Exclusive: Darren Lynn Bousman on The Barrens, an Abattoir Feature Film and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Darren Lynn Bousman on The Barrens, an Abattoir Feature Film and More

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Writer/director Darren Lynn Bousman isn’t one to sit still for very long; after helming three successful Saw sequels from 2004 to 2007, he’s gone on to direct a string of genre flicks, and his latest thriller, The Barrens, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Films.

Recently Dread Central caught up with the ever-busy Bousman on the phone to chat about his Jersey Devil-inspired project that stars Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner and Shawn Ashmore. During our interview we heard more from him on his experiences making the film, his thoughts on collaborating with Moyer and how he pushed the “True Blood” star to his limits, and much more.

Read on for the highlights from our exclusive interview with Bousman.

Dread Central: I really enjoyed the fact that The Barrens wasn’t exactly the “Jersey Devil” movie you think it’s going to be; can you discuss why you decided to go with such an unusual approach?

Darren Lynn Bousman: You know, for me it was all about the idea that if you can remove the gimmick to the story, the movie would still work on its own merits. With Repo! the movie still worked if you removed the singing. With the Saw movies they all still worked when you took away the gore elements. And in the case of The Barrens, it needed to still work even if it didn’t have a movie monster aspect. Does it still hold water?

It’s a monster movie that has this sort of “descent into madness” feel to it, which I thought was something that really hadn’t been done before; not a lot has been done with the Jersey Devil in fact. I really don’t feel like this creature has been exploited as much as other creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness or maybe even the Chupacabra; so I saw the Jersey Devil’s mythology as this untapped resource, and I thought that would be a perfect monster to set this terrifying psychological thriller against.

Dread Central: Talk about casting. Stephen Moyer as your lead; it was definitely against type in comparison to his work on “True Blood,” which I’ve enjoyed.

Darren Lynn Bousman: Yeah, Stephen was great; the whole movie rests on his shoulders, and he just kicks ass. I have tremendous respect for this guy; he always wanted to be on set as much as humanely possible, and it wasn’t necessarily an “easy” set to be on considering our location. But I think that to me is what makes for a great actor- someone who was going to be there not only for the job, but as a team player in this whole process.

The range of emotions that he has to go through in 90 minutes is astounding, and I think his work here really showed his acting chops off. He was totally down for anything, and he took a big risk with his movie. I think that he saw it as a chance to do more than he gets to do on “True Blood” – being a reserved vampire – and show off that he does have this extreme emotional range when he’s got the right material.

Dread Central: How did shooting go on The Barrens? It doesn’t really look like you guys had a glamorous shoot at all.

Darren Lynn Bousman: Well, we shot this in Toronto- we wanted to shoot in the Pine Barrens, but logistically we just couldn’t. I knew that would be a sticking point for the Jersey Devil fans out there, that our forest doesn’t look like the Pine Barrens, but we got as close as we could; and I think overall it still looks pretty damn close. I don’t think it detracts from the story either.

So this movie was made for a very small amount, and we shot it in what turned out to be 16 days; it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever made. It was a really, really rough shoot; we were plagued with weather issues and forced to shut down shooting numerous times- it was a nightmare, literally. Plus, this was the first film that I have done which was shot entirely on location. Before, I had sound stages and controlled environments, but with The Barrens we were in the forest the entire time, and you forget to take into consideration things like having to move cables and lighting through the forest. You could spend half a day just moving cable- it was awful.

Dread Central: Let’s talk about the monster- the design and how you conceived the look of it. I appreciated that these days when so many people would have gone digital, you decided to take the complicated route and do a practical creature in this project.

Darren Lynn Bousman: I did not want to do a CG monster movie at all; that was never my intention at any point on this movie so I always intended to have a practical monster in The Barrens. That being said, one of the problems that we ran into is that we were very limited to what we could actually afford and get away with for our Jersey Devil; and given our time constraint with production moving so quickly, I never saw the Jersey Devil until the day it showed up on our set.

So when it actually showed up on set, the thing weighed hundreds of pounds, and the actor that was in it couldn’t move at all inside the costume. Originally we were supposed to see the monster more in the movie but it got to a point that he couldn’t move in the suit, and after all was said and done, it actually took five or six guys to operate it. So the Jersey Devil ends up being in less than a minute in the entire movie.

Dread Central: Any future plans to do more with the Jersey Devil mythology then?

Darren Lynn Bousman: I’m not sure, but I know that I would love to continue this mythology on because I think it’s such a fascinating creature. There’s a lot, too, that we couldn’t really put into the script – more on the witchcraft and Satanism – that I would love to explore in the future, too.

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

Darren Lynn Bousman: Well, I’ve got the Blu-ray and DVD of The Devil’s Carnival coming out October 23rd, and I’m currently getting my next film project ready – Abattoir – which is based on the comic series I did a few years back. I’m writing the script right now, and I think that’s going to be the next movie I make.

Synopsis
It’s known as the Jersey Devil, the winged beast spawned 400 years ago by Satan himself. Some say this creature still inhabits the dense pine forests of southern New Jersey, where Richard Vineyard (Moyer) takes his family for a rustic weekend camping trip. As the Vineyard family ventures further into the woods in search of the perfect campsite, Richard teeters on the edge of sanity. Welcome to a new kind of horror that lives – and kills – in a place called The Barrens.

Bonus features on The Barrens Blu-ray™/DVD combo (review here) and DVD include commentary by writer/director Bousman and director of photography Joseph White and a deleted scene.

Exclusive: Darren Lynn Bousman on The Barrens, an Abattoir Feature Film and More

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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