Questions Abound In The Rapturous HBO Series ‘The Leftovers’

140In the upcoming HBO series THE LEFTOVERS, a small suburban New York area known as Mapleton grapples with the questions and problems caused by a global ‘event’ called The Sudden Departure, in which about twenty per cent of the world’s population has disappeared. Just…disappeared. No bodies…no fuss, no muss. Set three years after the ‘event’, the series focuses on the confused citizens of this town and how they deal with grief, loss and, most of all, fear of the unknown and the possibility they could be next.

Adapted by DAMON LINDELOF (LOST) from the best selling novel by TOM PERROTTA, the series stars AMY BRENNEMAN, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON, JUSTIN THEROUX and PATERSON JOSEPH.  At a recent press conference to introduce the show, producer LINDELOF was asked if, over the course of the series, viewers would find out the source of ‘The Sudden Departure’. His answer leads us to believe that, while there may be a lot of questions asked by the show, we shouldn’t expect a lot of answers. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)


THE LEFTOVERS debuts 6/29 on HBO.

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Posted by Bob Healy

‘The Strain’: These Aren’t Your Teenaged Daughter’s Vamps

139Premiering next month on FX, THE STRAIN is a vampire horror series based on the novels written by GUILLERMO DEL TORO and CHUCK HOGAN. Part fright-fest and part forensic procedural, the show is being produced by CARLTON CUSE, who has developed quite a following as a writer and producer on the cult favorites LOST and BATES MOTEL. Violent to the extreme and even more suspenseful, THE STRAIN feels like the perfect summertime guilty pleasure and one we’re looking forward to. (We’ll be doing a full review closer to the series release date.)

CUSE sat down with the Television Critics Association recently to talk about his involvement with the series and why he wanted on board. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

THE STRAIN premieres 7/13 on FX.

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Posted by Bob Healy

‘Rookie Blue’ Is Still Arresting After Five Seasons On The Beat

135On tonight’s episode of the long-running ABC cop series ROOKIE BLUE, the officers of 15 Division are getting ready for their traditional ‘Fight Night’ when they find themselves saddled with an assignment that doesn’t sit well: a citywide operation to seize all “proceeds of crime.”

A Canadian series that is as popular here in the States as it is in its homeland, ROOKIE BLUE has managed to build a loyal following. During one of our many conversations with series stars GREGORY SMITH and MISSY PEREGRYM, they talked about the premise of the show and working with actual police officers to keep the action real.

ROOKIE BLUE airs tonight on ABC.

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Posted by Bob Healy

‘Beneath’ Captures A Perilous Journey Into A Coal Mine’s Heart of Darkness

Kelly Noonan, Jeff Fahey, Joey Kern in "Beneath" (IFC Midnight, Sye Williams Photography) Headed to VOD on June 27 and set for a July 25 theatrical release, Beneath is an unnerving and claustrophobic thriller directed by Ben Ketai. The story, although inspired by actual events, takes reality to different heights as a group of miners (including Jeff Fahey, Brent Briscoe, Joey Kern) are stuck in close quarters after a disastrous cave-in.

Even though the miners are lead by a soon to be retiring vet named George Marsh (Fahey), the crew, along with his tough as nails daughter Samantha (Kelly Noonan), are rendered helpless by their recent setback. As they struggle to escape, a lack of oxygen and an unforgiving environment leads to a horrific final chapter for most of the protagonists.

Even a majority of the film was shot on a soundstage, Fahey claims the actors were given a suitable enough environment to channel their characters’ respective fears. “You certainly felt it, because you see the quality – it’s such a high quality of production design,” said Fahey, whose career includes such films as Wyatt Earp, White Hunter Black Heart, and Machete. “They covered us with dust and dirt and stuck us in a little cave. Between the group of us, we get the anxiety and the claustrophobic feeling going.”

Beneath (IFC Films)

Beneath (IFC Films)

Along with effectively capturing a coal mining environment, Ketai was also blessed with a strong ensemble cast. “But it was pretty easy for (several) reasons: the quality of the sets and how intricate and the vision Ben had and how he was able to convey it,” added Fahey. “And thirdly, the relationship that all the actors had with each other. It was so easy to work with that group and get the energy up and the anxiety within us. We could feel we had something of quality the way it was lit, and the way it was shot and the pace with which Ben worked at.”

For Ketai, taking on directing duties for Beneath proved to be a gratifying experience, as the film is not your garden variety horror flick. “The most intriguing thing about the movie, for me, was to play with the ambiguity of psychology versus the supernatural,” said Ketai who is inspired by the psychological thrillers of the 1960s and 70s that were helmed by Roman Polanski. “Supernatural thrillers these days, I feel, are a dime a dozen but when a movie’s set in a coal mine where people are slowly unraveling, it’s a great stage to play with the idea of whether it’s real or not.”



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posted by Greg Srisavasdi

“Deliver Us From Evil” Delivers Pitch Perfect Exorcism Scene

 DELIVER US FROM EVILOpening July 2nd, Deliver Us From Evil has been a passion project for director/writer Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) for over a decade. The story, based on former cop Ralph Sarchie’s (played in the film by Eric Bana) journey into the world of exorcism in New York.

The validity of exorcisms or the supernatural is entirely up to one’s opinion and experience, and thankfully Deliver Us From Evil Derrickson throws a bit of grounded reality amidst all the storyline’s more fantastical elements.

The project’s most ambitious scene, in which Sarchie and a priest (Edgar Ramirez) battle with a spirit that’s possessed a former Iraqi war vet (Sean Harris) took several days to shoot. Harrowing, tense, and ultimately viscerally thrilling, the exorcism sequence will have you on the edge of your seat, and we asked Derrickson how he pulled off such a feat.

“Yeah, it’s a really complex scene to pull off, part of it was because we were in such tight quarters, because it was just not a big space,” said Derrickson, who has signed on to direct the feature Doctor Strange. “That was the idea was to trap these three enormous personalities into this one space with this conflict, but it was a technically difficult scene too. There was a lot of makeup changes, which means every time something happens, you’ve got to stop and reset the makeup. But I think the impact of it in the end came down to those actors and them being prepared. Edgar having done his homework about what he would be doing exactly as an exorcist, and most importantly Sean Harris just delivered on that scene.”

Although Bana and Ramirez do solid work on the sequence, Harris went through the most physical and emotional hoops for the scene. “He really went to a crazy dark place in the second half of that scene, to the point where it was upsetting for people on set,” added Derrickson. “He was retching between takes and he was in some kind of weird trance state. People were nervous for his mental health shooting that scene, I’m not kidding. It shows because when he begins to speak, and he starts to speak the Spanish lines from the point where there’s the stigmata, there’s not a human presence behind his eyes or in the way he communicates. It is alien. It is so dark and that’s just what great actors can do.”


Are you going to check out Deliver Us From Evil when it hits theaters? Comment below and give us your thoughts on the project once you see it! To check out my interview with Deliver Us From Evil co-star Joel McHale, go to our sister site/blog Deepest Dream.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi