Tragedy strikes a couple going through a rocky marriage in “House of Good and Evil,” which releases to DVD on April 1.
This prompts them to move from the busy city to an isolated location in the country. But once they get all settled into their new home, Maggie (Rachel Marie Lewis) starts to hear things, and believes the house is haunted. Her husband, Chris (Christian Oliver), doesn’t see or hear the same things, though. Is the house really haunted, or is Maggie just hearing things?
The Chico Movie Examiner recently conducted an over-the-phone interview with Lewis about the film; her character; and how the house in which the crew filmed actually had some spooky things about it.
Check out the full interview below.
David Wangberg: I have a feeling that you can’t really talk about this movie without giving some of the story away. Whenever people ask you about the movie, do you tell them it’s a haunted house movie, or do you say it’s a haunted house movie but with more to it?
Rachel Marie Lewis: For me, it’s always been more of a psychological thriller. I just say to people that there’s a little bit of a horror element to it, but I tell people it’s sort of one of those mind game movies; a psychological thriller where you kind of have to pay close attention to the subtleties. And, of course, I always tell people that there are some twists, but I don’t give anything away, obviously.
DW: Along with being a psychological thriller, it’s also one that shows a woman overcoming the evil surrounding her – to an extent. When you were filming this, did you feel like you overcame something you never experienced before, and did that make you feel stronger as an actress?
RML: Did I overcome anything personally? I don’t know quite how to answer that, but I would say as far as being stronger as an actress, definitely. It definitely stretched me; it was pretty demanding. Obviously, if you’ve seen the movie, there was a lot of heavy stuff. [laughs]
I’m trying to think if I overcame anything. [pauses]
Yeah. I think, as a woman, who is battling her demons – they’re not demons that I have, but I think in doing that, she’s sort of trying to find her voice and her own strength. So, I guess, there’s a little bit of inspiration in that.
DW: Was this always going to be just about Maggie experiencing everything going on in the house, or were there plans to have Maggie and her husband experience them as well?
RML: I think that it’s more Maggie. Her husband is very present throughout the film, obviously, in her mind. And her relationship to her husband is a lot of what she goes through. Without giving too much away, [it] stems from the love she has for her family, and also this tragedy she went through in the beginning. And I think she’s desperately trying to be like a phoenix [and] rise from the ashes and come out of it. In doing that, it’s the encounters that drive her a bit crazy.
DW: Maggie is the only one who is seeing and hearing all of the things that are happening. Is there something that you feel only happens to you and none of your co-stars or any of the other film crew?
RML: For me, I like to build from my imagination. I mean, you’re always going to be part of your characters; they come from you. So, I think naturally, and even subconsciously, you’re going to be informed by what you already know and what’s already in you. But with Maggie, certainly, I haven’t been through the things she’s been through. Whether my costars have or not, I’m not sure. I don’t think so. [laughs]
But, for me, it was just building a character and really going into my imagination – sort of like writing a story and laying the foundation.
DW: When she hears all the things in the house, to me, it seemed like she was hearing the history of what took place before they moved there. If you could go to any house and revisit its history through just the sounds, which house would you choose?
RML: Oh, gosh. I don’t know. That’s an interesting question. I might have to think about that for a while. [pauses]
That was an interesting house, the house in which we filmed. I might just say that one, because there is a rich history there. It was an old schoolhouse. I think there was a murder that happened there. Luke can tell you more about the details of that. But there’s a lot of history there, and we were pretty convinced by the end of filming that the house was haunted. There were a lot of sounds and doors creaking and, at times, things that came out of nowhere, and we weren’t exactly sure what caused them. That’s probably the first thing that comes to my mind. I probably have to think a little longer on any historical houses. Nothing comes to mind that I’ve visited recently, that I would like to go back to strictly for sound. [laughs]
DW: That’s fine. I’m trying to ask questions you might not have heard a million times before.
RML: Yeah, these are very different.
DW: That house where you were filming, there were actually sounds and things that weren’t supposed to happen?
RML: Yeah. There were definitely a lot of weird things. The house, the layout of it, is very interesting. You felt like you were getting lost sometimes. There’s one room that was kind of slanted, and then there was this door. I think, a long time ago, it had an upstairs porch that’s no longer there. I remember there was this door, and I was like, “Oh, what’s in here?” – just thinking that it was a closet. And I opened it, and it went upstairs, outside the house, and just this drop off. So, we ended up having to block that off. Anyone could have accidentally just walked through it and fallen off the second floor of the house. [laughs]
DW: The characters move from the city to the country. Even though your work is mostly in the city, do you prefer living in the city or in the country?
RML: I love filming out in the country, because my head just felt more clear. There were less distractions. I think I’ve always been a city person. I grew up in Atlanta; I lived in New York for seven years; and I live in Los Angeles now. But I definitely love escaping to the country sometimes. And for work purposes, I would love an atmosphere like that on every job. It was great.
DW: Yeah, I’ve always been a country boy, yet a lot of the things I want to do in life lead me to the city.
RML: Yeah. You kind of have to go to cities to where the work is and where the business is. I mean, I love cities; I love city life; and I like all the people. But there’s sort of a down-to-earth quality that town had. Everybody in it was so welcoming and really embraced us. It was a great working atmosphere.
This concludes the interview, but the Chico Movie Examiner would like to thank Rachel Marie Lewis for taking the time to speak about “House of Good and Evil.”