Exclusive: Writer/Director Scott Stewart on Dark Skies, Upcoming Projects and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Writer/Director Scott Stewart on Dark Skies, Upcoming Projects and More

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Exclusive: Writer/Director Scott Stewart on Dark Skies, Upcoming Projects and MoreNext week Scott Stewart’s Dark Skies starring Keri Russell lands on DVD and Blu-ray, and since we missed chatting with him when the film was in theaters earlier this year, we caught up with him now that his latest is making its home release debut.

During our exclusive interview with Stewart, we discussed his approach to the alien-infused story of a singular family terrorized, why you can’t fight a force of nature, his upcoming projects (which include both film and television work) and much more.

Dread Central: Thanks so much for chatting today, Scott; I was curious if you’d start off by discussing why you decided to do a very different kind of alien movie with Dark Skies than we usually see and made it into more of an intimate family drama than a huge sci-fi spectacle, which is what most people would expect?

Scott Stewart: That’s really what I was after all along on this project; I’d done some big effects movies like Legion and Priest so when I began working on Dark Skies, I made it my own personal challenge to do something completely out of the box and make something that was more character-based and driven.

Characters had to be front and center in Dark Skies or the story wouldn’t have worked at all. I think it’s always interesting when you try and tell genre stories outside of the ‘normal’ genre realm, and so I used the alien invasion as a metaphor for everything that was happening to this family and to their deconstruction as a solid unit.

I’ve seen movies like Battle Los Angeles and War of the Worlds and knew I wasn’t going to be able to top either of those in terms of scope and action so I thought it would be far more effective to make ‘The Greys’ into these kind of boogeymen who show up in your house without warning and how their appearance can take away any sort of semblance of normalcy without warning.

Dread Central: I also thought the context of their lives made the story far more interesting; this wasn’t a perfect, happy family that was dealing with aliens but one that was struggling with a lot of things that most of us are struggling with too, like paying bills and keeping our heads above water.

Scott Stewart: Yeah, I definitely think people can relate to that feeling of losing control of their lives and their finances because of everything that’s happened with the economy the last several years. I wanted to exploit those ideas in Dark Skies- that control is only a thinly-veiled illusion for most of us and how the suburbs that have come to represent a place of ‘safety’ can easily be a mirage for many. I also wanted there to be this play on real, tangible fear and neurotic fear and how those two can really play against each other.

The thing for me always was that The Greys are a force of nature; you can’t reason with a force of nature, you can’t escape it and you can’t win either. The only thing you can do is accept it and figure out how to deal with it, which is what happens to this family. There was never going to be a happy ending for them.

Dread Central: I thought Keri and Josh felt pretty natural in Dark Skies; what was it about them that you thought would make them a perfect fit for these roles?

Scott Stewart: Casting was all about naturality; Keri’s just fantastic all-around and Josh (Hamilton) was such a great and funny guy to work with. What’s kind of interesting to me is that at one point in the movie his character is holding a gun and everyone talks about how unnatural he looks with it or how awkward, but it was supposed to be that way. His character is a guy who has never held a gun before, who’s not a macho guy at all either, and when it comes time for him to ‘man up,’ he just looks ridiculous. That felt authentic to me. I know Josh had the ability to play that scene differently, but I told him not to- I told him to fight every instinct and just be a normal, awkward guy who has probably never had a violent conflict before in his life until now.

There’s also that moment where he gets into a fight with the neighbor, and I have to admit it’s like the most awkward fight ever, but it’s supposed to be like that. It’s just two dads, not superheroes, fighting on the front lawn so I just wanted them to kind of go at it and see what happened. I even told all the stunt coordinators to stay away. This wasn’t going to be an ‘artful’ scene by any means, and that’s how I wanted it to play out- like a normal guy who’s been pushed too far but isn’t really great at pushing back either.

Dread Central: I saw that you recently worked on the pilot episode of “Defiance”; how was your experience on that? Are you planning more television projects, or are you working on some films now?

Scott Stewart: A little of both actually. I had a great time working on “Defiance,” and it was really great to see how much success the pilot and the series are enjoying because of the fans. It was also interesting to be part of a writing team and watch how things unfolded between everyone. But I do have another show that I’m working on that I should be able to share news on soon, and there’s also another sci-fi movie that I’m working on as well, but it’s completely different than Dark Skies. There’s also another TV pilot that I’m currently writing that is tangentially related to the genre, but that’s all I can say. I just think it’s cool that I still get to keep telling unique stories on different kinds of platforms, whether it’s on television or in a movie theater, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do as a storyteller.

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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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