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Exclusive: Writer Simon Barrett on You’re Next, Sequel Potential and More

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Exclusive: Writer Simon Barrett on You're Next, Sequel Potential and MoreThis week Lionsgate is finally unleashing Adam Wingard’s superb home invasion thriller You’re Next, and in anticipation of the film’s release, Dread Central recently interviewed writer Simon Barrett.

During our chat with Barrett, he discussed the challenges of creating the story of You’re Next, how surreal it’s been to see all the positive responses to his latest collaboration with Wingard considering their indie roots, whether or not fans can expect a You’re Next sequel and much more.

Check out our interview with Barrett below, and look for more on You’re Next all this week!

Question: I’m sure this has been a surreal two years for both you and Adam; what’s been the most surprising part of the whole process of You’re Next? Has it been the fan interactions lately- the marketing campaign for this movie has been incredible, and it’s what I’ve really been enjoying watching lately.

Simon Barrett: Yeah, I can’t really believe everything Lionsgate has done for this movie; we’re really lucky that things worked out the way that they did even though we had to wait a few years for it to finally come out. I think in some ways, though, the waiting gave us a little more confidence because until recently, the last time we were screening You’re Next was a few years ago; to see people wanting to come back and revisit the movie and still talk about it even after two years isn’t something you see every day. I think we knew that fans and critics wanting to revisit You’re Next again and again was a good sign and that we did a few things right on this one (laughs).

But yeah, to keep getting texts and emails from people all over who are sending us photos of billboards or the masks is definitely one of the most surreal aspects of my career so far. Everything Adam and I have done so far was made on an independent scale; movies like V/H/S or A Horrible Way to Die were designed with a smaller core audience in mind. We had wanted You’re Next to feel bigger and it was made with a bigger audience in mind too; it seems like maybe it worked because Lionsgate has really put everything into this film and I think that shows their confidence in our work, which is amazing.

Question: What I loved about You’re Next was how it felt like an homage to a ton of movies I grew up on but still felt wholly new and unique; was that a huge challenge for you and Adam- to make a movie that could keep that kind of balance throughout?

Simon Barrett: It was, but I think Adam and I are always inspired by those kinds of challenges. I think we both felt like modern horror had been in a rut for a while; it just didn’t feel like anything new had been happening in the genre lately so we sat down and thought about what we could do differently to shake things up a bit. Adam and I are also inspired by a lot of the same things as both filmmakers and fans so we just set out to do something that would surprise everyone – fans of ours and the horror fans who have never even heard of us – tonally and do something vastly different than we ever had before.

We don’t ever want to tell the same story we’ve told before; every single project we’ve worked on has been different than the ones we did before it, and You’re Next is no different. I also think it’s the best movie we’ve made and I think as long as we continue to make movies where we treat our audience like they’re smarter than us – which is definitely true (laughs) – I think we’ll always continue to make the movies we want to see and have horror fans experience too.

Question: That sort of brings us to my next question- you guys really don’t do many sequels, barring V/H/S/2, but that’s more of a companion piece than a sequel to me; so even though you and Adam aren’t necessarily known for sequels, have you guys talked at all about ideas for a follow-up to You’re Next yet?

Simon Barrett: We did V/H/S/2 so yeah, we’re not necessarily opposed to doing sequels; we’re just opposed to making sequels without anything new to say. That’s when you’re making a sequel for the wrong reasons. I think Adam and I will probably do a non-genre movie next before we’d come back for another You’re Next, if we do at all. The tricky things with sequels is to not be too self-indulgent as storytellers; sometimes it can be a dangerous thing if you’re left to your own devices or if you try and pander to your audience.

All that being said, we do have an extremely cool idea for a You’re Next sequel that would continue the story from the first movie which would feel real and organic. Because of how we structured the story of You’re Next, we sort of set ourselves up for a lot of challenges with creating a sequel but I think those are the kinds of challenges that appeal to Adam and myself the most. We can’t just make another one because we want to; there has to be a reason, and that reason has to be feel organic to the original.

The Adam Wingard-directed You’re Next stars Nick Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Calvin Reeder, Larry Fessenden, Kate Lyn Sheil, Barbara Crampton, Rob Moran, and Sharni Vinson.

Look for it in theaters on August 23rd.

Synopsis:
The Davison family comes under attack from a terrifying group of sadistic murderers during a family reunion getaway. Barricaded in their secluded vacation home, they fight off a barrage of axes, crossbows, and machetes from both inside and outside the house. However, the masked killers didn’t count on Erin (Vinson), the young girlfriend of the eldest Davison son whose mysterious past has made her very difficult to kill.

For more visit the official You’re Next website, “like” You’re Next on Facebook, and follow You’re Next on Twitter.

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Whatever Happened to Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

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Back in April of 2007, we all sat in our local darkened theater and watched as Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation double feature Grindhouse (review) blew the roof off the place for 3 hours straight.

Well, it’s ten years later, and I think we are all asking ourselves the same question: Where the hell is Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

Like every other human out there, I enjoyed both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s films – along with the fake trailers by Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright – but the big takeaway was Eli Roth’s faux trailer for the greatest 80’s slasher that never was.

So what happened to the feature?

