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Truth or Dare (2013) Review

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERGRIMMFEST 2014

tod1TRUTH OR DARE (USA 2013)

Dir – Jessica Cameron

Starring- Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kiser, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn

The internet has led a revolution in bringing the unseen, graphic and disturbing to our screens, whether it be through the grim Two Girls One Cup video, or the most recent and graphic video for the band Cattle Decapitations’ song Forced Gender Reassignment (note- If you Google any of these then I am not responsible for what you may see), it’s a form of technology that allows us to access material that would never see the light of day on DVD. It’s ironic that in the 30th anniversary of the video recording acts that full uncut versions of films that spawned that act, the so called video nasties, are up on YouTube. It’s relevant then that TRUTH OR DARE looks at excess, shock and the difference between what is real and unreal in the internet world, along with a slight swipe at those seeking internet fame, though admittedly it brings this about in a less than subtle fashion.

A group of friends, who are running an online video group called the ‘Truth or Daredevils’, publish their video which purports to show a real shooting. Once the video has gone viral and scored many hits, they become famous, and whilst milking this fame on a talk show they reveal that the person who was shot, wasn’t actually killed at all and he makes an appearance as well, to reveal he was in on it. They are confronted on the same talk show, by their biggest fan who isn’t happy that the film was faked, but his rant is cut short when he is chucked out by security. The group decide to head to an out of bounds location to shoot there next stunt, but before they can go ahead with it, the same crazed fan from before turns up at the house, armed and wanting to make his own truth or dare video, proudly announcing that he is the new member of the group, but taking charge and forcing the group, at gunpoint to carry out a new game. Once it starts, with a few truths that reveal uncomfortable facts about certain members of the group, to then going into dares which become increasingly sadistic, leading the group to try and figure out a way around there un-welcome new member who is running the show to a more disturbing level.

tod2First of all TRUTH OR DARE is certainly extreme, it doesn’t relent the graphic acts it depicts and it does become a slight ordeal to watch, especially in the final part of the film, where the dares become more aggressive and painful to view. Even I, found one scene involving a bottle, quite hard to stomach and felt very queasy during it, and in the Grimm screening there were a few walkouts. Though I can respect Cameron for doing this as the violent dares which are carried out play into the madman’s ideology of creating something real. The character of the crazed fan (brilliantly played by Ryan Kiser) is a product of twisted ideology, and the need to see something online that isn’t a fake. There’s a great scene where Kiser’s character starts to get very angry at the YouTube user comments, saying that what they’re seeing is a fake, as they are shattering his psychotic need for realism, and even in this scene there’s a sly dig at people on the internet looking for something graphic to be real, and not differentiating between reality and fiction, even though the truth or daredevil group are being tortured online, and the YouTube hits are increasing, the internet users are still none the wiser.

At the heart of the film though is a nice commentary on the pointlessness and selfish rise of internet fame for doing nothing of merit, where the truth or daredevils become famous for faking a shooting, or doing something stupid, they bask in the brief rise of fame which they receive. You can go on YouTube and see any short daredevil clip where people are doing something daring to eventually achieve a mass rise in hits to their video. Even on the E4 channel there is a compilation programme called RUDETUBE, which lists these pranks or stunts in popularity. Admittedly the acting at first is a bit ropey and some of the characters in the daredevils group come off as slightly annoying, and during some of the ‘truths’ certain confessions come out that make you wonder whether it’s worth rooting for them or wait to see what happens to them. Yet by the end you end up rooting for some of them, as they are slowly torn apart by their online show and there psychotic new member.

tod3Admittedly I went into TRUTH OR DARE knowing it was going to be gruesome, but left not expecting it to be as graphic as it turned out to be. Speaking to other people about the film, some liked it, some didn’t, it was a divisive film in the long run, and that can be a good thing, it at least gets people talking. I know some would have found the upfront brutality and dodgy acting too much to take. I feel that, yes it is excessive, but there are reasons behind the bloodshed, and in the end the film comes off as an extreme balls out commentary on fame, online obsession and online real life violence versus fictional violence. Cameron, along with the Soska twins again are showing the horror genre that female directors are certainly just as equal as there male counterparts, and it’s to her credit that she has managed to make a film, that I found graphic and unsettling, yet also intelligent and smart.

