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Exclusive: Gerard Johnstone Talks Housebound

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If you’ve been dreaming of a Kiwi terror take on The Sixth Sense as it meets Home Alone blended with Bad Ronald, then you’ve come to the right place. Writer-director Gerard Johnstone’s new feature Housebound (review) cleverly twists and shifts genres into a mysterious, hilarious Rubik’s Cube of haunted-house suspenser, whodunit and family comedy. But first and foremost, Housebound succeeds as a horror film – it’s got some great jump scares, a compelling plot-twisty mystery, and oh yes: plenty of gore.

What makes it succeed is Johnstone’s nearly flawless juggling act – he never allows the humor to overshadow the scares. The actors’ deadpan delivery of droll dialogue is delish, and the kills are quite wicked. We got a chance to ask Johnstone about his formula for success, and here’s what he had to say.

Dread Central: First of all, allow me to applaud you for successfully pulling off a movie that crosses so many genre lines – it’s a comedy, it’s horror, mystery, and a character-driven suspense film! Was this something you set out to do, or did the whole vibe come together organically as you were writing?

Gerard Johnstone Housebound

Gerard Johnstone: Thanks! I wish it came together organically. It was definitely a case of biting off more than I could chew, trying to blend those genres with multiple plot twists, fun fights, gory deaths, big reveals, all the stuff that makes you excited about going to the movies in the first place.

DC: Your casting is spot-on. How’d you snag your leads? Were they all on board in advance, or did you have anyone come in at the last minute?

GJ: I’d seen Morgana in a few things and knew she’d be great. Rima was on a sketch comedy show in the 90s but hadn’t been in anything in years; she just turned up to audition. She’s indicative of the sad state of the NZ screen industry, she was basically like a Kristen Wiig in her day, but there’s never been enough work for her. I’m super proud of her performance in the film. Glen-Paul Waru and Ryan Lampp were good mates of mine. Millen Baird is someone I’d been wanting to work with for a long time. He’s sort of like NZ’s answer to Will Ferrell. (I’m assuming these “Saturday Night Live” references are useful.)

DC: Oh, yes. Thanks for that. Now let’s see if you can incorporate “SNL” into your next answer… Please describe a good death scene or moment of horror, and then tell us something about what it was like to shoot.

JG: Well, we have a big moment where our two leads get covered in blood. I had the death scene in mind early on and then worked backwards to figure out how to earn it in the narrative, but it was pretty tenuous; it really was just an excuse to paint the walls red. Problem was, on our tiny budget and schedule, we only had time to do it once, and I’d never done anything in less than eight takes for the entire movie. But I think the good Lord Jesus is actually a huge fan of splatter and we were totally blessed with that shot. I couldn’t have crafted the blood spray on Morgana and Rima’s face better if I’d done it by hand.

DC: What’s your next film project going to be like? If you can’t say, then what are some of your goals – stay in the horror playground, or do you want to do other things?

JG: I have to come clean: I had no intention of becoming a horror filmmaker before I wrote Housebound. But I’ve always been a big fan of the genre, and I studied very hard in preparation to make a horror, so I really do feel part of the fraternity now. The next project I have lined up is in the horror spectrum, but more towards the adventure/thriller end. After that it might be a sports biopic.

Directed by Gerard Johnstone, the film stars Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Millen Baird, Ross Harper, Bruce Hopkins, Ryan Lampp, Ian Mune, and Wallace Chapman.

Housebound Release Details
XLrator Media is handling US distribution of the horror-comedy HOUSEBOUND and will release the film October 17, 2014, on its acclaimed “MACABRE” genre label in theatres and on VOD and iTunes.

HOUSEBOUND is Gerard Johnstone’s feature film debut. It was produced by Luke Sharpe for Semi-Professional Pictures; executive produced by Ant Timpson, Daniel Story, and Chris Lambert; and funded by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Synopsis
Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there with her mother, Miriam – a well-intentioned blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. Kylie dismisses Miriam’s superstitions as nothing more than a distraction from a life occupied by boiled vegetables and small town gossip. However, when she, too, becomes privy to unsettling whispers and strange bumps in the night, she begins to wonder whether she’s inherited her mother’s overactive imagination or if the house is in fact possessed by a hostile spirit who’s not particularly thrilled about her return.

Housebound

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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