We weren’t especially big fans of The Cellar, Brendan Muldowney’s new feature-length adaptation of his own short horror film The Ten Steps. (More scope, and more mythology, are rarely a good substitute for the sheer gut punch of the horrifying unknown.) That being said, we can’t deny that star Elisha Cuthbert is a highlight of the film, or that she’s put in her time in the spooky movie trenches—something she reflected on in a recent Bloody Disgusting interview promoting the new film.
Cuthbert—who’s been acting since she was a teenager—started by looking back at her time as a member of The Midnight Society on Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, which she joined in 1999 when the show was rebooted (for the first time) with a second generation of campfire storytellers. “It felt like kids camp,” she recounts, talking about weeks of filming in the show’s artificial, indoor forest and its semi-real campfire. “As actors we really felt like we were those society kids.”
Cuthbert then went on to talk about what’s probably her most high-profile horror role: Serving as the protagonist of Jaume Collet-Serra’s 2005 remake of House Of Wax. Cuthbert heaped praise on the film’s look and production design, noting, “That whole town was built out in Australia for I don’t even know how much money. But that was a real legit town that was built out of wax. The façade itself. I couldn’t believe it.”
And then we get to the good, harrowing stuff, a.k.a., the joys of some very practical effects:
We couldn’t figure out how to do the lip gluing without making it look ridiculous. I had to be strained and fighting for my life, but I had to somehow find a way to keep my mouth pried closed. So it just wasn’t working and I finally said to the prop guys, ‘Just get the glue. Just get the real glue.’ So we ended up really gluing my lips – not with crazy glue, but with something very similar. So I could not pry them apart. There was no real other way to do it, without it looking silly. So we went for it.
So, yes: Thank you for that instant mental claustrophobia, Elisha Cuthbert.