screenrant.com

Logan Miller Interview: Blumhouse's Prey

Prey, the latest film from horror hitmaker Blumhouse, finds Logan Miller trapped on a deserted island with a deadly secret. Directed by Franck Khalfoun (Maniac, P2), Prey combines the survival drama of Castaway with the terrifying sensibilities of The Exorcist, with just a hint of Blue Lagoon's romance thrown in for good measure.

Logan Miller is best known for his roles in films like Escape Room, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, and Love, Simon. Prey is one of his most exceptional performances yet, as he's not a typical shipwrecked castaway. After enduring a shocking trauma (depicted in the film's prologue), his character, Toby Burns, goes on a paid journey of adventure and self-discovery, joining a program that maroons him on a deserted island. At least, it's supposed to be deserted, but Toby finds himself in the company of a mysterious girl and her mother (Kristine Frøseth and Jolene Anderson). This adds an extra dynamic to the traditional Robinson Crusoe story... But, of course, that's before the mysterious monsters show up.

Related: Seann William Scott Interview: Blumhouse's Bloodline

While promoting the film's release, Miller spoke to Screen Rant about his work on the film. He discusses taking part in a harrowing underwater scene and being directed by horror master Franck Khalfoun, as well as what it was like to film in the beautiful, untamed jungles of Malaysia and getting to spend time learning about the local culture.

Check out a particularly tense and exciting exclusive clip below.

Before we jump into Prey, I wanna ask you about horror movies in general. One of my favorite things about this genre, and Blumhouse specifically, is that you really never know what you're gonna get. "Horror" is a very broad term. What are some of your favorite horror movies, maybe some of the movies you grew up on?

I had a love/hate relationship with horror when I was a kid. I was deathly afraid of everything. But I fell in love with the older stuff in the genre. You can do almost anything in a horror film. Growing up, I loved the traditional... Halloween, I loved. Mostly all of the John Carpenter stuff. Anything that had ridiculous camp to it, like Tremors or Friday the 13th. Those are the good ones I definitely grew up on.

Blumhouse has a mythos about it, where they give a director enough money to make a movie, not necessarily a lot of money, and they say, "come back next year with a movie." Is that a misconception, or do you really feel, on the set, that you have the freedom to do what you want to do.

I would mostly agree with you, on that. I mean, we were kind of thrown out into the jungles of Malaysia in order to make something crazy. By the end of it, we weren't sure if we had something or not! Cut to two years later, and here we are. They know how to create an adventure, that's for sure.

Wow, two years? I didn't realize it was that long, I thought you just looked very young.

Well, you know, I found the fountain of youth and I'm taking advantage of it, so... I think I'll just look this way for the rest of my life. (Laughs)

Franck Khalfoun is kinda mysterious, kinda legendary. His work, from P2 to Maniac, speaks for itself, and I feel he's kinda enigmatic. Can you talk a bit about his process, being directed by him, trying to figure out what he wants from any given scene?

He really knows how to get into the inner core of what somebody is feeling in an intense situation. He's kind of an animal! We were out in those jungles, shooting this movie, and Franck had nothing but a speedo on the entire time. I almost felt like he was born to direct a movie in the jungle, which was quite interesting. He wants to get everybody on the same page, and he wants to make sure everybody's having a good time. He really captured the essence of the environment. It was hilarious to watch.

I was going to ask you where it was shot, because, despite the terror, I was like, I'd love to go visit there, it's such beautiful land. Can you talk a bit about Malaysia? Did you have to do any survival training at all? Anything like, "Keep away from those berries because if you eat them you'll die?" Stuff like that?

The whole crew was from Malaysia. We were on an island called Langkawi. Every day, we'd go out to the jungle. We'd end up on these beaches you could only get to by boat. That was an amazing experience. We really had to jump into it. I had no real survival training, because I was supposed to be that person who doesn't really have any survival experience with living on an uninhabited island. As we move forward with the story, Toby learns survival skills as it's happening, and I was just doing that naturally. We had a lot of people helping us with the water stuff, actual scuba instructions. All the underwater stuff was filmed by these camera operators who did National Geographic and stuff. Getting to work with people like that was really quite rewarding.

That underwater scene was harrowing. That aquatic claustrophobia, that's what I get scared of! I love the ocean, but any scene where someone might drown, that always freaks me out. Was that shot on location, or in tanks on a soundstage?

All the interiors were in a tank. But all the exterior, that was all actually on location. It intensified the experience, but it made it look all the more beautiful.

You're in Malaysia, you're shooting this movie. Did you get to spend any time in the local town, take in any of the culture?

Yeah. We were just thrown into it. We didn't really have a choice but to envelop ourselves in the local culture. The crew and the people we worked with were unbelievable. I learned a lot about the Muslim faith, given that most of the crew members were Muslim. It really opened my eyes to different cultures. There was a little town where we stayed where you could just get coconuts and amazing chicken dishes we were eating with just our hands. There were wonderful fish dishes where the fish is still fully intact and you just pull the meat out... It was rewarding to get to see the other side of the world that way.

Prey Romance 2019

You've been around the block by now, doing a ton of movies and TV. Is there anything on your resume that you're particularly proud of that you feel might not have gotten the exposure it deserved? Anything you'd like to shout out for the Screen Rant reader?

Yeah! I got to do a film called Take Me to the River. It was directed by a guy named Matt Sobel. It's about a young boy who goes to a family reunion out in rural Nebraska. He's gay, lives in California, and thinks his entire family will not understand him. But then, through what happens at the family reunion, we see the power dynamic get flipped around, and the lack of understanding is actually coming from him. We took it to Sundance and stuff. Robin Weigert and myself are basically the leads. That was one of my favorites that I did.

This is a big leading role for you, and you've got a lot of mileage under your belt. Do feel like you're gearing up for the next big step in your career? What is the next thing you would like to do, either to challenge yourself or to accomplish a specific goal for yourself?

I'm gearing up to do a sequel to a big blockbuster I was part of called Escape Room. I've never done a sequel before, so that will be interesting. I'm also writing. I'm working on a project now that I hope to get going as a writer and producer. I would love to act in it and get someone else to direct it, but I would ultimately like to direct something in the future, as well. I'm looking forward to taking control of the creative side of things in the near future.

Can you say anything about this project, or is it still a secret?

Um... I'm not gonna put it out there, just yet. You'll see... But it's an action comedy. I'm getting into the realm of Seth Rogen kind of adventures.

More: Jason Blum Has Plans to Create a Shared Universe for Blumhouse

Prey releases September 27 in theaters and On Demand

Why Joker Likely Won't Hit $1 Billion (Despite Breaking Box Office Records)

More in Interviews