Exclusive: Filming Begins on Silent Night; Director Steven C. Miller Speaks! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Filming Begins on Silent Night; Director Steven C. Miller Speaks!

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Steven C. Miller, Silent NightWith principal photography having just kicked off on Silent Night, Steven C. Miller’s Silent Night, Deadly Night remake, in Winnipeg, the director phoned us from the set to chat about his killer Santa flick.

“This one’s going to be dark,” said Miller (pictured right) of his approach to the remake of Charles E. Sellier, Jr.’s controversial 1984 slasher film, which revolved around an unhinged teenager who embarks on an axe murder spree while dressed as Saint Nick. “I love the original movie, and I love the mean spirit of it. I felt like it took itself pretty seriously, and while there is (going to be) some dark humor in this one, we are handling it ‘straight’ and it’s definitely a horror film and it’s definitely a ‘Santa with an Axe’ film. It’s going to be really crazy, and really gory, and at the same time have some really great characters at its heart.”

Of those characters, the remake has attracted the talents of notable actors Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King (Sin City), Jamie Kennedy (Scream), Brendan Fehr (Final Destination), Lisa Marie (Sleepy Hollow), Donal Logue (Shark Night 3D) and Ellen Wong. King is set to play Deputy Sheriff Aubrey Bradimore, who battles the killer Santa terrorizing her small Midwestern town.

“Jaime is a good friend of the producers,” said Miller of the casting, “and she read the script and really enjoyed it, and it also helped that we had Malcolm McDowell attached. Malcolm is just a great guy. I got to sit down with him for breakfast, and we just really hit it off and both felt like this could be a really fun remake.”

“With Jamie Kennedy, he’s a good friend of mine,” continued Miller, whose other directorial genre credits include the features Automaton Transfusion and the upcoming The Aggression Scale and Under the Bed. “So we just tried to reach out to the people that I felt could make some really great moments in the movie and elevate it beyond what we are typically seeing lately in remakes. We want to do something a bit more fun, exciting and elevated.”

With practical effects being handled by Vincent Guastini’s V.G.P. Effects (we’ll be hitting the shop to chat with Vincent regarding his approach to the film’s creations later this week so stay tuned for that), we asked Miller what ratio of practical to CG effects we might expect in the finished film.

“It’s going to be 100 percent practical,” Miller replied, who was at the time prepping the first shot of the film, an exterior crime scene. “I’m a practical guy. I love practical effects. I think anything I can see on set and touch on set is more exciting. I think I owe it to the audience and the fans of these movies to stay practical and not take it to another CG level.”

As for the critical reaction to the marketing of the 1984 film, which featured the axe-wielding Santa in television ad spots, it was extreme. Critics Siskel and Ebert publicly shamed the filmmakers, and a grass roots movement of angry parents picketed theaters screening the film, which led it to being withdrawn from theatrical release two weeks after its debut. We asked Miller if he was concerned that such a thing may transpire with his remake.

“No, I feel like the world has changed quite a bit since then,” he offered. “I can’t imagine that now. I mean, I’ve seen pretty intense movies over the past few years that have come from the foreign market that are really great, and I can’t imagine that people would react that way now to the remake.”

With regard to Miller’s The Aggression Scale (which releases to the home video market via Anchor Bay Films on May 29th; read the review here and see the trailer below), “I really love the movie,” reflected Miller. “We shot it in twelve days so it was an extremely fast shoot for an action movie, and I think it came out really great. I think it’s a huge step up as far as the action elements go from what I thought my first film Automaton Transfusion was. We were able to put together some crazy sequences that I think are pretty unheard of for the budget level we shot the movie at.”

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Knock Knock! Who’s There? An 80s-Inspired Horror Comedy

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The 80s have never been hotter! Hell, not even in the 80s! The decade of high hair gave us plenty of horror classics, some of which are revered and emulated by younger filmmakers around the world. Case in point: the new short film Knock Knock, which was inspired by the love of VHS monster movies like Fright Night, The Monster Squad, and Evil Dead II with a dash of Scooby-Doo and a bitchin’ John Carpenter-esque soundtrack!

From writer/director/producer Toby Canto, Knock Knock stars Saul Arteta, Rachel Atterson, Lucas Ayoub, and Jennifer Bennett. Even cooler? You can check it out on Vimeo now!

Synopsis:
Knock Knock tells the story of down-on-his-luck former boxer Sam Grant, who one night finds himself caught in a whirlwind of conjecture and conundrum as his colorful and quirky neighbors come to him with scary tales of their apartment’s mysterious new resident. Inspired by the retro horror classics of VHS days gone by, Knock Knock is sure to be a treat for any horror fan and aficionado.

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Shriekfest Announces its 2018 Call for Entries!

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Hey, you! Yeah, you! The one sitting there with a newly minted horror flick you’re trying to get attention to! Shriekfest, the Los Angeles International Film Festival & Screenplay Competition, has just announced that they’re already looking for 2018 entries!

Read on to find out how you can submit your flick and more!

Shriekfest, the Los Angeles Horror/SciFi Film Festival continues its tradition as Los Angeles’ premier horror film event, presenting an exciting program of films each fall with beautiful Los Angeles as its backdrop. Now, in its 18th year, Shriekfest L.A takes place at the legendary Raleigh Studios, which is the largest independent studio operator in the country.

Shriekfest Orlando takes place at the famous Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, which was originally founded in 1923. They offer filmmakers and film fans alike an ideal setting in two world-famous cities. Both established and emerging filmmakers gain media exposure, connect with the region’s diverse audiences, and participate in an acclaimed event attended by industry professionals as well as horror and sci-fi fans. Every film accepted into Shriekfest has the opportunity to screen on both coasts for the price of one admission! Over the past seventeen years, Shriekfest has welcomed numerous indie icons into its family, and they are always looking to add to the Shriekfest Family!

They are looking for original films and screenplays and are accepting them in five categories: narrative feature, narrative short, narrative super short, music video, feature screenplay, and short screenplay. And in these genres: horror, comedy horror, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Festival Founder and Director Denise Gossett says, “We are already planning some exciting things for our 18th year! Last year’s festival was a great success. We had our biggest audience yet, and we had more than 55 filmmakers/screenwriters in attendance. Plus, we were able to introduce some amazing indie horror films to Los Angeles and Orlando!

HOW TO ENTER: You’ll find the entry form and additional information at shriekfest.com!

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Golden Globes TV Edition: Stranger Things and Kyle MacLachlan Score Nominations

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Yesterday we brought you guys the exciting news that two genre films – Get Out and The Shape of Water – scored big nominations at this year’s Golden Globes.

Why did we split all of this up, you may ask?

Most sites are grouping all of these nominations together, and we felt that while it is exciting enough for one quality genre offering to get some awards love, multiple nominations each deserve their own sets of Dread Central love as well.

That said, we’re going to combine this next one. Forgive us. We’ll call this the “TV Edition.”

Anyhow, it looks like Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ original series “Stranger Things” got a nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, and Mr. Kyle MacLachlan score a nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his dual role in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks: The Return”!

Pretty cool, huh?

I think both nominations are very well deserved with “Stranger Things” Season 2 being one of my favorite genre offerings all year and “Twin Peaks: The Return” being one of the others. Congrats on both counts!

Make sure to hit us up and let us know if you get as excited about genre awards love as much as we do in the comments below!

The Golden Globes airs live on NBC January 7, 2018, at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET.

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