The next installment of the “Dissecting Horror” digital panel series will take place Wednesday, February 17th at 6pm PST and be with the creative talent from Screen Media Films’ Willy’s Wonderland.
Willy’s Wonderland will be released on VOD February 12th, 2021. The cast includes Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas), Emily Tosta (Party of Five), Beth Grant (Donnie Darko), Caylee Cowan (Incision), Terayle Hill (Cobra Kai), David Sheftell (Family Guy), and Mark Gagliardi (Blood & Treasure).
A quiet loner (Cage) finds himself stranded in a remote town when his car breaks down. Unable to pay for the repairs he needs, he agrees to spend the night cleaning Willy’s Wonderland, an abandoned family fun center. But this wonderland has a dark secret that the “The Janitor” is about to discover. He soon finds himself trapped inside Willy’s and locked in an epic battle with the possessed animatronic mascots that roam the halls. To survive, he must fight his way through each of them.
Panelists include director Kevin Lewis, composer & voice of Willy Émoi, production designer Molly Coffee, and cast members Jessica Graves Davis (Siren Sara) and Emily Tosta (Liv Hawthorne).
Dread Central and Jordan von Netzer of Projection PR launched “Dissecting Horror” on April 15th with a panel focused on horror film scores. Since then, they have produced panels spotlighting stunt coordinators, visual/special effects and the creatives behind Followed, Cruiser, 12 Hour Shift, Don’t Look Back, Hunter Hunter and Parallel.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS:
Kevin Lewis (Director)
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Kevin’s early film efforts earned him a scholarship to the famed school of cinema at USC. While there he studied under with such established entertainment heavies as film directors John McTiernan and Renny Harlin and producer Lynda Obst. Kevin’s first feature film, The Method (starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Robert Forster and Natasha Gregson Wagner) was picked up for distribution by Showcase Entertainment at the Slamdance Film Festival. His movies have appeared in dozens of film festivals winning many awards, Over the past decade, Kevin has directed The Drop, Dark Heart, Downward Angel, and The Third Nail with esteemed actors, such as Chloe Grace Moretz, Charles S. Dutton, Jonathan Banks, John Savage, and Sean Young.
Émoi (Composer, voice of Willy)
Émoi is an American film composer, music producer, and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work on Willy’s Wonderland. Émoi began his career scoring short films, as well as various media content. The moniker Émoi (pronounced /e.mwa/) was chosen for its meaning, “to cause an emotional stir and great excitement”.
Molly Coffee (Production Designer)
Molly Coffee emerged as an award-winning filmmaker in the DIY stop-motion and puppet scene in Atlanta which segued pretty naturally into a career working in the art department on studio pictures. Molly has production designed tv shows such as IFC’s Brockmire and Stan Against Evil and feature films like the exciting upcoming Willy’s Wonderland. She also makes time to focus on her own films moving into story-telling with a focus on women and diversity. Molly’s lifelong dream is to hunt for Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest and you should email her with any sightings.
Emily Tosta (Liv Hawthorne)
Actress Emily Tosta can currently be seen as the female lead of the hit Freeform reboot series Party of Five that premiered in January 2020 from the original show’s co-creators Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser. The show follows the lives of the Acosta children, as they navigate their intertwined daily struggles after their parents are deported to Mexico. In addition, Emily heavily recurs on the hit FX series Mayans M.C. from creator Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy.”) Mayans will be returning for its third season March 16, 2021 at 10pm ET/PT on FX. Recently, Emily was cast in her first feature film, landing the female lead opposite Oscar winner Nicolas Cage in the genre thriller, Willy’s Wonderland (February 12, 2021). In the film, Emily plays the rebellious teen ‘Liv’ who joins Cage’s character ‘The Janitor’ in their bid to survive a hellish night trapped inside an abandoned family entertainment center populated by possessed animatronics.
Born in the Dominican Republic, and the daughter of a mixed Venezuelan mom and Dominican father, Emily is fast becoming one of most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood. She has been in the entertainment business since the age of seven, when she discovered her passion for acting, while also pursuing dancing and singing. At the age of twelve, Emily moved to Miami, FL with her mother to make her dreams of becoming a successful entertainer come true. After a couple of years of landing small acting and singing gigs, Emily and her mother decided it was time to take Hollywood by storm, and they have never looked back! Once in Los Angeles, Emily landed guest starring roles on such shows as “The Resident,” “Rosewood” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” but her big break came when she landed her role in “Mayans M.C.,” which brought national attention to her amazing acting abilities.
When Emily is not working, she devotes her time to philanthropic endeavors and supports causes that are important in the Latin community. She recently took part in the 2020 CELEBRATE IMMIGRANTS campaign and participates in NALIP. Emily also has her own charity, Karttos International that helps children in Venezuela that are in need of food and medical supplies. Additionally, she is also a supporter to PETA, The Thirst Project, Music for The Heart and St. Jude’s among others.
Emily resides in Los Angeles.
Jessica Graves Davis (Siren Sara)
Jessica Graves Davis is from Michigan, where she started dancing at the age of 3 and started a lifelong journey of dancing that would eventually land her in Los Angeles. Jessica has a B.F.A. in Dance from Western Michigan University, where she studied ballet, jazz, modern, and tap.
Jessica has danced and acted professionally for film, television, and the stage, including working with such artists as Jennifer Lopez, Conan O’Brien, and many more. She just completed working on the film Willy’s Wonderland with Nicolas Cage, in the role of Siren Sara, as both the voice of Sara and performing in the suit.
Jessica currently dances with The Honey Taps in LA. She has worked with many other dance companies in LA, including The Top Hats, and has danced in numerous productions at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Her love for horror movies began in her late teens, and to this day it’s one of her favorite genres to work in. Working on Willy’s Wonderland, with such an amazing team of people, has definitely been a career highlight.
A fun fact: Jessica was in acting class with the writer G.O. Parsons for years. In April 2016, she received an email with his Indiegogo campaign for Wally’s Wonderland, her husband Jeremy Daniel Davis agreed to come on and produce it, and the rest is history!
Are you excited to check out Willy’s Wonderland? Will you be joining our “Dissecting Horror” panel next Wednesday, February 17th at 6pm PST ? 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.