7/10

An Interview with Chanel Ryan by Dean Sills

CR1An Interview with Chanel Ryan by Dean Sills

Hello Chanel, thank you for your time and welcome to UKHS.

 

UKHS – Your first movie appearance was in the independent film ‘Waiting For The Rocket’ in which you played a character called Chris. How did you get into acting and what has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

CR – I’ve always loved acting and have wanted to be an actress since childhood. Thankfully, my modelling career made it an easier transition. Shortly after working on “Waiting for Rocket”, I went to audition for the film “George Wallace”, directed by the legendary John Frankenheimer. On the spot, he personally offered me the role, working alongside Gary Sinise and Mare Winningham! At the time, I was so new to the industry that I didn’t realize how lucky I was or what a big deal it was, to book a leading role in such a film and to work with such amazing talent. As far as my greatest achievement in the field of acting, I believe it has yet to come.I just hope to continuously do better and better work, alongside the most talented people.

 

CR2UKHS – You have been named one of the “Sexiest Women on the Planet” by magazines from four continents and your beautiful face and body have graced magazines across the globe, congratulations Chanel. How glamorous is it being a model and has modelling changed other aspects of your life?

CR – Although my focus is now acting, I can definitely tell you that, from the years of experience, that modeling is not all that glamorous. Sure there’s the traveling to exotic locations, staying in beautiful places, meeting interesting people, and wearing beautiful clothing, but then there’s the waking up at 4AM, working long days shooting until the sun goes down and often times, it’s either cold and windy or scorching and humid. By the end of the day, every bit of you just hurts and can’t even enjoy the scenery. No regrets though!

 
UKHS – I recently interviewed the beautiful, Scream Queen, Devanny Pinn and she talked about ‘Dead Sea’. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie and delighted you are also in the cast. What can you tell us about your role and are you excited about starring in a big creature feature?

CR – I LOVE LOVE Miss Devanny Pinn and was psyched to work along side her in “Dead Sea”. We had a fun scene together on the pontoon boat. My character and a group of friends are spending our summer vacation having fun in the sun, travelling from location to location, partying it up, when we end up on a pontoon boat in the middle of a lake, wondering why we’re the only people around!

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q92tAxA3ijE]
This past January, the 2014 ShockFest Film Festival was held at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles. I was fortunate enough to have two films: “Dead Sea” and “Circus Of The Dead”, competing against each other for the “Best World Premiere Trailer Award.” The award went to “Dead Sea”!

 

UKHS – ‘DeadSea’ looks a fantastic movie.Congratulations on winning the “Best World Premiere Trailer Award” for ‘Dead Sea’. Let’s talk about ‘Circus of the Dead’. You play Tiffany Johnson in this one. What can horror fans expect from this movie and can you tell us a little about Tiffany?

CR – “Circus Of The Dead” is an artistic slasher film about a Circus that comes to town, bringing with it a group of twisted, demented clowns lead by Papa Corn, played wickedly good, by Bill Oberst Jr. They seek out people who take precious things in their lives for granted and force them to examine them in the most horrific of ways. Without spoiling the plot – or the clowns will come after me! Tiffany is a mother and wife who loves her family very much. She’s disillusioned with her marriage and longs for her husband, played by Parrish Randall, to pay more attention to her, the family and start appreciating what he has.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOhbKuGg3gk]

UKHS – You are also reprising your role as Ms. Gleason in ‘Bad Kids Go To Hell 2’, opposite Judd Nelson and Ben Browder. How much fun is it playing the over zealous cheer-leading coach/history teacher?

CR – Even-though we’re set to shoot this summer in Texas’ scorching sun, I can’t wait!! It’s still in the preproduction stage, but it’s extremely flattering to be asked to come back for the sequel. I had so much fun on the first one and to be opposite Judd and Ben again is awesome. Both are such pros and I learned a lot from the experience. ??

 

PrintUKHS – What other projects will you be working on this year and do you have any upcoming DVD movie releases?

