Why you will talk about The Remaining

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With the recent influx of faith-based entertaining hitting multiplexes, it was only a matter of time before the most intense side of the Bible found its way to the horror genre. Instead of something bright and tame, however, the first faith-based horror film from Affirm Films, The Remaining, promises something much more dark and destructive. Here’s an interview with director Casey La Scala.

For starters, how did you become involved in a project like The Remaining?

“I harked back to my church days and when I was in the fourth grade, I read Revelations, which was all about the end of the world. And ever since I was a kid, I wondered what would happen if the Rapture were to happen and all of the sudden we were in seven years of hell. So, I went through Revelations and I got to the sixth trumpet, in which the Abyss is opened and the demons are released, and I said, ‘There it is!’ (laughs)

“There was a real horror movie right there that I’d never seen before. So, I started basically taking everything out of Revelations and decided I wanted to do a film that shows my interpretation of the Biblical end of the world. I wanted to show what happens once the demons have been released.”

Did you find that taking this religious angle to the horror made the project easier to come together?

“Well, the faith-based audience didn’t really come together until after I started working on the project. And since the project was involving in that direction, I embraced it. There’s an audience out there chomping at the bit for anything for them, and the Biblical rapture had never really been done well before. But to me, I felt like there was an opportunity to expand the audience for this film.

“So when I started working with Sony/Affirm, who did Soul Surfer, and they’re the ones who said, ‘Hey, there might be something here. There’s never been a faith-based horror movie ever made. However, I said, ‘Well, what about The Passion of the Christ? That’s a Biblical horror movie. That’s what it is.’ So, there was a question as to whether people would open to this, and they sent the script out to ministers around the country. When they came back saying that The Remaining would be fantastic, Sony went through with it and said, ‘Let’s see what happens.’

“In the process of writing The Remaining, once I was sure the project would stand up to an evangelical base, I did a lot of work on making sure the rules of the Rapture were biblically accurate. But from the get-go, I wanted to make a film a mass audience could enjoy. If the faith-based audience jumps into the film, that’d be fantastic, but once you see it, you’ll notice the themes presented aren’t very extreme.

“The Ramaining is all about finding what faith means to you before your death, in the same way that in most horror films there are moments where the  characters pause and take an inventory of their life. At the moment of your death, what are you going to reach for? So, it was all about riding that line of making sure there’s enough for the faith-based audience, but also enough for the mainstream audience who would go, ‘Man, I don’t want to see this Bible trash at all. It’s ridiculous.’ That was the line I walked, and that was the most difficult part of writing the script.

“As for the legacy of The Remaining, I want people to walk away with something to talk about. There’s a lot to digest that you might not get in a straight-up horror movie. There’s some emotional moments, but the ending leaves you very numb. At the end of the movie, you’ll be thinking about what just took place.’

Released by Pioneer Films, The Remaining opens today in theaters nationwide.

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