Well, Roth was originally working on the feature back in 2007 after finishing his work helming Hostel: Part II, telling Cinema Blend:

“I’ve been working on the script with my co-writer, Jeff Rendell, who plays the pilgrim in the trailer,” Roth told the site. “And it’s me imitating Jeff’s voice [for the narration]. But Jeff has been working. I said that his deal is he has to work on the script while I’m promoting The Last Exorcism, and as soon as I’m done in mid-September he’s going to fly to California, we’re going to sit down, and bang out the script.”

But then the planned film died out as Grindhouse flopped at the box-office. Following the film’s underperformance, all talks surrounding Edgar Wright and Eli Roth’s Grindhouse double feature spin-off were silenced in a single weekend.

In fact, the last update we received on the possible standalone Thanksgiving film was last year when Roth did a Reddit AMA, and said this about the film’s current development:

“Have a draft not totally happy with. I want to put some more work into it so the film lives up to the trailer. We have the story and mythology cracked so now it’s about getting the kills right.”

Nice. Seemed like the film was making some headway. Nothing to do but gut the T’s and cut the heads off the I’s. But then nothing happened. At all. No updates. No nothing.

With that in mind, we here at Dread Central decided to reach out to Roth personally and see if there were any new happenings in regards to the film. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach him so I guess we’ll all just have to keep wondering and waiting.

Maybe it’s the pressure he no doubt feels making the much loved faux trailer into a feature. After all, he did say this back in 2007: “No matter how many movies I make my whole life, that two-and-a-half minute trailer is what I’ll be remembered for: ‘Eli Roth — he had a guy fucking a turkey with a decapitated head on it.’”

Or maybe the rights to the film were just tied up with the now infamous Weinstein company. But with that company finally going under (thank God) maybe now the rights could be sold off to new producers and finally, we’ll see not only Thanksgiving but features based on Don’t and possibly even Werewolf Women of the S.S.

But I dream…

Until we get the full-length feature flick of Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, we can always look back on the comments he made to Rolling Stone way back in April of 2007, in which he talked a bit about the Pilgrim’s backstory.

“My friend Jeff… we had the whole movie worked out,” Roth told the magazine. “A kid who’s in love with a turkey and then his father killed it and then he killed his family and went away to a mental institution and came back and took revenge on the town.”

Jesus, please us. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the f*cking perfect setup/backstory for an 80’s slasher throwback flick set on Thanksgiving.

So ten years later, let me be the one to come right out and say it: Please, Eli Roth, make Thanksgiving. Please. Every horror fan in the world would thank you. Forever.

Sigh…

We’ll make sure to update this article in another ten years.

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Charles Manson Has Died: These Are the Victims of His Murderous Cult

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Sharon Tate

Yesterday brought the news that famed cult leader Charles Manson had passed away at the age of 83. He passed away from natural causes after spending the last 48 years in jail. While he was supposedly never present at any of the murders caused by his “family”, he was convicted of ordering the deaths of several people and sending his followers to commit the horrible acts.

But let us not dwell upon him anymore. Another psychopath passes on and we should continue about our lives. That being said, instead of discussing him any more, I think we need to take this time to say the names of the victims of Manson and his “family”:

Abigail Folger
Wojciech Frykowski
Gary Hinman
Leno LaBianca
Rosemary LaBianca
Steven Parent
Jay Sebring
Donald Shea
Sharon Tate

These people were each taken from this world too soon, robbed of their lives by those who wished to start a “Helter Skelter” race war. They had families. They were sons, daughters, wives, husbands, fathers, mothers… They were innocent people who were murdered by the worst of the worst.

Today, I do not mourn the death of Charles Manson. Rather, I mourn again the death of nine people who had yet to experience and offer all that life brings. I mourn the death of Sharon Tate’s unborn child, who never even got to breathe the same air we breathe now. I feel saddened by the devastating impact that these murders had upon their families, a pain still felt to this day.

Rest in peace to the victims of a man who wanted to incite war and cause divisiveness. May his passing bring you some semblance of peace. And may we forget his name as quickly as possible.

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This Valentine’s Day Experience the Death of Love

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On the hunt for a new comic and like a bit of humor with your horror? Then the upcoming Death of Love from Image Comics should be right up your alley! Dealing with a broken heart? Even better!

Writer Justin Jordan (The Family Trade, Spread) teams up with artist Donal DeLay (You are Not Alone, My Geek Family), colorist Omar Estévez (Heavy Metal Magazine, Batman ‘66), and letterer Rachel Deering (In the Dark, Vertigo Quarterly) for the least romantic Valentine’s comic ever: Death of Love.

“Love is funny. Chainsaws are funny. Love AND chainsaws, therefore, is gonna be super funny,” says Jordan. “Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to see Cupid torn apart in increasingly hilarious ways, this is definitely the comic for you.”

“I just want everyone to laugh the same way they would watching Army of Darkness or This Is the End,” added DeLay.

Issue #1 arrives on Valentine’s Day (February 14th) next year, and we have a preview of several pages to share below.

Synopsis:
Love sucks. And Philo Harris is going to do something about it.

After a particularly bad, drunken decision, Philo gains the ability to see the Cupidae, the creatures responsible for all the love in the world, and declares war on love itself. With a chainsaw.

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