Adelaide Clemens Talks Silent Hill: Revelation, Battling Monsters, Channeling Ultimate Evil, and More - Dread Central
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Adelaide Clemens Talks Silent Hill: Revelation, Battling Monsters, Channeling Ultimate Evil, and More

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A recent trend is taking the stereotypical horror heroine who would normally be resigned to get naked…and then get beheaded…and butch her up. A strong female lead can be every bit as compelling as an overly masculine hero, even more so.

Our heartstrings always pull for a nubile nymph with a chainsaw and heaps of bloody intent.

Adelaide Clemens steps up as the latest femme horror hero, following in the footsteps of the original ladies of Silent Hill (the movie) and actually picking up where one left off. Adelaide plays Heather, formerly Sharon, that timid little girl with a vengeful, vicious dark side in Alessa. Rose (Radha Mitchell) has found a way to send Sharon back to our world, and now daughter and father (Sean Bean) must flee for their lives from the members of a religious sect related to those lost souls who love burning “witches” in their churches.

Adelaide Clemens Talks Silent Hill: Revelation, Battling Monsters, Channeling Ultimate Evil, and More

Adelaide expands on what transpires, “They’ve been on the run for 6 years, and I don’t think she really knows why. There’s a lot of her past that she’s still trying to figure out. She has these experiences that are getting increasingly frightening, and eventually that leads her to the world of Silent Hill.”

Adelaide plays a younger version of her character, the central 18-year-old Heather character, and her evil alter ego, Alessa, remarking that channeling ultimate evil was no easy task. She loves playing with vocal dynamics and toyed with the way that Alessa holds herself to conjure up a creature evolved from that playful young thing we last saw dancing in a shower of blood. Adelaide went to the video games and pored over the first film to fill out her performance. “Losing your mind is one of the scariest things for me. Not knowing your own identity… I think that character had desperation to her. She was essentially going to lose her identity. What would you do if you were going to lose your mind? Your identity? You’d fight pretty hard.”

Shooting in 3D brings with it a new set of challenges on top of making an audience feel your terror. Adelaide notes that working in this medium is way more time consuming than just shooting a standard film. She also mentioned this was the most physically taxing role she has ever taken on, a fact that surprised the avid runner and former gymnast.

“Every day for 4 months… running and jumping and screaming and doing stunts was really strenuous but also made me feel like I was Heather! So it was great. And in 3D I can’t just be shoving my hand into the lens because then you’ll have a hand in your face… and I wouldn’t want to do that to you.”

With only one CGI monster (the mannequin creature we talked about with director Michael J. Bassett), Adelaide had plenty to work with to enhance her visibly jarred performance and make for a surreal life on set. “Red Pyramid was a wonderful stunt man on stilts. He was 10 feet tall [notice he is growing from Bassett’s prior mention of 8’2″ (read our interview with him here)] and holding a huge axe double my height, and he’d just be walking around set. And then there’s all the nurses – incredible body contortionists – you see in the film and in the games. They all had individual personalities! You’d see them at lunch, and Jenny would take off her mask and you’d stand there thinking, ‘This is VERY weird,’ but at the same time they have personalities, they can perform; it’s not like guys at a computer. There’s life breathed into these characters. I’ve seen the film, and I think it creates a totally different feel. I was genuinely petrified most of the time! We’d be off set kind of walking around having a chat, and then Michael would call action and then YEA! I’m expected to FIGHT RED PYRAMID! I’m just a chick from Australia. Give me a break. That was just insane.”

We couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask Adelaide if there was one monster on set that creeped her out the most. Her response was a resounding YES!! And she made a little tongue roll noise as if the mere mention were giving her chills as she prepared to relive the moments.