CR – I have a few films coming out this year. CIRCUS OF THE DEAD will be out in the fall. The film is having it’s World Premiere at Texas Frightmare Weekend in May and an east coast premiere at Bizarre Atlantic City in June. So anyone wanting to see a sneak-peak of the film, can come out to one of these events and meet me, director Billy Pon, Bill Oberst Jr. and Parrish Randall. DEAD SEA if coming out on VOD/DVD in late spring and ALICE D. will be out later this year too. Still waiting for info on the release of SKUM ROCKS! Next month, I head to Louisiana to film the sci-fi/horror pic THE HALO THEORY and just signed onto THE HATCHED LADY, shooting this fall!! Can’t divulge any details just yet, but stay tuned.
 

CR4UKHS – You have had extensive dialect coaching from the “Master of Voices”, Bob Corff, helping you perfect numerous accents, from British to Southern. I am from Yorkshire in England, can you do a good Yorkshire accent?

 

CR – Ha! Better than your pudding.

 

UKHS – You’re that good? Our Yorkshire Puddings are made from plain flour, eggs and milk but what would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

CR – I’d say the three main ingredients for any film regardless of genre are: 1) a great script 2) an extremely talented Director of Photography and 3) an amazing editor and of course talented actors to carry it. Guess there are four main ingredients.
CR5UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you? 

CR – Being the always over-prepared person I am, with full survival kits in both my house and car, I’d natural choose a knife, a lighter……of course!! survival expert, Bear Grylls! Wait. Since I have Bear, I’ll nix the lighter and knife, for waterproof mascara and lip gloss!

 

CR6UKHS – Finally, what is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?

CR – I’m prepping for a couple of projects now, that are going to be quite a challenge. I’m to play a woman with an inoperable, debilitating disease, which is definitely a big foray from my horror characters. With any project, there’s always a certain amount of prep involved. Some just more than others. I’ve spent hours upon hours researching, studying, perfecting accents and even going as far as getting professional tactical weapons training and staying in a real haunted house to prepare.

CR7UKHS – Thank you for your time Chanel. Good luck with all your amazing projects and keep up the great work.

CR – I must insist on thanking you! I would like to say hello to all the UK readers! I try to end every interview with a plea to spay and neuter your pets. Together we can end homeless animals. If you are thinking about getting a pet please adopt!! There are so many wonderful animals at your local shelters and animal rescues just waiting for good homes. You can keep up with me online at:

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An Interview with Devanny Pinn by Dean Sills

dp2An Interview with Devanny Pinn by Dean Sills

I am thrilled that this is my 20th interview for UK Horror Scene, so let’s make it a special one by interviewing the very beautiful, talented actress Devanny Pinn.

Hello Devanny, it’s a real honour to talk to you about your amazing career, so far. Welcome to UKHS.

UKHS – The first film I saw you perform in was ‘Nude Nuns with Big Guns’, this was recently on TV here in the UK. How did you get into acting?

DP – Thanks for watching! That was a fun movie.

I started in ballet and musical theater when I was 3 and stayed actively involved growing up. I moved out west when I was 17 and received a scholarship for Opera. I tried to get involved in the local performing scene and instead of finding theater, I found an indie film audition. Turned out it was a horror film and I booked the lead! I’ve been hooked ever since.

 

UKHS – I have got to ask you a little about ‘Piranha 3D’ You were one of the featured bikini babes in the movie, did you enjoy the experience and what was your favourite moment during the shoot?

DP – I learned A LOT on the set of Piranha. It was just over two weeks on location in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The director hand picked me and another girl out of 1000 people to be featured, which was an honor for me because I am a huge fan of Alex Aja. I was then bumped up to be one of the wet t-shirt girls (Wild Wild Girls) on the floating stage during the massacre. The shoot was long, hot and had extensive set ups due to the fact that it was the largest cinematic slaughter in history. Many people found it exhausting, but since I am a horror girl I had a blast! Eli Roth squirted my boobs and Ving Rhames almost decapitated me with a chainsaw. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

devanny-pinn-the-black-dahlia-hauntingUKHS – Well done Devanny, that’s a great achievement. How did you get your nickname, the Horror Barbie?

DP – Anyone who knows me knows I like glitter, pink stuff, Disney princesses and tutus. I did a film right after the media began dubbing me a “scream queen” and this film crew expected someone a little more scary to be arriving. So when I showed up in curls, bows and sparkles they literally laughed.
They laughed all the way up until my first scene. After two takes, everyone was dead quiet and the makeup girl actually ran outside to vomit. (Then I laughed) They were shocked that someone who looked so girlie and innocent would ‘deliver’. They joked that I was like a “Horror Barbie” and after that the name kind of stuck!

