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Friday, October 1, 2021

Director Santiago Menghini Explains How ‘No One Gets Out Alive’ is a Spiritual Cousin to ‘The Ritual’ [Interview]

Netflix’s No One Gets Out Alive (read my review) initially looks like a familiar haunted house tale, and that’s by design. Director Santiago Menghini makes his feature debut with an adaptation of Adam Nevill‘s novel, executive produced by David Bruckner. The last two names are a critical hint that there’s more than meets this eye, both previously responsible for The Ritual.

Cristina Rodlo stars as Ambar, an immigrant with limited options in Cleveland, Ohio. It means that she becomes increasingly trapped by the nightmarish boarding house that harbors dark secrets. Menghini leans into the familiar haunted house tropes with purpose. He explains, “It was a big thing for us to make sure that the expectation is one thing, and then the reality is another. We wanted to play around and toy with that. A lot of the approach was to lean into one direction, assume you know where everything is, and understand that based on certain conventions or visuals to mean one thing and then subvert them later. That was something that we took a lot of joy in, and structurally, that was something that I was excited about as well with the film, which was one of the things I was keen on diving in and designing, so that was really fun.”

“At first, I read the script, and then immediately got a copy of the novel and made notes on it. Sorry, Adam. I immediately realized that certain changes were done with the source material, but they remained faithful to the original story. The characters were still the same, and the core ideas were there. I thought we’re still faithful to the novel in a slightly different way. Then once I had a chance to talk to Adam and pick his brains, it made it a lot easier for me to dictate how the story should be shaped. He was just someone I could go to, and he was so generous with his time and had a lot of encouragement and support, which I couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator in the end. The key was, he was incredible. I dearly love this guy. He’s so great.”

Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

Menghini ramps up the tension at a steady clip, keeping the pressure mounting and the paranormal events ramping up until it all explodes in the third act. Ambar finally discovers what’s in a certain mysterious box; and she’s been designated the next sacrifice to the entity that dwells within. The creature looks and feels right out of The Ritual universe.

So, is it part of that same world?

You know, this might be a bit of my fault because I made a very deliberate intention and choice to almost live in the spirit of that film. I love The Ritual, and I knew that the source material was the same. Bruckner is a genius and having him during filming brought a wealth of knowledge. I wanted to bring an element of that in because it was a film that I loved and admired. There’s so much of the tone that shares in similarity. I think that, naturally, I took a lot of inspiration from that. I think that’s the spiritual cousin, if you will,” Menghini answered.

The overlap doesn’t end there. “I had the opportunity to work with a lot of the great talents that worked on The Ritual as well. One of them being Keith Thompson, the same creature designer, and he was just a mad genius. He brought so much to the table. The source material was quite vague on the description of our entity, but working with Keith, we put together something that hopefully will be memorable.”

No One Gets Out Alive is available on Netflix now.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/interviews/3685081/director-santiago-menghini-explains-no-one-gets-alive-spiritual-cousin-ritual-interview/

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