Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

‘The Last Thing Mary Saw’: Stefanie Scott and Isabelle Fuhrman Preview Shudder’s “Fresh Take on the Period Horror Genre” [Interview]

Set in 1843 in an isolated farmhouse in the Puritan-founded town of Southold, New York, the upcoming horror film The Last Thing Mary Saw concerns the titular character (Insidious: Chapter 3’s Stefanie Scott) and her illicit affair with housemaid Eleanor (Orphan’s Isabelle Fuhrman). The discovery of their relationship brings condemnation and torturous punishment from Mary’s tyrannically religious family, which presages a series of supernatural events that culminate in a shocking final act. Witchcraft, bloodshed and betrayal all feature in the tale, though it’s ultimately the love story at its heart that grounds the film and keeps its viewers engaged.

The feature film debut of writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti, Last Thing is a deliberately paced, beguiling horror/thriller boasting strong performances and some truly distressing imagery throughout. On the heels of the film’s recent acquisition by Shudder, Bloody Disgusting was lucky enough to sit down with stars Stefanie Scott and Isabelle Fuhrman to chat about Last Thing, its esoteric occult mythology, and the approach each took to playing characters in a period horror setting.

This interview contains some light spoilers for The Last Thing Mary Saw.

Bloody Disgusting: Each of you have appeared in genre films prior to making The Last Thing Mary Saw. I was wondering if each of you might talk about the appeal of working in horror and how you approach it as an actor.

Stefanie Scott: This one in particular was really fun because it was a period piece, and that was a fun element to incorporate. Genre-wise, I really like the process of making them more than watching them, because of how technical it is to set up a really long shot and have all of these scares, and to be able to set a creepy vibe.

Isabelle Fuhrman: I agree, I think the process is really fun. I feel like when you work on a dark genre movie, you really bond with the cast, which is really fun. Also, with the horror genre, you get to play with so many things that you don’t get to do in other films. With the period piece on top of it, it was such an added layer, because we had special effects makeup, blood, the costumes on top of it … it was just really cool. And I really wanted to work with Stefanie.

BD: In trying to orchestrate some of the film’s scares and dealing with a story that is told in a period setting, were you presented with any specific challenges in bringing your characters to life and staying as truthful to them as possible?

Scott: I don’t know if there were specific challenges. It’s kind of all one big thing, just a bunch of moving parts working together to get to the same moment, which I guess is just luck more than anything.

Fuhrman: There was something that I felt when we got on set, which is that the house itself is kind of its own character in the movie. There’s no privacy in a house like that. Every step that you take, it creaks because everything there is handmade.

So I felt like that added so much to the intensity of the story, with these two young women sneaking around in this house, trying to figure out how they can be together under this roof. There is such a closed off energy in the home itself, and from the family, that I felt like that added to the process of the suspense of the movie. That was something that I didn’t foresee until we were on set.

So it added to my character. I felt like I was really trying to be as quiet as possible in certain areas. Kind of, “How do you sneak around this house? This isn’t even a possibility.” And how terrifying that must be, in and of itself.

BD: What was it about this particular story that appealed to you most and compelled you to want to play these characters?

Scott: Oh, it was quite a unique story for me. I was just really drawn that it took place in 1843 and that it’s about these two girls. That on its own was pretty exciting. There were a lot of magical elements to it that were really fun, as well. It’s a magical movie, an occult-ish kind of movie. I think overall, it was just that the writing was really, really well done from Edoardo. It wasn’t like anything that I’d ever read.

Fuhrman: I read the script and really enjoyed it. I talked to Edoardo, and he had such a specific vision of what he wanted to do the movie. With any director, but especially with first-time directors, it’s really cool when you meet someone who can explain exactly what they’re trying to achieve, and you can see it with them. And really, like I said, I wanted to work with Stefanie again because we’re really good friends. We had a good time!

BD: The Last Thing Mary Saw is as much a doomed romance as it is a horror film, portraying the persecution of two young women in love in a time that’s not at all receptive to that relationship. How was it that each of you prepared to play these women from a long-removed time, and did you find anything modern to play in their struggle?

Scott: I mean, to prepare for it … the dialogue itself puts you in that place. It sounds weird, but I could be someone else just for the words that you’re saying. How they speak, the accents that they have, and the environment that they’re in. I don’t think it’s as much anything that I had to prepare for or think about, because once you were there, in the wardrobe, and in the house, it’s not something that needs much to prepare for.

