Just yesterday we told you about a new horror film coming soon from AireScope Pictures, Leomax Entertainment and Anchor Bay called Grace. The story, about a pregnant woman who decides to carry her baby to term even though it died in a car accident, was intriguing enough to solidify my interest, so we tracked down writer/director Paul Solet and producer Adam Green, best known as the director of Hatchet and Spiral, to learn more about the movie.
”I first heard of the short film ‘Grace’ back at a Fango convention in 2006,” Green told us from the filming location, Regina, Saskatchewan. ”I was there to promote Hatchet and everyone kept telling me to go see this short. Even Eli Roth was making time for it, but I was just too busy with my Hatchet stuff to be able to step away. When I saw a kid walk by wearing a Baby Bjorn (those child carriers that keep the kid in front) with a dead baby doll in it, though, I knew I had to check it out.”
Green saw it and loved it, ”It had the sort of ending that leaves you wanting to see more,” so when he ran into the director, Paul Solet, at another horror con a few months later, the two got to talking. It turns out that the short was serving as a calling card, the first act in a feature film, the script for which Adam gave to his partners at ArieScope to look over. ”The full script took the concept even further and I was hooked,” he enthused.
At the same time, Anchor Bay was talking to ArieScope about getting more films together, so Grace was one of the first ones Green mentioned. ”They were apprehensive at first, as they were expecting more material like Hatchet, but with enough championing they came around.”
For his part, Solet feels like he was destined to direct, a goal he’s been working towards his whole life, and now that it’s all come together, he couldn’t be more excited. ”I wrote the script thee years ago and there’s been other interest in that time,” he told us, ”but I never got the feeling they would do it any justice, so I held off making a deal until I was confident I was working with people who were just as excited and passionate about making the film as I was.”
That’s just what he got with the ArieScope guys, as they allowed him the freedom to hand-pick his DP, Production Designer and any crew he felt was most important. ”I spent months going through demo reels and meeting with various professionals, but the ones I chose were the ones who felt right from the moment I met them, the ones that got it,” he continued. ”To make a good horror movie you have to be truly passionate and care about it and surround yourself with like-minded people. That’s the only way we’re going to take back the horror genre as I see it.”
Green is definitely one to get behind that sentiment, considering what he went through to see Hatchet made, so you really couldn’t ask for a better pairing. And even though he’s there to make sure everything runs smoothly, Green doesn’t seem worried at all that Solet can pull this off. ”He’s more together than most seasoned directors I’ve worked with, ” he beams. ”I actually thought about growing a mustache and becoming the Evil Producer who makes contradictory notes on a daily basis just to keep him on his toes, but I realized the joke would get old pretty quick!”
Those of you have seen the short, which has been playing film festivals and winning awards for a few years now, should know what to expect from the feature version. ”The short had to be a gut-punch to the audience,” Solet explained. ”We had to give them the basic idea and leave them wanting more. The film will be much more subtle than that, but will go into just as terrifying and thought provoking territory.
“I’ve always been a big fan of body horror,” he says of Grace’s origins, ”so I took the idea that it is medically possible to carry a baby to term even if it dies in the womb and asked the question, is a mother’s love, the uncanny bond between her and her child, enough to bring it back from the dead? And if so, how far would a mother go for that child?” It’s a truly unique concept, and just from my brief conversation with him, I have confidence that he’ll do it justice.
The casting of Jordan Ladd, best known for Cabin Fever and Grindhouse, may seem odd to some, but for Paul it was a no-brainer. ”Our first meeting for the movie took 4½ hours and my car almost got towed,” a good sign that she was right for the part from the outset. ”Jordan has the radiance and innate sympathy that is needed for what is going to be a challenging role,” he continued. ”I have every confidence that she is up to the challenge it presents her. It will definitely be the most dramatic role she’s done to date, and we’re both very excited to see how it comes out.”
Grace stars its month-long shoot in the wilds of Canada on Monday, the 21st, so expect to hear more about it very soon right here on Dread Central! Thanks to Adam and Paul for taking the time to talk with us!
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