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iHorror Chats It Up With Andrew Traucki On His New Film ‘The Reef: Stalked.’

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Another shark film? That was the first thing that came to mind when I was aware that this film was coming out. I then realized it was a sequel to The Reef, which was released in 2010. I stopped for a moment and thought, “well, The Reef wasn’t a bad film by any means; it was a decent shark movie from what I could remember, so why the hell not? I’ll give it a try!”

A still of the shark from the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

After watching The Reef: Stalked, my first impressions were stressful, heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and a superb storyline due to the conflict immediately injected into the story. I was drawn into the story right away, and as much as I hate to admit this (not because I didn’t enjoy the film), I had to pause it several times.

The suspense involving the shark was a bit overbearing; however, I still enjoyed every minute of it. Isn’t this why we watch these types of films? The writing was on point, it was beautifully shot on location in Australia, and I enjoyed the character arches as they developed throughout the film’s ninety-minute run time.

The actors conjured up some raw emotions, and I imagined that was quite the stretch in an unpredictable setting. The shark’s predatory habits were pretty realistic, and I didn’t feel that there was ever any temptation to be overdramatic and sensationalize the attacks.

(L-R) Ann Truong as Jodie, Saskia Archer as Annie and Teressa Liane as Nic in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

The Reef: Stalked is a high recommend, just as good as the original, and an excellent watch for the summer season! Be sure to check it out.

In Theaters, On Digital, On Demand and Streaming on Shudder July 29, 2022 

Run Time: 90 minutes| Rating: NR

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Synopsis: In an effort to heal after witnessing her sister’s horrific murder, Nic travels to a tropical resort with her friends for a kayaking and diving adventure. Only hours into their expedition, the women are stalked and then attacked by a great white shark. To survive they will need to band together and Nic will have to overcome her post-traumatic stress, face her fears and slay the monster.

Writer & Director – Andrew Traucki

A Quick Chat With Writer & Director – Andrew Traucki

I had a wonderful time speaking with Andrew about The Reef: Stalked. Even though I had significant technical difficulties, I was ecstatic to have this opportunity to bring our interview to the page. As always, it’s never enough time. I hope that you all enjoy it.

iHorror: How difficult was it to film on location?

Andrew Traucki: You know it was pretty difficult; we were in the water all day which no human body should have to endure. Being in the tropics, the air temperature was all right. The climate change got kind of weird at times with this being the driest part of the east coast of Australia, and then it would be raining, and then the winds would pick up, and wind in the water is not good, especially when you are holding up reflector boards and things like that. It was really quite difficult. One of the poor camera assistants stepped on a stingray and got a barb stuck in her leg; one day, there was an actual shark on set, lucky that we weren’t in the water that day. So yeah, it’s not easy to film in an actual location that is full of water.

iH: Andrew, how does the original Reef compare to The Reef: Stalked? Did you have an idea for this film while doing the first one?

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AT: Yeah, I think what I have done was I’ve tried to keep the same sense of realism and survival thriller engine going. What I’ve tried to do this time was to add another layer of trauma and the relationships of the woman and address the notion of domestic violence and elevate it a bit more and give it a second level, and that is sort of my feeling about it, what do you feel?

iH: I liked this film better than I thought I would, and I think that it is a totally separate entity from the first one.

AT: Interesting, yeah, I think you’re right. The first one was like a documentary, almost like survival, whereas this is more like a traditional drama

(L-R) Teressa Liane as Nic, Ann Truong as Jodie, Kate Lister as Lisa and Saskia Archer as Annie in horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, and RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder

iH: Did you shoot the shark footage yourself, or did a separate crew do that?

AT: Yeah, most of it was a separate crew.

iH: At times when the shark was actually biting a prop, how was that accomplished? Did you build it around the actual shark, or did you just put the prop out there, or was it just movie magic?

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AT: Yeah, it’s just movie magic. [Chuckles]

iH: [Laughs] Well, it looked pretty convincing.

AT: Good, I am glad. That’s what I wanted to hear.

iH: Were the actors in the water with the shark at any time or near the shark?

AT: [Smiles] Movie Magic.

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iH: You did it well; I just need to commend you; they were marvelous, and I really loved them. The thought of them dying from the shark was just horrible, so you did a great job with writing with their personalities, and the conflict was just great. The movie was just great, and I know that people are going to love it.

AT: Thank you, Ryan. The women in the film were just a wonderful cast; you know, they brought just so much to the role; I agree with you; I think they are wonderful.

(L-R) Ann Truong as Jodie, Kate Lister as Lisa, Teressa Liane as Nic and Saskia Archer as Annie in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

iH: What do you have next in the pipeline?