“There was this monster that I wasn’t familiar with… it’s like the Lobotomy Monster? [See our Michael J. Bassett chat again for details.] We had this incredible actor who was insanely tall, 6’7″ or something. There was a part of his body which we… enhanced. I think they enhanced it digitally, and his face had repeated lobotomies done to it – so imagine that.” We’d rather not because that’s just some McFarlane Tortured Souls stuff right there.

Adelaide continued, “And then… it didn’t have a face. It was just his brains coming out of his nose and eyes, and I had to do a fight sequence with this man… monster… thing… I don’t know. And then I have Michael going, ‘NOW SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE!!’ I had my eyes closed because it was so grotesque, and I kept missing the head! And he’d yell, ‘NO! IN THE FACE!!’ He doesn’t have a face!” *wimpers* *fake sobbing* “Ya know, it was just another day in the life of Silent Hill! *laughs*

So we know Adelaide was familiar with the franchise, and she built on that saying she’d always stepped over the games in her home where her two brothers enjoyed scaring themselves silly, playing for hours. On a personal note, she admits to being a poor, poor gamer, taking a half-hour just to set up a profile.

“To be honest, I think I lasted like 32 minutes the first time I played. I just…DIED. I last longer in the film than I do in the game, but I’m a huge fan of the games. I think they are petrifying. I get a very sick feeling when I’m playing them. I think that’s Konami’s intention.”

Obviously, in such a horrific circumstance, Adelaide would have to draw on the power of heroines from past films to find her strength. She mentioned Kill Bill as a film she watches over and over and Lara Croft as being kind of awesome.” “I love strong female leads.” When asked if she’d jump at the chance to play Lara Croft, she instantly replied, “TOTALLY!! If I can look anything like Angelina Jolie…”

Look for our chat with Kit Harington, the final installment in our interview series for the film, tomorrow.

Open Road releasef Silent Hill: Revelation (review) 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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House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn Announced for Arcades

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Aside from various ports, the House of the Dead franchise has been dormant since the release of Overkill on the Wii back in 2009, so the news of a brand new entry in the series is a huge deal for us horror gamers. So we couldn’t be happier to learn that Sega have officially announced House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn, which will take the franchise back to its arcade roots. According to Gematsu, the game will be undergoing preliminary location testing at Sega’s Tokyo headquarters from January 19 to 21, before launching in Japanese arcades at a later date.

House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn will be powered by Unreal Engine 4, and will be capable of featuring more onscreen enemies than all previous House of the Dead games. The arcade cabinet will include air cannons, vibrating seat, and motion sensitive lights in an effort to create a full immersive experience, although there are currently no details on the game’s plot.

The House of the Dead franchise remains hugely popular around the world (even Uwe Boll couldn’t destroy its reputation), so it’s probably safe to assume that Scarlet Dawn will probably be making its way to US arcades at some point in the near future, with a console release also looking likely.

You can stay updated with House of the Dead: Scarlett Dawn on its official website, although you might want to learn Japanese first.

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Dread Central UK Enjoys a Box of IT

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One of the best things about writing for Dread Central is the cool gifts companies send us in exchange for covering their releases.

With Stephen King’s It now being available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK, Warner Bros. were kind enough to send me an It-themed gift box absolutely free of charge. I collected this beautiful piece of merchandise from Organic Marketing’s London headquarters, and it is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world. And that’s not an exaggeration.

Inside this beautiful box were four Pennywise-themed cupcakes, a Pennywise Vinyl Pop figure in its original packaging, a laminated flyer, and of course, a copy of the film on Blu-ray. As you can see from the images below, a red balloon, just like the one held by Pennywise in the film, was attached to the box, although I’m sorry to say that it has now been burst (and I’m keeping the remains).

It, which now has the honor of being the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time, was directed by Andy Muschietti and stars Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, and Finn Wolfhard. With the film now being available on home video in the UK, you shouldn’t waste any time ordering your copy, especially since we gave it a perfect score in our review.

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Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

5. Dracula: Speechless

Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

4. Double Duty for Drac

Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

1. Faux Pas

Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

***

Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

 

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