What do you get when you combine the events from the Book of Revelation with horror? A new film titled ‘The Remaining’ answers just that. Directed by Casey La Scala the film takes four friends who find themselves in the middle of the Rapture, and what happens next is a horror filled thrill ride that has surprised many movie goers.
ScienceFiction.com was able to speak with one of the film’s stars, Johnny Pacar. Pacar first came into the Hollywood limelight in the lead in the Disney channel original movie ‘Now You See It.’ For several seasons he played the bad boy rocker, Damian Young on the ABC Family network serie ‘Make It or Break It.’ He’s also appeared in the Syfy movie ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ and on an episode of ‘Warehouse 13.’ And now, in his latest film, he returns to the horror genre but not in the way you would expect.
ScienceFiction.com (SF): Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First, can you tell us about the movie ‘The Remaining’?
Johnny Pacar (JP): The movie is about a group of friends who are attending a wedding, everything is beautiful and blissful and amazing and all of the sudden all of these events are occurring. We don’t really know what is going on yet and one of the friends of ours, Skylur, played by Alexa Vega starts telling us that it’s the Rapture. We are reluctant to believe her but as we are making our way through the chaos and catastrophe we find a refuse center and, without giving too much away, each character starts worrying about themselves and their beliefs.
SF: And what about the character that you play?
JP: My character, Tommy, is the guy who is fun loving, camera in your face, always trying to have a good time and make people laugh. He’s goofy. A smart aleck. That’s in the beginning. As all the events unfold, he meets this pastor, Pastor Shay, who basically opens up to my character about the things he went through and why he becomes a preacher. So Tommy starts listening to a lot of what he says and finds within himself a leadership quality and he realizes that, after seeing his friends struggle with their own beliefs and personal conflicts, that he tries to become the glue with all of them that tries to hold everything together.
Tommy also has to find the beliefs within himself. What he believes and what he finds to be true and what the outcome of this life will be and what he wants. It’s an interesting journey that goes from he a goofy guy to here’s how it could be and the possibility of what his life could be. It’s sort of Tommy’s voyage (laughs).
SF: There is a lot of religious tone to the film, has this movie affected you and your beliefs as it has your character Tommy?
JP: The movie? Yeah, it’s interesting. The first time I read the script, I was really touched by it. It’s a very powerful film. The trailer shows a lot of that but the movie is just… when you see it, you leave it really questioning things and really thinking about things. Again, when I read it, I was really moved by it but then after I saw the film completed after the reshoots and knowing what they were using. I was just in awe. I was moved. I was touched. You leave just really questioning things and beliefs. Could this happen? Will this happen? Is it possible? It makes you question yourself as a human being like where you stand in your spirituality and what you believe. That’s what I think is great about it. It not just a movie that is action packed and a thriller and scares you but it scares you and makes you think about the world, the outcome and you as a person, what you believe and don’t believe. That’s what’s great about it. So it definitely affected me in a lot of ways.
SF: Are you a spiritual person?
JP: I consider myself a spiritual guy and with those tones and everything going on in the movie it just opens your eyes that really affect you in a good way.
SF: I like the fact ‘The Remaining’ is not just an action horror film and that it really does make you think about things after seeing it.
JP: Yeah, yeah and there’s a message. It’s not just a movie with a plot but it makes you really (depending on what your beliefs are) think about things.
SP: Is that what interested you in taking on the role?
JP: The script touched me and I thought it was a very powerful movie and I knew right away it was something I wanted to be a part of.
SP: What was the most difficult part of filming?
JP: Some of the really emotional scenes was difficult because you had to put yourself into that place that’s scare and eerie sometimes where it felt so real. I can’t really explain it what way. So some of that content was difficult but on a technical standpoint, some of the stuff where you have to react to a green screen – so this is where this happens and this is where there’s an earthquake and this room that is completely still has to shake so you have to throw yourself around and all that jazz. That was fun, challenging even.
SF: ‘The Remaining’ is filmed as a hybrid of found footage and traditional filming techniques and your character is the one that holds the camera. Was that hard to be the actor and “pseudo director” at the same time?
JP: Not really. I had gone to a film media class in high school so for me it was fun and a stroll back to that. I told Casey [La Scala, the director] “I know how to run camera” (laughs) He let me do a lot of the filming and our amazing DP, Doug Hemitt, walked me through a lot of stuff with “this is what we’re going for” and the feel of what to get. But he did the scenes that really needed… the stuff that couldn’t be messed up. The really important footage (laughing). But I did a lot of it. I probably shot… Casey said to “just let it run, just grab whatever as I’m going to go through all the footag so who knows what will make it.” I probably videoed about 85% of the total found footage they used.
SF: Since this is ScienceFiction.com, I do have to ask if you are a fan of the genre.
JP: I do like the Marvel stuff. I love Iron Man, Spider-Man. I like those a lot. I’m more of a comic book superhero fan.
SF. Marvel has such a wide collection of comic book superhero. Would you like to play one onscreen and what role would you want to play.
JP: I would love it. I would just have to figure who I could play. That would be amazing to me. If that opportunity presents itself I would be smiling from ear to ear.
SF: We’ll have to get your fans to start tweeting to Marvel. You heard about Matthew Modine’s campaign to be Doctor Strange, right?
JP: No way! I didn’t know that!
SF: So we’ll have to have your fans start tweeting!
JP: That would be great!
Well, until he gets a call from Marvel, you can see Pacar in the role of a different kind of hero in ‘The Remaining.’
Directed by Casey La Scala, ‘The Remaining’ stars Alexa Vega, Johnny Pacar, Shaun Sipos, Italia Ricci, Bryan Dechart, Kim Pacheco, John Pyper-Ferguson, Erin Murphy, Liz E. Morgan, and Hayley Lovitt and is in theaters now .