Fantasia 2019: Interview with ‘Harpoon’ Star Munro Chambers
Harpoon is part of the official selection of the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival, running in Montreal, Quebec. I had the chance to talk with one of the stars of the film, Munro Chambers (Turbo Kid, Knuckleball) about the film, his character, and the human condition.
You can keep an eye out for a full film review, and click here to read my interview with Harpoon‘s writer/director, Rob Grant.
Kelly McNeely: From what I understand, you guys had three days of rehearsal to work on the film before you started. What was that process like and how did that help?
Munro Chambers: It was huge. Because it’s such an intimate film and such a small cast, I think those three days were crucial just to really hammer out the details of the three characters’ history, and just our chemistry of being three best friends who’ve known each other for years, and all of their dirty laundry which they get out on this boat during this crazy ride of a film.
You really need to know how to make each other tick, and it was a lot of fun to find out that with Christopher and Rob, to kind of just play around and talk about certain situations and how we think each other would be, and really identify each character’s faults.
KM: Do you feel like you really got to live in Jonah a bit, or was that a very different character for you?
MC: I’ve played characters similar to him. What I loved about the script – without giving too much away – is each character has a surface identity that is very evident as you view the film, and they kind of reveal their true colors as it goes on.
The first reveal of Jonah is the smart one, the weak one physically. Emily has all the heart and all the compassion, and Christopher Gray’s character, he has all the rage and the anger, he has all the strength. And as you see the film progress, you really see who they truly are as people. As you kind of strip away all this surface stuff that they’re putting on or that the world is projecting on them. It was really interesting to read.
KM: As you were saying, again, the characters are really fantastic and really in-depth, did you think that any of the characters were really kind of the “bad guy”? Was it all of them? They’re very complex characters who do some terrible things, right?
MC: I think they all take their turn, I think it really shows the human condition that anyone’s capable of anything, and it doesn’t matter who you are, and that’s kind of what they’re alluding to with all these characters is that throughout the film you may tag this person as the villain right off the top, and then halfway through, like “well it could be this person”, and then later “well maybe it’s THIS person!”.
It’s very, very interesting how Rob set it up, Rob and Mike Peterson, how they set it up. And that’s what made it fun for us. We each got to take turns playing multiple versions of these characters in a different storyline – they weren’t in a different film. And with how they shot it, it feels like almost four or five different genres packed into one film. And that made it really exciting for us to really play and get creative with all of our years of experience trying to flex those muscles, which was just such a joy.
KM: I know you filmed the interiors in order, it kind of ends up coming out a little bit like a stage play, doesn’t it?
MC: Well that’s exactly it. That’s why the three days were even that much more important because it’s just continuous. I think Rob really pegged it out to be some kind of Seinfeld episode because all the characters in Seinfeld are never really good people, but they somehow make it work within their friendship and it kind of blows up every once and awhile. But it really is a little bit of a stage play, and you could actually play it that way, especially because it’s so intimate a setting.
KM: It would be really interesting to see on stage, I think. It’d be a very complex one to do. I know you filmed in Calgary in the winter. As a fellow Canadian, how was that terrible weather when you’re trying to be tropical?
MC: It was alright. I’ve filmed in Alberta before, I did Knuckleball in Edmonton, so that was one of my first experiences there. We actually got lucky that it wasn’t that bad. But it was really nice, we got to brave that cold together.
Chris is from New York, and Emily lives in LA but she’s from Minnesota. So we all knew what the cold was like. We had to kind of play like we were in Florida or some sunny place until we got to Belize. But it wasn’t bad. I love that – working here in Canada – although in this film we didn’t get to showcase the amazing scenery, you know, the places here. But I love filming in Canada.
KM: I love that there’s so much going on in Canada, film-wise. It’s fantastic that they’re really expanding the industry. There’s so much happening here now, which is great.
MC: It’s huge! It’s the best. It’s great!
KM: When filming the interiors – again, filming in order – how did that kind of help with the progression of how everything goes – without saying too much?
MC: It makes it easier. You have a reference to the atmosphere and the feel for each character, where we were with the highs and lows, and just little technical things shot-wise and theme-wise as we progress. And that’s what was really really nice when we were doing, you know, part comedy, part horror, part drama, part thriller, we really had to pick our punches there.
