Exclusive: Filmmaker Carles Torrens Talks Parapsychology, Found Footage and More for Apartment 143 - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Filmmaker Carles Torrens Talks Parapsychology, Found Footage and More for Apartment 143

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Apartment 143 follows three parapsychologists who begin investigating a series of anomalous phenomena in an apartment, and recently we spoke to filmmaker Carles Torrens about his involvement on the flick.

The project was Torrens’ first feature, and we also discussed his experiences making the challenging indie thriller, which uses well over 10 different forms of footage style as the team begins interviewing and recording the tenants and the unexplained phenomena intensify. As they go deeper into their research, it is revealed that a family’s secrets may also be a factor into the mysterious supernatural happenings inside Apartment 143.

Read our interview with Torrens, who would like to continue to call the horror genre home for some time, below; and make sure to check out Apartment 143 now that it is available via VOD and in limited theaters in the US courtesy of Magnet Releasing.

Dread Central: I’d love to hear more about how you came on board this project. Had you known Rodrigo (Cortes, who wrote the script) before this?

Carles Torrens: Oh definitely; I’ve admired his work for a long time, and we’ve also been friends for a while. He had originally written this script to direct, but after the success of Buried, he moved on in a different direction. He sent me the script, and I thought it was really interesting because it was very different; it wasn’t the usual ghost story, and I enjoyed that. At the point I was reading the script, they didn’t have anyone attached, and I guess they liked my work on the short films I had done so they offered it to me, and I was thrilled to come on board.

Dread Central: Had you known a lot about parapsychology and investigating the supernatural before you came on board? How did you prepare to tackle this story and make it your own?

Carles Torrens: I didn’t really at first, no. But I knew I wanted to learn everything I could about it, and Rodrigo had done a lot of research while he was writing the script so that was my first resource because it was a great blueprint to start from. After that I did a lot of research on my own and made a reader’s digest version of everything I had absorbed through all of the books and everything I read. That’s what I gave the actors to work off of, too, just so they’d have a great wealth of information on parapsychology coming into this, which I think definitely helped prepare them for the shoot.

Dread Central: Because first-person footage has become so popular recently, what did you do to make Apartment 143 stand out from other recent films that used the same techniques?

Carles Torrens: Well, the movie was already planned as a found footage-style project before I signed on so I didn’t really decide the style, but I think it really works well with the approach of our story. Because we focus so much on the scientific process to parapsychology, it wouldn’t have felt right to shoot this movie traditionally, and I think when you have cameras that become the background, it allows for some interesting character moments, and I think we successfully achieved that in this.

The funny thing is that Apartment 143 had been in the works long before Paranormal Activity 2 came out so to be honest, I hadn’t seen a movie use surveillance footage in this way before we set out to make this. I see this as a research movie, and that’s definitely unlike other movies that may share similar DNA with us. This approach is about providing a detached and distant look at the experiments carried out by scientists, and it’s all very academic. Scientists wouldn’t shoot with a steadicam, right?

Dread Central: What are working on now? Any plans to return to the horror genre in the future?

Carles Torrens: There are a few things I’m working on, but I can’t really talk about them because these days it seems like projects can come together and fall apart in just a few hours so it’s always better to not talk about things until you’re actually in pre-production. But yes, there are a few things I am working on, but I’d rather not talk about them yet.

I definitely do want to stay working in the genre for a while though- I will say that. I love it, and I think it’s a great platform to tell incredibly engaging stories and one of the best ways to hone your craft and challenge yourself as both a storyteller and a filmmaker.

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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