Exclusive: Director Steven C. Miller Talks Monsters and More for Under the Bed - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Director Steven C. Miller Talks Monsters and More for Under the Bed

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Exclusive: Director Steven C. Miller Talks Monsters and More for Under the BedArriving in limited theatres July 19th and on Blu-ray/DVD July 30th is indie horror maverick Steven C. Miller’s latest project, the super creepy and equally fun Under the Bed.

A modern horror fable for a new generation of creature lovers out there, Under the Bed, which is already available on VOD platforms everywhere, follows two brothers named Neal (Jonny Weston) and Paul (Gattlin Griffith), who are dealing with a monster lurking underneath their bed which comes out to terrorize them every night when the lights go out. Their parents aren’t much help at all (of course), forcing Neal and Paul to defend themselves alone against the supernatural menace living beneath their bed.

Dread Central recently chatted with Miller about what inspired his kid-centric (but still fun for adults) horror project, more on the monster mythology we didn’t get to see in Under the Bed, a tease of the always busy indie filmmaker’s upcoming projects and much more.

Dread Central: Because you’re a dad now, did that inform your decision at all to make a kid-friendly horror movie?

Steven C. Miller: In some ways it definitely did. I think the basic idea that Brad (Miska), Zak (Zeman) and I had was that no one these days was really making horror movies for kids; Joe Dante made The Hole recently, but other than that, there weren’t any other movies being made for that audience. So the basic idea was, how far could we take a kid’s horror movie? I wanted to hearken back to movies like The Gate or Little Monsters or The Goonies, movies that were pretty frightening but were still meant for younger audiences. Ultimately, I just wanted to do a kid-friendly horror movie where we could still see some of the kids get their heads ripped off by monsters (laughs).

Dread Central: What’s interesting to me is that many of your films involve people moving around a lot or settling into a new environment- is that a conscious choice at all on your part?

Steven C. Miller: Wow; I never really thought about it that way, but I think you’re right! As a kid, we were always constantly moving, kind of like a military family does, so maybe subconsciously I put some of that into my films.

Dread Central: Well, let’s talk a bit about Jonny and Gattlin, who played the heroes of Under the Bed; I thought they had some really nice moments together in this. How was it collaborating with them?

Steven C. Miller: They were both awesome; I think this may be my favorite core cast I’ve ever worked with. Gattlin’s done some great minor roles so I knew he was going to be great, but when we got the two of them alone in a room together and just let them work together, it was perfect. If that relationship didn’t work, Under the Bed wasn’t going to work.

Because I grew up with brothers myself and we did everything together, I imagined that these brothers would be the same way. And that included taking on the monster. They would want to tackle this problem themselves because the adults in their lives don’t understand them at all. So we knew we needed two kids that could still act like kids but hold their own also in some of the more ‘adult’ situations they were put into.

Dread Central: I thought some of the mythology you and Eric (Stolze, writer) worked into the story was really interesting with the monsters, especially the bits about them feeding off dead skin cells. That’s definitely something I haven’t seen in a monster movie before and thought it was kind of cool.

Steven C. Miller: Oh thanks! I think some of the ideas for the monsters came from my nightmares, and Eric was really great at figuring out just how the monsters would transition in and out of our world and what would be the catalyst for that. That’s where the dead skin cells idea came in. I watched one of the gross mattress commercials that would show you all of the crap stuck to your mattress and it was kind of crazy seeing how we sleep in millions and millions of dead skin cells on our bed and mattress and don’t even realize it. Eric found a great way to use that as fuel for the monster, which I really thought was a nice twist and something you don’t see being done too often in the movies.

Dread Central: It seems like you guys had a lot of ideas about this world going into Under the Bed; did you ever consider incorporating other monsters at all into this story? Is that something that you’re maybe thinking about for a sequel- introducing us to more monsters?

Steven C. Miller: Oh for sure. A lot of what didn’t make it into the movie ended up being cut from the story just because we didn’t really have the budget to do more than one monster or spend too much time in that other world. I really thought about movies like Little Monsters or even Monsters Inc., where you get to follow them into that world and get introduced to more creatures, but that just wasn’t going to happen for this. We have talked about maybe doing a sequel where we get to see more monsters, but that all depends on how Under the Bed does once it’s released.

Dread Central: What’s coming up next for you after Under the Bed‘s released?

Steven C. Miller: I’ve got two projects actually. The first one is a completely crazy action movie- like completely all action, no horror at all. The other project I’m working on is a thriller in the vein of Buried. It’s about a group of kids riding in a limo who end up going off a cliff and get trapped inside the limo underwater and have to figure a way to get out alive. I think it’s going to be really intense.

Under the Bed, the new horror/thriller from the producers of V/H/S and director Steven C. Miller (The Aggression Scale, Silent Night), stars Jonny Weston, the young star of Chasing Mavericks, and Gattlin Griffith (Green Lantern, Changeling). Written by Eric Stolze, the film also stars Peter Holden, Musetta Vander, and Kelcie Stranahan.

Synopsis:
Every child knows about the monster under the bed—Neal Hausman’s mistake was trying to fight it. Neal (Jonny Weston) has returned from a two-year exile following his tragic attempt to defeat the monster, only to find his father ticking ever closer to a breakdown, a new stepmother who fears him, and his little brother, Paul (Gattlin Griffith), terrorized by the same monster. While Neal and Paul work together to try to fight the nocturnal menace, their parents are taking desperate measures to get the family back to normal. With no support from their parents, the brothers have nothing to rely on but each other and courage beyond belief.

Under the Bed

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SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1

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SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene

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One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

Synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival

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The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

Synopsis:
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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