Tribeca Film Festival 2019 Podcast Interview: Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella, and Brea Grant share all the gory and gorgeous details of ‘Something Else’.

Something Else Podcast

Something Else was one of the most unique selections in this year’s festival. Both a monster movie and a love story, the film’s deliberate structure is a standout all on its own. The writing is fresh and funny and the use of light makes it a joy to watch. There are brilliantly theatrical moments. I believe this film would actually translate incredibly well onstage! When you see it, you’ll know what I mean. It’s a complete compliment. I sat down with co-directors Christian Stella and Jeremy Gardner (who also stars and wrote the script) and star Brea Grant to chat all things Something Else. How did the script come about? What in the world were they thinking with certain choices? What did Brea think the first time she read the script?  We talk favorite movie monsters, and how the filmmakers of one of my favorite films The Endless, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, got on board. You can read my full review of Something Else here, but give a listen to the awesome time we all had together. Be warned, when I walked into the room, Christian, Jeremy, and Brea had all been in the super cool bathroom of our interview room at The Roxy Hotel taking a photo, and I’m disappointed in myself for not getting in on the selfie action on my way out the door. Also, when you hear us refer/talk to “Ted”, we’re actually talking to We Are Still Here and Mohawk filmmaker Ted Geoghegan who just so happened to be in our presence. No big deal. Anyhow, without further ado, here is our podcast talking all things Tribeca, monsters, and Something Else.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR(S)

Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella are the filmmakers behind the indie zombie film The Battery and survival comedy Tex Montana Will Survive! Lifelong friends, both directors were born and raised in Florida.

FILM INFO
  • Section:
    Midnight
  • Year:
    2019
  • Length:
    83 minutes
  • Language:
    English
  • Country:
  • Premiere:
    World
  • Connect:
CAST & CREDITS
  • Director:
    Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella
  • Producer:
    David Lawson Jr., Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Arvind Harinath
  • Screenwriter:
    Jeremy Gardner
  • Cinematographer:
    Christian Stella
  • Editor:
    Christian Stella and Jeremy Gardner
  • Executive Producer:
    Venu Kunnappilly
  • Cast:
    Jeremy Gardner. Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski, Justin Benson, Ashley Song, Nicola Masciotra

Fantasia International Film Festival review: ‘THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW’ takes its place among the classics.

The Witch in the Window has a classic ghost story feel. Anchored by a local legend, the film’s uniqueness is amped up by the fact that the locals can also see the ghost in question. With all of the usual tropes in place, The Witch in the Window uses humor to keep the peace in a genuine way between father and son until the subtle scares become huge ones… in broad daylight. That’s the key to this film. Much like Ted Geoghegan‘s We Are Still Here, it’s the daylight scares that make The Witch in the Window so powerful. While Geoghagan’s makeup FX are beyond compare, this film’s in your face close-ups are what grab you. I literally shouted, “OH!” as I was not expecting to be yelled at from the screen. You absolutely feel like you are in that house. Alex Draper and Charlie Tacker are outstanding together onscreen. Their father/son chemistry is extraordinary. Writer/Director/Composer/Editor (and clearly all around badass) Andy Mitton‘s storyline may also be taking a page from David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS. To say much more would take away from the viewer’s experience. It is a solid film that should garner its rightful place in ghost story cult catalog. 

Check out the awesome trailer below.

Fantasia International Film Festival closes tonight, but we will keep you updated on all of the release dates for films that screened at the fest!

Divorced dad Simon (Alex Draper) brings his 12-year-old son, Finn (Charlie Tacker) out to Vermont to help him renovate an old house he recently purchased. Used to the speed of New York City, Finn has an impossible time slowing down to a smalltown pace, and he’s disappointed before even getting there. So is Simon (“I guess I was hoping I would catch you on the 12 side of 12, instead of the 13 side of 12”). Afflicted with a rare medical condition in which there’s a literal hole in his heart, Simon, ever resourceful, does what he can to make things good as he and his son attempt to repair what’s broken. Soon, a series of nonsensically terrifying happenings occur, nightmarish and incomprehensible. It becomes clear that they aren’t alone in the house. That there is more work to be done than either could be capable of grasping. That death is a partially living state. And that they are in a very special kind of danger.

Review: ‘SUN CHOKE’, is a mind melding thriller. In Theaters and on VOD.

SC-Poster-04Nothing makes me happier while watching a film than thinking I’m watching one story and then getting hit with a proverbial 2×4 in plot. It’s a ballsy move that either pays off or loses the audience. In Ben Cresciman‘s sophomore feature as both writer and director, a young woman’s health and sanity are in serious question. With the watchful eye from her lifelong caretaker, can she conquer what lies deep down. Welcome to the oddity that is SUN CHOKE.

