Laura Flannery is no stranger to horror films and you can now catch her as Samantha Ramage in the horror flick, Blackstock Boneyard.
Before the Candyman arrives back in theaters, treat yourself to a few sweat-inducing nightmares courtesy the Griffin brothers. From director Andre Alfa, Blackstock Boneyard stars Ashley Whelan, Aspen Kennedy, Aubree Storm, Bryan McClure, and Richie Stephens.
Based on an untold true story, brothers Thomas & Meeks Griffin were prominent black farmers who were forced to sell their land and wrongly executed. 100 years later, they’re back to avenge their deaths by killing the descendants of those responsible.
Check out my Q & A with Laura!
How does it feel now that the film is officially complete, and people are actually getting to see it?
Laura: It’s really exciting. I mean, I’ve been in projects before that sometimes don’t get finished, you know, or aren’t easily accessible for people so it’s always amazing when you work on a project that gets easy access like Netflix or On Demand and Apple Plus. I think it’s really cool that they managed to do that, because right now everyone’s at their houses like watching so much because of COVID and just staying at home and being careful.
If you can remember back to pre-production, can you just explain a little bit about how you came to be a part of this movie?
Laura: So Matthew Morgan was the casting director, and he actually had me originally read for one of the twins. And then my callback was with Samantha, the character that I ended up booking. So, yeah, I’m in New Orleans and he is a casting director down here, and I’ve been in front of him a few times. So, it was super comfortable, but when I went in there, the director was there, the writer was there, so it was definitely intimidating. But the character of Samantha is like the opposite of me because she’s super confident and super, oh my gosh, she is a little brat- selfish, breaks the rules. Sometimes I feel like when you are insecure and playing the opposite, because you know what you want to be, it becomes a little bit easier. And I have found that a lot with other actors, they say that they play the opposite, a lot easier. So I’ve definitely found that with Samantha so when I was in the callback I just felt her, you know, and I just felt that confidence even though I was super nervous.
You also have a brother in the film, Bryan McClure, what was it like working with him and getting to create that brother-sister bond?
Laura: We are still brother and sister. He just was in town, he’s come to see me a few times. We are so close. He was such a support for me on set, he’s a really good friend. He’s like a brother in real life except not the snot nose version. But yeah, we definitely improv’d a ton together, we got to have so much fun with our characters, especially when we were sitting on the swing. That was just totally us just sitting there while they were directing something else and like playing around with it, like, ‘let’s try this, this is funny.’ And I think it worked but we got along so well because our characters were like the comedic relief. So we got a chance to enjoy that part of the seriousness of the film.
On the flip side of that, you both have pretty gruesome deaths. What was it like filming your death scene?
Laura: I’ll actually be really honest with you. I had two takes on that and the first take was gold. The only thing is, I yelled my character’s name instead of yelling Bryan’s character’s name. I was being pulled and I just yelled out, like, I was just so in the moment that I wasn’t thinking. And so they ended up having to use a second take, which I don’t think was quite as cool. You know what I mean, like I was really in it the first one and, you know, being an indie film, we didn’t have a lot of special effects. So I had the little blood thing in my mouth, I don’t know if they were just trying to not use all of them but they were like, ‘We got to get this like quick.’ So the first one I went all in there and I yelled my character’s name. I’ll never forget that everyone cracked up laughing because I didn’t even realize that I had done it, until after a while. So, anyway, yeah, it was really scary. Bryan and I both tried not to look at the ghosts’ outfits because we wanted to truly feel like, when we really saw them, we were scared and they’re big guys they’re really big, like so tall.
When did you first see them in costume?
Laura: I think I accidentally saw them before I was supposed to, but I like hurried up and tried to turn my head. But yeah, I was blown away. The costumes were really good. I just watched it the other day in my pajamas, because I was like, ‘you know, I can’t wait. How am I supposed to wait? I’m gonna wake up and watch a horror film like it’s nothing,’ but, some of those special effects took a lot of thought, like when the machete or the mallet or the whatever that was, like hit the wall and then they had the special effects on it I was like, ‘oh they had to think about that prior,’ you know, oh there’s some good thought that went into some of these things.
You mentioned that you just kind of woke up and watched the movie, do you like scary movies?
Laura: No, I would never choose a scary movie to watch, but I get cast in them all the time so I watch scary movies that I’m in. But yeah, I prefer romantic comedies. I’m not big into violence. But I do tend to get a lot of horror films so I try to watch them as an actor doing my homework. But yeah, I am super easily scared, especially when you don’t know something’s coming and then it’s like BAM! That stuff scares me because truly, I’m scared of the dark, I haven’t gotten over that since I was a kid. So, that kind of stuff scares me a lot.
When you watched the film as a whole, did anything surprise you or scare you a lot more than you thought?
Laura: Oh, yeah! The beginning! I had no idea what the beginning was going to be like. I mean, that kind of brought it all together for me because I had read the script but like you read the script and then you focus on your character once it’s time to really start filming, so it was nice to see it all come together and then finding out that it was a true story kind of made it even weirder. But yeah, the eeriness of it, the fact that we were talking about real people who experienced these things was, you know, kind of sad, and they kind of let them live on but in a gruesome way but, in a sense, they got revenge… It was definitely scary. Like I said, I watched it during the day and that did help.
Is there anything else that you would like to add or that you would like viewers to know about Blackstock Boneyard?
Laura: I wanted to say that I thought Ashley Whelan did a really good job with Lyndsy, because her and her friends were kind of just thrown in the middle of all this, and she could have played it like the ditzy character like not knowing what’s going on but I thought she did a really good job of making her character really grounded and really trying to figure out what was going on. Even though we (Samantha and Corey) were sinisterly trying to get what we wanted out of her. I thought it brought a nice softness to the movie and the romantic scene, I really enjoyed that. I’m glad they had that because I felt it brought it more to life and to modern day.