Young adults at a cabin in the middle of nowhere are a big attraction for alien abduction.
From IFC Midnight, the Vicious Brothers present a sci-fi horror using the common alien abduction folklore and legends in “Extraterrestrial.”
Here’s the synopsis:
Still reeling from her parents divorce, April (Brittany Allen) is dragged back to the vacation cabin she spent fond summers at as a child accompanied by a group of friends. Her trip down memory lane takes a dramatic and terrifying turn when a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods. Lead by her boyfriend, played by Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter & The Half Blooded Prince, Pitch Perfect), the group venture out toward the crash site and discover the remnants of a ship from another planet along with footprints that suggest its alien occupants are still alive. The college friends soon find themselves caught in the middle of something bigger and more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.
The film stars Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss ad Michael Ironside.
Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with actress Allen on her leading role for the movie. We talked about the alien abduction folklore, working with the Vicious Brothers and the challenges of a horror movie.
“Extraterrestrial” is currently available on VOD and is in limited release in theaters.
Latino-Review: Tell me on why you were attracted to this project called “Extraterrestrial?”
Brittany Allen: There were so many things that attracted me to the project. I really loved the way they written the role of April. It was so exciting to read a female character within the horror science fiction genre with strength, intelligence, bravery and emotional depth. That’s really on what spoke to me. The script, itself, had many twists and turns for the reader. I knew it would be good for the audience. I had so much fun reading it all the way to the last scene in which I was ultimately surprised.
And also, I heard it was by the Vicious Brothers. I met them over Skype before signing on to the project. I loved everything about them. They were young and passionate. It seemed like they would be really fun guys to hang out with. There were so many things going for it.
Latino-Review: What’s so special about wanting to work with the Vicious Brothers?
Brittany Allen: It’s their energy. Just over Skype, I instantly felt like these were the kind of guys who don’t put some kind of façade out and pretend to be the persons who they aren’t. So it was really good to be around them. It was really refreshing for me in terms on what I was going through in my life. I respected their honesty and their way of interacting with people.
They were also very close in age with me. I was so inspired on what they’ve already done in their careers. They’re fighters. They’re hugely passionate on what they do. They’re so ambitious.
Even as they’re so young, they have such a firm grasp of the materials. I talked with them about the “Extraterrestrial” part and the shooting. It was made clear after I watched “Grave Encounters” on the visions they made and on what they do. It’s all over the rapport they had with the actors. In “Grave Encounters,” it was so well acted. It was so believable to me. I just knew I was going to be in great hands with these guys. They know what they’re doing.
Latino-Review: Obviously, the Vicious Brothers will put you through some grueling torments throughout the film. How did you prepare for all that?
Brittany Allen: Well, I took it up with a trainer for a month leading up to the shooting. And while we were shooting, I continued with the workouts and the running. It’s about staying in shape through it. That was really new for me and it was really empowering. It was so exciting to know that I could do these things. I always think these things are so hard especially working with a trainer for this.
I remembered during my first couple of sessions that I was going to die. I thought I was going to collapse from not being able to breathe. So after five times doing it, it became easier and realized that our bodies are designed to be strong. That’s one of the things I’ve did to prepare. [Other things] was to prepare extensively to understand my character and her journey.
Latino-Review: What did you like about your character the most?
Brittany Allen: I liked her strength. I liked the fact that she was opinionated. She was also flawed. She was dealing with very human and realistic things that 24-year-olds would be dealing with.
I felt like, since Colina and Stu wrote it, some of their attitudes are genius and infused in April. That was an aspect of myself. It was exciting to read a female character with so much depth and strength.
Latino-Review: Of course, with this being a horror film, a lot of female characters tend to do a lot of screaming and running. So…..
Brittany Allen: Well, this isn’t your typical horror film in that regard so that’s why I liked it so much. There is definitely some classic horror films that portray females as very strong and that rely on who she is rather on what she looks like. There are a number of horror films out there that I’m very disgusted in the way they are portrayed.
It’s really refreshing to read [a script] that breaks away from traditional genre. It wasn’t just being about sex objects. It’s not about running through the forest with my clothes fell off. [Laughter] And it’s with the screaming and helplessness.
It’s really about a girl becoming a woman and owning her strength. She did run a little bit, but mostly she ran towards the danger. She was the heroine. That’s on what it appealed with me.
Latino-Review: Obviously, a lot of female characters portrayed in these films are being show more for their bravery now. It’s quite refreshing rather than just simple victims.
Brittany Allen: Yeah, exactly.
Latino-Review: One of the things about this film is that it takes on similar themes like in many horror films with the cabin in the woods and young people. In your opinion, why do you think bad things always happen to young people in cabins?
Brittany Allen: [Laughter] I don’t know. Maybe it’s some old unwritten rule for horror. It’s just ripe for everything to go wrong. It’s in the middle of nowhere and there’s no help. There’s no cell reception. It’s the perfect environment. There are not a lot of people around to save you. That’s probably on why it’s a common setting for horror films.
Latino-Review: This is just a horror film, but it’s also a sci-fi film with “Extraterrestrial,” hence the name. Did you enjoy on how the Vicious Brothers used the legends of aliens with alien probing, alien abductions and even the looks of the aliens? We’ve seen a lot of this in documentaries and the Internet.
Brittany Allen: Yeah, that’s the thing they were going for. They wanted to use the accepted folklore on what aliens look like especially with on what may happen if you’re abducted by these aliens. It’s playing off on what society thought aliens would be like.
It’s probably the mostly thing. These images of aliens have been a reoccurring thing in folklore. So who knows?
Latino-Review: Do you believe in aliens?
Brittany Allen: I believe in the possibility of them. Absolutely, there are just too many things we don’t know about space to be certain that there aren’t any aliens. Maybe we’re the aliens? We are, for sure.
Latino-Review: What was the most difficult thing you had to do on this project?
Brittany Allen: The most difficult thing is with the stamina with the shooting. We would start around three in the afternoon till three or four in the morning. April is in most of the scenes. It’s both physically and emotionally demanding. In one day, we may be shooting three incredibly demanding scenes. They would require different extreme emotions or physical acts.
It was also a rush of adrenaline. I didn’t feel too tired by it even though it was a challenge. It gave me the energy to complete the day.
Latino-Review: Can you talk about any future projects you have after “Extraterrestrial?”
Brittany Allen: Sure. I have a couple of things coming out. I have a role in a new series with Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara called “Schitt’s Creek.” It will premiere on a new channel called Pop in the U.S. and on BBC in Canada.
I also have a couple of indie films being finished in post-production. One is a comedy called, “Look Again,” a Canadian film. And another is called “Backgammon,” an indie suspense thriller that we shot in Portland, Maine.
Those are the three things that are coming out soon. Hopefully, I’ll have more to report soon.
Latino-Review: One last question, if you were put in a situation that you’re inside a cabin with an alien space ship above you—what would you do to survive?
Brittany Allen: [Laughter] Gosh. I guess I would do something similar to what April does. I would try to get the hell out of there first and foremost. If I couldn’t, then maybe I’ll try to be friends with the aliens. [Laughter] That’s about it that I could come up with.
Latino-Review: Be friends with the aliens. Well, that’s something new. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you and hopefully we’ll talk again in the future.
Brittany Allen: Yeah, thanks a lot!
“Extraterrestrial” is currently available on VOD and is in limited release in theaters.