Sarah Hagan as Janie in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Sarah Hagan as Janie in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

This is was truly unexpected and shocking thriller. As the story unravels, we are privy to piecemeal information. Margo has a past, but what it entails is shrouded in mystery. It is PTSD? Why is she under house arrest? Irma is her 24hr watcher, mental health guidance, using extreme tactics to cleanse her body and soul of whatever is haunting Margo. When she is allowed to exit the house after a year, things get weird as Margo attaches herself to  a stranger. Will this woman be Margo’s saving grace or is there something else driving the fascination?

(L-R) Sarah Hagan as Janie and Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

(L-R) Sarah Hagan as Janie and Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

This script takes a sharp left turn and to Crescimun’s credit as a writer, it is pretty out there. While the film has left me with more questions than answers, that is precisely why I enjoyed it so immensely. It bares zero resemblance to anything I’ve seen before. With a crisp, almost sterile, and yet angelic look from Mathew Rudenberg’s cinematography, combined with the chilling original score from Boom Bip, to the  off kilter sound design by Michael Solano, SUN CHOKE will make your skin crawl.

Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Barbara Crampton as Irma in the thriller film SUN CHOKE an XLrator Media release. Photo courtesy of XLrator Media.

Sarah Hagan, you I know best from her time of Freaks and Geeks, and the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is a beautiful mixture of helpless and frightening.  With a pretty face and a soft demeanor, her actions throughout the film throw your head into a tailspin. And let’s talk about horror goddess, Barbara Crampton, as Irma. Similar to the character of Margo, the audience is unsure of her intentions. Her timeless elegance and style make her a scene-stealer with what seems like very little effort. I cannot express how wonderful she is in this role. If you want to see the pure acting ability and witness her chops as an actor and chameleon, check her out in one of my favorite films from last year, We Are Still Here, from our friend Ted Geoghegan. I am convinced she is a Time Lord or something akin to a magical creature.

 SUN CHOKE
IN THEATERS: August 5, 2016
AVAILABLE ON VOD and iTUNES: August 2, 2016
DIRECTOR: Ben Cresciman
WRITER:  Ben Cresciman
CAST: Sarah Hagan, Sara Malakul Lane and Barbara Crampton
SYNOPSIS: As Janie recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie’s buried demons begin to surface.

 

Liz’s Review: Vengeance and Religion drive the fight in ‘REDEEMER’

Redeemer posterGuilt is a loud devil on your shoulder. The past can drive you mad or drive you to change… sometimes a little bit of both. In Ernesto Diaz Espinoza‘s new film REDEEMER, a man known only by this title is a mysterious figure, righting wrongs among his small Chilean community. Tortured by an unthinkable past that is slowly revealed as the film progresses, The Redeemer must conquer his own ghosts in order to battle the biggest evil he has ever known. Can he protect those left behind? redeemer 2Marko Zaror, martial arts action star extraordinaire, takes on the lead with ease and ownership. Not only is his acting pretty damn stellar, he is also the fight coordinator for the film’s vast array of sequences that are enhanced by key moments of slow motion. These sequences are extremely long and well shot. It was mostly refreshing to see an organic quality about the battles. They are interesting and definitely full of surprises. My favorite aspect would definitely be the use of graphic blood splatter. Reading like a first person shooter game, the blood use is colorful, impactful, and sometimes just over-the-top enough to make you cringe at the perfect moments. redeemer 1The dialogue is creative and comic relief comes in the form of our only English speaking character, drug lord Bradock, Noah Segan, who I recognized from Deadgirl, is so natural in his comedy it should be against the law.  He was actually my favorite part of the film. Segan has 8 projects this year alone, including Tales of Halloween with Lin Shaye (Insidious) and Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga), as well as The Mind’s Eye with Larry Fessenden (We Are Still Here). This guy is around for the long hall. Bottom line, if you liked Netflix’s Daredevil season 1, Redeemer will resonate with you. While it could be about 10-15 minutes tighter, due to the extended fight scenes, this film is definitely worth a shot.

Acclaimed Chilean director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza (Mandrill, The ABCs of Death, Kiltro) teams up again with martial arts action star Marko Zaror (Undisputed III, Machete Kills) in the theatrical and VOD release of REDEEMER. The epic action film, which made its debut at the 2014 Fantastic Film Festival, hits theaters and VOD on June 12 from Dark Sky Films.

