Visimag home page
About Us
Cult Times
Film Review
Movie Idols
Shivers
Starburst
TV Zone
Ultimate DVD
The Works
Xposé
Links
Shopping Info
Film Byte Archive
VI jobs

BlackStar.co.uk - The UK's Biggest Video Store


SEARCH
for your own topics
Go to USA site Readers in USA click here

Go to UK/World siteElsewhere click here

Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination Ltd 1998 - 2006
Welcome to visimag.com
Shivers Back to shivers MainPage Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site
Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site

Feature: When A Stranger Calls

Deadly call

We visit the set of the remake of the classic Seventies stalker to meet star Camilla Belle and director Simon West

In charge of this remake of the seminal 1979 shocker is director Simon West, who proved his mettle with the first Tomb Raider film, although he admits he wasn’t a fan of the original. “When I started work on this film, I’d not seen the original movie,” admits West. “Most Americans you mention it to say ‘Oh wow, that’s a scary movie!’ although it’s more like a race memory. I don’t know how many have actually seen it, and how many just know two lines from it.”

“When I did sit down to watch it, I only watched the first 20 minutes, because our film only deals with the first 20 minutes of the original film. We’ve expanded on it, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the most interesting bit. It’s very simple in the original, Jill never leaves the living room, the cops turn up. We’ve expanded it in every way. The house is ten times bigger in this film. It’s a very unusual house. I wanted to get away from the classic genre movie Gothic Victorian classic American house, the big old scary house on the top of the hill. It’s still very dark, it’s very like a labyrinth, especially for Jill, she doesn’t know the house. How many scares can you put in one house? I’ve been trying to go through it and say ‘How can I get the most scares?’”

This ethic was carried into the look of the film by production designer John Gary Steele, as he explains. “I wanted to make a film completely different from more traditional films like The Amityville Horror, not that this is anything like that at all, but I wanted to make it the opposite of that, basically. There are millions of people who live in modern nice homes, a scary movie doesn’t all have to be traditional and it’s more fun that way. You know in the circus there’s a glass maze, a house of mirrors or whatever. She Jill comes to this house and she’s never been here before, the parents don’t want to introduce her to the kids because the kids are asleep and she works her way through the glass house having never been here before. It’s dark, and so we tried to make it so there were many things to shoot through.”

“You have to remember,” West continues, “that this is a thriller, not a Horror movie. There isn’t a Supernatural element, everything that happens has to happen in the real world. Everything has to be totally realistic, although the house makes it different. Most houses don’t have atriums, ponds and trees and misters, it’s like having an exterior inside the house. For me the most scary films are when the audience’s imagination does the work. As soon as you see anything, it’s not scary anymore. There’s a 16-year-old girl having the worst night of her life because her phone’s been cut off. She finds herself in a situation where she has to fight her way out of it – she’s not a victim, she’s much more the hero, she has to rise to the challenge.”

When it came to the phone itself, was there a temptation to use an old-fashioned artefact as the object of Jill’s terror? “We thought about using an antique phone as a kitsch thing – a big old rotary phone - but that would look like we were trying too hard – and the younger audience might not even know what it was! ‘Why’s this thing got a dial on it?’”

by Judy Sloane

Read the full interview when you buy
Shivers #126

Photo © Screen Gems Inc
Feature © Visual Imagination 2006. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Shivers #126, see below for ordering options
Shivers #126
March 2006
ships from Feb 15 2006
News-stand Price

UK £3.99 / US $6.99

VI Direct Click on one of the choices below to buy
.
Buy it now!

VI DIRECT
Stores Info

You can order any of
our magazines via this
secure service.
To buy this issue:

Jump to UK £ entry for this issue
UK/World order
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ order

To SUBSCRIBE to
SHIVERS, use these
links to our stores:

Jump to UK £ entry for this issue
UK/World subs
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ subs
Visimag.com logo