Set Visit Preview: Clive Barker’s Dread


Nine photos from the upcoming adaptation!

At 64 Pilgrim Street, an unspeakable act of violence is being staged. A butcher’s knife is involved. And a pistol. And an axe. And you can be sure the melee is going to end in a fountain of blood. This macabre dance with multiple participants, who shall go unnamed for now, and such sharp accoutrements is being choreographed by director Anthony DiBlasi (pictured, left).

“I want big chunks, not small chunks,” he tells an FX assistant standing ready with a tank of blood. DiBlasi’s wearing a garbage bag fashioned to look like a crude raincoat/vest to protect him from the anticipated blood spray he’s asking for. has joined DiBlasi in Egham, England where he’s currently adapting Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood” tale Dread for Matador Pictures and Seraphim Films. Principal photography is taking place today in a cafeteria-cum-sound stage on a sprawling defunct campus.

Twilight‘s Jackson Rathbone stars as Stephen Grace, a film student who aligns himself with the enigmatic Quaid (Shaun Evans) and fellow colleague Cheryl (Hanne Steene, pictured below) for a documentary probing the depths of fear. Quaid’s quest for truth in the subject matter intensifies when he begins to experiment on his subjects and things spiral dangerously out of control from there. But you may have already guessed that; this is a Clive Barker story after all – one that has been lingering in development hell since its days at 20th Century Fox.

Dread was originally adapted by the writing team Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan (Masters of Horror, Fear Itself). Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson (Night of the Demons) also took at crack at a script before Seraphim regained full control of the property.

“I think [Fox] just realized there was no way you could do this film at a studio and do it for what needed to be done,” Dread producer Joe Daley (Midnight Meat Train) explains. “It was going to be too harsh and too hardcore. It was just frustrating experience for everyone, because no one could get what they wanted in a weird way. Clive’s material is hard to do at studios.” Daley adds that the taboo elements infused in the author’s works are often drained once they’re in studio hands. “We’re now allowed to go back to the short story, bring all of the elements we wanted and expand upon that story. Anthony’s done that really well. He’s celebrated the Barker elements that made it special.”

DiBlasi, who worked alongside Daley in executive producing Midnight Meat Train, was originally set to direct Pig Blood Blues before his focus shifted. “That was set up with a different company and we needed to roll on a picture number two with Matador, so I thought we should do Dread,” he says, taking a break from the shooting day’s mayhem. “When it was at the studio, they wanted a PG-13 film. They wanted a completely different kind of film. None of them resembled the short story and was about testing people’s fear, like playing tricks on each other. And another take was supernatural. I just went back to the short story. I always knew what I wanted it to be and I wanted it as a coming-of-age psychological thriller with graphic bits of horror and sex thrown in.”

“We’re definitely not making ‘I Know What You Did 3 Summers Go’ or anything like that,” Rathbone adds. “When you get down to it, we all feel dread and we all have reasons for what inspired it. That’s what we’re trying to get to the root of in this film. The imagery in this film is haunting, stuff that’s made a lot of people sick.”

To help execute this explicit vision, DiBlasi enlisted director of photography Sam McCurdy whose credits include The Descent, The Hills Have Eyes II and Doomsday. On FX duties, the Dread team reunited with Artem – the British shop responsible for another upcoming Barker adaptation Book of Blood.

Enjoy these early stills we have the production and keep your eyes peeled to for a full set report featuring interviews with the cast and crew!

Click below for our full gallery!

Source: Ryan Rotten, Photos copyright: Cinema Three SPV1 Ltd