The year was 2000. It was date night and a young couple sat in a sold-out movie theatre waiting to see if the feature, something called Final Destination, would live up to the awesome looking trailer…
Of course it did, and it remains one of my Top Ten horror movies of all time, also being my favorite franchise. I will never forget the collective oohs and ahhs, jumps and indeed screams in the cinema. It was possibly the best atmosphere of any film I’ve seen on the big screen.
Cue 21 years later and somehow, I find myself chatting with the star of that movie and many, many more since, Devon Sawa. Having followed his career, I have always been impressed by how into horror he seems to be and now I get the chance to find out more just in time for two new big releases.
(Interview conducted by Janine Pipe)
CEMETERY DANCE: Not only have you starred in a plethora of horror movies over the years, but you are a huge fan of the genre. So, going back to basics, what got you into all things spooky?
DEVON SAWA: When I was a young boy I was given a card to ABC Video. The old man that worked the counter did not care what a bunch of seven-year-olds rented as long as we didn’t go behind the XXX curtain in the back. For reasons unknown, we all gravitated to two types of movies: ’80s action and horror. That started my love for both.
I know from your social media that you enjoy reading Stephen King. Are there are any other horror authors you would recommend?
I’m a huge King fan but that’s it when it comes to horror. I’m more of a crime fiction kind of guy. I’ve tried other authors, but King, that’s my guy.
Final Destination spawned many sequels and is rightly cited as one of the best franchises of the 2000s, with some phenomenal death scenes. How does that feel over 20 years later when people are still raving about it?
It’s flattering. Every movie they did, casting found a new group of extremely talented young actors and it’s been a lot of fun to watch what they’ve done. I’m still such a giant fan.
From one franchise to another, you have landed a major role in the new spin-off from Child’s Play TV series, Chucky. What can you tell us about that, and just how freaky is that bloody doll?
I’m very excited about Chucky. Don Mancini is one of the most amazing people I’ve worked with in my 35 years in the business. I watched Chucky as a young kid and never in a million years did I think I’d get the chance to be in this world. I’ve seen rough cuts of the first four episodes, and I love them.
And the doll, on set, is very freaky.
And leading on from that, is there a further franchise that you would sell your soul to Satan to get in on a piece of the action?
No. I’m not working to get in on anything, more just going where the wind takes me.
Idle Hands is pure comedy horror gold, one of my own personal favorite sub-genres. Black Friday, your latest project soon to be released, is also a sci-fi/horror comedy. How fun are they to make and how amazing was it to work with Bruce Campbell?
Bruce Campbell is a legend and I am so lucky to have worked with him. Idle Hands is and will always be one of the greatest experiences I’ve had working on a film.
Is it year-round Halloween town at chez Sawa or do you have a Man Cave for all your movies, collectibles etc.?
I do not have a man cave. Unfortunately. I watch most of my horror movies when I’m away filming on location. For instance, I’m in Hawaii right now working on something and the director of my next film, something else, has given me some homework. He has requested I (re)watch The Thing and Jaws for character study. Also, I can’t wait to dive into the new Mike Flanagan show on Netflix.
What’s next for you that you can tell us or tease us about?
Chucky and then a film that I’m very excited about called Consumed. Also, Gasoline Alley drops next year, spring, I think?
Where can people find/connect with you on social media appropriately, not in a The Fanatic kind of way? Ha!
Trading in a police badge and then classroom, Janine Pipe is a full-time Splatterpunk Award-nominated writer, whilst also being an awesome mum, wife and Disney addict. Influenced by the works of King from a young age, she likes to shock readers with violence and scare them with monsters — both mythical and man-made. When she’s not killing people off, she likes to chew the fat with other authors, reviewing books for Scream Magazine, Cemetery Dance and Horror DNA, and conducting interviews on booktube. You’ll likely find her devouring work by Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. Her biggest fan, beta reader, editor and financier is her loving husband.