March 25, 2016
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DARLING – One Week Away!

Keep Your Eyes Open…

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DARLING, directed by Mickey Keating, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, is only one week away!

February 23, 2016
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Reviews Are In: DARLING’s Getting Love

Reviews are in for Mickey Keating’s DARLING, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Brian Morvant, Sean Young, and Fessenden.

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“Filled with gorgeous black and white cinematography,
disjointed and off-kilter soundtrack choices, 
whispering voices, shocking violence, and subliminal edits
(not to mention an ever growing sense of dread), 
DARLING is the perfect fusion of arthouse and grind house…
the performance of lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter really hits this one home. 
5 stars / 5″
“The minimalist script and direction leave you mesmerized,
and Lauren Ashley Carter’s stellar performance simply can not be ignored.
4 stars / 5″
February 15, 2016
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Bloody Disgusting Reviews DARLING

Luiz H.C. over at Bloody Disgusting reviews Mickey Keating’s DARLING, calling Keating’s direction “…inspired, with German expressionist undertones and classic horror atmosphere permeating every scene.” DARLING hits theaters on April 1st and iTunes on April 8th.

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From Bloody Disgusting:

In a world full of soulless remakes and unnecessary sequels, it’s good to have a robust indie market to fulfill our more obscure horror needs. There is a dark side to independent filmmaking, however, as most of these films walk a fine line between artsy trash and low budget masterpieces. In Mickey Keating’s Darling, we’re presented with a mesmerizing experience that knows which side of the line it’s on, due in no small part to Lauren Ashley Carter’s amazing work as the unnamed protagonist.

The story follows a troubled young woman that becomes the caretaker for a mysterious New York mansion with a dark past. Left to her own devices by the mansion’s owners and tormented by confusing visions and nightmares, the woman begins to lose her mind as she encounters impossibly familiar faces on the street and deals with terrifying memories. Seemingly trapped by the house, she is left with no choice but to descend into madness.

It may not be the world’s most complex story, but the screenplay seems almost superfluous in a film that relies so heavily on visual storytelling. In fact, there is very little dialogue in the movie, and the few lines that are spoken are so ambiguous that they sometimes leave you with more questions than answers. This works in Darling’s favor, as the viewer is never quite sure if either the house or the leading lady is responsible for the horrific events depicted onscreen.

Although Darling boasts a modest budget, the cast and production values are phenomenal. There are only a couple of defined characters here, but their interaction (or lack thereof) helps to sell the protagonist’s extreme isolation, despite living in a metropolis. In the end, Carter does steal the show, but Sean Young and Brian Morvant are also excellent in their small but effective roles. Larry Fessenden also has a small cameo towards the end, which is always a pleasant surprise.

Mickey Keating’s direction is also inspired, with German expressionist undertones and classic horror atmosphere permeating every scene. The monochrome visuals may be off-putting to some, but they are masterfully used here, enhancing some of the gothic imagery instead of looking cheap. Darling does have some pacing problems, but the slower scenes are almost all done in service of mood and atmosphere, so these moments are easy to forgive.

There may be quite a few other films out there with a similar premise, but Darling is too charming and impactful to criticized for being derivative. The minimalist script and direction leave you mesmerized, and Lauren Ashley Carter’s stellar performance simply can not be ignored. It may not be a perfect horror film, but it’s damn good one, and I hope to see more of Keating and Carter in the future.

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November 5, 2015
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An Evening with Larry Fessenden at Lincoln Center – THE LAST WINTER & DARLING

Tuesday night the Film Society of Lincoln Center hosted Fessenden and the Glass Eye Pix crew for a double screening of THE LAST WINTER and the NYC premiere of Mickey Keating’s DARLING.

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Read on for photos from the night and Hollywood Reporter’s review of DARLING.

November 3, 2015
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TONIGHT: Something Old, Something New at Lincoln Center

Attention NYC Fans: Tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as part of their horror program Scary Movies 9, there are two screenings of GEP Films… something old, and something new.

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THE LAST WINTER (2006)
dir. Larry Fessenden
7:00pm
w/ Fessenden, James LeGros, and Ron Perlman in attendance
Tickets and More Info

And make it a double feature with the NYC premiere of…

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DARLING (2015)
dir. Mickey Keating
9:45pm
w/ Fessenden, Mickey Keating, Lauren Ashley Carter and Brian Morvant in attendance
Tickets and More Info

September 29, 2015
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Screen Media Films Picks Up DARLING

Screen Media Films has picked up worldwide acquisition rights for the Mickey Keating-directed GEP flick, DARLING. From the Indiewire News Release:

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After a weekend of negotiations following its Fantastic Fest premiere on Friday night, Screen Media Films has landed worldwide acquisition rights to Mickey Keating’s “Darling,” starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden and Brian Morvant.

“Darling” stars Carter as a young woman who goes crazy after taking a caretaker job at an ancient home in New York.

“Very few movies can make me incredibly uncomfortable while fascinating me,” said Seth Needle, Director of Worldwide Acquisitions, Screen Media Films. “Mickey Keating’s terrific film does just that, while paying homage to some of my absolute favorite genre films. I couldn’t be happier to be involved with distributing this one.”

“‘Darling’ is a love letter to those chilling, old-school horror films that get under your skin and stay there,” added Keating. “I’m thrilled and honored to be teaming up with Screen Media to cause some serious nightmares for audiences around the globe.”

The deal was negotiated by Needle at Screen Media, with Bill Straus of newly formed Bridge Independent on behalf of the filmmakers. Screen Media Films will release the film in theaters in early 2016.

