Exclusive Interview: Co-Stars Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott Talk Hemlock Grove - Dread Central
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Exclusive Interview: Co-Stars Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott Talk Hemlock Grove

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Exclusive Interview: Co-Stars Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott Talk Hemlock GroveFrom the twisted minds of executive producer Eli Roth and novelist Brian McGreevy comes Netflix’s latest series, “Hemlock Grove,” which will be released in its entirety on Friday, April 19th (look for a review of the first three episodes later this week).

“Hemlock Grove” stars Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Bill Skaarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Penelope Mitchell, and Lili Taylor and revolves around the mysterious murder of a teenage girl and the investigation into who – or what – may have caused her untimely and gruesome demise.

Dread Central recently chatted with co-stars Janssen and Scott about what attracted them to “Hemlock Grove” and the creative freedoms that working on a serialized show allowed them both, and they gave us a hint about their characters and what fans can expect from the first season.

Dread Central: I was able to see the first three episodes and really can’t wait to finish the season up- it’s really different than I was expecting, which I’m sure is something you’ve probably heard a lot today. Was the fact that this wasn’t your typical drama a huge appeal to you?

Dougray Scott: Definitely. I also saw this as a new beginning in some ways; with the way that Netflix has begun distributing original programming, I really think it allows fans or audiences a way to see dramatic shows much differently than they used to. So that for me was what excited me the most.

Then when I realized that this was also based on a novel that was also really well done, I just knew we had an opportunity to do something different that had powerful and unique storytelling behind it, which is always something you hope for as an actor. So all those positive elements, plus working with Famke of course (laughs), were hugely influential in me taking on this role.

Famke Janssen: I completely agree with Dougray; for me, there were many reasons why I wanted to be a part of this show.  The one thing I always start with is, ‘Can I live with this character?’ When I realized I could, that was the first step. Then I looked at the novel, and that made my decision MUCH easier because it was so compelling.

But what I really appreciate about these stories and “Hemlock Grove” in particular is that it’s not the show you’re necessarily expecting. We take a lot of conventions and audiences’ notions of genre stories and characters and turn them completely on their head. Audiences are going to realize at the end of the 13 episodes that these characters they thought they were starting off with are nothing like they ever imagined once the first season is wrapped up.

I’m just really proud to be in the company that I’m in on “Hemlock Grove,” and I think what Netflix is doing with their new distribution model, first with “House of Cards” and now with us, is really different and could change a lot of things in the industry. Plus, with the way that I’m designing my life now since I’m also directing and producing, to shoot all these episodes like we did all at once really gave me a lot of freedom to continue to pursue other avenues of my career at the same time, and with a lot of network shows you don’t get that kind of flexibility.

Dread Central: So let’s talk about your characters; they’re both parents who are definitely struggling with a lot of things both in their own lives and with their kids–

Famke Janssen: Yeah, I’m not really sure we can say either one of them are very good parents at all (laughs).

Dougray Scott: Yeah, I think there’s a certain sense of tragedy to what both of these parents go through in this show, and in some ways their children are dealing with tragic circumstances because of those decisions we made. What’s really funny to me is that Norman is the guy who is the first to criticize Olivia (Janssen’s character), but he’s just as guilty as she is. Just because maybe he isn’t necessarily ‘evil’ or whatever, you don’t necessarily see that in him at first, but yes, he’s completely messed up as a parent. And we play with those ideas a lot in this show.

Famke Janssen: And I would say that Olivia is overbearing and a bit manipulative, but what’s great about the character is that she’s always hard to figure out. She never shows the hand she’s playing with, which is a great thing to get to do as an actress. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if certain things are affecting her on an emotional level, but they really are; she’s just able to put forward that brave face so that you always think she’s in control of the situation…even when she’s not.

Dread Central: Does working in the television format allow you guys a lot more creative freedom then?

Dougray Scott: Absolutely; it’s also a great opportunity to dig deeper into characters and story when you have more time, and it’s even better when you’ve got a story that takes all these characters on some very interesting and engaging journeys like we have. Norman really does go through hell in the first season of “Hemlock Grove” so it will be interesting to see what happens next. If we get a ‘next’ that is (laughs).

Famke Janssen: Even though it’s gotten better, there really are a lot of restrictions on network TV. “Hemlock Grove” feels very much more like a cable show since we were able to take a lot of risks, and that’s really appealing I think. And the format definitely does allow you that benefit of time to develop characters that maybe don’t seem important when the story first begins but as things unfold, you realize that all along the things that you may have thought going into this series aren’t true at all. We were also given a lot of room to do some wild and inventive things, and when you have such a talented cast, like you do with every single one of my co-stars, then only good things can happen.

Dread Central: Can you discuss what fans can expect from the first season of “Hemlock Grove” without giving too much away?

Famke Janssen: It’s pretty crazy (laughs); some things do get wrapped up, but we also leave so much open to explore in a second season. All the characters really transform too – in more than one way in some instances – and I’m really proud of our work on it. And with Olivia, we definitely find out more about her, but because she’s so complicated, I do hope I get to explore her world more in the future.

Dougray Scott: There’s a lot of material in the novel, but there’s also a lot of ways we can take these stories in the future too. I also think people are going to be blown away by the werewolves- that was something from the novel that I wasn’t sure how it would translate onto the screen, but it really works. Did you get to see it?

Dread Central: I did; it’s really a different approach, which I thought was pretty cool.

