Among Friends: An Exclusive Interview with Danielle Harris about her Directorial Debut

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Issue 2 Cover among friendsCrimped hair, laced gloves, and heavy blue eye shadow combined with a dinner party from hell, is your invitation to a twisted good time. “This party is gonna be killer”!

When a group of friends are summoned to a 1984 prom night themed dinner they discover a murder mystery that becomes all too real. Everything is brought to the table in this tale of not so friendly retribution, and is served up with a side of the sick and twisted in Danielle Harris’s directorial debut, Among Friends.

Danielle, having celebrated her 11th birthday on the set of Halloween 4 The Return of Michael Myers (1988) is no stranger to scary parties. Predominately known for Hatchet, four Halloween films and Stake Land (2010), she definitely knows the business of blood. We had the honor of talking with Danielle and her on and off screen friends,
Jennifer Blanc Biehn and Alyssa Lobit about how they cooked up such a killer movie, and this is what they had to say.

Danielle Harris

Can you tell us a how Among Friends was brought to life?
DH : Jen Blanc and I had been friends for many years and she basically came to me and asked if I’d be interested in
directing. She knew I had been looking for the right script to be my feature directorial debut and thought this one
might be right up my alley. I read it and saw the potential, but knew that a lot needed to be adjusted for me to
be excited about it. In the beginning it was a very basic, by the numbers, psychological thriller, but was lacking
style and fun, so Alyssa and I sat down and started a page one re-write and changed the entire vibe of film.
I really wanted to make something that I would enjoy watching and felt like the genre lost its sense of humor
somewhere along the way, so we put it back in the film.
You were just a young girl when you starred in your first feature film Halloween 4; and your directorial debut is also a horror movie, Among Friends. Having come full circle in filmmaking, and withinthe horror genre, what led you to want to direct a horror movie?
DH : I have a built in fan base in the genre and it’s what I know better than anything else. So, it was an obvious
choice for me to direct a genre film right out of the gate.
What are your thoughts about the evolution of horror movies, and the genre these days?
DH : I am hopeful that we will eventually get back to the way it used to be. With all the CGI and over stimulation
in films these days, we are losing the story and connection to the characters. It’s all about bigger
and badder instead of leaving it alone and allowing your imagination to play tricks on you. The fun and
simplicity needs to be put back in the movies!
What do you love about acting in horror films?
DH : It depends. I’m at a place now where being killed and killing aren’t as much fun as it used to be! I still
enjoy fighting the bad guy and kicking the killer’s ass in movies though. Especially since the guys
I’m killing are twice my size!
Do you have a favorite genre of horror movie?
I like the old school horror movies that remind me of my childhood. Ones that take me back to being
that little girl that snuck into the dining room to peek at the TV in the den when my mom and
dad were watching Poltergeist or The Shining!
Do you see yourself behind the camera in the future?
Yes, just finished my first feature Among Friends and we are being distributed by LionsGate/
Grindstone for US and AnchorBay Canada.
Were there any disadvantages or advantages to working with friends on a massive
project like this film?
Both, fortunately and unfortunately.
What is something about you that your fans would find quirky, odd, or funny?
I absolutely love The Muppets but if Kermit was real and walked into the room right now,
I would go screaming and running scared out of my mind. I also love ET, but sometimes
it still scares me when I watch it 😉

 

Phillip Holt
Born on All Hallow’s Eve with an affinity for things that go bump in
the night; his favorite horror movies include Psycho, Seven, The
Shining, and Silence of The Lambs. His music of choice is edgy,
has brains, a big heart and a giant middle finger.
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Phillip Holt
Born on All Hallow’s Eve with an affinity for things that go bump in the night; his favorite horror movies include Psycho, Seven, The Shining, and Silence of The Lambs. His music of choice is edgy, has brains, a big heart and a giant middle finger.

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