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RED CHRISTMAS EUROPEAN PREMIERE AT FRIGHTFEST 2016
I love a good holiday horror movie; whether it's the mixed story goodness of Trick 'r Treat or Tales of Halloween, or the snow sprinkled horror of Krampus or A Christmas Horror Story, there's something about holiday horrors that just warms the heart of this horror fan. Now a whole new Christmas horror is set to be revealed, albeit a few months early, at Horror Channel Frightfest 2016 in the shape of Craig Anderson's Red Christmas. The film takes a slightly unusual angle for a festive-set movie in that its main theme is the thorny issue of abortion. Its most notable star is Dee Wallace, known best for her role as Elliot's Mum in E.T. but also familiar to horror fans for her work on The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling and Cujo. Writer and director Craig Anderson says of the film, "From its inception, the script took a couple of years to write. Abortion is a subject that hasn't been explored widely in horror film, despite the genre’s ability to tackle challenging subjects. At first, I wrote a screwball horror; a fetus who attacks its mother (think Larry Cohen, Frank Henenlotter, or early Peter Jackson). But after many stilted redrafts and viewing of many documentaries on the subject the tone shifted.
I did a lot of research both academically and in person with women of all ages and backgrounds who had varying experiences and opinions on abortion. What I've tried to present is a question rather than an answer. Interestingly, some people read this script and think it's pro-choice and others are just as adamant it's pro-life. I do accept that in personifying the fetus, turning it into a human, I have made a pro-life statement, which in turn murders nine people.
During the writing process, I enlisted the help of another writer, Belinda King, who was script editor on the film as well as a producer. She trained in screenwriting at UCLA and brought to the script an international sensibility. Wanting a scream queen to play Diane, I knew the women I’d be approaching would have read infinitely more horror scripts than me. So, Belinda and I worked tirelessly to make sure the script was funny as well as horrific, character-driven, engaging and visceral.
By the end of the writing process, I had a script that drew people to the project. Dee Wallace plays the lead and the film was made by some of Australia's best talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Armed with a lean, mean 92-page script, we hit the Southern Highlands of NSW in late 2015 and made RED CHRISTMAS".
Read on for the official info, stills and trailer.
Red Christmas tells the story of a mother who must defend her family from a deranged killer on Christmas day. Unbeknown to her, the killer is her son who survived an abortion twenty years earlier and was raised by an extremist who bombed the clinic.
Starring in the film is American actress, Dee Wallace. Most audiences will know Wallace as the mum in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. however, horror fans will recognise her from films such as Cujo, The Howling and Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners. Co-starring with Wallace is beloved Australian actor, Geoff Morrell. The supporting cast is made up of some of Australia’s best comedic talent, taking a dramatic turn to bring Anderson’s dark vision to life. With David Collins (one-half of The Umbilical Brothers), Sarah Bishop (Active Wear), Janis McGavin (Comedy Inc), Bjorn Stewart (Black Comedy), Gerard O’Dwyer (Be My Brother, Tropfest 2009) and Sam Campbell, winner of Best Newcomer at the Sydney Comedy festival, 2015.
Anderson took two years to complete the script, doing academic research and interviewing men and women of all ages and backgrounds who had varying experiences and opinions on abortion. He said: ‘Abortion is a subject that hasn't been explored widely in horror film, despite the genre’s ability to tackle challenging subjects. What I've tried to present is a question rather than an answer’.
The film premiered in its hometown in June at the Sydney Film Festival, where the Freak Me Out guest programmer, Richard Kuipers said ‘A glaring omission in Australia's distinguished cinematic history has been the high-quality Christmas-themed horror movie. Not any more! Clever, scary, grisly and witty, Red Christmas is a cracking good Oz-horror’.
Red Christmas receives its European premiere premiere on Monday 29th August at 6.30pm in Horror Channel Screen, 6.45pm in Arrow Video Screen and 7.00pm in Splice Media Screen. For tickets go to: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html
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