One of the highlights of V/H/S/2 for this writer had to be Jason Eisener’s “Alien Abduction Slumber Party,” which follows a group of pre-teens who must fight off malicious aliens who aren’t looking for any sleepover buddies- just victims.
Dread Central recently chatted with Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun) about his segment (which was shot from the POV of his pooch), and we’ve got the highlights right here. Read on for our exclusive interview with Eisener, and look for V/H/S/2 (review)in limited theaters this July (the sequel is currently available everywhere on VOD).
Dread Central: Great to chat with you again, Jason. I loved the energy in “Alien Abduction Slumber Party”- it absolutely feels like it has your filmmaking sensibilities all over it. What inspired you to go the alien route for this?
Jason Eisener: I went with aliens because I really wanted to make that kind of a movie from a kid’s perspective; I think that was my biggest fear as a kid- being chased by aliens. I used to have nightmares about aliens coming into my home and trying to abduct me and my friends, and I used those nightmares as my inspiration on this. I think a lot of it has to do with Fire in the Sky- that movie completely freaked me out as a kid to the point where I was even sleeping with a baseball bat under my bed for a few years.
But I’m a huge fan of movies like The Goonies and The Monster Squad so I’ve always wanted to do something in that world, and V/H/S/2 was a great opportunity to do just that but on a smaller scale.
Dread Central: Had you been a big fan of the original V/H/S when you were approached about the sequel?
Jason Eisener: Definitely; I thought it was so energetic and creative in its use of its perspective; plus they managed to find a way to do something different with the idea of found footage so I thought it would be a really interesting challenge to become involved and do something I was really passionate about. I’m thrilled they asked me to be a part of it because everyone involved has really been so cool.
Dread Central: I think it’s really interesting because a lot of filmmakers are told early on that to make things easier, never shoot with kids or animals, and for “Slumber Party” you not only use both, but they’re pretty much the primary focus of your entire story. How difficult was it managing everything while shooting then?
Jason Eisener: Yeah, it was kind of tough; we only had like four days to shoot everything and only a few days before to prep for it. And it was even more interesting for me because none of the kids we used in “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” had ever acted before except for the main kid, but they all had that kind of raw energy we were looking for that also reminded me of how my friend and I were as kids so they all did great. I think the hardest part for them was ignoring the crew; sometimes we’d come up with an idea and run away from everyone so they could go off and shoot what they wanted to shoot. A lot of those shots ended up being some of my favorite moments in the film.
Dread Central: I wanted to ask you about the sleeping bag shot, which was just badass; how’d you guys pull that off?
Jason Eisener: Oh yeah, that was the last shot we did on this; we basically had the bag in a kiddie pool with the kid inside, and so when we’d start shooting, it would be myself and a few others outside shaking the bag around like crazy. His dad was there, but the police showed up at one point; I think a bunch of grown men shaking a kid in a sleeping bag immersed in water probably looked really bad when they showed up where we were filming. Thankfully his dad explained everything (laughs).
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V/H/S/2 is produced by The Collective, Salient Media, and Brad Miska and Tom Owen’s Bloody Disgusting. Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, and Jason Eisener all directed entries in this latest anthology. The cast includes Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott, and Hannah Hughes.
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.
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