AT: I have a black comedy called Melodica Vampire Slayer, which I describe as Spinal Tap meets Dracula. I’d really love to make that because I know it will be a hoot. So, yeah, I am really also looking for scripts that are elevated thrillers. I am always looking for those, and that is what’s on my radar at the moment.

iH: Well, that is awesome, a little bit different from this film. I had mentioned to one of our other writers that I would be speaking with you today, and a question that he wanted me to ask you was, “What were the challenges of coming up with something new in the shark genre since there are so many these days?

AT: That’s a good question. Obviously, it’s been ten years between films, so it’s not easy for me. I am not really into shark exploitation in all these sorts of films; I am really not interested in that so much. It is kind of fun for a while, and then I think it becomes repetitive, so I don’t mind watching one or two, and then it’s like, ‘yeah, I think I have seen this.’ For me, it is always about something new and that is interesting that will grab me. If it has the shark in it, that’s fine, and if it hasn’t, that’s fine as well.

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(L-R) Teressa Liane as Nic, Saskia Archer as Annie and Ann Truong as Jodie in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

iH: I think that happens a lot, people go in thinking it is going to be the same beats, and this film wasn’t that, and that was really refreshing. What was the most challenging part of filming this movie?

AT: That’s a good question. The shoot was challenging. We really just didn’t have enough time for the amount of stuff that I wanted to shoot. It is always a tug of war, the tension between being creative and the money trying to make sure that it all happens and on budget, so that was quite stressful. In post, I guess the edit wasn’t working very well for a while, and then we finally cracked it, and that was good. So, yeah, I guess the shoot was the most stressful.

iH: Alright, it looks like my time is up; and I really appreciate you taking the time out; and I do apologize for all of the technical difficulties that I had.

AT: That’s all right, Ryan, thank you.

iH: Alright, sir, you have a good one.

AT: You too, cheers.

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A still of the shark from the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

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Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Raven’s Hallow’ Trailer Sees the Young Writer Solving Crimes of the Occult

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Hallow

Edgar Allen Poe’s upcoming Raven’s Hallow is a Shudder exclusive that is based on the young writer’s tales from when he was still stationed at West Point. So, we will see one of his stories that were inspired during his time as a cadet.

The synopsis for Raven’s Hallow according to Deadline goes like this:

Set in the autumn of 1830, Poe and four other cadets are on a training exercise in upstate New York when they come across a man eviscerated on a bizarre wooden rack. His dying words direct them to a remote rural community, holding sinister secrets. Determined to get to the bottom of the murder, Poe embarks on a quest that will bring him face to face with a terror that will haunt him forever.

Raven’s Hallow stars William Mosely as young Poe with William Moseley stars as Poe with Melanie Zanetti, Kate Dickie, David Hayman, Oberon K. A. Adjepong, and Callum Woodhouse.

Raven’s Hallow arrives on Shudder beginning September 22.

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Head over HERE to watch the full trailer.

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‘The Ring’ Comes to Blu-Ray Steelbook Complete With VHS Slipcase Design

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Ring

Japan’s entry into J-Horror with Ringu was one of the best that there has ever been. When America decided to do a remake, I can still recall a lot of people being upset that it wouldn’t measure up. However, Gore Verbenski’s dark portrait was nearly a better film than the original. From its ominous start to shocking finish The Ring was effective around every corner. 20 years later folks can still appreciate Verbenski’s film and in order to celebrate the film turning 20 we are getting a cool steelbook blu-ray for the film.

The steelbook comes with an awesome VHS design slipcase. Inside the steelbook is made of static and the iconic scene with Samara and the well.

The synopsis for The Ring goes like this:

It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.

Verbinki’s film is genuinely scary and it entirely deserves a 20th anniversary release. It is a film that has managed to stay in the conversation when horror films are being discussed. It still manages to get heavy play during the Halloween season on AMC. Rightfully so.

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You can pick up your copy of The Ring’s special edition beginning October 18.

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The Sanderson Sisters Are Running Amok in New ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Photos

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Pocus

The new D23 magazine featured a very welcome sight this time around. The wickedly awesome Sanderson Sisters are showing off a bit on their lead-up to the upcoming Disney+ Hocus Pocus 2 release. In each of the photos, the ladies are running amok as per usual. The lead-up to this sequel has been a long road. So, fans have been savoring the little teases made up of a teaser trailer, a couple of posters, and of course pictures. Fans are most excited that Hocus Pocus 2 sees the return of all three Sanderson sisters as well actor Doug Jones.

The synopsis for Hocus Pocus 2 goes like this:

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

Pocus

The Hocus Pocus sequel stars Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”), Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl”), Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt”), Belisa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Sam Richardson (“The Tomorrow War,” “Good Boys”), Juju Brener (“Vanquish”), Froy Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”), Taylor Paige Henderson and Nina Kitchen.

The Sanderson Sisters will officially run amok a second time when Hocus Pocus 2 lands its broom on Disney+ beginning September 30.

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