Fuhrman: You really kind of fall into it. Then also, Stefanie and I just genuinely love each other. I feel like what was beautiful about the story and the way that it translated to the movie, is that it is this sort of innocent love. They really love each other. At the same time, it’s cautious. It’s gentle, it’s timid, and it really comes from a very deep place. They are all each other has in this environment. That was something that was just really easy to act opposite Stefanie.

BD: One of the things that really struck me about the movie, that really got under my skin as a viewer, was all of the hints at a larger mythology throughout. By the time the movie ends, things are left on a bit of an ambiguous note. Did either of you have questions as to what exactly was going on at times, or did you feel as though it was better staying a bit in the dark as to how everything works within the world of the film?

Scott: Yeah, I’m sure I have an idea what was going on, but after watching a movie, I think I have different ideas when I saw how it came together.

Fuhrman: It’s funny, when you have the script, then you film it, then they edit it – things change all the time. Most of the mythology stayed the same, but there was one story that changed as they changed the edit of the movie. There was a part they wanted to film in the summer, and they couldn’t because of COVID.

So one of the mythologies, “The Lady of Bethabara”, changed a lot. But I think what was really cool about how Edoardo wrote the script and also wrote the mythology for it, was this idea of life imitating art. That these mythology stories coming in and kind of bleeding into this world, and what exactly is real? Is what they’re reading real, or is what’s happening to them real?

It’s almost like this book is writing itself at the same time as it’s playing out. So that was like a fun thing to play with, and then even to see the movie. Edoardo wrote a very poetic script!

BD: At a certain point in the film, Mary’s sight is removed from her. In another, Eleanor’s voice is taken from her. Can each of you discuss the particular challenges in performing with these restrictions?

Scott: I mean, for me, I couldn’t see. I had prosthetics on my eyes, so I actually couldn’t see while moving around in the house.

Fuhrman: That was so funny too, sometimes! I had a scene earlier in the day. I go upstairs to the kind of green room/waiting area, and she’s just lying on the bed, the prosthetics on her eyes. I’m like, ‘Have you been up here?’

She said, “I’ve been here for so long. I don’t know how long.”

“What do you mean?!”

She goes, “…what time is it?”

I’m like, “Oh, because she can’t see the time! She doesn’t have her phone, she’s just been laying there until somebody yells ‘Okay Stefanie, it’s time for us to film!’”

Part of the reason I actually loved this film is that there’s so much that you can say without saying anything. I love the idea and the challenge of doing a film where the majority of the time I wasn’t speaking. I thought that was a really cool challenge as an actor to take on, and also really fun because you get to kind of play with different looks, different things.

It was also kind of awesome, because Stefanie would have so many lines to memorize some days. She’d be running them in the house, and I was like “What do I have to say tomorrow? Nothing!”

And it’s great, because when you work with great actors like Stefanie, I just get to listen to her and be present with her. So it really made my job easy.

BD: Finally, what would you like readers to know about The Last Thing Mary Saw before they have the option to check it out?

Scott: It was written and directed by Edoardo Vitalleti. He’s so talented, and so young. The script was so well written, he was such an amazing director. He had a vision, he executed it … what looked to be effortlessly.

Fuhrman: It’s quite a ride, and it’s not what you expect at all. It’s also different for a genre piece. It’s a really fresh take on the period horror genre, in a way that you haven’t really seen it before, with a really beautiful heart at its center.

Very special thanks to Isabelle Fuhrman and Stefanie Scott for their time and insights.

Editor’s Note: Shudder has acquired The Last Thing Mary Saw, releasing in 2022.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

The Top 10 Streaming Scary Movies of Today (According to Netflix)

Given that Netflix really is the master of their own data, how many times a viewer streams The Ridiculous 6, or what films don't get watched all the way straight through, or how many times someone watches an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World, it was easy for them to come up with the list based on just one percentage: 70 percent.

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Top 5 Original Horror Movies of 2020 (Even During a Pandemic)

3 Frightening Clowns Not from the Underworld or Magical Hell

3 Viral Videos Proving Spiders Are Still Scary as Hell

Stephen King Adores These 22 Horror Films

3 Super Stories on 'Halloween' and Horror That'll Make You Want to Wear the Mask