Exclusive: Joe Begos and Josh Ethier Talk Almost Human - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Joe Begos and Josh Ethier Talk Almost Human

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Almost Human Hits VOD; Read the Review!For their first feature, Almost Human (review), director Joe Begos and actor/editor Josh Ethier have put together an ambitious, effects-heavy alien abduction story that’s as unrelenting as it is exuberant.

An intense ride that shows the love for the Eighties era, Almost Human is a standout first entry for Joe and his crew. Now, through IFC Midnight, the film is enjoying a limited theatrical run and is also available on VOD.

DC: I know House of the Devil, the Ti West film, did a limited VHS run, but there are very few films that get a chance to do it and where it actually makes sense to put it out. Is the VHS of Almost Human just going to be a limited run, or will any copies be for sale? Or are you just handing them out at screenings?

JB: I actually made a hundred of them and I know that they’re giving out about half of them, and then some of them will be with press stuff. So I think they’re going to slowly trickle their way out there. It’s definitely a giveaway and publicity thing only. So they’ll be hard to track down since they’re not for sale. which I think is kind of cool, ya know?

DC: How much credit does Stephen King deserve for getting you guys into horror, and when did you make your first short?

JB: For me, the thing with Stephen King is, with his books and his movies, when I would watch them as a younger kid, I could identify with them because they felt so much like home. It felt like the town that I lived in. Those movies were much more scary because I felt like they could happen at any time. Silver Bullet felt like it was shot in my town, and Pet Sematary seemed like it could’ve taken place ten minutes up the road. I just had a much bigger connection to those movies because of that.

And our first short… I started making stuff when I was around twelve or thirteen and I probably met Josh a year or so later and he joined in pretty quick on that front.

DC: Yeah, I’ve seen Bad Moon Rising; was that the first thing that you guys worked on together?

JB: Yeah, that was only made for a few hundred bucks in our living room. We shot the whole thing in our apartment. We always wanted to be shooting and making something, and I would get so bored with the locations that I had. So I try to make the coolest thing that I can. It’s like, all right, I’ve got a few hundred bucks and an apartment, how could I make a werewolf movie? A couple friends of ours saw it and tried to get it in the hands of some festival directors. Then FEARnet asked us if they could license it. It was something that we didn’t think any more than a dozen people were going to see it. We just wanted to try out some new techniques and some new equipment that we had, and then, all of a sudden, it’s playing in different countries and different festivals. It was pretty bizarre.

DC: So you definitely would say that Bad Moon Rising helped get Almost Human made? Did you start with shorts because it made more sense to do something smaller to hone your skills, or do you have a passion for short film? I’ve always thought to make a feature if you can because it has more of a chance of getting out there and having success.

JB: We started when we were thirteen or fourteen so shorts just seemed like the most obvious thing, just to kind of cut our teeth on it. We always wanted to make a feature, it was just figuring out when the time was right. With Bad Moon Rising, the way that it helped make the feature is when we went to these festivals, people had features that cost a couple hundred grand that were on the same technical level as our short. And these people were profiting on these movies so that’s when we thought, “We gotta make a movie.” People always say they got money and then it’s just a waiting game so we just looked at how much we had in our credit line and how much we had in the bank and decided to go and start this. We pretty much self-financed it until it was in the can, and then we started cutting it and using the pieces we weren’t cutting to raise additional money to take us to post. We literally had twenty dollars in the movie account when we wrapped shooting. Because we had made so many shorts, it helped us overcome a lot of the problems in making such a do-it-yourself movie like this.

DC: Yeah, I think you guys only shot for about three weeks so obviously you needed that experience to get all the work done. Is there something you weren’t able to do on set that you didn’t have time for? You’ve spoken of a sequel, but is it more likely you’d move on to something else?

JB: I do definitely want to do a sequel at some point, but I don’t want it to be my next movie. I had just written in so much action and set pieces and effects that by the time we were actually shooting, there was a lot of it that I literally didn’t have time to pull off. Every time there’s a neck snap in the movie, there was supposed to be a much more complicated kill there, but we just didn’t have time so we just went with the neck snap and hurried up and moved on. It was mostly stuff like that, but as a whole the movie is pretty much there.

DC: Josh, so you were pretty much the one breaking necks the entire time. Was acting something you kind of fell into through editing, and was it difficult to edit yourself and all those neck breaks and be objective about your performance?

JE: Well, when we started making films in high school, I was the only person that was as one hundred percent available as Joe. So I would naturally end up in front of the camera and then behind the computer when we were editing. I got really used to Joe telling me, “Okay, fall down really hard” or “Throw that over here.” When we went to go make the movie, we weren’t going to be able to get the kind of cast that we’d normally love to work with. So he wrote it based on the idea that I could just be an incredibly large, physical presence in the movie. Then, on set, that actually felt like home standing with an axe or a knife and walking towards the camera and walking through the woods at night. We’ve been doing this stuff since we were kids. In editing we actually toned down a lot of my performance because we realized that just silence was absolutely better. Most of the film is just looks and glares and feral action. It wasn’t hard to objectively edit myself just because Joe’s constantly in the room. Of all the directors I’ve worked with, Joe is the most present in the editing room just because that’s how we’ve always worked together.

Almost Human is now available on Video On Demand and is also playing at IFC in New York City.

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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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