US Screenwriter Russ Williams Talks About the International Film 'Darkest Night'


Few weeks ago, I posted here on my blog about the international horror film, 'Darkest Night', which will be shot here in the Philippines and will also feature Filipino actors. And my bloggy readers are excited for this film, they even ask for some updates.

Luckily, I got the chance to interview the American Screenwriter Sir Russ Williams, the Writer and Producer of this film. Here is the first part of the interview.

What is 'Darkest Night' all about?
The story has its roots in horror styles and moods from many eastern and western traditions. Filmed in a “found video and documentary” style, 'Darkest Night' depicts a Filipino family holiday reunion at an isolated home in the Sagada Mountains. The family's celebration is shattered by bizarre, supernatural and tragic terrors no one can explain. It's a psychological horror story with intense family drama, suspense, action and shock.

Here is the long synopsis of the film:

The story unfolds as a “documentary” film by an investigative reporter film producer, Danny Valencia. While digging up information on a suspected crime for a film, he witnesses workmen discovering old videotape at the site of a 2003 tragedy and “unsolved crime” in the Philippine Sagada Mountains. This event involved the sudden disappearance of the Espino family, 17 persons, and the leveling of their home on a single night. There are a few interview scenes at the beginning, but most of the film tells the story of what happened, only slightly edited and technically enhanced, but largely as found in the mansion's ruins.

On December 25, 2003, an upscale Filipino family gathers at the Espino home at a remote place in the mountains, some distance from any town or city. They want to celebrate Christmas Day with a dinner and traditional family reunion. The main character, Susan, 26, has just become engaged to an American, Ken, 30, and she wants to introduce him to her family, as well as formally announce their engagement. They drive from Manila to the Sagada Mountains to renew old family ties, allow Ken to make new friendships, and relate the happy news.

Of course, the family is delighted to hear of Susan's upcoming marriage and interested in meeting Ken. However, their holiday and party are disrupted by a series of bizarre, supernatural, and deadly events. The group is cut off from civilization and plunged into darkness by forces that defy natural laws and shut down almost all modern technology. Mysteriously, only the television and video camera continue to operate, as if unseen forces are manipulating the situation. One by one, the famiy members die or disappear in weird and horrific ways. The few who are left, including Susan and Ken, struggle for survival against family conflicts and deadly terrors, to find out what is happening to them and how to survive.

Finally they discover to their own shock, who their true tormentors are, as well as how and why these terrible things are happening. Is it too late to keep the those who remain from dying? What is the fate that awaits them? Is it death, hell or worse? A mystical book they find may hold the key to controlling dark forces that threaten to unleash ghosts from an evil history. However, can they trust each other or even themselves to contain the fears that threaten to destroy them? Suspense and
mystery will keep the viewer unsettled and guessing till the very end, when the fate and outcome of all are finally revealed.

This is a psychological horror film with intense family drama, romance, suspense, action and terror. It contains a minimum of gore, violence and “creature” special effects. There are no cliche or oftused thrill gimmicks. The viewer is led step by step into a hellish world of sinister and fantastical events, where the familiar meets the magical, and a most cherished loved one could be a mortal enemy.

On the surface, 'Darkest Night' is an entertaining and truly scary thriller, with romance as well. However, for those who want to probe deeper, the story has multiple layers of character and dramatic depth. Like the Japanese film, 'The Pulse', 'Darkest Night' comments on modern "advanced" society and technology, including its impact on our closest friendships, lovers and family ties. Like John Carpenter's film, 'The Fog', it also shows how evils from a horrible past can invade our present and destroy us, if we open ourselves up to their influence and darkness.

This film, which will showcase the talent of our Filipino actors, is going to release internationally, and that's one thing that makes me excited about this film. But as the producer, Russ wants to distribute the film here in the Philippines first.

Our Associate Producer, Sheena Sunga, is heading up marketing for the Philippines, and that's where we want to distribute first. We're doing the film mostly in English with some Tagalog and a little French, along with subtitles. Since there are folks with the family who speak only English, it makes good story sense to have the tale in English and only a few Tagalog asides.

Currently living in Malaysia, Russ Williams is now setting up an office in Kuala Lumpur to handle marketing and distribution for Southeast and Eastern Asia.

Is the film going to be released in the US?
We have affiliated with DJ Perry's company, Collective Development, Inc., and they will be doing marketing and distribution for us in North America and the U.K. We're confident that we can get widespread distribution and at least some success for this film.

He also added that they are confident to get theatrical release here in the Philippines.

Watch out for the next parts of this interview. But for now if you want more informations about this film can check out their company's website, Gothic
Productions International, based in the Angeles City area:

Read the whole interview
Part 2 Read Here...
Part 3 Read Here...


Leave a comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails