One of the big set-pieces of Eli Roth’s Netflix horror show Hemlock Grove is the werewolf transformation, which sees laconic gypsy rogue Peter Rumancek unleash the animal inside.
“Shooting it was a process, we shot it over a couple of months,” said star Landon Laboiron, speaking exclusively to SciFiNow. “We shot the foundation of it all outside and as we shot the series we kind of went back to it here and there, and we shot inserts shots like the back, and the jaw with greenscreen.
“It was probably the most terrifying part of the show because it’s been done so many times and you just wanted to make sure you did it the way Peter would do it and not the way Taylor Lautner would do it, or American Werewolf In London would do it, you just wanted to do it a little different and I think that we stayed true to the description in the book.
“And we wanted to make it beautiful, we wanted to make it not about Peter being cursed by this thing, we wanted it to like a ritual, a monthly period. A man period, as we’re describing it! And as raw as a birth; incredibly high octane, intense, but also incredibly beautiful as a result.”
When we asked Lili Taylor – who plays Peter’s mother Lynda Rumancek, what she thought makes a convincing monster, she told us that it has to be heartfelt. “I think it’s best when it’s really done in a sincere way and a real way. You’re going to want to really go into what it’s like, as if you were that monster, to really penetrate in. Because somewhere in there you’re gonna get humanity too if you go deep in enough.”
In terms of planning the sequence, director/producer Deran Sarafian agrees that it had to feel natural, and original.
“I think that going into this for me, it was like ‘How can this be different, how can I make this nostalgic,’ because I’m a big fan of An American Werewolf In London and The Howling and those kinds of films, and I’ve worked with Rob Bottin in the past, and some of his people and to me it was like ‘How is this going to be original but at the same time be an homage to what I love?’ and that’s what it was, making for me, Landon did such an amazing job and so did Bill [Skarsgård], and Lili just watching the expressions on their face, it’s classic! The proud mom.
“So it was really trying to pull it off that it would be painful and at the same time orgasmic, as he emerges.”
Hemlock Grove is available on Netflix from 19 April. You can read our review of the first episode here.