September 25, 2015
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A.V. Club on DARLING

One of the first reviews of DARLING, directed by Mickey Keating, just hit. Katie Rife wrote about the experiences of day one at Fantastic Fest, and included this about GEP’s newest psycho-thriller:

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Darling (B+), the fourth feature from Pod’s Mickey Keating. Lauren Ashley Carter (Pod, Jug Face) turns in a mesmerizing performance as Darling, an anonymous woman in an indeterminate year who takes a care-taking job in an elegant New York townhouse. On her way out the door, the owner tells Darling that there have been rumors about the house and its former caretaker, who committed suicide. But, she assures her, “nothing like that could ever happen again.” Shot in gorgeous black and white, this pseudo-Satanic riff on Repulsion and The Shining uses minimal locations and minimal characters; Sean Young and Larry Fessenden provide genre cred in small roles, but Carter is alone on screen for most of the movie. Her breakdown (or maybe it’s a possession?) is underscored by jarring sound effects and flashy editing tricks that, applied incorrectly, could seem pretentious. But here, they work, because they actually makes sense in the context of the story. Deeply unsettling, with flashes of extreme violence, Darling is a ghost story with no ghost, just Carter’s intense eyes, expressive face, and an ominous white door at the end of a hallway.

September 24, 2015
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Mickey Keating on DARLING’s 1960s Influences

The Austin Chronicle spoke with Mickey Keating directing GEP’s upcoming psycho-tense thriller DARLING.

Darling Mickey
Prolific director Mickey Keating dials into the Sixties
by Richard Whittaker

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Mickey Keating can’t stop. The writer/director stunned SXSW audiences this spring with his X-Files-influenced horror Pod, he’s debuting his latest feature, Darling, at Fantastic Fest, and he’s already in post-production on his next project, Carnage Park. He said, “Honestly, man, I just love making movies, and when I’m not making movies, I’m panicking.”

Shot in black and white, and in 1:1.66 ratio as a deliberate homage to Repulsion and Stanley Kubrick’s early work, Keating describes Darling as “a Sixties-style descent into madness.” It follows the title character (Lauren Ashley Carter, PodJug Face) as she takes the job of caretaker in a Manhattan apartment, only to discover there’s something far more sinister lurking in the Upper East Side than roaches and rats. “I love films about loners,” Keating said, and while Darling may be geographically distant from the rural isolation of Pod, they are still connected. He said, “What we really tried to capture was this isolated, ghostly sensibility in a place where there are millions and millions of people at any corner.”

Carter isn’t the only Pod alumnus here, with co-stars Brian Morvant and Larry Fessenden making the trip to the Big Apple. The reason for their casting was simple: Keating had a great experience working with them the first time. “It seemed like some magical occurrence, so while we’re waiting for sound mix, while we’re waiting for a composer, let’s go make another film.”

Some might find that quick turnaround daunting, but Keating pointed to the inspiration of John Cassavetes, who poured his own savings into Faces, or Sam Fuller, who shot the revolutionary Shock Corridor in 10 days. Confronted by that work ethic, he said, “It’s hard for me in my mind to make up an excuse and not be inspired. … If there’s a way for me to tell a story that makes sense in whatever box I’m currently confined in, I’ll find a way to make it work.”

Add Fessenden to the list of influences. Aside from acting, he’s also a respected writer, director, and producer, and widely seen as the patron saint of indie horror. Keating acknowledges a huge debt, both creatively and careerwise. As a college student, he found the number for Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix production house in a press release, cold-called, and ended up with two summers of internships, “watching and observing and doing whatever they needed for me to do.” Calling his time there “a tremendously valuable learning experience,” he said that for aspiring young filmmakers, “Glass Eye Pix stood as a mecca; you can make art, you can make your independent films, you can tell your offbeat stories.”

The trio of Fessenden, Cassavetes, and Fuller weren’t the only independently minded auteurs that inspired Keating. During the editing of Pod, he immersed himself in the work of experimental filmmakers Hollis Frampton and Stan Brakhage, and their aesthetics seeped into his own approach to storytelling. He describes that as a reaction to too many contemporary indie horrors that feel like “pseudo-studio films on a smaller budget. You don’t see that kind of freedom and enthusiasm with editing and experimentalism that you got in the Sixties and Seventies.”


Darling screens Friday, Sept. 25, 5:20pm, and Thursday, Oct. 1, 1:30pm.

Fantastic Fest 2015 runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 1 at the Alamo South Lamar. Fest badges are sold out, but often during the festival, individual tickets for films will open up, so patient and intrepid Austinites still have a chance to sample the wide array of films on offer. See www.fantasticfest.com for more info.

September 17, 2015
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New Teaser Trailer for GEP’s DARLING

Entertainment Weekly has the first teaser trailer for GEP’s DARLING. The film premieres at Fantastic Fest, is directed by Mickey Keating, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, and, as the trailer states, “This film contains flashing lights and hallucinatory images.”

September 9, 2015
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Fangoria has First Exclusive Poster for DARLING

Fangoria’s got a brand new poster for Mickey Keating’s DARLING, which Fangoria describes as:

Written and directed by Mickey Keating, whose POD just saw release (see story here), DARLING stars JUG FACE’s Lauren Ashley Carter as a young woman who takes a job as a caretaker in a mysterious Manhattan mansion, where the last person to have the job committed suicide and her own sanity begins to crumble. The cast also includes Brian Morvant, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden, John Speredakos and Helen Rogers, and the film was produced by Fessenden, Jenn Wexler, Sean Fowler, Keating and Carter.

 

Darling_poster

 

For the full post and an exclusive image, head to Fangoria.