It’s always great when you get to do shots in order because you never get to! But like you said, Rob really wanted to make sure it happened that way, that we got the sense that ok, we’re going to have this as chronologically as we can. Just in case you miss something if you go to the very end of the film and then things don’t make sense at the beginning.
KM: Those themes that you’re touching on, with friendship and betrayal, everyone’s kind of pushed to their limit. Why do you think as people we’re so fascinated by stories of this dark, depraved side of humanity?
MC: It’s been debated so much over the years, you know, good and evil. There are good people and bad people, and like “I would never do this, I would never do that, I love this person to death, I would never say anything bad about them!”. And I think it’s just showing the human condition in its rawest form.
It’s exaggerated, of course, and turned into a film, but it’s the perfect – in my mind – the perfect way to turn on your best friends in a confined area and air your dirty laundry. It’s an exaggerated version of what you’d do to them. I think it’s really great to see that, it’s almost as if anybody is capable of anything.
Even the people who seem like the villain or seem like a dark person or a mean person or an evil person, it’s not who they seem. So someone may look innocent and the hero, but they may have some dirty laundry behind them that’s actually not very good, but there’s also people that on the surface they seem one way but they’re not, and they’re the heart of their own storyline. It shows both sides, both colors of the human condition I think.
KM: And I think there’s something within these characters that we can all recognize within ourselves as well. There’s characteristics, there’s traits, like “oh yeah I’ve probably thought this” or “I’ve probably done that at some point”
MC: Yeah I hope so. There’s a couple that you hope you don’t! There’s a couple like “well, I don’t wanna be that one”. But I still think you can have it very exaggerated, but on the surface level it’s kind of a little Houdini trick we play. Which I think is nice.
KM: When you first got the script, what brought you into the project or drew your attention to it and make you really go, like, “oh I wanna do this one”?
MC: It was when Mike Peterson sent me the script and said “look at Jonah”. And when I looked at Jonah I was like “yyyeah!”. I think he’s such a complex character. I feel like a broken record, but, it’s true, I loved his switch.
All the characters have a switch, but I really liked how he seems like this very frail, hyper-intelligent kind of black sheep of his own family character, a guy who is kind of just trying to keep the peace most of the time. And as the story goes on, you really see that there’s something else stilling inside of them, and he’s got a lot of stuff going on that I can get out.
KM: For audiences, what do you hope that people get out of the movie or that they’re walking away with?
MC: Well I hope they’re shocked! For one. I hope they enjoy the ride. It’s unique and I really think that’s a very, very, very positive thing. Especially in filmmaking today.
You don’t want to do anything cookie-cutter anymore. There’s the cookie cutter recipe that you know is going to work and you put it out there and it’s very straightforward. And I think it’s so interesting when you get to take a very unique script, unique characters, and you kind of mash up genres and say “ok let’s see if this works”. Let’s put all of our talent and our years of experience and knowledge to the test and see what we can create.
We worked really hard on this, I think Rob did a phenomenal job filming it, and Emily is incredible in this, so is Christopher Gray. So you know, I hope they just enjoy the ride and are picking up what we’re putting down.
Munro will also appear in Riot Girls, directed by Jovanka Vuckovic (XX), which will be screening at Fantasia Fest on July 28. Harpoon is screening at Fantasia Fest on Saturday July 27.
America’s Most Haunted House Isn’t in Amityville
There is a haunted house in Bridgeport, Connecticut that doesn’t get the attention the one in Amityville does, but in 1974 it caused a media stir that captivated the country, and nobody ever talks about it, not even genre movie folks.
By the end of this story, you–like the many witnesses in 1974–will wonder what’s real and what isn’t.
What did happened inside this tiny house in the middle of the block on Lindley Street?
Before we get to that, let’s talk about the recent upswing in ghost story cinema and celebrity paranormal investigations, starting with James Wan’s Conjuring universe (a fourth film is currently in the works).
The Conjuring franchise has given us some great scares over the last decade. These “based-on-a-true-story” earmarks on haunted America, and across the pond, have re-invigorated the poltergeist pop culture phenomena that was so popular in the 70s.
Based on the real-life case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring cinematic universe started with the Perron family in Rhode Island.
Although Mr. Warren died in 2006, Lorraine served as a consultant to The Conjuring. She maintained before her death in 2019 that she didn’t allow the filmmakers to take too much creative license. She asserted everything you see on screen is actually how it happened.