 

 

UKHS – You were awesome as Angela in ‘Song of the Shattered’. What’s the most shocking thing you have done as an actress and how do you prepare for scenes like this?

DP – Thank you! I really loved that role and all the layers she had. I actually watched The Shining on repeat for days studying the gradual progression of Jack Nicholson’s character. I think his decent into madness is performed with distinct perfection and I wanted Angela’s journey to be just as real and effective.

It used to take me a lot of time and isolation to mentally prepare for roles like this and scenes as dark as some of the material in SOS.

However, at this point I’ve “gone there” so often that I can literally turn it off and on like a switch. Proves useful at times…like at the post office or Walmart.

 

dp3UKHS – Your film credits include ‘Wonderland’, ‘The Black Dahlia Haunting’, ‘Truth or Dare’ plus many more. Which movie have you enjoyed working on the most and why?

DP – All three of those films are dear to me, for different reasons. Wonderland was my first film-making experience, The Black Dahlia Haunting has been kind of my “break out” role from winning Best Actress at Shockfest in Hollywood to getting a studio level Redbox release and Truth Or Dare was just flat out gory fun! I wouldn’t trade any of them and SO glad to been able to be part of each.

 

UKHS – You have worked with the beautiful, talented Jessica Cameron a few times now, we all know how awesome she is at acting but what is she like as a director and did you enjoy working for her in ‘Truth or Dare’ ?

DP – Jessica has been a boss since the day I met her! I always knew if she decided to transition behind the camera she would be a force to be reckoned with. She is one of those few women in the genre who “get it”. When Jess first mentioned she was going to make a film I told her she needed to direct it. While she was hesitant at first, she did step up to the plate and it was incredible. I’ve worked on about 50 films now and I can honestly say Truth or Dare was a top filming experience. Jessica had a specific, clear vision from inception to finish AND she knew how to achieve it. The woman is smart and has a great eye for horror. I hope she continues to make movies for our genre and allows me to be involved!

 

UKHS – Can you please tell us about your upcoming creature feature ‘Dead Sea’ and when is the movie due for release?

DP – Dead Sea is the next film from my production company Micro Bay Features. It is a character driven creature feature directed by Brandon Slagle that has a modern day Jaws feel to it. It features my Black Dahlia Haunting co-stars Britt Griffith and Alexis Iacono, James Duval (Independence Day) , Candace Kita (Barb Wire) and Chanel Ryan (Bad Kids Go To Hell).

I am very proud of this film and cannot wait to show audiences!

Origin Releasing has acquired it for worldwide distribution and has slated it for early 2014 release.

 

deadseaUKHS – That’s fantastic news, well done!
What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

DP – A beautiful woman you can root for, corn syrup and a chainsaw!

 

UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

DP – Sun tan lotion, a camera so I could film a movie using that killer location without needing a permit and… Jessica Cameron… because even stranded on an island she would somehow figure out how to post on social media and get us rescued.

 

UKHS – Finally, are you currently working on any new horror movies or any other film or Tv projects which you can tell UKHS about?

DP – ‘Truth or Dare’ and ‘American Girls’ are currently playing festival rounds, while ‘The Penny Dreadful Picture Show’ (staring Sid Haig and Jeffrey Combs) and ‘Gone Dark’ have just been released in the US. ‘Wonderland’ and ‘ A Grim Becoming’ (with Bill Oberst Jr and Lynn Lowry) are slated for early 2014 as well.

You can have the details on my next one FIRST! We are in pre-production for ‘ House of Manson’ a dark biopic on Charles Manson and his family. I would be happy to provide UKHS exclusive info and photos from production if you and your readers are interested.

 

dp1UKHS – Wow! Thank you Devanny, that’s fantastic we look forward to the exclusive info and photos.

I really appreciate your time and this opportunity to interview you for UKHS. Keep up the great work and good luck with your superb career.

DP – Thank you very much for having me!

Bloody kisses, Devanny Pinn

Image courtesy: Brandon Slagle

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