’s a bad thing…

But all the same, today is no different as, you guessed it, we have yet another Unsane clip for your viewing pleasure. The clip is called “Refusing to Cooperate” and it features star Claire Foy, you guessed it, refusing to cooperate.

All jokes aside I am looking forward to checking out this new psychological thriller once it hits theaters tomorrow, so give the new clip below and then let us know what you think!

Unsane is directed by Steven Soderbergh from a script written by Jonathan Bernstein & James Greer and stars Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving.

The film hits theaters nationwide March 23, 2018.


A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real, or is it a product of her delusion?


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Kip Weeks, Original Man in the Mask, Slashes The Strangers: Prey at Night




We need to quit the knee-jerk hatred towards sequels; recent follow-ups like Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Conjuring 2, and Annabelle: Creation prove that creative ideas and talented directors can exceed expectations set by an original.

But we can’t give sequels a free pass to be mediocre either. For example, the response to the follow-up to Bryan Bertino’s home invasion masterpiece, The Strangers: Prey at Night, recently debuted to extremely mixed reviews. Pessimists bemoan, “What did you expect? Most sequels are unabashed cash-grabs!” In the case of The Strangers, I expected a lot more.

Fans of the 2008 shocker have been clamoring for a sequel for years, but no one wanted the wait to end with the unceremonious dispatches of some of the 21st Century’s most iconic new villains. I’m talking about the titular Strangers themselves, the murderous trio dubbed Dollface, Pin-Up, and The Man in the Mask.

While attempts to give characters like Michael Myers and Leatherface backstories have backfired by turning manifestations of evil into melodramatic anti-heroes (thus demystified and deflating their sources of terror), such an endeavor isn’t always a liability. In the case of Prey at Night, it should have been considered a necessity. The first Strangers concluded with hints that Dollface was conflicted; simultaneously, the juxtaposition of Mormon missionaries hinted at cultish motivations (beyond the infliction of random acts of violence).

While the unknown was key to the terror of The Strangers, it was a one trick pony; the franchise could only flourish with an expansion of the implied mythology created in 2008. Of course, Prey director Johannes Roberts’ decision to assassinate these compelling masked invaders proves he really had no intention of turning Bertino’s original into a franchise, something that left me feeling extremely disheartened.

And I’m not the only one; among the lambasts of fans and critics comes a vocal response from the original Man in the Mask, Kip Weeks (replaced by Damian Maffei in Prey). I caught up with him after he chimed in on a negative review in Variety. And lest you think it’s a case of sour grapes, I wouldn’t be sharing his insights if I didn’t agree fully.

Dread Central: We were all bummed the original Strangers actors weren’t recast. Now that Prey at Night has premiered to mostly negative reviews, can we get your thoughts? Specifically, why does Prey fail where the original Strangers succeeded?

Kip Weeks: I had a long back and forth with one of the producers. I told him, “You destroyed an art form.”

DC: Did you give him any specifics?

KP: I told him: “You have no idea what it means to create a character from its core. You made a piece of shit, jump scare movie without realizing you had gold in your hands.”

DC: What should the producers have done differently?

KP: They could have made a movie about “The Strangers”: where they came from and why they became killers. Instead, they made it about some bullshit family and wasted Christina Hendricks’ acting skills. The fans wanted depth and story and honesty. They gave them shit.


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