Today (September 1st, 2015) sees the release of the new horror film, Lost After Dark. Co-written by Bo Ransdell and Ian Kessner and directed by Kessner, the film is set in Spring 1984, when are group of high school friends decide to take off for the weekend to spend a few nights at Adrienne’s (Kendra Timmins) family’s cottage. However, things take a turn for the worse when the school bus the friends have stolen breaks down, leaving them stranded on a deserted road, near an abandoned house that’s sole occupant is Junior Joad, a long-thought cannibal killer. Mayhem and murder ensues.
I had the chance to check out a screening of Lost After Dark at the end of August with cast and crew in attendance, and I enjoyed the film quite a bit. It’s a love letter to ’80s horror films and knows exactly what it is. While it’s a little long at times, there are some genuine shocks and surprises throughout, and you can’t say that about every horror film out there.
Lost After Dark’s lead actress Kendra Timmins was kind enough to answer some questions via email about the film, the shoot and much more.
Kendra Timmins: It might sound strange, but it’s actually such a relief to see Lost After Dark with an audience. We knew as actors that we had something really fun to work with in terms of a script and a genre, but because it’s set in the 80s and an homage to a genre that is beloved by so many horror fans, that can easily be lost on an audience. So hearing people laugh and scream and have fun in all the right places, is so gratifying as an actor.
AB: Tell me about reading the script for the first time – what appealed to you about the role of Adrienne?
KT: What appealed to me about Adrienne, is that she was so easy to feel for. I related in many ways to this intelligent girl, suffering from the loss of a family member, and trying to fit in with the cool kids. And I knew that playing up her awkwardness and sensitivity would be a lot of fun.
AB: Did you grow up watching horror films? If so, what are some of your favourites and why?
KT: To claim I grew up watching horror movies wouldn’t be entirely true, in fact I was/am a bit of a coward, but I still watched my fair share of Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark and horror movies at sleepovers. Some of my favourites were Final Destination, The Ring and Scream. But despite the fact that they gave me nightmares, I always wanted to be in a horror film. I thought it would cure me of my fears, which it may have, but it’s too soon to tell.
AB: There appears to be a real bond between cast members on screen – what was it like for you working with your fellow victims?
KT: I cannot say enough incredible things about the cast of this film. Ian, and casting, did such a great job of finding actors that not only fit his and Bo’s characters, but were talented and a real pleasure to work with. We hung out all the time off-screen, and when you are working gruelling hours, in a small town, with dark subject matter, it’s crucial for your sanity. I consider them all to be friends, and hope I get to work with them in the future, although it seems like that might be tough, they are all so busy being famous now.
(Andy’s Note: The folks behind the film asked me if I would mind removing a question that was originally in this spot and that revealed a pretty big spoiler in Lost After Dark, which I happily agreed to do. It’s VERY cool and fun and I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, especially those who might skip the spoiler notes here. Trust me – just watch the film. Now, back to our interview.)
AB: How was the shoot like for you? Does working on a horror film ever feel creepy when cameras aren’t rolling?
KT: It was a lot of fun shooting, like I said, I’d always been a bit of a coward when it came to horror movies, so watching how the magic gets made was so cool. The crew, the set decorators did such a great job, the interior of the house was particularly terrifying, because they actually got to wreck the inside of this house that was already pretty old and creepy. I remember one day on set we were asking them about everything and I asked “the cobwebs look so real, are they?” And the answer they gave me was “do you really want to know?” And I decided I didn’t, ahaha. But in terms of actually being scared on set, it wasn’t a problem for me. Most of my scenes had everyone in them and you are always surrounded by crew, even the moment when I was staring down into the basement and seeing “nothing” it was actually Ian, like five crew members and a camera looking up at me.
AB: What have you got coming up next?
KT: I’ve been auditioning for some incredible projects in Toronto, which is always great to see so much work being filmed here. And I’ve also started writing, so hopefully some of those projects will be getting off the ground at some point down the road, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess and I can’t wait for whatever it is.
Lost After Dark is out on Blu-Ray/DVD today from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Raven Banner and Goldrush Entertainment. Thanks to Kendra Timmins for taking the time to talk to Biff Bam Pop, and to Leah at Amberlight Productions for helping make it happen.