Exclusive: Co-Star Eamon Farren Discusses Jennifer Lynch's Chained and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Co-Star Eamon Farren Discusses Jennifer Lynch’s Chained and More

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This week, provocative filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s latest project Chained hit DVD and Blu-Ray shelves everywhere courtesy of Anchor Bay Films and in honor of the occasion, we caught up with one of the film’s co-stars, Australian actor Eamon Farren.

Farren, an up-and-coming actor who has made a name for himself on the independent cinema scene in his native country, stars in Chained as the teenage version of Rabbit, a child taken in by a psychotic murdered named Bob (Vincent D’Onofrio) who kidnapped the young boy and his mom (Julia Ormond) during a cab ride gone wrong. After killing his mother, Bob keeps the child chained inside his home, condemning the youngster to a life of slavery, living out his life only to cater to the serial killer’s deadly whims.

During our interview with Farren, we spoke to the actor about what attracted him to the intense thriller, collaborating with both Lynch and D’Onofrio on Chained and how he prepared for the physicality of a role where your character is subjected to endless abuse. Check out our exclusive chat with Farren below and make sure to check back soon right here for more on the controversial flick with both Lynch and D’Onofrio.

Dread Central: Can you discuss what your initial thoughts were for the script of Chained and what made the biggest impression on you regarding the character of Rabbit?

Eamon Farren: The first thing that I read was Jen’s cover page letter to the reader. It was not so much a vision statement, but more of an insight into what she saw as the heart of the film- the characters, their emotional complexity and their reality. As soon as I finished reading that, I knew the material was in good hands.

So when I finished the script, I was just excited. Rabbit was a boy stunted; an innocent ruled by fear but also accustomed to great abuse and the witness of real terror. I remember imagining the possibilities within him – a nine-year-old kid in a 19-year-old body, living in darkness and right at the point of living there forever or breaking free. That’s some pretty excellent shit for an actor.

Dread Central: How were your experiences collaborating with Jennifer on the film?

Eamon Farren: I was heading home from a few months in LA, on the way to the airport, when the casting director Shannon Makhanian called me asking if I could meet with Jen. I couldn’t so I said I would put down a test when I got home. I read it and loved it and thought I’d blown it by not being able to meet with Jen. I sent off my test and a couple of days later I was talking to Jen on the phone. She just called me one morning and we talked a little about the script but mostly about family, nature versus nurture and ourselves. It was the warmest, funniest and easiest conversation I’ve ever had with a director I’d never met.

And working with Jen on Chained was incredible; we never really talked too much about Rabbit, just more about ourselves and tried to make each other laugh. And shooting the film felt like second nature, the scenes would be focused but loose, incredibly tense but hilarious. I never had to say too much to her, she would give me a look or whisper one word and I’d get it. There’s a beautiful empathy that Jen has, a passion for good stories and characters that burn off each other and I was just so lucky to be able to work with her.

Dread Central: I thought you and Vincent had incredible chemistry together on Chained – can you talk about working with him and fleshing out these characters together? Were you able to work together before shooting or did you guys have to find that chemistry on set?

Eamon Farren: I met Vincent just before we worked together. In our first scene, I had no lines, was pretending to be knocked out and Vincent did all the work- that was fine by me. But just before we shot, Vincent came up to me and said ‘this speech is about both of us, so let’s just listen to each other and we’ll find our way.’ And from then on I really believe we just listened to each other in all senses.

Of course, there was a lot of detail involved, but having the freedom to play every scene with an actor like Vincent was the best acting experience I’ve had. Being able to act alongside someone like Vincent D’Onofrio is something I will never forget; it was a master class in the craft- he’s an actor that demands specificity and is also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Dread Central: There was a lot of physicality to this role – the way Rabbit looked, the way he moved, the abuse you took, etc. – how did you prepare yourself for those kinds of challenges on Chained? Did you have to ‘get inside his head’ at all?

Eamon Farren: Rabbit’s life essentially stopped at 9 years old; the trapped child manifested in everything physically and psychologically. The major physical key to Rabbit, for me, was an idea that he touched everything. Growing up in his prison, his world was immediate and tactile. It was, to me, about comfort and familiarity but also an almost developed, childlike OCD. Then there was his mum’s lipstick; Jen and I decided Rabbit would have one thing just for himself- Mum’s red lipstick, hidden under his bed. While shooting many scenes, I’d often just have it in my hand or hold it close and that was an amazing emotional and physical endowment.

Dread Central: So what’s coming up next for you?

Eamon Farren: At this point, I’m booked in to perform in George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” and as Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet” in Cate Blanchett’s final programmed year of the Sydney Theatre Company, Australia in 2013. That’s all for now really but it’s all very exciting.

Exclusive: Co-Star Eamon Farren Discusses Jennifer Lynch's Chained and More

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Children of the Fall Review – This Israeli Slasher Gets Political

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Starring Noa Maiman, Aki Avni, Yafit Shalev, Iftach Ophir, Michael Ironside

Directed by Eitan Gafny

Reviewed out of Utopia 2017


Slashers are a subgenre of horror that are often looked down upon. After all, what can a movie about a killer slaughtering multiple people have to say about, well…anything. Those of us in the community know full well that this is nonsense and that any kind of horror movie can be a jabbing (no pun intended) commentary on society, culture, politics, art, etc… And that’s precisely what Eitan Gafny aims to do with Children of the Fall, one of the few Israeli slashers ever created.