The sequel, Conjuring 2 moved to Britain and documented the famous Enfield haunting. That case involved two young sisters who were tormented by a ghost that threw things, spoke by way of possession and was just an overall supernatural baddie. Cops, priests and social workers went on record to confirm the reports. Lorraine also helped with that case.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the Lutz family was battling their own demons on a now-famous lot in Amityville. Again, the Warrens were on hand to assist.
966 Lindley Street
But there is another chilling tale that the Warrens were involved in that nobody talks about. It took place in Bridgeport at 966 Lindley Street in 1974 and it caused such a media circus the neighborhood would go on lock-down.
Reporters, witnesses, and other professionals would go on record saying they saw furniture move without provocation, hovering refrigerators, and physical attacks.
In the book “The World’s Most Haunted House,” writer Bill Hall takes a deep-dive into this case. What’s staggering is not only the bizarre happenings that took place, but they were so well documented by so many trusted sources.
Respected Witnesses Document Their Experiences
Firefighters and law enforcement agents have gone on record to say they witnessed everything from chairs moving on their own, crucifixes being ejected from their wall anchors, and knives being thrown by an invisible force. The activity seemed to center around a little girl.
Gerard and Laura Goodin lived in the small bungalow when they adopted their young daughter Marcia in 1968. It wasn’t long before strange things began to happen in the house–little things that people usually ignore. Still, the activity was strong enough to captivate the family.
People said when Marcia was around the events would intensify but even when she was gone things could get crazy.
The Goodin’s were subject to a loud rhythmic pounding in their walls, the source could never be located. Items would disappear from where they were left, only to be found in another spot in the house. Doors would slam. Police investigated the incidents but even they were perplexed after finding nothing.
The Media Frenzy
In 1974 the property was a hotbed of activity not only from the poltergeist but media attention. The Warrens were called in as was the American Society for Psychical Research and the Psychical Research Foundation.
Police were on hand 24 hours a day and interviewed the family. At that time there were reports of TVs being pushed from their stands, window blinds snapping up and down and shelves falling off the walls.
The public frenzy had started too. Onlookers would crowd the street in front of the haunted house to see if they could witness something for themselves. One citizen even tried to burn the house down. The entire street had to eventually be cordoned off.
At this time the entity reportedly showed itself. According to Hall’s book, it “resembled a large, cohesive assemblage of smoky yellowish-white ‘gauzy’ mist.”
The Cat Talks
Not only were there physical manipulations there were also audio phenomena. People reported hearing Sam the family cat say weird things like “Jingle Bells,” and “Bye Bye.” Outside plastic garden swans reportedly made frightening noises too.
The website Damned Connecticut also wrote about this story. In their comments section one person, Nelson P., claims to have worked in City Hall in 1974 in the records room of the Bridgepoint Police Department. They had this to say:
“…we gained a copy of a written report by an officer who was present when the paranormal s*it hit the fan on Lindley St. The most chilling account was when in his writing ‘and the cat said to the officer “How’s your brother Bill doing?, and the officer looked down and replied “My brother’s dead.” The cat then scowled “I know” swearing repeatedly at the officer then ran off. Other visual events in the report include a levitating refrigerator and an armchair that flipped over and could not be lifted back into place by the officers. One officer who witnessed it all took an immediate leave of absence having been that shaken by the experience. I today firmly believe these events took place in the home.”
Levitating Frigidaires and creepy cats aside, the whole thing came to an abrupt halt when a police officer allegedly saw Marcia try to tip over a television set with her foot when she thought no one was looking.
After questioning, Marcia eventually admitted to doing everything in the house on her own and the case was closed; deemed a hoax. Or was it?
Although her parents disputed the claim, Marcia was quick to admit her part in the “haunting.” But questions remained about how she could be in two places at once.
How respected witnesses saw things happen when Marcia wasn’t even in the house and why things continued to happen even after her confession.
The case was eventually forgotten and regarded as fraud.
Bill Hall’s book “The World’s Most Haunted House,” is the quintessential story about the Lindley haunting. His book includes unprecedented interviews from firefighters and other reputable witnesses who were there. They speak about their experiences and what they saw.
It’s been reported that Marcia, the girl behind the haunting, died in 2015 at the age of 51.
