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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 5, 2011

U.S. producer Russ Williams makes a horror movie in Manila

AN AMERICAN INDIE producer, Russ Williams of Gothic Productions International, has just finished filming in Manila a horror movie he himself wrote, “Darkest Night”, starring Hollywood actor DJ Perry with local stars. Set in an old ancestral house in the mountains of Sagada, the story starts on Christmas day with a happy family reunion. The film is presented part-docu style like the “Paranormal Activity” series, with local actor Jonas Gruet finding a video tape in the sight of the tragedy. Anne Gaulthier, Issa Litton and Nic Campos are siblings, with Nic married to Marife Necessito (who starred with Michelle Williams in “Mammoth”.) Anne comes home to introduce her American boyfriend, DJ Perry. Also in the cast are Jill Palencia, Kevin Vitug, James Lomahan, Allan Mancebo and Malaysian actor Justin Hoong Fai Chan.

What starts as a festive affair turns into a nightmare of supernatural and terrifying events, with family members being killed one by one. DJ and Anne then try to find out what is happening and how to survive their mysterious tormentor. “Darkest Night” is a psychological horror film presented as a gothic family drama with suspense and action, but not resorting into cheap gimmicks, gore or violence. It just keeps you guessing until the very end when the outcome is finally revealed.

It’s lead actor DJ Perry’s first time to do a film in our country. A graduate of Michigan State U in Lansing, he has done several films in the U.S., like “Sherwood Horror”, “A State of Hate”, “The Science of Cool”, “Timberwolf”, “The Throwaways”, “Wicked Spring”, “An Ordinary Killer”, “Scarlet Creek”, “Ghost Town”, among others. He owns the film company Collective Development Inc. that co-produces “Darkest Night” with Russ Williams. His leading lady, Anne Gaulthier, is a French-Filipina actress who studied acting in Paris.

Negotiations are now going on for distributors to release the film in the U.S. It’ll have a premiere night in Manila soon but theatrical release is scheduled in early 2012 yet. “Our aim in ‘Darkest Night’ is to create a hybrid quality horror film that would appeal to both eastern and western markets while not losing the edge that makes Asian horror unique,” says producer Russ Williams. “Darkest Night” is one of two films he just completed. The other one is a mystery, “Shadow of Death”. He’s now working on yet another project, “Pandemonium”. In the U.S., he did the film “The Last Year”. Also a novelist, he has published five novels led by “The Night Hunter”. He first tried to do “Darkest Night” in Malaysia but they’re very strict when it comes to films about the occult, so he relocated to Manila and asked a Filipino director, Noel Tan, to helm it. “We also want to help and promote Asian filmmakers who wish to make new cutting-edge gothic dramatic films like Noel,” he adds. You can visit their website at www.darkestnightmovie.com.