Helmed by genre stalwart Shane Carruth, the creator of Primer and Upstream Color, THE DEAD CENTER is a unique tale of existential terror that explores the demons that live inside of all of us. The film feature an exceptional supporting performances from Jeremy Childs who we managed to is the latest star to give us his Horror Favourites.
When a very dead suicide victim (Jeremy Childs, Preacher, Nashville) disappears from the morgue, it sets in motion a chain of events that has the power to immolate everything, and everyone, it touches.
Troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth, Primer, Upstream Color) is drawn to help a mysterious patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward in a catatonic state with no memory of how he reached the hospital. As if to exorcise his own demons, the doctor feverishly tries to break through to his mysterious patient. But as a spate of mysterious deaths shake the ward to its core, Forrester comes to suspect that there is more to his new ward than meets the eye. As he comes to realise what he’s unleashed, a desperate race against the forces of evil threatens to swallow him whole.
We asked the brilliant Jeremy Childs to pick his favorite horror film and this is what he said; “For someone who is legitimately a fan of the horror genre to pick one film then place it on a pedestal and thus say, “This is my favorite” is really too much to expect. So, I’ll do my very best at picking one movie per my favorite sub genres and assume you’ll be cool with that.”
Obviously we are and below is Jeremy Childs amazing horror movie rundown:
“1.) Haunted House/Ghost – I realize these are very different sub genres but it’s really, really hard to have a haunted house picture without a ghost and my favorite ghost pictures always have a haunted house..so, I’ll go ahead and kill two birds with one stone here. (I’m probably going to use a lot of killing metaphors and or dark similes for the purpose, texture and over all haunting effect of my little list here. So, brace…) My favorite-THE SHINING-Classic gets thrown around too much, especially in this genre. I love Sleep Away Camp for instance but is it really a classic? But what Kubrick created, even against King’s protests, is a classic that bounds past it’s genre roots and into cinema at large. It’s one of the few films that is just as engaging to me today as when I first saw it. For the the record I’m a much bigger fan of Stephen King than Stanley Kubrick but what can I say? This is close to perfect. Honorable Mention *) Burnt Offerings-It may not have aged as well as many but it did singlehandedly come up with about half of the haunted house tropes that are still in cinematic use today. *)The Others – Full of pathos, wit and one of the best endings in the genre. I dig it.
2.) Slasher- Yes, the most confusing sub genre of all. What are the tenants of a true slasher movie? What was the first slasher movie, Psycho, Black Christmas something by Bava or Argento? I DON’T CARE. I like the original Halloween the best. As a film nerd and as somebody in this industry, it speaks to me on many levels. It started an industry as a small independent feature and is still strong to this day. Carpenter plucked a nightmare from our collective consciousness and gave us a way to battle the bad guy in the dark without getting hurt. I still watch it every fall and fall in love Jamie Lee all over again. Honorable Mention *) Black Christmas – Personally I think this is the film that started the slasher craze and it’s pretty hard to beat. If Bob Clark’s (DIRECTOR) yuletide massacre is too raw and brutal for you then check out his other holiday classic A Christmas Story. I also read somewhere that Elvis used to watch Black Christmas every year. So, if the king liked it…
3.) Possession – This is the sub genre that scares me the most. Scares me in a way that I don’t often like to be scared. I’m sure we can blame that on my roots but none the less… The scariest film I have ever seen in any sub genre and in my life is The Exorcist. The first time I saw it was when I was 17. I watched it with some buddies of mine. The lights were on. We mocked the film ala mystery science theatre. It didn’t matter though. I was horrified. That was also my discovery of William Friedkin who is now one of my favorite directors. The French Connection and Sorcerer rank as two of my favorite all time films. I read an interview with him where he said, and I am paraphrasing, that he didn’t see The Exorcist as a horror movie but a love story between a mother and a daughter. The relationships seem so real, almost like you’re watching a documentary. That’s the key right? Certainly as an actor that is what I most want to accomplish. You introduce characters that everyone believes are real. You get the audience to trust you and once you do that you can take them anywhere. Honorable Mention *) The Omen and The Omen 2 . These were great movies with great stories and actors from the golden age of Hollywood showing the world they still had the chops. You get a real sense that this film wasn’t necessarily trying to fit into a genre just tell us a story about how the devil’s son takes over the world. It practically makes itself.
4.) Psychological Horror – I understand this can get into slasher territory pretty easily but since I admit that freely I’m hoping you give me a pass here and there and where I need one. My favorite is Psycho -If you really start breaking things down Hitchcock more or less creates two or three different sub genres with this one picture. Nearly sixty years later and in black and white (his choice) the film is almost as effective today as it was on it’s release. There are mountains of books and documentaries about this film and it’s effect on cinema at large. Anyone who respects it like I do already knows anything I have to say about it. Honorable Mention *) The Silence Of The Lambs I saw this for the first time in college and was blown away. Talk about anti-hero. I immediately got into the Thomas Harris books and sought out a copy of Man Hunter on VHS. Although I have enjoyed all the cinematic recounts of Hannibal Silence stands alone as a true American classic. *) Seven Unapologetic, unsettling, brutal and brilliant.
5.) Monster – At first I was going to break down this sub genre into sub sub genres so I could write about all my favorite types of monsters – Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, etc. But in the end there’s a sandwich in the icebox that keeps calling my name so… Suffice it to say, this is my favorite sub genre and vampires are too. When I was a little boy I watched Christopher Lee on a TV station in Colorado Springs Co. every Friday night. The show was called Shock Theatre and they played all these old Hammer Horror and American Independent films that were made long before I was born. I was ten or eleven when I decided I wanted to be an actor and it was largely due to the power I recognized, even at that age, in the performances of Christopher Lee. I guess The Horror Of Dracula is my favorite but I love them all. I’ve had about every incarnation of the Hammer filmography starting with the Anchor Bay VHS’s and most recently from Shout Factory and VOD. The original one sheets from the Dracula films and a couple of the Frankensteins hang on my walls. I really love physical media and feel like Shout Factory, Kino Lorber, The Criterion Collection and Arrow Video, who have my film The Dead Center, take special pride in theirs.
Here are a few of my all time favorite movies that come from this sub genre. Alien, Jaws, The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Carrie, Night Of The Living Dead, Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, The Valley of Gwangi, Steve McQueen’s The Blob, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Predator, Godzilla and King Kong 1933 and 2005. There are many many more that I adore but these are the ones I come back to year after year. I could write an essay about each but every now and then we all have a sandwich calling our names from the ice box, whether it be literal or metaphoric, and mines really hollering at me now.”
THE DEAD CENTER is released in UK cinemas and on 4K Digital HD FROM THIS FRIDAY. Pre-order on iTunes here: http://bit.ly/DeadCenter_UK
THE DEAD CENTER will also be available to buy on DVD & Blu-ray from October 21. Pre-order now at: http://bit.ly/DEADCENTER