My esteemed associates, I am overjoyed that once again join me for Derek Easley’s 31 Nights of Nightmares! In this edition, I will review “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, which was my fiancée Megan’s movie pick of this review series (so she’ll guest review it with me) and then I’ll take a look at “Sinister 2” to see if the Boogeyman still has teeth. But first, I want to spend some time with a very talented actor/martial artist/stuntman/producer, Jin Kelley.
Jin has a great backstory of hitting the pavement, working a job on the Warner Bros. backlot and making connections and working his way up. He is a man with multiple fires on the burners, developing award-winning projects, and working with top talent, making him someone to keep an eye on. I acted and did some stunt work on a shoot of his where I was an infected scientist, and we got to mix it up in sci fi/horror/military action with an actor from the original “Point Break” and the star of “The Blind Side” (I got to kill big man Quinton Aaron!). Jin is ever-the professional, creative and efficient, and gets things done!
I was also privileged to help Jin cast some amazing cosplayers and actors for his “Nightmares” projects, and we did some fun promo work at the Monsterpalooza event. Jin was kind enough to come guest speak to my membership at the Long Beach Acting and Film Association meeting, dropping some knowledge about working hard and creating your own original content.
Welcome to my Den of Nightmares, Jin, now its time to hit you with my “13 Contemptible Questions!”
1. Jin, tell us about your background working in the horror industry.
I started out just working on short horror projects here and there. Everyone wants to do horror at some point. Eventually I started making my own horror projects and got to work with some icons of the genre. Kane Hodder, Kevin Grevioux, Lance Henriksen, Doug Jones, Lisa Wilcox, Clive Barker as well as a number of artists from SYFY’s Face Off. A lot of great talent. I was just happy to be there.
2. Why do you like the horror genre? Why do you think it’s endured so long for the fans?
I think horror is a universal story. I find that our minds naturally drift to what could be in the abyss type thinking when left alone. Horror seems to stick with people long after the movie ends. How many times have we freaked ourselves out over nothing. Horror is universal as well. A monster is a monster in every language.
3. Tell us more about your most recent project you were involved in.
I just finished working with Crypt TV, Eli Roth, and Traverse Media on the first live streamed horror film called “Stream”. Racked up over a million views in under 24 hours and it’s still climbing. Everyone involved was amazing to work with. I was really impressed with Crypt TV’s ability to push the social media as well as Traverse Media’s execution of the project. Great group of people to work with. You can view it on Crypt TV’s Facebook page.
4. Tell us a story about something that you saw or experienced on set or at an event that was gory, gruesome, or strange…
I was in the unique position working with Kane Hodder and Clive Barker. I thought it would be epic if we took Kane to Clive’s house to do a paranormal investigation as there have been numerous stories from the employees about paranormal happenings. Kane actually is one of the founders of the Hollywood Ghost Hunters, which is a professional paranormal investigations team. So myself, my crew, Kane Hodder and Rick McCallum went up to investigate. While we were there we had some strange happenings. Disembodied voices, strange feelings and urges, and someone in my crew became temporarily possessed. All this before the actual investigation.
5. Talk to us about the state of the horror industry today. How has it changed and where do you see it going?
Its interesting. Horror, like most genre projects always hits a wall with what technology was available. Remember when “X- Men” came out, it was basically the soonest that they were able to do those types of effects on screen. Now we have superhero franchises coming out every year. New mediums are being used to push the industry. We just did live horror, which hasn’t been done before on that scale. Also with the introduction of VR being more and more accessible we are now really getting into immersive horror. There’s even apps that use your phone to map out your location and project horror type creatures through your phone. Eventually I see entertainment as a whole heading towards the holodeck from Star Trek where you’ll be able to walk through the scene and watch the movie play out as if you’re really there.
6. Tell us a real-life ghost story, paranormal experience, or creepy happening that you have witnessed.
I’m a huge paranormal fan. I’ve heard disembodied voices on ghost hunts, even at one shooting location. Temperature drops, really odd equipment malfunctions, bizarre nightmares that seemed very real but the one experience I would say that stood out was my encounters with Shadow People. At first I had no idea what I was looking at. The first time I saw one i was walking back to my apartment a few years ago and i saw this black shadow person standing in an alleyway near a light. The light seemed to avoid it. It was like someone blew black smoke into a glass shaped person. It floated just above the ground. After a few moments (which seemed like forever) it drifted down the alley away from me. No steps, it didn’t run, it just floated down the alley and disappeared. It didn’t have a face but I felt it staring at me. Definitely the creepiest experience I’ve ever had.
7. What are you most afraid of?
I’m not trying to sound tough at all here but I’m not really afraid of anything. I used to be, of course, but I realized that whatever you encounter in life that will make you fearful is either going to kill you or not. Death is just the next adventure.
8. Are young people desensitized today by the internet? How can you captivate and scare modern audiences?
I don’t think they are desensitized as much as most people think. At least not to horror. Horror is anchored in something primal that is innate. I don’t think you can get used to that arena. I think they are desensitized to things like war or sex, but as far as things that scare you, pretty sure that is still intact. Captivating and scaring modern audiences is an interesting question. I think you have to be clever but relatable. The concepts of different horror films aren’t really all that different from years ago. What is different is the execution, and quality of the film. Having a DP that really understand lighting and reveals. A gaffer that’s amazing at shadow play. Realizing that the editing style of YouTube is more impactful than the editing of classic horror films with today’s movie-goers. I think it’s just a matter of being able to change forms along with the most relevant video content in order to grab the audience. Right now I’m working with the “Saw” franchise director Darren Bousman on his live horror experience called “The Tension Experience: Ascension” which blurs the lines with what is real and what is show. It’s really innovative approach to basically live theater. The cast and crew he has is amazing, they run shows until mid November in Los Angeles.
