CON: Alex Aja talks!
After having breakfast with the cast and watching a few clips from MIRRORS (check that out HERE), I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with director Alex Aja, the director of THE HILLS HAVE EYES and HIGH TENSION. He talked about a few things, including what's going on with PIRANHA 3D and his thoughts on PG-13 horror movies. Read on for the full skinny.
Q: How does directing a supernatural movie change your approach (as opposed to your previous two movies)?
Alex Aja: I wanted to explore the other side of the genre because if you look at the genre, there has always been two sides: the realistic side and the supernatural side. My favorite movie is THE SHINING, I really like the supernatural. There are two kinds of people. There are people who are scared of a seriel killer breaking into their house and people who really freak out about stuff like seeing ghosts in a mirror. I'd like to say that I'm more in the supernatural class of people. Even if I know it doesn't exist, I'm still scared about that. In a way, that's why I wanted to explore this side of the genre, explore this dark side, I didn't want to change my approach, and I didn't want to do the usual PG-13 Asian ghost movie, where it is not graphic violence or no blood and stuff. I was so pissed off to read online so many people saying "Alex Aja's new movie is going to be PG-13, he's selling himself out to the studio, he's doing another remake, blah blah blah." First of all, this is not a remake. I really wanted to make something that will be shocking and scary at the same time. I don't like all these movies where you don't show the violence, where they cut away and it's not in your face because it needs to be a PG-13 movie. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to do something that would be hard, graphic, and supernatural.
Q: What can you say about the ghosts or the spirits in the movie?
Aja: There are not a lot of ghosts in this movie.
Q: Can we expect the carnage we saw in the "Jaw Ripping" scene throughout the entire movie?
Aja: The "Jaw Ripping" scene is the extreme. But there are so many other scenes which are also really intense.
Q: You've made some extremely violent stuff before. Have you ever filmed something that you felt was so wrong or grotesque that you had a problem filming it?
Aja: Yeah. The worse was, I had to do that shot in THE HILLS HAVE EYES were the bad guy was pointing his gun to the baby. It was a Magnum that was full chrome, and you can't use a fake Magnum because of the chrome. So we had to put a real Magnum to the baby. That's really the only time where I felt like I'm crossing the line and I'm doing something that I don't really approve of. It's not a movie anymore, it's kind of real. The baby's parents were there, they were great, and it was a key part of the story. But it was very hard stuff.
Q: Are there a lot of similarities between this film and the original film it was based on?
Aja: I was sent the script and I saw the movie and I really connected with the idea of the mirrors. I think itís an amazing universal concept , but I didnít connect with the story, and I didnít connect with characters so I decided to reinvent everything. We maybe kept just a couple of scenes, but thatís it. So itís not really a remake. Weíre doing more of a reinvention.
Q: Is PIRANHA 3D going to stick close to the Joe Dante original?
Aja: You know, itís not really a remake at all. Itís a piranha movie, but there is not even one element or one scene from the Dante or the James Cameron movie. The storyís very simple: an earthquake releases a prehistoric piranha during Spring Break. So thereís going to be some crazy drunk kids getting killed.
Q: Is there going to be a lot of campy aspects to this? Is your movie going to be funny or is it going to be hard core horror?
Aja: Itís going to be hard core horror, but funny at the same time. You know, kind of like DEAD ALIVE.
Q: Are you looking forward to using the new 3D technology in the making of PIRANHA 3D?
Aja: When I was getting exdited about James Cameron coming out with AVATAR 3D, I was thinking about when we would see the first horror movie in 3D. You know, most of the work when making a horror movie is creating a world where you throw them inside the screen to scare themóbut their only watching it. Iím looking forward to having the stuff come out of the screen at the audience, and give them nightmares. When you think about Spring Break, you think about drinking, you think about topless girls, and this movie is going to have it all.
Q: When is PIRANHA 3D expected to be released?
Aja: Next July. Yeah, itís going to be happening very fast.
I'd like to thank Alex for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk with me, and be sure to hit up MIRRORS in theaters everywhere August 15th.
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