Resolution Cast and Crew Talk the Film's Genesis, Magical Collaborations, Alternate Endings, and More - Dread Central
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Resolution Cast and Crew Talk the Film’s Genesis, Magical Collaborations, Alternate Endings, and More

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If there was one indie horror thriller that had the festival circuit buzzing last year, it would have to be Resolution, and we recently had the opportunity to chat with co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead as well as producer David Lawson and stars Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran.

In Resolution (review here) Michael (Cilella) is committed to getting his best friend Chris (Curran) to sober up and get his life back on track. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend’s life quickly takes an unexpected turn as the two friends confront personal demons, the consequences of past actions, and forces beyond their control.

The film is an ably conceptualized mix of horror and comedy that has many hopeful horror fans anxiously waiting to catch its VOD release on January 23rd from Tribeca Film and in select theaters beginning January 25th. Just like the film itself, our interview was not by any means conventional, but it was full of inside jokes, laughs and, more importantly, many passionate discussions about the genre. The cast and crew also address their experiences on set and the comparisons to similar ‘cabin in the woods’ thrillers, and they even provide some answers to a few of many questions viewers will have after the end credits roll.

When asked how the film came to be, it was obvious how ambitious the filmmakers were about it and how they were determined to do something that hasn’t been seen before. Writer/director Justin Benson took the time to reveal why he made the risky decision of making his first full-length feature a slow-burning thriller rather than taking the obvious route of delivering a low-budget slasher instead.

“I did set out to write a script that I thought would be scary, and I think that stories are far scarier when you really care about the characters because you really want them to make it through the film. If you can make the relationships feel natural and if you’re bringing something new to the relationship dynamic in a story, I knew that would work way better than using stock characters that get killed off after two minutes,” Benson stated.

Having all worked together on a low-budget beer commercial before Resolution, the filmmakers also addressed why they decided to co-direct the feature.

“Yeah, it’s really not quantifiable. We’re not identical people but we share tastes and that really helps a lot, and we both have definitely benefited from working side by side,” Moorhead stated.

“When Aaron [Moorhead] and I work together, it’s like magic. It just works. I couldn’t exactly tell you why. It took six months to write the script, then Aaron and I went off to film the stories-within-the stories over a couple of months on weekends, and principal photography took seventeen days. We also had three months rehearsal with the actors,” Benson explained.

Their hard work most definitely paid off as viewers at film circuits from around the world have been reacting to the innovative scare tactics displayed in the film, and the directors take much pride in this achievement.

“We’ve had a lot of fun touring this film, especially in Canada. Toronto has really cool fans. A lot of people were scared at the Toronto After Dark screening. Also, we saw this still shot of this girl from one of our screenings that basically looked like a Paranormal Activity ad from Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. Also, there a was girl that came out of the theatre literally shaking in Paris,” Moorhead stated.

Considering the fact the thriller relies heavily on the stand-out performances of lead actors Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran as the unlucky and relatable protagonists for the entirety of the film, we asked the actors about what they had thought of the script and how they were able to play off each other as well as they did.

“I loved the script, and I think I read a pretty early draft because we were talking about it because as Justin was writing and raising money, he was telling me that he wanted to do a feature with Vinny [Curran] and I after we all did a beer commercial together. I definitely had questions, especially with the early drafts because the film and most importantly the ending do pose a lot of questions. Although I knew immediately that after reading it, I was a 100 percent on board,” Cilella shared.

“It’s hard to say because I was so on board before I read it. [laughs] The first couple of times I read the script, I was in bed with my girlfriend Leslie and I would make her read Pete’s [Cilella] lines, and we both thought it was so great. It was a different approach for me because it was such a great opportunity that I haven’t had before. I just couldn’t believe that they let me do this!” Curran exclaimed.

The crew also had nothing but good things to say about Resolution‘s stars:

“The performances from Vinny and Peter complement each other, and I think that is one thing audiences and reviewers can also agree on,” Benson said.

“You don’t get those type of performances in horror films because people generally don’t care. The people who make those films don’t spend enough time to develop the characters. It’s all ‘let’s get to the blood and boobs!’ And we don’t have any of those–not that there’s anything wrong with that. It just wasn’t this movie. [laughs],” Lawson admitted.

One of the many reasons why Resolution has been so talked about in the past year between audience members and film critics is that remarkably almost everybody has a different theory about the film and what themes the film is trying to convey.

We decided to inquire about the underlining theme of addiction that is throughout the film and if it is meant to take aim at the viewers’ addiction of watching horror films as well. The filmmakers and cast candidly admitted what the intentions and the true themes of the film are.

“No, addiction really wasn’t the main focus of the film. In fact, the whole drug addiction thing was entirely a plot device to structure the movie and the character of Chris [played by Vinny Curran] as an unreliable narrator. The mystery at hand in the movie really involves Chris. All of those sketches behind him during the movie were drawings he did when he was in an altered state, so he has had glimpses of what the mystery really is, even if he can’t remember all of it. However, because he is a drug addict, he is an unreliable person on anything and that is why I made his character that way. But I will say that with the central mystery of the movie, there is a very strong relationship to the audience. Because that ‘central mystery’ is doing a lot of the things that an audience would do,” Benson admitted.

