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Radio Silence speaks at “DEVIL’S DUE” event

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“It’s really nice to see a supernatural thriller that has a rough indie vibe and fully gets supported by a major studio,” said Eli Roth at the beginning of a DEVIL’S DUE sneak peek hosted by 20th Century Fox. where the filmmaking collective Radio Silence was on hand to preview of the horrors that await in their satanic thriller.

For the uninitiated, Radio Silence consists of Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who created what many feel was the best “tape” within V/H/S, “10/31/98.” Like that short, DEVIL’S DUE is a found-footage project, this one focusing on newlyweds Samantha and Zach (Allison Miller and Zach Gilford), who, while on their honeymoon, lose an evening to debauchery and a frightening unplanned stop. Allison is soon pregnant, and the terror truly begins as day by day, evil begins to surface and threatens to destroy their lives together.

“People don’t hate found footage, they hate bad movies,” Gillett said, and this writer couldn’t agree more. Most such films give you a great poster and an interesting concept but don’t deliver on the promise, but the DEVIL’S DUE footage Fango witnessed sets the stage for one hell of a delivery (no pun intended). Without giving too much away, the scenes involved several stages of Allison’s conception and pregnancy, and each was gripping and creepy, and had yours truly on the edge of my seat and wanting more, with FX that seem almost terrifyingly real.

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What’s especially impressive is the fact that the Radio Silence team was able to pull such convincing gags in the “live” point-of-view format. How difficult was it to pull off those effects? With a big sigh and a smile, Gillett broke it down. “We shot with the EX3, and it’s not a camera that works well with effects; it’s very hard to track, so we ran into that right away. But it was worth it for us to be able to have the actors hold that camera. In these movies, if you can see it, you can put something in it. For us, it was no different than our V/H/S segment.”

Further describing the tools at their disposal, Villella explained, “We had hidden cameras that you don’t really see here [in the advanced footage], but there is a section where they take up a big part of the story, and we ran that through a beta. That, basically, is analog, so you can cover up some stuff with it. It’s important in this type of film to create effects that are as photorealistic as possible, and that includes shooting a lot of elements photographically and then popping them in. If the reality is broken for a moment, you lose what feels authentic about the movie. But if it’s done right, the effects in this style of film always feel like an overdelivery. It feels unexpected because of the overall feel.”

DEVIL’S is due January 17; you can read more about the movie in Fango #330, on sale next month.

Photos by Michele Short

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