Good Afternoon Lovelies, 

And how are we all? Well I hope! I have just started my new job today, so things may be a little slow, but don’t worry because I am here now with an exciting interview I did with the director of The Neighbour, Marcus Dunstan. 

After some hugely successful films include some of the Saw films and with an incredible cast, Dunstan spoke about all things The Neighbour. So take a read and enjoy lovelies…

Firstly could you tell those that don’t know much about The Neighbour, what is it all about? 
THE NEIGHBOUR is a suspense-thriller about a couple (JOSH STEWART & ALEX ESSOE) who operate a stop-along-the way for a drug trafficking ring with aspirations of escaping from the criminal enterprise lording over them. However, their plan of escape is compromised when they couple run afoul of a far more sinister organization operating in secret right next door…The two forces collide over the course of a violent night in the middle of the heartland. 

Where did the idea for the story/plot come from? What inspired you to create the film?
The concept of following characters who are certainly villains until they are compared with a force much worse than they could imagine is a fascinating place to build-out from. Bringing humanity to villainy is a high-wire act. THE NEIGHBOUR was an opportunity to bring elements of the thriller into the realm of the horror film and in doing so, unleashed an alchemy wherein the performances of our lead actors; Josh Stewart, Alex Essoe, Melissa Bolona, and in a shocking about-face, Bill Engvall as our main villain, TROY. Each actor inspired the story to become more human, and in turn, more harrowing as their performances brought the scenario closer to real life than fiction. 

There is some amazing talent taking on the roles, what was it about those cast that stood out to you? 
Josh Stewart is a diamond soul.  It is an honor to collaborate with such a gifted actor, accomplished writer and director. Josh can wear any hat with ease. I’m grateful to be in his orbit.  His take on the main character of JOHN allowed sympathy, humanity, and calculation to bleed through. Alex Essoe is a comet. A wonderful performer and brought so much to the project that we kept giving her character more and more to unleash! Ms. Essoe and Mr. Stewart had a chemistry that allowed us to push further and further into the relationship of these two intertwined hearts desperate to get out of a vicious life. Thrillers are only as thrilling as their antagonists and Bill Engvall brought the thunder of a million storms as TROY. It was Mr. Engvall’s paternal charm that marbled each scene with the fuel to burn into menace at the flip of a switch. He’s a terrific actor and this is but the first moment in the light for his vast range. We all knew Mr. Engvall was funny… but what a joy to witness how scary he can be!! Hahaha! Melissa Bolona’s scenes with Mr. Engvall were beyond intense for the two squared off in an athletic ballet of intimidation. Add to that tremendous turns by Ronnie Gene Blevins, Luke Edwards, Jaqueline Fleming, and Skipp Sudduth… and THE NEIGHBOUR quickly became the project that would have been fun to keep on shooting and shooting. It was an honor to be amongst such kind souls.

Is there a scene in the film that you would like audiences to look out for? And why this one? 
Without giving anything away… there is a sequence that begins our third act set to an original gospel song by the WestSide Wisemen featuring Dora Pereli that depicts every single character in play at their most vulnerable and their most violent. Jaqueline Fleming gracefully delivers a speech about the law of the land, and when we first screened that sequence, it elicited cheers. To hear a crowd respond with applause, gasps, and cheers in the middle of a that sequence was our most unexpected and elated surprises!  That sequence took every single person batting 1000 to make work, and we’re lucky to have it. 

You have written some amazing horror films, what is it about the genre that stands out to you? 
I love that horror films can allow us to exorcise the most dreadful fears of life in a shared room; the theater. The horror movie can be a projection of the fear of falling in love, and if lucky, maybe the best date is the horror movie for when we jump… we jump closer together. 

Can you tell us what you are working on next or what we should look out for from you in the future?
Next up is a project called METRONOME by Colin Trevorrow. We are very excited to be a part of it. It is a step in a new direction of science fiction and the action-thriller.  WE CAN’T WAIT!

Who is looking for to The Neighbour now lovelies?

Blog Soon, 
Joey X

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