Dougray Scott: Me too; I love that it’s a really violent process but visually striking too. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Synopsis:
“Hemlock Grove” is a riveting one-hour murder mystery that revolves around the residents of a former Pennsylvania steel town. When 17-year-old Brooke Bluebell is brutally murdered, any of Hemlock’s peculiar inhabitants – or killer creatures – could be suspects. Through the investigation the town’s seamier side is exposed, revealing nothing is what it seems. Beautiful, terrifying, and graphic, “Hemlock Grove” is unlike anything else in its genre.

All 13 episodes of Season 1 will be available exclusively on Netflix beginning April 19, 2013. For more info be sure to “like” “Hemlock Grove” on Facebook, and follow “Hemlock Grove” on Twitter.

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Dread Central Assembles Ghost Hunters to Investigate the Winchester Mystery House

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On Friday, February 2nd, Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built arrives in theaters. The film, directed by Michael and Peter Spierig and starring Helen Mirren, is based on actual events.

While many movies claiming to be based on true stories are actually highly fictionalized, that’s not the case this time. The subject, Sarah Winchester was real; the location, a labyrinthine mansion, still stands. And tonight, we’re being given unprecedented access to “The House That Ghosts Built”. Our goal: To determine if the estate deserves its reputation as one of the most haunted locations in America.

While the Winchester Mystery House, as it’s now known, sees visitors almost every day, we’re conducting our investigation after hours—at night. Not only does this opportunity afford us a more intimate experience, we’re being allowed into areas restricted to the general public. We’ve assembled a team of some of the country’s leading paranormal investigators and psychic mediums, who will attempt a variety of techniques in order to detect the supernatural entities long rumored to roam these halls.

Tim Wood is a paranormal investigator and founder of the TV series In Search of the Paranormal which launched in 2006; he’ll be bringing his team members Kristen Manning, a medium who uses her drawing talents to tap into supernatural vibrations, and Patrick Langdon, an investigator who utilizes special cameras to detect paranormal remnants.

Spirit Photography by Patrick Langdon

Tim Meunier is the founder of American Paranormal Investigations as well as the founder of both the Sacramento Horror Film Festival and the bi-annual Sinister Creature Con. Michael B. Chochla is a medium and member of River City Paranormal and Michelle Goyette has been working as a professional spiritualist for over 5 years, specializing in connecting the living with loved ones who have passed over.

The estate is so complex, a previously undocumented room was discovered as recently as 2016, so there’s truly no telling what awaits us within.

We’ll be joined by an on-site historian and a camera crew who will document our entire visit. Whether we come away with answers to some of the Winchester Mystery House’s most enduring secrets remains to be seen, but we’ll be sharing the results of our investigation in the days leading up to the release of Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built. Stay tuned!

About The Winchester Mystery House: “Since 1923 the story of Sarah Winchester and her incredibly peculiar house has fascinated more than 12 million people from around the world who have toured its lonely hallways, dark passages and ornate rooms. Come and be intrigued by this truly American tale with its combination of the beautiful and the bizarre, its narrative of heartbreak, tenacity and invention and its flourishes of the paranormal and spirits.”

Here’s what you can expect on a Mansion Tour“Sarah Winchester was a true woman of independence, drive, and courage who lives on in legend as a grieving widow who continuously built (and built and built) onto her initially small, two-story farmhouse to appease the spirits of those killed by the guns manufactured by her husband’s firearms company.

 “Today you can tour through 110 of the 160 rooms of Sarah’s stately mansion, known around the world as the Winchester Mystery House, and see the bizarre attributes that give the mansion its name; a window built into the floor, stairs leading to ceilings, doors that open onto blank walls, a seeming obsession with the numeral “13,” cobweb motifs, etc.”

You can learn more and buy tickets to tour The Winchester Mystery House, HERE.

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Exclusive: Satanic Sacrifices Live on in This House of Salem Clip

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Tomorrow marks the VOD release of Wild Eye Releasing’s House of Salem, which follows a group of thieves who end up protecting a young boy caught up in a Satanic ritual. If you wish to join them in venturing down a rabbit hole of sacrifice, murder, and demonic forces, we’ve got an exclusive clip that you can watch below.

Written and directed by James Crow, House of Salem stars Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson, and Liam Kelly.

Synopsis:
A group of kidnappers become a child’s unlikely protectors after discovering they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a satanic ritual. As they begin to uncover the truth of the house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces and uncover a legacy of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Devil.

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Hangman Starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow Blu-ray Specs

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Three of my favorite actors out there right now are Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow. So you can imagine my excitement when not only was it announced that the three of them were going to be starring in a film together, but said film was going to be a serial killer thriller.

The film is called Hangman and it is all set to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital in February. You can check out the cover art to the right and the special features, synopsis, and trailer below.

After looking through all of that, make sure to let us know how excited you are to own Hangman on Blu-ray.

The film is directed by Johnny Martin based on a script by Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger, and Phil Hawkins and stars Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Sarah Shahi, Brittany Snow, and Joe Anderson.

Hangman hits Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on February 27th.

Special features:

  • Al Pacino: Insight from a Hollywood Legend featurette
  • Hangman: In Their Own Words featurette

BUY IT HERE!

Synopsis:
Decorated homicide detective Ray Archer (Al Pacino) and his partner, criminal profiler Will Ruiney (Karl Urban), are tasked with catching one of the city’s notoriously vicious serial killers who is playing a twisted version of murder using the child’s game… HANGMAN, while crime journalist Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) reports on the crime spree, shadowing the detectives.

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