Set on the eve of the Yom Kippur war, the film follows Rachel (Maiman), a young American woman who comes to Israel to join a kibbutz after suffering some serious personal tragedies. Her goal to make aliyah (the return of Jews to Israel) is however hampered by some rather unpleasant encounters with local IDF soldiers and members of the kibbutz. Pushing through, she makes friends with others in the commune and her Zionistic views are only strengthened, although they do not go untested. Once Yom Kippur, one of the holiest holidays in Jewish culture, begins, a killer begins picking off the kibbutz workers one by one in violent and gruesome ways.

Let’s start with what Children of the Fall gets right, okay? As slashers go, it’s actually quite beautiful. There are wonderfully expansive shots that make use of the size and diversity of the kibbutz. The film opens with a beautiful shot of a cow stable, barn, water towers, and miscellaneous outbuildings, all set against a dark and stormy night. The lighting of this scene, and throughout the film, is also very good. I found myself darting my eyes across the screen multiple times throughout the film thinking I’d seen something lurking in the shadows.

The kills, while unoriginal, are very satisfying. Each death is meaty, bloody, and doesn’t feel rushed. In fact, the camera has no problems lingering during each kill, allowing us to appreciate the practical FX and copious amounts of blood used. And if you believe that a slasher needs to have nudity, you won’t be disappointed.

The acting is middle of the road. Maiman is serviceable as Rachel but the real star of the film is Yafit Shalev as “Yaron”. His range of emotion is fantastic, from warm and welcoming to Rachel when she arrives to emoting grief and pain during his Yom Kippur announcement where we learn that he was a child in a concentration camp. The rest of the cast are perfectly acceptable as fodder for the killer.

So where does Children of the Fall stray? Let’s start with the most obvious part: the runtime. Clocking in at nearly two hours, that’s about 30 minutes too much. The film could easily have gone through some hefty editing without affecting the final product. Instead, we have a movie that feels elongated when unnecessary.

Additionally, the societal and political commentary is very in-your-face but the film can’t seem to make up its mind as to what it’s trying to get across. Natalia, a Belarussian kibbutz worker, raises the concept of Israeli racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, her hostility unabashedly pouring out in the midst of IDF soldiers, locals, other kibbutz members, and more. Is there validity to what she’s saying? Undoubtedly. But there is also validity to Rachel’s retorts, which include calling this woman out on her own vitriolic views. This back-and-forth mentality frustratingly prevails throughout the film, as though Gafny was unwilling to just commit.

The dialogue is also quite painful at times, although I attribute this to difficulties with translating from Hebrew to English. Even the best English speakers in Israel don’t get everything perfect and the little quirks here and there, while charming, are quite detracting. Also, why is this movie trying to tell me that Robert Smith of The Cure is a character here? While amusing, it makes absolutely no sense nor does it fit in Smith’s own timeline.

Had this film gone through a couple rounds of editing, I feel like we’d have gotten something really great. Eitan Gafny is definitely someone that we need to be watching very closely.

  • Children of the Fall
2.5

Summary

While Children of the Fall has a lot going for it, it has just as much working against it. Overly long, you’ll get a really great slasher that is bogged down by uneven social and political commentary.

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Netflix to Tell The Frankenstein Chronicles in the States

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There’s still a big part of me that wonders why Universal – or anyone for that matter – has not been able to reboot classics like The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Maybe they’re trying too hard? Maybe they keep putting the wrong people at the helm?

Look at del Toro’s The Shape of Water… It’s pretty much a new version of The Creature of the Black Lagoon with a heavier emphasis on the relationship between monster and chosen mate. Even though there are a couple of hokey parts, it really works and is excellent. So maybe we need to look elsewhere throughout the world to meet with success. Case in point: “The Frankenstein Chronicles.”

Variety is reporting that the hit six-episode UK series starring Sean Bean will be coming Stateside and more via the ever-growing streaming service Netflix.

This deal opens the way for Netflix to make further seasons should it resonate with its U.S. and global subscribers.

“The Frankenstein Chronicles” is a re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Set in 1830s London, Bean (“Game of Thrones”) plays John Marlott, a war veteran and river policeman. Season 1 of the serialized show sees him investigating the case of a corpse made up of body parts from different children and finding the matter involves senior establishment figures and demonic forces.

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Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn Returning to the Horror Genre

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Know what’s funny? We horror fans have known how good James Gunn was all along. It just took the rest of the world time to catch up! Now that Gunn has made his big Hollywood bones with his two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, he’s returning to the genre to produce a new horror flick! Oh, happy day!

Word came across our desks that Gunn has signed on to produce an untitled horror feature with The H Collective. It was written by James’ brother Brian and cousin Mark Gunn. James will produce the project in between writing the highly anticipated feature Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and starting production. Gunn’s longtime collaborator David Yarovesky will direct.

The H Collective will fully finance the project and produce alongside Gunn and his shingle, Troll Court Entertainment. Brian and Mark Gunn, Dan Clifton, and The H Collective’s Nic Crawley will executive produce.

The project is expected to go into production in the spring of 2018 and brings Gunn back to his horror roots. The filmmaker, whose credits included mostly fan-favorite horror gems like Slither prior to writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy, is responsible for turning the Marvel property into one of the most memorable franchises in the Marvel universe.

More as we get it!

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