There’s Something Wrong With The Children In Roxanne Benjamin’s New Horror Flick [Exclusive Interview]

This has two of the best things in movies: A weird hole in the ground, and then it’s a creepy kid movie. Did you take any inspiration from any specific creepy kid movies? Because there are a lot of good ones.

That’s a tough one. I definitely am a huge fan of the genre of creepy kid movies. Honestly, one of my favorites, and it’s kind of borderline whether it counts or not, is “Orphan” and “Orphan: First Kill.”

Oh my God. Absolutely, it counts.

Especially the sequel. There’s the evil kid genre and then there’s the evil kid, but the “no one believes you” genre. They’re two almost separate genres in a way. “In the Mouth of Madness” is always a big one. That’s one of my favorite [John] Carpenter movies of all time. But also I always wanted to know what the movie was that was in the movie. One of the things I kind of love about it is that you don’t really know, and you’ll know from “Brighton Rock” that that’s also a big thing for me. I think the most boring thing of most horror movies is when we get into the explanation of what’s really happening. It’s not just people dealing with what’s happening or, in a movie like this, no one’s trying to solve the problem. No one’s trying to un-evil the kids. A lot of our evil kid movies I feel like deal with an exorcism or “Oh, they’re possessed, we have to do something about it.” This is just kind of like, “Oh no, that’s just already happened. That ship has sailed.” Now it’s just every man for themselves or how do we get out of here?

I know it’s gotten some comparisons I’ve seen, just from people seeing the trailer, to the 2008 British movie “The Children.” I think it has a lot of similar DNA because that also involves some family dynamics and then all the kids start getting sick. What I love about that one is it’s very Covid horror. Kids are actually just getting an illness and we don’t really understand what the illness is. Whereas this is something a little bit different. But that one I think, if people haven’t seen it, they should see it. Because when I was going through and just watching a bunch of little kid genre stuff when I was prepping for this, that was one that really tickled me, because I hadn’t really seen it. The closest thing I had seen to it was really just like, “Who Can Kill a Child?” which is also just such a specific movie and much more of a, I don’t know, it does have “Children of the Corn” vibes, but it’s kind of empty in a way, that movie. Because you’ve just got two people in almost a ghost town and then the kids.

What a good excuse to find a movie, when you’ve got to do research for something.

It’s weird, though, because it’s a lot of other influences outside of horror that you start watching, and you’re dealing with these movies too where you’re thinking of a sequence, specifically some sort of long take sequence or specific types of shots. So then you watch certain movies just for the cinematography just to see, how did they handle a similar scene? I always love Peter Jackson’s films because he moves the camera so much and it’s so fun and all over the place. So “The Frighteners” is another one, that was one that I would watch over and over while we were prepping.

“Frighteners” is so good.

Fun movie.

I asked you about this last time because it seemed closer to happening at the time, but now I’m curious what happened in the last few years. Is that “Night of the Comet” remake still happening? Or has that just kind of completely fallen by the wayside?

That’s an interesting one. It’s still alive, just not really in the same iteration, but it’s still kicking. It’s gone through a lot of different — everything’s consolidating with everything. The snake is eating itself in our industry right now. So it’s gone through a lot of different hands, I think, throughout the process, but it’s still out there.

Here’s hoping for that one. As I told you last time, because I know you wrote that. I would like to see you direct that one as well. Not that I have any say over it.

Well, the version I wrote, that one would not be happening. But there’s other stuff that’s going on with it. But yeah, that movie division I think is gone now, or I can’t even remember. I think Orion Pictures, they stopped doing their own features and they were just doing pickups at some point. So their original features division kind of stopped being active. That was a couple years ago. The original script that I wrote was part of that group. So now it’s in that weird limbo where that can never exist because it is in this entity that, I don’t know, it’s a bunch of business affairs stuff.

The sexy part of the business, always.

Yeah. And it’s one of my favorite scripts that I wrote though, which is kind of a bummer. It’s super fun.

“There’s Something Wrong With the Children” is now on Digital and On Demand, and debuts on MGM+ on March 17, 2023.

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