Interview: Dylan Minnette on Netflix’s The Open House, His Favorite Albums of 2017, and More
In 2015, the horror world was introduced to Dylan Minnette as a young adult in the form of Goosebumps. He’d previously been seen in Let Me In, “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour”, “Lost”, and “Supernatural”, but that film marked the beginning of his foray into horror as a young man and not a child. A charming adventure horror film based on the works of R.L. Stine, Minnette played the lead role of Zach, a young man who moved to a small town only to become caught up in a series of monster-filled events.
The following year, Minnette appeared in the critically acclaimed horror/thriller Don’t Breathe from Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez. A far more serious role, it was here that we saw Minnette pivot towards embracing horror. Now, Minnette stars as Logan Wallace in Netflix’s new horror/thriller The Open House (review).
In the film, Minnette’s character and his mother are beset upon by a threatening person who sneaks in during an open house and stays after the doors close. If this sounds up your alley, you can stream the film on Netflix.
I had the chance to catch up with Minnette to discuss this film as well as other plans he has in the works, including his band Wallows, who will be embarking on a North American tour starting this week (tour dates).
Head on down to read our chat!
Dread Central: You’re becoming quite the horror icon! While horror has been the launchpad for many actors in their careers, you’ve been a part of the genre for several years now. What draws you back to horror time and time again?
Dylan Minnette: The horror genre is my favorite genre to watch, and I think that some of the most underrated filmmaking happening right now is in horror. Whenever a sophisticated horror/thriller project comes my way I’m always quick to jump on it, and The Open House was no different.
DC: What was it about The Open House and Logan’s character that appealed to you?
DM: I think it’s the fact that I appreciate when a horror/thriller film can focus on its characters. The Open House very much plays as a character piece between Logan and Naomi. It’s a mother-son story at its core, and in my opinion, most of it plays as a drama. Because of the depth of it, I appreciated the script so much more.
DC: From what I can gather, The Open House marks the feature directorial debut of both Matt Angle and Suzanne Coote. What was it like working with them?
DM: I’ve known Matt and Suzanne for years, and always knew that they were both so talented and creative. They always had such amazing ideas as artists and filmmakers. When I read The Open House, I responded to it and I was eager to jump on board. Working with them just solidified all of that. Although they were first time directors, they were never any different than other veteran directors I’ve worked with. They have a complete knack for it and I know this is just the beginning of their exciting careers.
DC: Typically, directing duos are two males but The Open House features a male/female combination. Do you feel that resulted in a different approach to how the film was made?
DM: No, I really don’t. I don’t think there would necessarily be a difference between two men or a man and a woman, but for me it was all different because I had never worked with co-directors.
DC: Homes are meant to feel safe and comforting and with Don’t Breathe and now The Open House, it feels like you’re really trying to make people feel uncomfortable in their own dwellings! What’s the deal?
DM: I just like to make people feel uncomfortable, I guess. No, but really, when I saw the first cut of The Open House I knew that a platform like Netflix would be perfect because I thought the film would be most effective in the comfort of the viewer’s home. I’m happy people have a chance to watch it like that.
DC: Back when I visited the set of Don’t Breathe, I asked you about your band and you told me that it was going through a name change. What’s the story with your musical endeavors?
DM: Well, we are now called Wallows. We released four songs last year and are going to be releasing even more this year. We’re headed out on a North American winter tour this week starting in San Francisco and then making our way around North America. There’s lots to come for Wallows. I’m very excited.
DC: I know a lot of horror sites are asking people for their favorite horror films of 2017 but since I know you’re heavily involved with music, I’m curious what albums did you love that came out last year?
DM: Wow, that’s such a difficult question for me because there’s so much amazing music that came out last year. It’s hard for me to decide what my favorites are or in what order, but I’ll name some of my favorites!
Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator.
MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent.
Rocket by (Sandy) Alex G.
Everything Now by Arcade Fire.
Antisocialites by Alvvays.
The OOZ by King Kruel.
Capacity by Big Thief.
Dirty Projectors by Dirty Projectors.
Half-Light by Rostam.
DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar.
OK, well, there. That’s my top ten.
DC: After The Open House, what’s next for you?
DM: We just wrapped production on season two of 13 Reasons Why, so right now I’m just taking the time to focus on Wallows and getting the music out there. We’ve been working together as much as possible. We’ll see if something else comes along soon, but I’m not seeking anything right now.