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Eric England Talks Roadside and Indie Filmmaking

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If you happened to catch Contracted back in 2013 or the backwoods slasher Madison County a couple of years before that, then you’re already familiar with director Eric England’s work as a director – and you’re definitely watching too many horror movies.

The newly released Roadside (review), a fairly by-the-numbers thriller about a bickering couple held hostage by a mysterious woodsman on a remote road, has actually been waiting to get picked up for some time after completing its production a few years back. For anyone looking to make their own low-budget horror movie, some of the insights England gives below might help point you in the right direction.

DC: Roadside was originally going to come out before Contracted, correct? Did you make the decision to put it away for awhile or was it a mutual decision to get Contracted out there first?

EE: It was kind of just a stalemate with the movie. While we were finishing up Roadside we were looking for distribution and Contracted just kind of took off. The way it got made, the way it got finished, it sort of just took precedence. We were having issues with finding distribution for Roadside because, you know, it’s a small movie, it’s a unique concept and it didn’t have any stars. So, it was one of those movies where distributors were like, ‘How do we market this?’ So, we decided to let Contracted lead the way and allow that to open the door for Roadside.

Eric England

DC: To me, Roadside has more of a classic horror setup than Madison County or Contracted. Was it easier to get financial backing and a cast involved because Roadside has more of a straightforward plot?

EE: It was definitely easier to pitch and assemble, so to speak. We actually started shooting Roadside six months after we finished Madison County, so it came together really quickly. You take a movie like Phone Booth where it’s got Colin Farrell and Keifer Sutherland, it has two huge movie stars. This movie was kind of a test for Ace [Marrero] and Carrie [Stegeman] because this was their first starring role and, normally, if this was a three to five million dollar movie no one would hire me to direct it at 23 years-old. But we kind of all were looking to create opportunities for ourselves, so in that regard it was easy, but once we finished the movie we realized selling this type of movie is a lot harder than actually getting it made.

DC: You’ve definitely had a good run of getting your own films made and not being forced to do projects you’re not fully behind just to keep working. What are some of the reasons you’ve been able to stick to your guns while that may prove more difficult for others in the business?

EE: The simplest answer is the movies I’ve made so far have had such limited budgets that it’s been easier to make sure that I’m making movies that I truly want to make. It’s funny, Madison County and Roadside were both movies that I wanted to make at the time but they were movies that were almost made by committee. It was basically just my friends and I going out and shooting these movies and we were looking at each other like, ‘Hey, we like movies like this, what kind of resources do we have and what kind of stories can we tell?’ So it was almost filmmaking by default and Roadside was the last movie where I decided to make a movie like that. Now I’m trying to transition into making movies because that story should be told and that kind of started with Contracted. Contracted was the first movie that I ever made because I was truly truly into that story. I didn’t know if I had all the resources to make it happen but I wanted to make this movie. Now it’s like, ‘Hey this is the movie I want to make and how do I get it made?’ Now I have an agent and a manager and we’re kind of setting a path of the filmmaker I want to be.

DC: So you guys didn’t have much of a technical education, you just hit the ground running and just started shooting?

EE: Essentially, yeah, we all went to film school. My main producer, Daniel Dunn and I, that’s where we met was in film school. But in terms of actually making movies, no, not at all. I actually wrote a couple of screenplays before I wrote Madison County and Contracted was an idea I think I actually had before Roadside. We had this kind of menu of ideas that I had written down so Roadside followed Madison County in that Madison County was done all during the day. And some people didn’t like some of the characters so let’s do a movie that’s done completely at night and is really character driven. It was just kind like dipping our toes in the water, throwing rocks into the lake and seeing where the ripples go. So, in a weird way I almost consider Madison County and Roadside almost like short films that I was just experimenting with and we able to jump start our career. They’re by no means masterpieces but they’re signs of young filmmakers getting their sea legs under them.

Roadside is available now on DVD and Digital Download.

Ace Marrero, Katie Stegeman, and Lionel D. Carson star.

Synopsis:
Dan and Mindy Summers are on a road trip along a desolate mountain highway when Dan is forced to exit the SUV to remove a dead tree blocking their path. Before he can get back inside, he and Mindy find themselves held hostage on the side of the road, trapped in their car by a mysterious, unseen gunman. They must fight for their lives in a sadistic game of cat and mouse set against a backdrop of numbing cold, pitch darkness, and raw terror. Dripping with suspense until the very last frame, Roadside offers massive thrills and a unique concept reminiscent of the films of Hitchcock.

Roadside

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

halloween and germany

Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Jordan Peele Is Open to the Idea of Get Out Sequel

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Recently we shared the baffling news that this year, the Golden Globes were considering writer-director Jordan Peele’s psychological horror-thriller Get Out a comedy.

Hurm. While that bit of news still doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, today we have an update on Jordan Peele’s possible sequel Get Out 2. Which is always welcome.

Deadline was recently speaking with the filmmaker and Peele told them that although he still hasn’t cracked the sequel, if he comes up with a fresh spin he would have no problem revisiting the first film.

“I haven’t decided anything yet,” Peele told the site. “I am allowing the creative part to bubble up, and not force it. I know if a follow-up is meant to happen, it will. I’m open to figuring out what it is. But I also don’t want to let down the original and its fans. I simply would not do something like that for the cash.”

Good to hear!

I don’t know about you, but if Jordan Peele does decide to revisit the world of Get Out again in the future, I will be there. After reading these comments, I have faith the man will not return unless the story deserves it. Money be damned!

Unless… the sequel is called Sell Out… Ooohh. Snap. All jokes aside, in this world of sequels and remakes, it feels pretty damn good to hear a filmmaker talk this way.

What do you think of a Get Out sequel? Do you think the first film needs a continuation? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Get Out on Blu-ray HERE.

Synopsis:

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

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