[Interview] Alexandre Aja on 'Friday the 13th', the Right Way to Do a Remake, and 'The 9th Life of Louis Drax' - Bloody Disgusting
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[Interview] Alexandre Aja on ‘Friday the 13th’, the Right Way to Do a Remake, and ‘The 9th Life of Louis Drax’

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As of right now, Breck Eisner is set to direct the upcoming latest installment in the Friday the 13th franchise, which will hit theaters sometime in 2017, but if Alexandre Aja had it his way, his would be the one in the director’s chair. An avid fan of the Paramount produced franchise, Aja told Bloody Disgusting about how he’s dying to put his own spin on the film, and shared what he personally loves about the iconic ‘80s slashers.

“It’s very different, I mean the Friday the 13th script was a very very smart and a great opportunity to do something that was in the same time eerie, in the same time reinventing, and renouncing the wall. I think Friday the 13th was such a cool world because Jason became an icon and became such a cultural legend that it took like almost four movies to create the character the way people see him, and it would be really interesting to go back and say, you know, what would be a movie that people can bring back all together. Friday the 13th has an amazing character and I think there is room and they have a script now that’s really really amazing, to do something that’s absolutely scary and the same time a way to re-establish the character for a new generation. I’m not the one doing it, but I will definitely go see it.”

As for his own vision, Aja says that while he recognizes that he isn’t the one helming the latest installment, he has more than a few ideas in mind as to how he himself would handle the newest film.

“It’s hard because I’m not, you know I can’t talk about this project because I’m not the one directing it, but I think, you know, I would have tried to do something that would please me as an audience member, and I think we all as a fan of you know Jason and as a fan of the genre I think there is some respect to show to the energy, to the spirit, and you need to do something that’s absolutely stunning, shocking and absolutely never goofy to make the right Friday the 13th.”

According to Aja, there’s a right and a wrong way to tackle a remake, and sadly, there are many filmmakers who are doing it wrong.

“You know most of the remakes I’m reading, most of the scripts I’m reading, are usually not to the level of the original. They always kind of uh, somehow they are written, they are written by people that I feel don’t really understand the original so good, and sometimes they are completely different from the original, which then what is the point of using the title? With respect and love to the original movie, you take the DNA of the original movie, and you just try to enhance everything you have and keep what was working, and just try to make it better where you feel it was not working perfectly. Sometimes people are just, they are clueless as to why they are remaking it. They are remaking it because of the success, because of the title, and they end up making movies that are unwatchable.

Alexandre Aja is currently releasing his very own film, titled The 9th Life of Louis Drax, which is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by author Liz Jensen. In the film, a nine-year-old child named Louis Drax excitedly introduces himself as the ‘amazing accident prone boy’, and tells of his many misfortunes which he has somehow miraculously survived. His mother refers to him as an angel, the doctors call him a miracle, but when Louis stumbles off of a high cliff and plunges into a coma, secrets begin to bubble towards the surface, and new light is shed on this seemingly innocent little story.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax

With fantasy, romance, drama, suspense, and the supernatural all spilling together into one single intricate film, The 9th Life of Louis Drax is one tough movie to categorize. If you ask Aja, however, he’d call it Hitchcockian.

“You know that’s exactly how I felt when I read the script…I felt Hitchcockian mystery,” explains Aja. “You look at movies like Vertigo, I mean physically, they are a movie that today people would say ‘Oh we don’t know exactly what this is’. They are not a proper investigation movie. They are psychological thrillers, they are also love stories, they are suspenseful and twisted at the same time, so I think that’s how I felt and that’s what I wanted to see when reading the script. So hopefully, if you feel this way when you’re watching it today, then hopefully I did this right because that was the goal.”

Although he’s ventured out into the realm of drama and moody romance movies, Aja says that he’s ready to get back to his roots, and make another low down and dirty low budget bloody horror movie along the lines of High Tension.

I really want to go back to the pure scary and I’m looking very actively into material and script and story and book” says Aja enthusiastically. “I don’t want to repeat myself, I don’t want to just make another High Tension, I don’t want to make another Hills Have Eyes, but I want to find something that’s really, really scary, scary in a very uncertain way, something that you’ve never actually seen before and something that talks about society as well and about relationships. I mean, I love horror movies because horror movies, over any other genre, are the most immersive experience you can find in a cinematic way. You know, when they are well made and they are well executed, they completely cancel that distance that you have between you and the screen. You forget that you’re watching something, you just cross over and you’re on the other side, and that’s what, as an audience member, what attracts me to movies, and as a filmmaker as well because it’s also a very amazing creative experience to create that immersion for the audience. So yes, I’m definitely looking, and hopefully I will find something soon to be able to come back to the genre.”

The 9th Life of Louis Drax is now in theaters everywhere.

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