By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Actress Scout Taylor-Compton has become a familiar face on the horror scene since first confronting Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, and those features are threatened with rabid disfigurement in FERAL. We got some exclusive words with the actress about the film, which opens next week.
Directed by Mark H. Young from a script he wrote with Adam Frazier, and hitting select theaters, VOD and digital platforms next Friday, May 25 from IFC Midnight, FERAL casts Taylor-Compton as one of six medical students facing a disease they can’t cure. During a weekend trip into the woods, one of them is bitten by a wild animal, and they begin to succumb to an infection that turns them into ravenous killers. Speaking to RUE MORGUE at the recent Chiller Theatre convention in New Jersey, Taylor-Compton tells RUE MORGUE, “My character is named Alice, and over the course of the film, she takes over and tries to guide everyone through the chaos. She’s a very strong and independent woman.”
Impressed with Young and Frazier’s script when the former presented it to her, Taylor-Compton enthusiastically signed onto FERAL, and helped out with further casting. “They asked me if I knew girls who’d be good for a few of the parts, so I suggested Renee Olstead, whom I’ve known since I was a kid; I thought she’d be absolutely perfect for one role. My friend Olivia [Luccardi] plays my girlfriend, Jules, and another friend, Landry Allbright, is in it too. It was nice to be able to have that input. Lew Temple is in it too, and he’s one of the best. I’ll work with him any chance I get.”
As the actress indicates, her FERAL character is a lesbian, though she notes that the film doesn’t make an issue out of that fact. “It’s just a love story like any other, you know?” she says. “It’s about two girls who really care about each other, and what you would do if your significant other was to get hurt: You would do anything to save them and make sure they’re OK. You see that in the movie, and it doesn’t really matter that it’s two girls.”
There’s plenty of raw emotion in FERAL, though Taylor-Compton says her decade-plus of experience in terror fare has made going to the darker places easier. “I’ve done so many of these movies that I just sort of click it on and click it off,” she explains. “I don’t need to be a Method actor who’s constantly in that space. I find it very easy; as long as I understand my character, where she’s going and where the scenes are emotionally, I’ve kind of gotten it down to a science.”
That helped her keep it real on FERAL, even when the cabin she was shooting in was not. “They built a set on a soundstage in downtown Los Angeles,” she reveals, “and they made it so realistic. The props were absolutely fabulous. I think they only took a week and a half to build it, but it was so cool. We also used a cabin at the Disney Studio Ranch, where I’ve filmed so many movies. I’ve actually worked at that cabin twice. The first was on a Hallmark production called LOVE’S UNFOLDING DREAM, and it was kind of nice to go back. That was a love story/Western, so seeing it in a different light was pretty interesting.
“This is unlike any movie I’ve ever done,” she concludes. “There are so many secrets in it, and it’s really frightening. Everything is so dark—I got freaked out when I watched it, and I don’t get freaked out by scary movies!”