Exclusive Interview with Steven R. Monroe for ‘The Exorcism of Molly Hartley’

– by Gig Patta

Poor Molly Hartley.

After years since her haunting, Molly falls pretty into a possession by an evil spirit. It is up to a fallen priest to perform an exorcism on her before the devil completely consumes her.

The film stars Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa and Gina Holden. It is directed by Steven R. Monroe (“I Spit on Your Grave”).

Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with the director in regards to keeping a classical feel to an exorcism movie and limiting the special effects.

“The Exorcism of Molly Hartley” is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Latino-Review: Let’s start with the easy question first. Why were you attracted to this project?

Steven R. Monroe: I was attracted to this project, because “The Exorcist” is one of my top five favorite films of all time. William Friedkin is one of my top three directors of all time. It was always on my bucket list to do an exorcist film.

I have just done the sequel to “I Spit on Your Grave,” which I also done the remake of it. I really enjoy doing sequels, so I have that combo in there. It was pretty exciting when I read the first draft. It was really enjoyable. That was the triple threat.

Latino-Review: Personally, there had been a lot of exorcism films I’ve watched over the years.

Steven R. Monroe: A lot of them.

Latino-Review: It sounds like you’re a big, big fan of exorcism films too. How are you going to make this one different from the rest of the crowd?

Steven R. Monroe: I’m primarily a fan of “The Exorcist.” I do have concerns that exorcism movies are overdone. After I read this, we talked about doing something that had a classic feel to it. That’s how I wanted to make it different. I wanted to stay away from the visual effects, which a lot of would be unnecessary. There are only a couple of elements of visual effects in this film. I wanted to do things with practical makeup.

It’s about making more of a classic horror film. It’s with the 70s films with the unmotivated camera moves, unmotivated camera effects and the unmotivated scares. That’s how I planned to make it different from the bulk of those other films.

It’ll be a lot different from those films with people hanging upside down or with their backs contorted through the wireworks or special effects.

Latino-Review: So you said, “Hey. Let’s go with the traditional route like the ‘The Exorcist,’” which is one of your favorite movies.

Steven R. Monroe: Yeah, that’s what I’m going for.

Latino-Review: Here’s the thing though—did we really need a sequel to Molly Hartley?

Steven R. Monroe: I’ve grew up in this business and I’ve watched it evolved into what it is today. I said this to a lot of friends in the business and to a lot of horror fans—that we can all be pissed off about this and aggravated, but it won’t change the fact that there will be sequels and there will be remakes. Now there are even episodic movies. Or we can embrace it and put our thumbprints on it to be part of it.

I think that’s what we have to do. We don’t have any choice. For me, it’s not whether if there has to be a sequel or not, but on what can I do with this sequel.

Latino-Review: I noticed none of the old cast members are back in this sequel. Can you talk about the new cast in this one?

Steven R. Monroe: Technically, only one character from the first one that comes into play in the sequel. It will be the Molly Hartley character. It’s supposed to be six years later. Haley Bennett, who was in the original film, wasn’t even remotely available. I don’t think she was available until the next two years. [Laughter]

So Sarah Lind, who plays Molly Hartley, has the vibes and the features to be the grownup version of Haley Bennett. I thought it worked out pretty well. Sarah brought a great quality to it.

Besides that, none of the other characters are brought into this movie except a couple lines of dialogue from a psychologist talking to Molly about her parents. But, that’s about it. So it’s a whole new cast.

Latino-Review: Talk about the horror style you’ve adopted for this film. Like you mentioned earlier, you tried to limit the visual effects, but that acting did wonders for this movie.

Steven R. Monroe: Again, we were trying to make something with the classical horror film and to play it very psychological. We wanted to do the film with conventional, practical makeup. There were a few touchups visually rather than sending [Sarah] back to the chair for an hour. Besides that, the only real visual effects we did were with the bugs, which we weren’t going to do that scene as practical. [Chuckles]

We tried to keep much of it as practical, gritty and old school as possible. Sarah’s performance was a lot of that. She really did a great job. She was fearless and just going for it. She was weird and perverted to crazy and scared. She really went off the diving board. Vocally and physically, she did some really great stuff.

“The Exorcism of Molly Hartley” is available on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Source: Latino-Revie

Interviews, Film, LRM Exclusives The Exorcism of Molly Hartley, Steven R. Monroe