In Part 1 of our recent interview with Slash about his new film, The Hell Within, we focused mostly on some general information about the project and promised we’d be back with more details. Well, here we are with Part 2 of our chat from the just concluded San Diego Comic-Con so strap in to hear from the iconic musician turned producer about whom he’s working with, what kind of effects we can expect, and a lot more.
We asked Slash how he hooked up with Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train), who wrote the script for The Hell Within. “Jeff Buhler… he’s a fucking great writer. I was getting so many scripts coming in after Nothing Left to Fear. It’s hard not getting jaded. This applies to the music industry too; like right now I’m in the process of looking for opening bands for the next leg of my tour so I’m just inundated with CDs and links to other bands. After about 10 minutes you start to lose all faith and hope in the industry,” Slash jokes.
“Anyway, I got this script a few months ago, and I was astonished at how well written it was. Jeff knows how to put together a whole story that doesn’t take off on tangents… he’s very concise with his first, second, and third acts. Even better, he had already worked with the director [Dennison Ramalho] previously, and that made things a lot easier. I was like, ‘I want to be a part of this team to tell this story.'”
“Then, when I met Ramalho, he turned me on to some really cool stuff that he was into, like the Coffin Joe films. It’s good that he and Jeff were already working together when I came on board. It enabled the wheels to start turning a lot faster than they normally would have.”
On The Hell Within’s FanBacked page, Slash says, “I love creepy, haunting stuff,” so we asked if fans will find psychological horror in the film. “When it comes to horror movies, at the end of the day, they’re all psychological. With this film we wanted to give the audience enough room to think for themselves. To get really creeped out. We wanted to make a movie that will get under the viewer’s skin without having to see a lot of shock value things like people being tortured to death. Movies are resting a bit too much nowadays on that kind of thing, and I was really into bringing a story to the screen that can affect the viewer in a cerebral manner. Something that will engage the audience to take the twists and the turns. That’s where the psychological aspect of the film comes in. That’s what it does.”
“We do have a pretty cool monster in the film too,” Slash adds. “I’m a HUGE creature feature guy so coupling that with other aspects of the film makes things really interesting. The effects on the film will be mostly practical. I’m working with Greg Nicotero on a lot of the effects work. I also have a guy that I’ve known for a long time, since the Nineties actually, Joey Orosco. He worked on things like The Lost World: Jurassic Park so he’s doing all the moldings and the maquette for the creature. I couldn’t be more excited about working with both of them.”
Will he be doing the score and soundtrack himself, we wondered? “In terms of the score, that really is the director’s job to help create what it should be,” he says. “The music has to fit the director’s vision. Ramalho has some musical ideas, and I’ll be involved every step of the way all the way through. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m gonna perform it, or write all of it… I mean, I can write a lot of stuff, but I cannot orchestrate it. I do like to write stuff and try to take it to wherever the musical texture of the movie is going to be and figure out how to execute it.”
Sound is so important in a horror film… Has he started to work on the sound design yet? “The Hell Within has the kind of setting with a lot of dynamics. It’s very ominous so the background music for that has to be fitting… it has to be haunting.” He elaborates, “It has to be melodic, but not so much that it corrupts the film’s presence and darkness. I really have to find the right person to work with in terms of sound design. Score and sound design is the most important thing in a horror movie. You can take a famous horror movie and change its sound, and you’ll end up completely changing the whole dynamic of both the scare and the film. Like imagine Halloween without its score.”
Finally, we asked Slash what horror fans can expect from The Hell Within. What he says is music to our ears: “What I’m trying to do with SlashFiction [his production company] is create a destination where you can expect a certain thing from the movies under the banner. We want to make really great horror movies. Movies that are scary because of where it’s going. Films which let people use their imaginations because sometimes the less you see, and the more you have to rely on your imagination, the scarier it is. Movies in which you cannot see or predict what’s happening next. Movies that are dark enough or horrific enough to make your skin crawl. That’s what I want people to come looking for.”
As mentioned above, Slash and his current band, SLASH Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, are hitting the road later this year. Right now only three dates have been announced, but there are more to come so keep your eyes on SlashOnline.com.
Sep 18 – Oak Ridge Park – Clark, NJ
Sep 1 – Food Truck and Rock Carnival 2015 – Clark, NJ
Oct 3 – Louder Than Life – Louisville, KY
In the meantime head over to The Hell Within FanBacked campaign to learn more and help out.
Our thanks to Slash for his time and to Morgan Ressa for coordinating the interview.
Marie and her husband, David, live a charmed life in Manhattan. He’s a successful environmental attorney, and she’s built an international aid organization that helps families in need across South America.
The only thing missing is a child.
When they start receiving disturbing phone calls from Teresa, a young girl in Brazil pleading for help, Marie can’t shake the feeling these calls are connected to her charity. She convinces David to travel with her to Rio to locate the missing girl, and soon a series of strange events and a shocking suicide lead them into the heart of the jungle.
Marie and David find themselves isolated in Seringal, a village overrun with drug runners and lost souls, steeped in ritual and superstition. And as David falls ill to a mysterious disease, Marie begins to realize that the missing child was only the beginning of “The Hell Within.”