by Jean Bentley
Jackson Rathbone has now starred in three vampire movies (you may have heard of them, "Twilight" something or other), but the 25-year-old actor's first foray into horror is "Dread," newly released on DVD, about a college student who makes a documentary about what people dread most in life.
The film, based on a short story by horror king Clive Barker, isn't necessarily typical of the genre, Rathbone said in an interview yesterday. "I hate to call it a horror film because it's really more of a psychological thriller," he said. "Clive Barker's known for those horroristic elements, and it was more of a humanistic story."
Rathbone was interested in the movie after reading the script, but said he really decided to commit after getting feedback from a friend. "I was considering doing the project so I gave it to a friend of mine to read. He read it, and he got to the end and was like 'Dude, it made me want to vomit.' So I was like 'Yup, doing this project. That's awesome.'"
Though he's a fan of the classic "Hellraiser," "Halloween," and "Friday the 13th" series', Rathbone said he wasn't allowed to watch them as a kid. "I grew up in a very conservative household, had to sneak over to friends' houses to watch those films. I'd come home scared and my parents would be like 'What are you so nervous and scared for?' 'No reason.' I'd be scared by a shadow."
"Dread" was shot in an isolated area outside of London, which Rathbone said helped him get into character. "It was kind of fun being in the middle of nowhere filming a dark psychological thriller because you have all these dark thoughts in your head and you're washing the fake blood off your face -- it's pretty creepy."
Despite the fact that "Twilight" isn't really a scary movie, Rathbone said there are similarities between "Twilight" and "Dread." "One of the things I like is when different worlds collide. With the 'Twilight' films, you have the horror element of the vampire, but it becomes more of a romantic action film with the vampire falling in love with the girl. With 'Dread' it's kind of the same thing. Clive Barker's world is usually more of a mythical gothic world, but 'Dread' is more of a personalized psychological thriller instead of a horror. It has the horror elements, but it's much more of a person-to-person drama."
As for Rathbone's darkest fear, "I don't really know," he said. "I'm scared of spiders I guess." More seriously, though, "Some my of my worst fears have been realized. One of my best friends passed away a few years ago of adrenal cancer. It was really quick -- he was diagnosed on Thanksgiving Day and passed away two weeks later. He had stage four cancer and never knew it. That's probably my worst fear in life, to see a friend pass away."