When former cop, Brett Irlam (Jason London, Dazed and Confused), takes a job as head of security at an old apartment building in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, he immediately begins to experience a series of bizarre and terrifying events. As he starts to delve deep into the building’s sinister history and investigate its shadowy owners and past employees, Brett quickly uncovers a malevolent force nestled deep in the bowels of the building, a force that will not stop at anything to be set free into our world. Horror icon Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street) also stars in this thriller about an afterlife darker than you ever imagined.
I was able to screen Nightworld early for review. The movie starts out with more of a drama feel than a horror movie which I enjoyed because it gave me some time to get to know, and actually care about the characters. The movie features a small cast and, at times, a small budget feel, but once sucked in, it plays like a really good book. The turn from drama to horror is somewhat predictable but still very enjoyable. It features some pretty haunting concepts and scenes, a couple that made me jump and one that had me covering my eyes. The cast does a great job at bringing this eerie and dark story to life, but they don’t do it alone, the building truly is the main character in the film. Wait until you see the stunning details, they left me impressed, intrigued and wanting to see more. And, from the sounds of it, as you will learn from my chat with Robert Englund about the film, the building was even more mysterious in person.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Robert Englund about this film. He was kind, courteous and very generous with our conversation which was nice because he was the first man to ever go from screen to haunting to my dreams. My dad took me to see the original Nightmare on Elm Street (staring Robert Englund as Freddy Kruger) in the theater, and then decided just a few hours later to leave me home alone for the weekend. I was 14, and I was terrified! I don’t think I slept an hour either night, as I was so sure that Freddy would be paying me a visit. Ha ha, years later, he would grow to be one of my all-time favorites, and the actor a true screen legend. Knowing that under all of the horror make-up, and eerie characters of recent, is honestly a real nice guy just makes my day. Below are some of the highlights of our chat.
On how he became attached to Nighworld:
I have this good friend, Loris Curci, we had started a project years ago that had a lot of big names attached, I put a lot into it, called in a lot of favors, but it just never panned out. We both lived through the disappointments of that project not happening, so ever since then, when Loris has a little project that he thinks I’m right for, he calls me on the phone. The characters I play now (the old doctor, the old scientist, the step father), this was a chance to play a kind of variation of that – the man that tended one of seven doors to purgatory for years, because of his blindness is forced to retire. But, he does know the secret of the portal, so he’s called back into action, and that’s the kind of characters I play now – where you tell a lot of the back story, and you get a lot of dialog, which is fun. This was a variation of those roles that I have fun playing. And, it was also a chance to see my buddy Loris again. Going all the way to Bulgaria, and also having Jason (London) there, that I like and know and respect, that made it easy for me.
On forming his character:
I got lucky. I sorta saw him in my minds eye. I wanted him to be timeless – you know, a lot of older people don’t get new clothes. They have nice clothes, but they’re old clothes. I recently signed an autograph for an old man in London, in a beautiful suit, but the suit was 30 years old, he had a beautiful briefcase, and a wonderful autograph book with everybody in it, from Boris Karloff, Marlon Brando to Vincent Price. You know, I was honored he asked for my autograph…anyway I used him, because he was very dapper. I wanted that sense of timelessness, because some of the movie does have that timelessness to it, I think. When I found the hat – I kept drawing the hat. I knew the word Homburg, and I got a Homburg that was just right. Hats are tricky, you can really look ridiculous in a hat. I did a cop once that had a big Texas Rangers hat, it looked silly on me with my big ol’ ears. I was a younger actor, in a tv movie. So actors learn to be leery and protective when it comes to wardrobe, and hats can be tricky, and this was a great one, it really looked like the character.
How about that building:
Everything you see in the movie is real. It was great. It’s a real old building. We kept finding more and more stuff. There was a longer scene that they cut, they brought me down this massive staircase, and into this wonderful, old 1900’s elevator, that was just wonderful and mysterious. I was hard to believe.
The ending felt like there could be a sequel.
I’ll be honest with you Jenn, they do that a lot these days. I did a movie in 2006 (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon), and there is a sequel script to that and it is fabulous. But, I think we’re going to end up doing it as a limited series on television. Even Freddy vs Jason, that was my last mega-hit, like twelve years ago, even that we set it up for a sequel – we never made it, but we should of. We left money on the table, as they say in Hollyweird . Yes, they do that a lot now, what happens is all of the platforms we have… You can do a movie that doesn’t do well in the theater, but three years later it can be on cable, every Saturday night and you get a huge following, everybody is watching it. I’ve had this happen.
Movie Facts: Robert did the rehearsals with his eyes open, and wearing the dark sunglasses. Then, drawing on his own personal experiences with friends and a family member that is blind, he filmed his actual scenes with his eyes closed.
Mr. Englund had nothing but high praise for the cast and crew of Nightworld, in-fact he complemented Jason (London) on his performance several times during our chat, and mentioned the two got along so well, they even closed the bar a couple of nights.
Nightworld is now playing in select theaters & On Demand. STARRING: Jason London, Robert Englund, Gianni Capaldi. DIRECTED BY: Patricio Valladares WRITTEN BY: Barry Keating and Milan Konjevic
Q: If you were to leave the movie business tomorrow, and no longer work on films, what about it would you miss the most?
R.E.: I would miss working on location, staying a month or more in a foreign city.
Q: What is one of the craziest, or most unusual things a fan has ever said or gifted you during a meet & greet?
R.E.: A custom Freddy “my little pony” was pretty funny. But I’ve also received Freddy soap, Freddy chocolate and many hand crocheted Freddy dolls that live on my pinball machine. The diorama from Sesame Street of psycho Ernie in a red and green sweater holding a severed muppet head really has to be seen to be believed.
FTC Disclosure: Free advanced screening of Nightworld was received for the purpose of this blog post. I was not asked or influenced to write a positive review. All photos used and opinions expressed are my own and honest. All photos published on this site are copyrighted and may not be used without permission. Copyright rests with the webmaster, the individual photographers and writers. Unlawful use will be persecuted and prosecuted by law.