Exclusive Interview with DON’T TELL A SOUL Writer/Director Alex McAulay + Virtual Screening and Q&A TOMORROW

Sometimes, good people do very bad things…

Look for the intense, gut-wrenching psychological horror Don’t Tell a Soul on VOD beginning tomorrow (January 15th) from Lionsgate and Saban Films.

While stealing money to help their sick mother (Mena Suvari), teen brothers Matt and Joey (Fionn Whitehead and Jack Dylan Grazer) are surprised by Hamby (Primetime Emmy Award nominee Rainn Wilson), a security officer who gives chase and is then trapped in a well. Over the next few days, Joey and Hamby forge an uneasy relationship. Hamby tells Joey he’ll keep quiet if Joey sets him free. But Hamby holds another secret, one that will threaten Joey and his family, in this twist-filled, cat-and-mouse thriller written and directed by Alex McAulay.

To celebrate the film’s release, Dread Central is hosting a FREE matinee screening of Don’t Tell a Soul next Friday, January 15th at 11:30 AM (PST). The screening will be followed immediately by a Q&A featuring the film’s director, Alex McAulay, and primary cast Fionn Whitehead, Jack Dylan Grazer (IT and IT: Chapter Two), and Rainn Wilson (House of 1000 Corpses, The Office).

While the screening is “sold out” the Q&A is free and opened to all! Find all the details by following the link below.

Related Article: FREE Screening of DON’T TELL A SOUL + Q&A with Rainn Wilson, Jack Dylan Grazer, Fionn Whitehead & Alex McAulay 1/15!

In advance of tomorrow’s event, we were lucky enough to score a sit-down with Don’t Tell a Soul writer/director Alex McAulay! Check out our full conversation below.

Dread Central: Where did the idea for Don’t Tell a Soul come from?

Alex McAulay: Many of the events in the movie come from real life, when I was growing up in Texas and Ohio. People actually did rob houses that were tented for termites. A kid fell and got stuck in a shaft in an abandoned auto factory for a day. One of my classmates accidentally shot one of his friends in the woods when he was 12. I wanted to create a dark and unsettling story, like a creepy fairytale, set where the American Midwest meets the South. We shot this movie an hour and a half away from where I went to high school. The feuding brothers at the center of the story were inspired by my dad and his older brother, who had a difficult relationship.

DC: Rainn Wilson is best known as a comic actor; was it difficult to direct him in such a serious role?

AM: Rainn is a tremendous actor with a wide range. We all know him from The Office, but my favorite role of his is in Super. I knew he’d be perfect for Don’t Tell A Soul. I asked him to think about Orson Welles in The Third Man as a reference. Rainn really nailed the role and didn’t need much coaching from me to deliver a strong performance. Great actors tend to have great voices—and he has a great voice.

Rainn Wilson

DC: Were you nervous about casting Rainn in such a serious role? Were you concerned that people would only see Dwight Schrute?

AM: From spending time with Rainn before the shoot and discussing the character, I realized we could steer audiences away from their expectations. It’s a lot of fun as a director to mess with people’s heads and get them to see an actor in a new light. I had that experience when I watched Uncut Gems and saw Adam Sandler’s performance. It adds another layer to the film.

DC: Fionn Whitehead and Jack Dylan Grazer have really intense, conflicting chemistry in Don’t Tell a Soul. What was it like working with the two of them?

AM: They’re both very sweet people despite the violence onscreen. I was lucky to have them in this movie. They established a convincing sibling dynamic, right from the start. They even look alike. Their relationship is filled with a lot of love in real life, and I think they remained friends. It was fun working with them. They’re going to have huge careers.

DC: Mena Suvari is kind of the X Factor in Don’t Tell a Soul, with the importance of her character becoming most apparent in the 3rd Act. Without giving anything away, can you talk a bit about what makes Mena’s character special and what it was like working with her?

AM: Mena is someone I really enjoy seeing onscreen. I realized I hadn’t seen her in a cool role in a while. I was honored when she agreed to be in this movie. Her character is dealing with a lot of grief, and is stricken with cancer—but has a strong inner core. Then there’s a whole other aspect to her that we don’t see at first. Some of my favorite scenes are just Mena and Jack sitting on a couch, talking.

DC: What’s the main thing you’d like people to know about Don’t Tell a Soul?

AM: It’s a dark thriller with a lot of twists. I hope you like it. The cast and crew worked really hard to make it happen.

DC: What are you working on next?

AM: A horror movie about an airplane pilot and a TV series about bank robbers.

Are you excited to check out Don’t Tell a Soul tomorrow? Will you be joining our virtual matinee and/or Q&A with the filmmaker and cast? Did you enjoy our exclusive conversation with Alex McAulay? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.



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