Director Michael J. Bassett Talks Silent Hill: Revelation; Read the Review! - Dread Central
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Director Michael J. Bassett Talks Silent Hill: Revelation; Read the Review!

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It’s been many years since our last visit to Silent Hill on the big screen, but I find myself returning to the original film often in the comfort of my own home when I’m looking for a moody, atmospheric creepfest… and I know I’m not alone.

With legions of fans of the first film and millions more fans of the video games, there was more than enough reason to unleash Pyramid Head and those odd sexy, stabby nurses once more. Dread Central sat down with Michael J. Bassett, director of Silent Hill: Revelation (review), to find out what’s on tap… in 3D!!

In Silent Hill: Revelation, Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.

So speaks the synopsis of doom, but knowing they had some sizable shoes to fill, Bassett sought to delve deeper into the mythology. As an avid gamer (and already a Silent Hill fan before the first film), it became obvious that the best way to continue little Sharon’s story was to jump to game 3.

“Silent Hill 3 is a great framework for that. You have vomiting gods, which is a tricky character to do in a movie, but the foundation of that, making it the story of a child looking for her parent, as opposed to a parent looking for a child, which is what the first movie was… my challenge as the writer and director was to say, ‘Okay, I’ve got to make a sequel to the first movie that makes sense and… with a little bit of baggage to figure out… with them being trapped in that other world.’ Chris/Harry Da Silva (Sean Bean) can’t see her… so how does she get back? I have to explain that. Then I have to take the story from game 3 and adapt that in a way that makes sense for the sequel to the movie AND I have to write a story that makes sense to people who have NEVER seen Silent Hill, never played the game and do not give a shot about the mythology of Silent Hill. They just want to pay their money and see an entertaining horror movie.

Knowing full well there will still be fans of the franchise that will immediately say, “You’ve fucked it up,” the crew pressed on and did their damndest to remain true to the source material. Bassett went on to say Silent Hill was one of the first games he really got into when he was younger, becoming emotionally invested in the story and characters. With that respect for what Konami created and a fond memory of the shit being scared out of him, Bassett hopes he has done the games justice.

Being that hardcore gamer, Bassett laughs, saying his gamer brethren will immediately take him to task for bringing Pyramid Head back into play, as the character did not appear in the third game. You can’t very well leave out such a striking character and, arguably, the most recognizable from the first film… so we’ll give that a pass. “We hope we’ve used Pyramid in a way that was appropriate to Heather’s psychological situation. In the game world Pyramid is a corruption of the executioner. In the new film that is used. He has a purpose. Heather is turning 18 in the movie, her father is still very important to her, so Pyramid represents masculinity and the power of masculinity and what it can do to protect and oppress at the same time. And I have another creature in this movie which is a very feminine monster who is a counterpoint to that masculinity.

When asked about familiar visuals a gamer may drink in while watching, Bassett says there are a handful of places where they strove to make your heart bubbles pop. A lakeside amusement park, the carousel with fire burning around it as they descend into hell, combat between Heather and Dark Alessa all mirror in-game beats. I wondered how a fan of the games charged with juggling all those elements to make an easy to follow, killer horror film for the average person would go about mining that rich mythology for the perfect creatures. Basset said a lot of it had to do with what they could actually deliver. At the end of the day, there really aren’t a lot of monsters from game 3 in the movie, though it wasn’t for lack of testing those waters. Scenes were shot and abandoned.

You try and select the monsters that are appropriate for the moment in the story. When Heather goes to the asylum to see Leonard, in the game you only see the monster. I really wanted to see the human personification so I called on Malcolm McDowell. He becomes the Leonard monster later on. In an asylum you are doing surgery on brains; it’s all about that kind of viscera so I thought let’s create what I call the Brain Monster, which is a guy who has had a lobotomy and his entire cranium has been opened up and you see all the skin resected, and that’s a PRACTICAL creature that Paul Jones and his team had created and it’s absolutely brilliant. This guy in this costume with his gangly limbs and all these pustules and open sores and his whole brain is exposed, no face, this sort of open broken mouth with all these teeth all over the place… That’s awesome!

I asked if he had input in fleshing out the original monsters for this film. Basset said he did whip up some sketches and have a degree of input, though Paul Jones and Patrick Tatopoulos did the heavy lifting on creation. Bassett would say, “I want a mannequin monster, a spider-like creature made of mannequins.” The creatives would then take that concept and through discussion over what happens in the story and some old fashion brainstorming, a new adorable, flesh-ripping beast is born. It is worth mentioning that the mannequin monster is the only totally CGI creature in the film.

I asked if Basset prefers practical over CGI and was told yes, but almost totally from a point of being able to keep control over everything. An actor in a monster suit can be directed. “When we go into the digital world, I have to turn to my actors and say, ‘Okay, this is a tennis ball and this will be reeeeally scary eventually… please treat it accordingly. When you see Red Pyramid, he is 8’2″ with a huge fucking sword in his hand, and if you do not get away from him, something bad is going to happen.’ That’s much easier to do. The choice is driven by I want the best movie I can get. I’m an old school guy! I like men in suits! It’s about making the right choices. The Silent Hill movie has a very polished aesthetic. It’s got the real world, the fog world with all the ash coming down, the darkness, and the transformation from these three worlds… the darkness falling with the world peeling around them, and it’s great in the first movie… we use it in the second movie, and in 3D it’s rockin!”

Bassett was asked the inevitable question of further sequels and remarked that one would expect with all those games out there (2 especially), there is plenty to mine for film. That may well be the case, but Bassett would rather start telling his own stories in Silent Hill, just as the graphic novels have been doing. “Come play in Silent Hill! What would your take on it be?

Look for more throughout the weekend.

Open Road releases Silent Hill: Revelation 3D wide on October 26th. Sean Bean, Deborah Kara Unger, and Radha Mitchell return from the original film.

In the sequel, directed by Michael J. Bassett, Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father (Bean) have been on the run from mysterious and dangerous forces. She discovers she isn’t who she thinks she is, leading her deeper into a demonic world.

Synopsis
For years, Heather Mason and her father have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn’t fully understand. Now on the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by terrifying nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she’s not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her in Silent Hill forever.

Director Michael J. Bassett Talks Silent Hill: Revelation; Read the Review!

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

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Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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User Rating 3.25 (12 votes)
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