A young band ventures into the woods to pen some new songs that will turn them into rockstars. Unfortunately, those woods are haunted, and lots of blood curdling screams and killing ensues. “Don’t Go in the Woods” is a mashup between a serious “Glee” episode and a bad slasher film — in other words, it’s a lot of fun.
It’s also directed by Vincent D’Onofrio who came up with the spooky premise. D’Onfrio is best known as Detective Goren from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” but he’s had a lengthy career with credits in movies like “Full Metal Jacket” and “Men in Black.” The 52-year-old actor talked to HuffPost Celebrity about being a director and the Wall Street protests.
Creepy! How did you come up with the idea for “Don’t Go In the Woods”?
I was in the car on the way to our house upstate and we have these woods. I have a friend who’s a singer/songwriter who’s really talented and in the car on the way home I just said, “Why don’t I make a slasher musical with non-actors who can sing and it’s a film that everybody sings and dies in?”
Did you use non-actors because they’re really cheap and you could boss them around?
Yes! No, I didn’t want it to turn into a big production. I wanted to cast it myself. The idea was to write a B-movie horror structure and I thought it would be really cool to put non-actors’ performances in it against these really kind of cool pop songs and the contrast of that — the flat kind of acting against a musical aspect. Like something you’re not quite sure of and then on top of it I threw in this cerebral leading guy so that creates a cerebral tone to the film, makes it seem deeper than it is. It was all a guise to make it pure entertainment.
Did you grow up loving slasher movies?
As much as the next person. The really cool thing about horror films is that they’re not judged. I wish that all films were looked at that way. I’m just as guilty as everybody else. When I go see a drama or a comedy, right away I want it to be great, like the best thing ever, and I’m always let down.
Yeah, always is a bit of an exaggeration. But when you sit down to see a horror movie, you don’t have any expectations. It’s like, “Okay, I’m going to take a leap of faith. I know there’s going to be a lot of bad acting, I’m just going to have a blast watching it.”
Have you ever had a day in the last ten years where someone hasn’t sung the “duh duh” sound of “Law & Order?”
No, when I go to the corner to get milk a cop or a city worker or a pedestrian will all say, “‘Full Metal Jacket,’ ‘Criminal Intent,’ ‘The Cell,’” they go through the list.
I have to admit, every time “Mystic Pizza” is on, I get sucked in.
I haven’t seen that movie for, God, 20 years.
You’re very thin in it.
Yeah! I’m very young.
What’s your favorite movie?
My all time favorite is the reason I’m talking to you, “Full Metal Jacket.” I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for Stanley Kubrick. That’s at the top no matter what. Also, the better the director, the more fun I had.
Is it fun being a director?
I’ve worked with so many great directors, it’s a little embarrassing calling myself a director because they’re just so fucking good.
So what are you going to call yourself? Caterer?
Yeah, I would prefer that. Can I?
If you made the sandwiches, sure.
Well some days I did make the sandwiches and coffees. So when I was catering this movie everybody knew each other — these are people I’ve known 10 or 20 years so there’s no chief cook. We’re just a bunch of people making this crazy idea I had so that’s what it feels like.
I loved “Steal This Movie,” the movie you made about Abbie Hoffman. How come I didn’t see you down at the Wall Street protests?
I’ve been down there. I find it to be great. I just wish it would ignite, it fizzled out. It might come back in the summer. It’s cold now.
So you think protestors need their hot chocolate?
You know how cold it gets in New York. Protestors don’t like the cold — even the best ones.
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