Review: A ghost story that won’t let the past die in ‘We Are Still Here’

We Are Still Here posterIn the new haunted house horror We Are Still Here, Anne and Paul Sacchetti move to a small New England town to make a fresh start following the death of son Bobby.  Anne believes that Bobby’s spirit is in the house reassuring her that everything is hunky dory. After she and Paul enlist their new age friends Jacob and May to visit and ease their minds, they realize something much older is lurking and poised to rear it’s ugly head. The past does not want to stay in the past.We Are Still Here house stillRight off the bat, the camera work displays an “I’m not alone” feeling with handheld, over the shoulder and around the corner shots that set the tone for the entirety of the film. Establishing shots of each room and the snow covered acres surrounding the property itself, give you a definitely isolated sense. 10 minutes in, our first real set up moment, an object from the past and a blink-and-you-miss-it jump scare of classic proportion. Not bad, not bad at all. Writer/Director Ted Geoghegan, clearly with a crush on the classics good and bad, knows his stuff. The story moves along at lightening pace, laying out a small town’s history mired with sadness, rumors, and evil. We Are Still Here pays homage to films like Amityville and Poltergeist. Films with an unshakable past that seem to be well known by the locals and end up terrorizing the newbies. The practical effects are gold and vomit inducing for sure, but the use of the seamless CG takes the film to another level. We Are Still Here still Lisa and LarryFlawlessly held together with a stellar cast of genre greats, We Are Still Here is an instant classic. Barbara Crampton‘s Anne is grounded, loving, and searching for comfort. Andrew Sensenig‘s portrayal of Paul is as masculine and protective as you can get, without losing that caring husband edge. Larry Fessenden as Jacob is funny and vivacious. Lisa Marie plays May with an airy realness of someone who is actually a sensitive. The four leads work so well with one another, I cannot imagine a different cast. Fun Fact: Both Barbara and Larry recently appeared in the 2011 horror/thriller You’re Next (Another film I would recommend). The music is quiet and looming like that of a small wind chime, and truly adds the the eerie factor. The color scheme of the surrounding dank New England winter (one I grew up with myself) makes the eventual appearance of bright red blood all the more visually impactful. The set dressing is top notch. The house appears untouched since the film’s set 1979 date. Old houses creek, we all know this to be true, but the timing of the sound editing ramps up the natural inclination that maybe you shouldn’t hang out long in a dusty old basement. We Are Still Here Barbara CramptonA few obvious takeaways from this movie: 1. Don’t trust your creepy neighbors, 2. Shit starts flying off the walls you should just assume the worst, and 3. Don’t ever, ever mess with the dead. There are 1000 more things I could praise about this film, thing is, I really  just want you to go see it for yourselves! We Are Still Here arrives in theaters and on VOD today, June 5th. Go get your spooky on.

Check out the hauntingly cool poster for ‘We Are Still Here’ in Theaters & VOD June 5th

Poster.WASHTheatricalHot off the heels of a hugely successful festival run, Dark Sky Films is proud to announce the theatrical and VOD release of Ted Geoghegan’s directorial debut, WE ARE STILL HERE.  Featuring a dream cast of genre film veterans, WE ARE STILL HERE hits theaters and VOD on June 5, 2015.

After the death of their college age son, Anne and Paul Sacchetti (Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig) relocate to the snowswept New England hamlet of Aylesbury, a sleepy village where all is most certainly not as it seems. When strange sounds and eerie feelings convince Anne that her son’s spirit is still with them, they invite an eccentric, New Age couple (Larry Fessenden and Lisa Marie) to help them get to the bottom of the mystery.

They discover that not only are the house’s first residents, the vengeful Dagmar family, still there – but so is an ancient power. A primal darkness slumbers under the old home, waking up every thirty years and demanding the fresh blood of a new family.

An altogether new take on the haunted house genre that deftly mixes human drama and comedy, WE ARE STILL HERE is a couple’s terrifying journey through darkness and loss set against the freezing New England winter.

WE ARE STILL HERE 
Directed by Ted Geoghegan

Produced by Travis Stevens, Greg Newman, Malik B. Ali, Badie Ali, Hamza Ali 

Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, 

Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham   

TRT: 84 minutes
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Horror
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING… 
“genre fans with a sense of history should make this entertaining chiller a sought-after item for midnight slots” – VARIETY

 “The spirit of horror maestro Lucio Fulci is alive and well in Ted Geoghegan’s wildly entertaining haunted house thriller..” – INDIEWIRE

 “Geoghegan establishes what seems to be a simple haunted house set-up but adds complications which make the outcome less predictable.” – SCREEN INTERNATIONAL 

“We Are Still Here works on multiple levels; new horror fans will enjoy the thrills and chills, while experienced horror nuts will delight in the clever twists on an old formula. It doesn’t shy away from more extreme imagery, but its true intention is to unsettle and surprise, which it does quite well.” – FANDANGO

“A Refreshing Yet Disturbing Thriller” – TWITCH FILM