9. What are your favorite horror movies and TV shows?
Hmm. Favorite horror films… I would say “John Carpenter’s The Thing”. That movie still keeps me guessing about who is The Thing and at what point. A lot of really great elements at play there. I was also a really big fan of “The Ring” when it came out because it was so original in the US marketplace. “The Exorcist 3” is also up there. As far as TV shows, there are a few. TV has turned recently into smart, original horror, usually blending really strong acting and concepts. Solid acting has always been the back bone of every film, especially horror. That being said, some of my favorite shows are “The Walking Dead” and “Outcast”. Never got into “American Horror Story”… Interested to see SYFY’s new series “Channel Zero” as well as TNT’s reboot of “Tales From The Crypt”.
10. What would you do if you came into contact with one of these Killer Clowns that is running amok out there?
I would have one of my friends film it, then I would promptly deliver a flying side kick to it. It would go viral. Not that I have an issue with clowns or anything, but how often do you get the opportunity to kick a clown?
11. How would you survive in a Walking Dead-like zombie apocalypse world?
You have to have a plan. Get supplies. At least enough to get you away from the city. Freeze dried foods, a year supply isn’t that much. Also have alcohol and antibiotics, both of which you can get easy enough. Basic camping skills and appropriate tools. Reliable vehicle, preferably 4×4. And a few weapons. Need the knife, then the bigger melee weapon like an ax, sword, or bat, but also need a few fire arms. Short range, long range. Along the lines of .22 caliber pistol because you can carry a lot more ammo with you. For the long range a .223 or .762. rifle. Need to put rounds down range, mostly for other humans you don’t want to approach. I’d hit up the woods or someplace with decent farmland. I think a little greenhouse would be good, easy to construct, also have some hens and rabbits for constant food source. But most importantly, you need to have a group you can trust. Lone wolf mentality is too easy for others to pick off and you have to sleep. I have a few friends that are more than ready if it happens. After “The Walking Dead”, I think everyone that watched the show came up with a plan to survive.
12. If you had an unlimited budget and resources, what is the horror movie that you would make?
Oooh. Unlimited budget you say? Hmmm. I would probably do something where I could have a large number of practical effect creatures. Maybe something along of the lines of Pandora’s Box, or opening of a dimension and monsters come through. With monster films its really important to spend the time and money on the creature. If at any point the monster’s validity comes into question you lose the audience. There’s a reason why movies like “The Thing”, “Aliens”, and “Predator” finds a new fan base every few years. They’re practical monsters and they were made by people that understood key elements of horror and filmmaking.
13. What’s coming up next for you, and where can we find you online?
Next, I actually have a vigilante type film coming up but after that going back to a horror feature. I’ve been working pretty closely with my reps at Gersh on the TV side so you never know when those shows will find a network home. If anyone wants to see what I’m up to they can find me on twitter @nightmaresshow, on Instagram @nightmares_show or on Facebook at facebook.com/NightmaresProductions. I’m always working on something and usually with really great people.
Thanks for talking to us, Jin! Keep scaring us!
And now, on to some reviews!
Night 14, we watched #TheExorcismOfEmilyRose. This was my fiancée Megan’s pick, as it is one of her favorite horror movies of all time. This 2005 court #film directed by #ScottDerrickson (of the upcoming Marvel Studios #DoctorStrange) is a legal dramatic horror inspired by the real life misfortune of #AnnelieseMichel, a young woman in Germany who died in 1976 after her family requested an exorcism be administered. The feature gives us excellent performances from #LauraLinney as the agnostic defense attorney and #TomWilkinson as the priest accused of negligent homicide, but the stand-out is #JenniferCarpenter (who many of know as Deb from #Dexter) as the title character. She really should have been nominated for more awards based on her amazing acting as Emily. Unfortunately, at the time of release, Exorcism of Emily Rose received bad reviews (45% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it earned $144 million worldwide on a $19 million budget, and has found high praise as the years have gone on amongst film historians and in the horror community as one of the scariest modern horror films.
Megan is going to guest review with her thoughts regarding the film, the smart way it was written and shot, the interesting questions it posed, and why its unlike your typical demonic possession movie.
Take it away, Megan! -Derek
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of my favorite horror movies because it takes itself seriously and so does the audience. Jennifer Carpenter is stunning in her parallel scenes showing two different perspectives; the faith her and her family experience and the science that the prosecuting attorney uses to explain her condition. This film goes beyond a typical scary movie and delivers thought provoking questions I continue to debate among friends and family who see it. When we watched this film through Google Play, I had Derek rewind the exorcism scene to watch it twice because it is so chilling you really believe Jennifer Carpenter has 6 demons inside her! Very little special effects are done in this movie and after finding out Jennifer Carpenter does her own stunts makes you appreciate the work and devotion that went into it! If you like scary movies and a dose of existential discussion after, I 100% recommend Emily Rose. -Megan
NIGHTS 16 & 17 COMING SOON!
Derek owns a teaching and networking studio called LBAFA that can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/LongBeachActingAndFilmAssociaton
Check out my previous 31 NoN articles!