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Written and Directed by: Padraig Reynolds
Starring: AJ Bowen, Anessa Ramsey, Sonny Marinelli, Marco St. John
and Katherine Randolph

A group of kidnappers abduct the daughter of a wealthy socialite and hide out in an abandoned school in the middle of the woods.  But feelings of guilt soon overtake the kidnappers, dividing the group and putting their entire plan in jeopardy.  The evening further spirals out of control when their poorly chosen hideout becomes a hunting ground for a mysterious creature that requires springtime ritualistic sacrifices.

Here’s the statement of the director:

Rites Of Spring was originally conceived as a trilogy – “Rites Of Spring”, “Devil Sent The Rain” and “The Dawning”. Each story leads into the next to form one big, cohesive movie world.  Each film answers questions from the last while introducing new characters and plot.  The script for the first installment caught the attention of producer Eric Thompson, who brought it to Bobby and Wes Benton’s company Red Planet Entertainment.  They felt that the story was compelling enough to work on its own.


My goal for Rites Of Spring was to make a fast-paced, genre-bending horror movie with great characters, a kick ass villain and some alarming scares. I’m a big fan of multi-genre pictures such as Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn, which starts out as a crime thriller before turning into an action-packed horror film.  In Rites Of Spring, a man who was wrongfully fired from his job conspires with a criminal to kidnap the daughter of his wealthy ex-boss and hold her for ransom. Unfortunately for him, the woman responsible for his getting fired is abducted by a nearby farmer who sacrifices women to a creature every spring to make rain come and water the crops.


The Creature (Wormface), was created by my friend Aaron Sims who has designed such great characters in “30 Days Of Night” and “The Incredible Hulk.”  Our goal was to make Wormface an iconic and memorable creature in the vain of 80’s slasher movies that we both grew up with and loved, yet creating something unique and fresh.  Toby Sells (The Walking Dead, Zombieland), was brought in to make Aaron’s fantastic designs come to life.


For the main roles of Ben and Rachel, I wanted AJ Bowen and Anessa Ramsey, a pair of amazing independent actors who worked together on “The Signal.”  I couldn’t have asked for two better actors for the roles.  The toughest role for me to cast was the part of The Stranger, who is the aforementioned farmer. The character is such a tortured soul and requires a seasoned, veteran actor with a commanding screen presence. When I saw Marco St. John and remembered him from the Clint Eastwood thriller “Tightrope”, I knew I found my Stranger.


With the cast in place, we shot Rites Of Spring in 14 different locations in 18 days in the small town of Canton Mississippi.  We shot in a 100 year old barn, an ex-girlfriend’s cornfield, a tornado, and an abandoned High School in the middle of the woods. I wanted the audience to get that desolate, rural, Americana feeling. We designed the locations to be a character onto themselves and used the scenery to expand the film’s scope and feel. I knew this was a huge undertaking for a first time director, but I was extremely lucky to have such great producers, cast and crew. I have to give a lot of credit to my amazing cinematographer, Carl Herse, who really captured the beauty of Mississippi. My editor Ed Marx did a phenomenal job keeping the two-headed narrative structure engaging, energetic and fast.


I’m looking forward to shooting “Devil Sent The Rain” later this year and hope to bring back everyone who was involved in the first one.  The second film is crazy scary and will hopefully make “Rites Of Spring”, a cool and scary franchise.

In Theaters and Available Nationwide on IFC Midnight Cable VOD and Digital Outlets (SundanceNOW, iTunes, Amazon Streaming, XBOX Zune, Playstation Unlimited) on July 27, 2012

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Posted by on Jun 22 2012. Filed under # HORROR-NEWS #, SLASHER, THE NEW SHIT |. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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