SHOCK’s resident smart-ass sits down with Radha Mitchell to talk THE DARKNESS.
Radha Mitchell (who we just spoke to about her recent film SACRIFICE here) stars in the new horror film THE DARKNESS, from BH Tilt, out on May 13, 2016 (get it? Friday the 13th!) written and directed by Greg McLean. McLean is well-known among die-hard horror fans for his debut horror feature WOLF CREEK (2005), and has a list of sort-of-well-known thriller and horror films completed since then, one of which, ROGUE (2007) also stars Mitchell. Mitchell, as you know, is that blond chick from the SILENT HILL movies and the remake of THE CRAZIES. Shes Australian, and she invited me over to her huge mansion because Im really cool, and asked me to interview her about THE DARKNESS. She said that no one could really do an interview with her justice, and that most other journalists are just really lame. I agreed, so I went over there (I go over to her place a lot, I live in Los Angeles where all of us have very glamorous lifestyles) and we chatted in her hot tub.
Heres the interview!
Im sorry if its a bit silly, we were drinking really expensive champagne the whole time.
SHOCK: Radha, angel, you and Greg shot THE DARKNESS back in 2014, and it originally had a different title: 6 MIRANDA LANE. I get the feeling its a different film than the one you guys originally shot.
MITCHELL: Its a little different but not too far off from what was shot, I must say. Thats all I can say, cause theres somebody watching me! [an evil publicist]
SHOCK: It was a darker movie before the changes were made, is that correct?
MITCHELL: There were some elements that the audience could not tolerate.
SHOCK: I wish we could see that version! I have a really high tolerance for horror films. I basically have to see a snuff film before Im offended.
MITCHELL: You would have liked the original ending. But I think they reworked it to a more censored conclusion than what was originally there. I also think part of the holdup is that Greg was shooting another movie, everyone was shooting different things, and now seems to be the perfect moment, releasing it on Friday the 13th, and hopefully its a full moon and Armageddon on the Mayan calendar
SHOCK: You worked with Greg McLean before on ROGUE. Was he a reason why you wanted to be a part of this film as well?
MITCHELL: Whats not to like? Working on this movie in particular was like going to a Halloween party every day. Hes a great leader of the people, youre guaranteed to have a good time. And hes a nice man. Obviously hes got a very dark subconscious narrative going on there which I wouldnt even care to explore. But as a dad and as a director, hes the loveliest of the lovely. So I was very excited to work with him again. And also to have the opportunity to get however many degrees closer to Kevin Bacon, finally!
SHOCK: There are no degrees separating you anymore! Now youre somebodys one degree away from Kevin Bacon!
MITCHELL: Mission complete, in terms of my career.
SHOCK: THE DARKNESS is a horror film, but really, the horror is secondary to the story. Its about family, and parenting, and making marriage work, and dealing with these every day struggles that people with troubled children have. I feel like you could even remove the horror elements and youd still have so much of the tension. Obviously, I just said all that. But since this is an interview and I have to write it all down, could you say it back to me?
MITCHELL: In terms of preparing for it, I spent a bit of time online and got quite interested in this little girl. For some reason her parents put her not on Jerry Springer but on some show like that and she was a schizophrenic child (heres the show on DR. PHIL). Its a shame that weve all seen it and I dont know why they exploited the situation, but she had a best friend called 400. He was imaginary, a number that told her to do all these creepy things. She had a little brother that she was attacking, and the parents had to live in two separate apartments in the same building, you could just see the intense stress and the struggle that would lead them to even put the kid on a TV show. Obviously they just felt so isolated by the experience. For my character to see her character, who she wants to protect, but also who she is afraid of, I thought that was an interesting dilemma. And just the horror of domestic life: the repetition, the horror of the role of the housewife, the limitation, the sense of repression: all of these clichés can be quite horrific when you look at them on a psychological level. The horror of traditional narrative!
SHOCK: The part of the film that scares me the most is how the house is so big and I keep wondering, Who is cleaning that house? Not me, let me tell you.
MITCHELL: I think what we were having fun with also was, Lets deconstruct THE BRADY BUNCH. Lets pull that apart. And I think thats what Greg was getting at.
SHOCK: SACRIFICE, from director Peter A Dowling, is your other new horror film. What can we expect yada yada etc. obligatory interview question?
MITCHELL: I have only seen it once a couple of month ago, so I am pulling this out of my memory [ass]. Its a fun role. I got an opportunity to work with Rupert Graves who I think is a really fantastic actor. We were shooting it in Ireland which was a set for Scotland. Its a really unusual story. My character is a woman who is having trouble conceiving so she goes to adopt under the guidance of her husband, who is connected to an old-money family. They have these adoption situation set up. As the story unravels, it appears well, I cant tell you ALL of it but theres a sacrificial element and an ancient tradition of violence thats been going on on the island unbeknownst to her. She has become part of this whole saga, and because shes a headstrong character, she doesnt accept whats going on and she has to suffer the consequences and overcome them.
SHOCK: Thanks Radha! We cant wait to see your adopted-baby-sacrifice-horror-Scotland film too!
THE DARKNESS is out May 13, 2016 in the United States and is amazing, such a good film, everyone should run, dont walk, to go see this. I am friends with like 4 people at Blumhouse.