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The Wire‘s Omar Talks Up Two New Horror Adaptations

In the film, Williams plays a drifter who finds himself at odds with
the stars Viggo Mortenson and Kodi Smit-McPhee over a shopping-cart
laden with potentially life-saving supplies. Those who’ve read the book
remember this encounter very well, and those who haven’t are currently
covering their eyes and yelling “NO SPOILERS!” Don’t worry, your
ignorance is still completely intact.

Due to the isolation of the characters, Williams encountered few
other actors while filming, and his contact with the legendary McCarthy
himself was limited to notes and suggestions delivered via director
John Hillcoat. The experience has left him with an unshakable optimism
for the film’s ability to shatter audiences. “There’s a lot of graphic
stuff that you’ll see here. To read and imagine it may be better, but
to actually see those things portrayed with actors and human faces is
going to be pretty dark and pretty scary,” he explained. “Within the
ugliness, like cannibalism and all that craziness, you see all these
levels of humanity. Yet you can’t kill the human spirit, no matter what
happens, that will to love and be compassionate is ever there in the
darkness.”

As for Tell-Tale, many of us groaned when it was revealed
that Cuesta’s adaptation would not be an exercise in good old-fashioned
Gothic terror, but a modern gambit about a man whose recent heart
transplant comes with nasty baggage. (Sort of like how Return to Me
would have turned out if Robert Loggia had written it instead of
co-starred.) But if Williams’ own love of Poe isn’t offended, then
maybe mine shouldn’t be either. “First of all, Josh Lucas is an amazing
actor, I really enjoyed watching his work,” he says. “The Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite of Poe’s stories, and while this is set in modern times, the story and the emotion is the exact same.”

It helps to know that Williams is a horror fan himself from way
back, and like many of us, he spent a little too much time with Jason
and Michael Myers to enjoy many of life’s simpler pleasures. “To this
day, I can’t go camping,” he confesses, “I can’t! I’m a grown man and I
still can’t do it. I’m fine in the daytime, but when that sun drops and
I can’t see my hand in front of my face anymore, that’s a wrap.” In
most fans’ eyes, remakes occupy the same dubious
I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it world that adaptations do, but Williams
approaches them with an open mind. “Why should a new generation be
deprived of all that horror, and years of trauma and nightmares? It
shouldn’t be limited to us,” he says, citing Rob Zombie’s Halloween as a great example, “I though it was amazing, I flipped! It still frightens the s–t out of me.”

Has Williams wandered for too long in dark places then? “I guess
I’ve gotten used to equating my good work with dark traumatic stories,
but that’s just where I’m at,” he laughs, “Maybe I need to go through a
nice, funny love story set in Hawaii to balance things out.”

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