This is the fourth year of the After Dark Horrorfest. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing any of these movies that get released around the end to beginning of the year, you are REALLY missing out. Overall, the After Dark movies are extremely entertaining and all of them fun as hell to watch. These movies are covering damn near all the horror sub genres and are made with a great quality that any horror film can appreciate. We have the pleasure of getting to know a little more about one film in particular. The Final. This is the 6th movie announced for the After Dark 2010 Horrorfest. 8 films to die for. Jason Kabolati, the writer, has taken the time to chat with us about his upcoming release.
Jason, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us today. For some of the readers out there that will be seeing this. Can you give us a run down of The Final and what we're in store for?
The Final was a story I developed after reading some reports on the Columbine massacres as well as the VT shooting... I was moved by the tragedy but wanted to look into what would send the killers to such extremes. The story is a viewpoint of some kids who were bullied and tormented to the degree that life itself had no value. The difference in my story is that while revenge is the catalyst, murder was not their goal. They wanted the kids who made them suffer to live with their actions and their scars, in essence taking away from them the very things they valued... beauty, popularity and physical dominance. They do not attack the school but plan to host a costume party to attract the kids to their lair. The tools, emotional and psychological were learned in school itself... they employ lessons from history, chemistry and biology to avenge their emotional scars. The costume party allows them to also hide their identity, as well as creating terrifying characters that were their demonic alter egos.
Every year around this time, I get VERY excited for the "8 films to die for". And I'm sure a lot of people out there are as well. How does it feel to be included in the After Dark Horrorfest?
We (AGORA ENTERTAINMENT) are very excited to be a part of Horrorfest and the ADF lineup. At the end of the day we try to make movies people will want to see and talk about. ADF has done an amazing job of creating a brand name that does just that... get people excited about horror films. To be selected is an honor and a great opportunity for us as a production company to grow and continue to create great films. We look forward to a long and lasting partnership with After Dark Films.
Out of all the movies made that wanted to get into the After Dark set. Then only 8 got picked. What goes into picking these movies? I'm curious about the process in getting the 8 best movies for the job.
Better question for After Dark Films to answer.
Were you able to draw from any real life experiences for this movie growing up in the Bronx? Or what influences have you used to create the characters and atmosphere for The Final?
Growing up in the Bronx, New York during the late 70's and early 80's was tough. I grew up in a predominately black neighborhood and being white, well, lets just say you had to become tough. Alot of scary stuff happened and the gangs and thugs were real. I didn't want to visit that particular element in my story but I certainly understood what it was like to be picked on. I understood how someone could get to the point of such anger and frustration that sensible thoughts could be overlooked... I was lucky that my parents instilled in me a mental toughness that stopped me from acting out. No one could ever justify what happened at Columbine or Virginia Tech, but I did want to explore the viewpoint.
I watched the trailer for The Final. And that is some SCARY stuff. Really, I wouldn't be surprised if some people out there got some calls from their childhood bullies trying to smooth things over. *laugh* You think this is going to hit home for the viewers out there?
I hope it does hit home for some... bullying is a real problem. There are kids out there right now who are on the edge of desperation because they do not have the tools to deal with such things. Some plan to harm themselves to end the torment and pain. It's sad. There is a scene in THE FINAL when the lead character tells his victim, "all I wanted was to be left alone, but you wouldn't allow that... that all I wanted was to live in my own shadow. You created the monster I am." Whether we like it or not, there is truth in this movie. The more we explore it, the better off we will be.
Speaking of growing up in the Bronx. How did you get into film making and writing?
The neighborhood I grew up was really poor and so was my family. For the two or so hours I spent in a movie, it became my escape. I was transformed. During those brief moments, I lived in a mythical world... and that feeling never left me. The movie "Star Wars" changed my life... suddenly it made everything possible. Then I saw "Jaws" and I haven't been in the ocean since. I don't even like big pools. That's what a great movie does... makes you believe you can fight an evil empire... and keeps you out of the water.
When you write, you are in essence a God. You can create worlds that don't exist and people who never lived and tell a story that is only real in your imagination. There are no bounds.
Is there a particular genre that we'll be seeing out of you in future projects? You have some drama, horror, thriller, and an upcoming comedy. Do you feel strongly about one more than another?
I like all genres, I even want to write a western and a sci fi. Not too sure if I will do another horror though. The FINAL was a great shoot and I had the opportunity to work with great young actors and an amazing crew, but it was an emotional drain for me since I had to allow myself to go into a dark place to tell the story correctly. My director, JOEY STEWART did a fantastic job of translating that story. I am writing an urban thriller as we speak... kind of a USUAL SUSPECTs vibe. Who knows what's next... I let my imagination lead the way.
You have a pretty talented cast. How much input did you have selecting them? They are good people that really aren't unfamiliar being in front of the camera. Do you see it being an easier interaction with actors that have had more experience in horror films?
Myself and director JOEY STEWART cast the movie entirely and we consulted on all the actors. We have a great friendship as well as working partnership and we respected the choices we each made. In the end, we agreed on all the actors. We had some new actors mixed in with more seasoned actors and they blended well together. The more experienced actors helped the newer actors understand what was expected of them. Virtually all of them became great friends during the shoot. A group moved to LA together recently to pursue their careers and I had a chance to visit with them and it made me proud to know we picked great people as well as great actors.
How about anything down the road? What should we look for out of you by this time next year? Maybe another After Dark movie?
Agora Entertainment is slated to produce more features... we are wrapping up my comedy, A MIND OF ITS OWN, about a guy with a talking/singing penis; while we start pre-production on the next one, the urban thriller TEN TOES IN... I would love to work with After Dark again... maybe they can inspire another horror story out of me.
I am REALLY looking forward to seeing The Final. Like I said, the trailer looks great and everything I've seen and read so far puts this movie on the right track to be an awesome time. Thanks for taking the time to hang with us and I really appreciate the interview!
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview Gary
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."