The house still stands in the same spot it did over 40 years ago and looks the same as it did back then. You can visit it personally. You can also type it into Google Maps.
But instead of bothering the current residents keep a safe distance away if you decide to go.
Whatever you believe, this haunted house case was definitely one for the history books if only for the attention it got from the public and the details professional eyewitnesses documented as it happened.
This story has been updated. It was originally posted in March 2020.
Paranormal Games: Red Door, Yellow Door
Let’s play a game: Red Door, Yellow Door
Also Known As Doors Of The Mind
Spooky games that border on the paranormal are a mainstay at slumber parties around the world. From light as a feather, stiff as a board… Doors of the Mind
to the classic Ouija board, we’ve all played at least one, but there are others out there, perhaps less well known, and one of the spookiest is Red Door, Yellow Door. Doors of the Mind
What is Red Door Yellow Door?
Sometimes this paranormal game is called Doors of the Mind or Black Door, White Door, and well, any other combination of colors, you can think of.
Red Door, Yellow Door takes two to play. However, it’s perfect for a late-night audience of scared teens, so it’s no surprise that it’s made a resurgence in recent years.
The Game Rules
The rules are simple, but the outcome could be dire, or so the urban legends claim.
One player is the guide, and the other is the subject.
- The guide sits on the floor, cross-legged with a pillow in their lap.
- The subject will then lie on the ground with their head in the guide’s lap and their hands raised in the air.
- The guide should, at this point, begin to massage the subject’s temples in a circular motion chanting, “Red Door, Yellow Door, any other color door” over and over again, joined by any witnesses to the game. Doors of the Mind
- As the subject slips into the trance, they will find themselves in a room in their mind and at that point, they should lower their arms to the floor signaling the guide and any witnesses to stop chanting.
The game has officially begun.
At this point, the person acting as the guide will begin to ask questions to the subject in order to get them to describe the room.
Any witnesses should be silent so that there is no sound except for the voice of the guide and the voice of the subject answering the guide’s question.
The instructor might ask what colors the doors to the room are, how they feel about the doors, and instruct them to go through varying doors into other rooms.
The subject is encouraged to answer all questions honestly until the guide decides to end the game, but there are some warnings and signs of danger to keep in mind.
Dangers To Keep In Mind Doors of the Mind
According to Scary for Kids:
- If you encounter people in the room, it may be best not to interact with them. They may be evil and try to trick you.
- If you find yourself in a room full of clocks, leave immediately. Clocks can trap you.
- You can go wherever you want, but it is safer to go up than down.
- Light things and light colors tend to be better than dark things and dark colors.
- If you should find yourself trapped in a room, you must try to wake up. If you don’t, you might be trapped forever.
- If you die in the game, you will supposedly die in real life.
- If you encounter a man in a suit who makes you uncomfortable, end the game immediately.
- If the guide is having a hard time waking the subject from the trance, they should shake them roughly to bring them into wakefulness.
Sounds creepy, right?!
The whole point of the Red Door, Yellow Door, seemingly, is to explore the inner workings of your own mind and to also understand that there are also dark sides to everyone.
Some of the things you might encounter inside the game may be those very things about yourself that you don’t wish to face.
Have you ever played Red Door, Yellow Door or any variation of this spooky game? Let us know in the comments!
This article has been updated. it was originally posted in February 2020.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Rumored to Appear as a Ghost in ‘Beetlejuice 2’
During The Hot Mic Podcast, the crew spoke about Jenna Ortega in talks to play Lydia’s daughter. Well, it turns out that the guys on Hot Mic also heard that an aging action star is set to play a ghost in the sequel as well. Over on Arrow in the Head, the direction of the aging action star immediately took the shape of Jean-Claude Van Damme. However, there are options out there that may point to other action stars like Sylvester Stallone. To be honest we would be totally fine with either of these guys coming to the world of Beetlejuice and playing a ghost.
The synopsis for Beetlejuice went like this:
After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes (Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones) and teen daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a rambunctious spirit whose “help” quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia.
We can’t wait to find out if this bit of info is true. So far, we know that Jenna Ortega has been in talks to play Lydia’s daughter in the Tim Burton directd sequel. It will also see a return of Michael Keaton.
We will be sure to keep you updated on future Beetlejuice sequel updates.