Check out our talk with Christopher Landon about his latest film, which he described as an R-rated Goonies.
The Knockturnal had the opportunity to speak with Christopher Landon on the new movie Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, inspiration for it, and genre. You might know him for his work on Disturbia and Paranormal Activity, but he sheds some light on the more comedic side of horror. The movie will hit theaters Oct. 30.
What was the inspiration for this movie?
Christopher Landon: I’m actually not the original writer, I rewrote the movie in terms of the genesis for it. But for me the inspiration was to make a film like the ones I grew up watching. This was my chance to make the Goonies but with an R-rated plan to it. I tell people it’s like an R- rated the Goonies meets old school Sam Raimi type of movie, so that was the real inspiration just because I love the Goonies, Gremlins, Monster Squad , all that stuff. I feel that this is in this movie’s DNA.
This is your first comedy film. Were there any challenges unique to working in the genre?
CL: No, it felt really comfortable and natural for me just because all the other stuff that I did such as the horror and thriller stuff like Disturbia and the Paranormal Activity movies they’ve all had quite a bit of humor in them. I’ve always felt really comfortable in that space , so this felt like a really easy fit for me. I think it would have been different if it didn’t have some of the horror element here , so it was a kind of nice safety blanket for me, but I felt good about it.
What’s your favorite Halloween movie?
CL: Well, I can’t not watch Halloween, it’s just a ritual for me. I inevitably carve a pumpkin, light it and put it out. It doesn’t feel like Halloween unless I do that , but I have so many horror movies that I love that it’s really hard for me to just pick one, so all of them ( chuckles).
What was the most challenging scene to shoot?
CL: The most challenging scene to shoot was definitely the trampoline sequence. Only because it was logistically challenging . There were a lot of moving parts, dealing with effects that are practical, actors on wires, stunt doubles, you’re dealing with everything. Just everything that can possibly happen would happen there, and then performance and balancing. I think there is no other moment when it’s walking the line of horror and comedy at the same time, so you’re scared and you’re laughing . So for me that was a huge challenge but it was also so fun to do because it felt so original and whacky, and really expressed the tone of the movie.
What is your dream project?
CL: I have a dream project which is something that I actually wrote recently based on a book, I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it or not, but it’s very much a big crazy epic adventure movie . Very different from a lot of the stuff I’ve done, but also has all of the elements of a movie that I’d love to make because it’s very character driven, it has a lot of heart, humor but it also has some good thrills in it. And going back to a lot of the stuff I grew up on, it is very ambian in tone, and that’s very appealing to me.
How would you describe this movie to someone?
CL: I tell people if you want to see the coolest version of the Goonies as directed by Sam Raimi, like the R- rated version of the Goonies, that’s the easiest and the best way to describe it and every time I tell people they’re like “oh, I want to see that”, and I really hope that message comes through because I feel that people to a certain degree have hit critical mass with their zombies and I want people to know that this is believe it or not still different like we’re still doing our own thing and it’s a really good time , and in a really crowded marketplace where there are a lot of options and a lot of movies to see, we’re one of the few movies where we’re actually just a good time, and I hope that’s what gets out there.