ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders director Sean McNamara and star Jon Voight about the horror mystery film, which is out today in select theaters and digitally.
“Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Academy Award Winner Jon Voight star in this nail-bitingly suspenseful thriller filled with twists and turns,” reads the film’s synopsis. “A family reunion at a remote mansion takes a lethal turn when they are trapped inside and forced to play a deadly survival game where only one will make it out alive.”
Tyler Treese: Jon, Ellison’s family dynamic is really interesting in the film. He’s this self-made billionaire, but he has a strained relationship with some of his children. A lot of it is over the family business, and we learn a lot about his past throughout the film. What really appealed to you about this character?
Jon Voight: Well, I must say I resisted this film initially because I had never done anything like this before. This is like a reincarnation of Vincent Price or something, and I was scared to do it, actually. But Sean McNamara, the great director, Sean McNamara, who does lovely family films, and I’ve done a couple with him, was salivating to do this film, and I was pressured to go along with him [laughs]. Sean, what do you have to say for yourself?
Sean McNamara: I don’t know. I just, again, we’ve done family films together and this is, in a way, a family film. It just has a very different outcome by the end of it [laughs].
Voight: You see how happy he is talking about this film? And this is a scary film. This is scary to have made and scary to watch. You can’t be faint of heart to watch this film. But the other thing about it, I’ve told other people, I said, Well, you know, but, but couples will go and there’s always one that will be a little timid and they’ll be scared of what they’re watching and scream and shout and the other one will say, Oh, no dear, it’s just fine. And it brings people together.
Yeah. Sean, there’s some disgusting scenes in this movie. What’s your approach to just filming gore and just making it unsettling? Cause it definitely is.
McNamara: Well, like Jon, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, this type of movie. And I found it amazing because, you know, the artists that do this sort of stuff, I grew up on the same block as John Chambers, who won the Academy Award for Planet of the Apes, and I used to go in his garage and there were these faces, like the one from Jaws. It scared the hell outta me just going into his garage. But when all of a sudden I met all of the artists on this show that we could do things that I’d never done before, the artisans just made me so passionate. We can do this, we can do that. I love just getting into it to going, “How do we make this look real, this very scary moment?”
Jon, you also acted in a wheelchair in Coming Home. In regards to acting, are there any difficulties that come with having your movement, restricted?
No. I’ve done it before, so I’m comfortable with it. I’ve done it twice before, once with Pearl Harbor when I played President Roosevelt. But it’s my little machine weapon in this piece. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the movement of it. It was a dangerous thing, I must tell you that, that piece that we had was like over a ton. It was really heavy because it had these capacities to move up and down, it was all electric and weaponized, not to give too much away. It was fun to work with this and get used to it after the first day. You’re part of it.
Definitely. Sean, H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle is a big inspiration here. What did you like about this story combining real history with fiction?
McNamara: Well, that’s one of the greatest things, because I’ve done a lot of historical characters and real-life things. And then to mix both of that with fiction, and the subject matter that’s going on is very scary just because it was drawn from real life. But we were able to take it further by weaving it into fiction and bringing it into the present day. It’s a very scary history that this movie has.
Jon, you have some really intense scenes with Jonathan Rhys Myers. How was it working with him as a scene partner?
Voight: I was so excited to work with him. I mean, he’s an actor that has a great reputation, and he’s wonderful in this set. He’s very generous with other actors. He’s got a lot going on, he’s a very intense actor. I had heard his reputation, you know, glowing reports of his work, and I found that to be true with me too. I was very impressed with his work, and I had a lot of fun working with him, to the extent that I did another film afterward with him, that’s gonna be coming out as well. But yeah, he’s the real thing. And other actors talk about him, it’s wonderful the way they describe him because he’s so intense. He’s very prepared. He’s a real artist and he comes from a family of artists, his father was a musician, and he’s a great musician. He’s a great guitar player, and he’s a singer. And he’s got multiple talents, but he’s the real deal.
Sean, the ending is really great. It’s surprisingly very dark. Was that always the planned ending for this film?
McNamara: I think what happens is all of us collectively got together, the actors, and we were just having fun kicking around ideas to one-up it. Like we’ve seen other movies and we just love a great scare. And we were saying, How do we take it just one beat further and still make it believable? And that’s what we would do. And like I said, I’d wake up having my coffee every morning, and Jon would just look at me and go, “You’re sick, You’re sick.” And I go, “I have no idea.” I don’t mean to be sick, but it was just fun to invent that stuff.
Voight: Everything else he said, I disagree with, but he is sick.
Jon. Another performance that really impressed me was Will Sasso because he is so well known for his comedy. Can you speak to that?
Voight: Right. Well, everyone in this piece was terrific. It’s a great ensemble work, and Will Saso, he’s the delight of the trailer when he does that little joke. So you see, he has a comedy aspect, but it’s well woven into his character. He’s a great actor and he did a wonderful performance.
Sean, Megan Charpentier does such a great job in this movie as well. Can I just get your thoughts on just, she seems like she has such a bright career, and she really has a star-making performance here.
McNamara: Yes. I will crawl over glass to work with that young actress again. She is so talented and brought that understated elegance to the role that I was so unprepared for. And again, when I met her and just saw her level of talent, it just blew me away. But when we were shooting the scene, you know, when you’re seeing it in real time, I was just like, drawn into the monitor, just watching her performance. We’re gonna see a lot more of her.
Voight: Yeah. I double down on that. She’s very special.