USA TODAY has an exclusive clip from the behind-the-scenes feature on the new BENEATH Blu-ray, coming out tomorrow from Scream Factory!
Fessenden gives basically the same interview all over again in Sean Alexander’s article for Cinephiled:
Watching with Larry Fessenden, director of ‘Beneath’
Larry Fessenden loves horror movies. As a director he has brought his own unique approach to the classic horror stories and conventions in such films as Habit, Wendigo, and his animist ghost story / environmental thriller The Last Winter. Through his production company Glass Eye Pix his has produced or co-produced dozens of films, including Kelly Reichert’s Wendy and Lucy andNight Moves, Ti West’s The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land, and the recent documentary Birth of the Living Dead, a tribute to one of the holy grails of modern horror.
Apart from an episode of the horror TV series Fear Itself, Fessenden hasn’t directed a film since the 2004The Last Winter, an eco-twist on the ghost story in the culture of big oil, so the arrival of Beneath, about a group of teenagers, a rowboat in the middle of a lake, and a giant, hungry, man-eating catfish looking for its next meal, is reason to celebrate. It begins as a classic tale of teens behaving badly, and more importantly stupidly, but what first appears to be a lazy set-up to stake out its victims for the movie menace turns out to be an insidious insight to the true nature of its characters and the basis for the real conflict of the film. It’s a smart, savage film that plays with the familiar conventions and then twists a knife in them, and it’s all done with a small cast, a confined space, and a script that reveals the worst in humanity.
Director Larry Fessenden’s latest feature, Beneath, focuses on six freshly graduated high school seniors who cross paths with a massive, human-eating fish one day on Black Lake. The film is a potent blend of physical and psychological scares, and it’s getting a Blu-ray & DVD release via Scream Factory on March 25th. With the home media release coming soon, I recently chatted with Larry about his experience making Beneath.
Larry, thank you for taking the time to talk about your latest directorial feature, Beneath. To start things off, can you tell our readers what attracted you to direct this screenplay by Tony Daniel and Brian Smith?
Well, I really loved how contained the story was. It all takes place on a lake, on a tiny rowboat, and I’m a fan of the experiments Hitchcock would get up to where you sort of limit your options. He made a movie called Lifeboat that was all in one boat. That was one thing that interested me, it almost becomes like a play. And the other thing I liked is the giant fish. What’s not to like? I just loved the idea of making a creature feature. I love monsters and fish and dinosaurs and all kinds of creatures so it seemed really fun to be able to make a practical effects creature feature, and also explore how dreadful these kids are to each other. Which is kind of my viewpoint of humanity, so I got to exercise three things all at once: cinematic limitations, a monster movie, and explore human nature at its darkest.
(photo from the director’s private collection)
From Entertainment Weekly: ‘Beneath’ DVD: Larry Fessenden talks ‘Jaws’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
In the new horror movie Beneath — which Scream Factory is releasing on DVD and Blu-ray on March 25 — a group of folks attempt to fend off a huge fish in a boat too small for the task. If you think that sounds a lot like the plot of Jaws, then director Larry Fessenden (Habit, The Last Winter) will not be the least bit offended.
Indeed, Fessenden admits seeing Steven Spielberg’s film during its original release proved a massive, formative influence. “I saw it in Cape Cod in 1975,” the director told me, when he recently guested on SiriusXM 105′s Entertainment Weirdly. “I was obsessed with that film. I recorded the sound so I know the whole movie by heart, Mr Hooper! Then, I decided to make a GI Joe version and built the boat, a 6-foot Orca.”
Oh, if only Fessenden had kept that boat. Actually, he did! And the director shows it off with justified pride in the exclusive clip from the Beneath bonus features.
Our friends at FEARnet are hosting a BENEATH sweepstakes where you can win a Blu-Ray Prize Pack from Scream Factory featuring “Beneath”, “The Island” and the original classic “Piranha”
Fessenden’s BENEATH hits Blu-ray and DVD March 25.
“Veteran horror contributor and all-around cool guy Larry Fessenden has a lot of acting, directing and producing credits to his name. But he’s never worked with anything quite like he did on Beneath. Fessenden recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about his new film.
First he gave us a brief synopsis of what viewers can expect when they hitch their anchor to Beneath. “It’s a stylish little horror film about six teenagers stuck in a rowboat with a malevolent force under the water trying to get them,” Fessenden said.
“It’s a movie about the decisions they make to get out of the dilemma, and they’re not all pretty decisions.”
BENEATH hits Blu-ray/DVD March 25th via Scream Factory.
The BENEATH Blu-ray and DVD hit shelves March 25th!
Get details on the release and special features at Dread Central.
Congratulations to GEP pal Bonnie Dennison! Check out the exclusive From Deadline Hollywood:
“Bonnie Dennison has landed a lead role in Fox‘s multi-camera comedy pilot created/executive produced by 30 Rock co-executive producer Matt Hubbard and exec producer by 30 Rock creator/co-showrunner Tina Fey and co-showrunner Robert Carlock. Directed/exec produced by Pam Fryman, the untitled comedy is set at a women’s college that begins accepting men for the first time in its history.”
“Larry Fessenden’s BENEATH might have not been a hit with a lot of critics, but I absolutely adored this film. A group of recently graduated students take a canoe across a lake, and are hunted by a giant monster fish. Full of metaphors for how quickly people will turn on each other when they feel like they’re in danger, BENEATH is a fun time, full of some scares, and some really unexpected moments. Easily Fessenden’s best film in my opinion.”
GEP pals’ YOU’RE NEXT and THE SACRAMENT are also mentioned in the list.