“For me, at least when I read it, it was about control. There are different levels of control in your life. Some people try to control themselves and they try to control others. They’re controlled by substances, and the central mystery at the end is so manipulating and controlling. I felt like it was such a strong theme everyone could relate to because we all deal with control in so many ways whether your life is spinning out of control or you’re trying to control it too much. I don’t think I’m like Michael, but there are definitely parts of Michael in me,” Cilella stated.

“I agree with Pete. The fact that drugs controlled my character allowed me so much freedom. I was able to deliver my lines any way that came out of me. I didn’t have to validate anything I had to say or any approach I took to say a line. It was very liberating as an actor,” Curran said.

*NOTE: The cast and crew went on and revealed more about the mystery and twist ending at hand; however, we promised to keep it off the record to prevent any unnecessary spoilers that would ruin specific plot points. (Trust us; you will thank us for not posting it after watching the film.)

Resolution has been compared to the recent sleeper hit The Cabin in the Woods. We asked the filmmakers what they thought of the similarities and inevitable comparisons to their feature.

“I understand why people are comparing them. There are a lot of things in Resolution that involve indie horror tropes as misdirection and red herrings. In a way, we’re kind of deconstructing indie thrillers. ‘Cabin in the Woods’ is more about deconstructing mainstream horror films. The cool thing is that when people compare them, they acknowledge that they are very different movies. Although, not to be biased, Vinny and Pete’s performances in [Resolution] are better than any of the performances in [CITW],” Benson said.

Fans of the film will also be pleased that there is more to look forward to for the DVD release:

“We have a few extended scenes and even an alternate ending. We have extended cuts in the DVD. Our alternate ending completely destroys our movie. [laughs] However, it should be stated explicitly though that our alternate ending is entirely a joke. It takes place six months later,” Benson revealed.

Lastly, those wondering if this indie horror dream team will collaborate again will be happy to know about the crew’s upcoming projects.

“Aaron and I have three projects we’re currently working on, and they’re all similar to Resolution. They all have some high-concept genre element you haven’t seen before. We’re making new monsters. We’re not telling stories with zombies or vampires. Also, like Resolution, they all feature a lot of dark humor, and one of the upcoming projects was specifically written for Vinny and Pete. So, we’re really hoping that one goes through first,” shared Benson.

Thanks to the cast and crew of Resolution for taking the time to chat with us, and I encourage all of our readers to catch this film as soon as you can!

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Want a LEGO Godzilla Set? Here’s Your Chance!

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The longest-running franchises in cinema history, the Godzilla films have created a cultural icon in the form of the titular beast. Simply hearing its roar or seeing its silhouette is enough to let us know precisely what we’re looking at. Having ventured out of cinema and forayed into TV shows, comic books, video games, and countless merchandise options, Godzilla still hasn’t managed to break into one of the world’s most popular toy company: LEGO. However, that might change if BRICK_101 has their say via LEGO Ideas, where they submitted a design based on the 1954 original film!

Here’s the description from the site:
This model contains approximately 850 LEGO pieces, stands 9 inches (23 cm) tall, and measures 17 inches (44 cm) from head to tail. Godzilla has had many different designs over the years, but we based ours on the original 1954 movie. The arms, legs, jaw, and tail are hinged to allow the model to be posed in a variety of positions. In addition to Godzilla, the set also includes a small microscale train for Godzilla to stomp on or chomp on and a flame piece to represent Godzilla’s atomic breath.

The website allows people to submit their own ideas (such as this Call of Cthulhu set) and then allow the public to vote on whether or not they want to see it get made. Should the idea get 10,000 votes, it then gets moved up the ladder within LEGO’s headquarters and a decision is made to see if they want to make an official set.

So, if you want to see LEGO make an official Godzilla set, click on the link above and cast your vote!

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#Brainwaves Episode 78 Guest Announcement: Legendary Film Composer Harry Manfredini

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The Friday the 13th franchise without the music of Harry Manfredini would be like peanut butter without jelly. McDonalds without the Big Mac. Knetter without Creepy. His music defined a generation of horror fans, and few could have done it better, if at all. Now Manfredini brings his equally as unique voice to Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

Join us this coming Wednesday, February 21st, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

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Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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Victor Crowley Blu-ray Review – Killer Special Features Make This a Must-Own

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Starring Parry Shen, Kane Hodder, Laura Ortiz, Dave Sheridan, Felissa Rose, and Tiffany Shepis

Directed by Adam Green

Distributed by Dark Sky Films


Like many of you horror fans out there, I was surprised as hell when Adam Green announced that there was not only going to be the fourth entry in his famed Hatchet series but that the movie had already been filmed and was going to be screening across the country.

Of course, I wanted to get to one of those screenings as soon as possible, but unfortunately, there were no events in my neck of the woods here in Gainesville, Fl., and so I had to bide my time and await the Blu-ray.

Then a few days ago, the Blu-ray for Victor Crowley landed on my doorstep and I jumped right into watching the film. Short story, I loved it. But we’ll get into all of that more in-depth below. For now, let’s do a quick rundown on the film for those two or three horror fans out there who aren’t familiar with the film and its premise.

Victor Crowley is the fourth entry in the Hatchet series, a franchise that follows the tale of a deformed man that accidentally met the wrong end of his father’s hatchet long ago and now roams the Louisiana swamp each night as a “Repeater”, aka a ghost that doesn’t know it is dead and thus cannot be killed. Ever. Well, maybe not ever. After all, Victor was supposedly killed at the end of Hatchet III by a combination of Danielle Harris, his father’s ashes, and a grenade launcher. Dead to rights, right? Not so much.

In this fourth entry/reboot, a group of indie horror filmmakers, lead by the adorable Katie Booth, accidentally resurrect Crowley just as the original trilogy’s lone survivor (Parry Shen) is visiting the swamp one final time in the name of cold hard cash. Long story short, Shen’s plane crashes with his agent (Felissa Rose), his ex-wife (Krystal Joy Brown), and her film crew in tow. Some survive the initial crash, some don’t. As you can imagine, the lucky ones died first.

Victor Crowley is a true return to form for Adam Green, who sat out of the director’s chair on the third film. As always, Green doesn’t shy away from the over-the-top comedy and gore the franchise is well known for. The blood rages and the sight-gags hit fast and unexpectedly. And, speaking of the sight-gags, there’s evidently a shot in this Blu-ray version of the film that was cut from the “Unrated” version released on VOD. The shot is one I won’t spoil here, but for the sake of viewing Green’s initial vision alone, the Blu-ray for Victor Crowley is really the only way to own this film. Don’t get me wrong, there are (many) more reasons to shell out the cash for this Blu-ray, but I’ll get into those soon.

Back to the film itself, what makes this fourth entry in the series one of the very best Hatchet films (if not THE best) is Adam Green’s honesty. Not only does he conquer a few demons with the ex-wife subplot, but he gives us a truly tragic moment via Tiffany Shepis’ character that had me in stunned silence. Her death is not an easy kill to pull off in a notoriously over-the-top slasher series, but it earned mucho respect from this guy.

Basically, if you loved the original trilogy, you will love this one as well. If you mildly enjoyed the other films, this one will surely make you a fan. Slow clap, Adam Green.

Special Features:

Let it be known that I’m a massive fan of fly-on-the-wall filmmaking documentaries. Like many of you out there, I find film production to be utterly fascinating and thus have grown a little tired of the typical making-of featurettes we get on Blu-rays. You know the ones. The director talks about his vision for the film, the cast say how much fun they had on-set with the other actors and crew, and we get cutaways to people dancing and trying to kiss the behind-the-scenes camera – all usually set to upbeat music.

While I’ll take what I can get, these kinds of behind-the-scenes features have grown to be little more than tiresome and superficial. But no worries here my friends as Adam Green has pulled out all the BS and given us a full-length, 90-minute behind-the-scenes feature called “Fly on the Wall” that shows it how it really is on the set.

Highlights include new Hatchet D.P. Jan-Michael Losada, who took over for Will Barratt this time around, who is little less than a f*cking hilarious rockstar, a front row seat to the making of Felissa Rose’s death scene, a creepy-cool train ghost story prank by Green, a clever impromptu song via Krystal Joy Brown (Sabrina), and a fun bit towards the end where Green and the SFX crew create the “gore inserts” in (basically) the backyard after filming. Good times all around.

The documentary then ends with the Facebook Live video of Adam Green announcing Victor Crowley‘s surprise premiere at that Hatchet 10th Anniversary screening. A great way to end a killer making-of documentary making his disc a must-own for this special feature alone.

But wait, it gets better. On top of the film itself and the above-mentioned “Fly on the Wall” documentary, the disc features an extensive interview with Adam Green called “Raising the Dead… Again.” This interview is basically Green going over the same speech he gave to the crowd at the surprise unveiling shown at the end of the “Fly on the Wall” doc, but that said, it’s great to hear Green tells his inspiring story to us directly.

So while this feature treads water all of us have been through below (especially fans of Green’s podcast The Movie Crypt), Green is always so charming and brutally honest that we never get tired of him telling us the truth about the ins-and-outs of crafting horror films in this day and age. Again, good stuff.

Additionally, the disc also boasts two audio commentaries, one with Adam Green and actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz, and Dave Sheridan, and another “technical” commentary with Adam Green, cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, editor Matt Latham, and make-up effects artist Robert Pendergraft.

Add in the film’s teaser and trailer, and Victor Crowley is a must-own on Blu-ray.

BUY IT HERE!

Special features:

  • Audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green and actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz, and Dave Sheridan
  • Audio commentary with writer/director Adam Green, cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, editor Matt Latham, and make-up effects artist Robert Pendergraft
  • Raising the Dead… Again – Extensive interview with writer/director Adam Green
  • Behind the Scenes – Hour-long making-of featurette
  • Trailer
  • Victor Crowley
  • Special Features
3.5

Summary

One of the best, if not THE best, entries in the Hatchet series, with special features that are in-depth and a blast (and considering all other versions of the film have been castrated for content), this Blu-ray is really the only way to own Adam Green’s Victor Crowley.

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