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Podcast Extra: An Interview with New Life Director John Rosman


Fangoria! Woo!

Horror-show-halfway-through-the-film-is-in-limited-theatrical-release-and-can-be-streamed-online-now”>At the Overlook Film Festival, The Scariest Things caught up with up-and-coming director John Rosman, who was on hand to present his debut feature film New Life. This thriller was a sleeper surprise at the festival. A political thriller that morphs into a toe-curling body Horror show halfway through. The film is in limited theatrical release and can be streamed online now!

When you go to a Horror Movie Film Festival, as small Horror press, one of the great benefits is that you often get the opportunity to talk with filmmakers who are presenting their films. When the festival is as prestigious as the Overlook Film Festival, the chances are the cast and crew you meet are on the rapid ascent to prominence. Such was my luck with John Rosman, a gentleman with an almost empty IMDb page, but directed a film with such confidence and craft; you would think he was a seasoned veteran of the craft.

If you haven’t seen my ★★★★ review of New Life, you can read it HERE. (No Spoilers)

As noted in my full review, this movie begins with a bloody woman, Jessica Murdock (Hayley Erin) who for unknown reasons is being pursued by ace tracker Elsa Gray (Sonya Wlager) in what feels like a traditional crime manhunt thriller. A mid-plot bombshell reveals why Elsa needs to find Jessica, and the stakes are enormous. The film is bolstered by two tremendous performances by both of the actresses, and the escalating build of the film has a generous payoff.


Unless you are OK with spoilers, I highly recommend you go see New Life in the Theaters. The film was released on May 4 in limited release. Or, you can order up a streaming of the film on Amazon. We will be discussing some of the key plot points in the interview. Fear not, the conclusion of the film is not spoiled in our interview. However, the big mid-movie reveal is worth the AHA! moment to have you watch the film cold. Rosman was joined in the interview by ace makeup artist Christina Kortum, a protigee of Oscar Winner Chris Walas, who created some horrifically gruesome and organic body Horror makeup for the second half of the film. Her biology-inspired nastiness is hugely effective, and for the shoestring budget, it was hugely impressive.


Because The Scariest Things has a strong Portland presence, take note that this was filmed in Portland. Local actors Jeb Berrier, Betty Moyer, Kevin Michael Moore, and Blaine Palmer all get juicy supporting roles, and really bolster the film. The farm scenes were shot at a real farm in Enterprise, Oregon. The “Canadian Border” is actually the majestic Wallowa Mountains in NE Oregon. The movie also benefits from a classic dreary Oregon gloom. (And some beautiful connective scenes in the Cascades.)

Rosman actually worked at Oregon Public Broadcasting, so he’s one of us. So is almost the entire crew of the film, so it is with great pride that this movie is so good! Rosman was able to coax fantastic subtlety from his actors, and composed a beautiful looking film. The Scariest Things might have a PNW bias, but this film has been getting rave reviews across the internet. New Life debuted at the 2023 Fantasia film festival, so its Festival bona fides are really impressive. John Rosman is a director to keep your eye on!

The Interview:


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