Clive on Dread

Anthony DiBlasi directed this, his first directing project, from his own script on a London shoot which ran through October / November 2008. Dread had its world premiere at Montreal's Fantasia festival in July 2009 - watch the showreel there!
Dread - UK DVDDread - US DVD

Dread also featured at Frightfest in London on 30 August 2009 and at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in the week of 24 September 2009 with Anthony DiBlasi in attendance at both festivals. The film also screened, alongside Book of Blood, at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain 9 October 2009.
The movie had its US theatrical run as part of Horrorfest 4, which ran for the week of 29 January 2010 and is currently hosting the Dread trailer.
The UK single disc DVD release is set for 29 March 2010 - see Lionsgate UK's countdown and goodies here.
US horror sites report that the US release will contain the featurettes 'Facing the Fear: Behind the Scenes of Dread,' and 'A Conversation with Clive Barker and director Anthony Diblasi'. We hear that a US DVD release date of 23 March is on the cards...

The story is based on Clive's treatise on the unusual people you can meet at university, first recorded in volume 2 of the Books of Blood - the original unedited version of the opening paragraph of which, from Clive's early 1980s first draft, is shown below...

Page 1 of Clive's first draft of the short story, Dread

"I think Anthony's going to start shooting Dread in Scotland in June... Dread will be modest, it won't be a huge movie, it's essentially a haunted house story... It doesn't have a lot of prosthetics and so on, it's very realistic, it's not fantastical and he's written an amazing script... so that will be the second of the movies we're making from the books."

Pivotal Voices: Was, Is And Will Be

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 April 2008 (note - full text here)

"I'm looking at the dailies from Dread and I'm excited as Hell! They're really very wonderful. Mr DiBlasi has fallen into this new job of his...The first five days are extraordinary and it's just amazing that these are the first five days that this man is directing a real movie, a full movie and he's just taken to it like a duck to water.
"He's expanded the cast and I think he's even darkened the tone, to be honest. I think dark as the story was, it's darker now, I think the movie will be darker than the story. That may in some part be because you're not inside the heads of these characters in quite the same way - do you know what I mean? You know, you're watching them from the outside and, God!, there's so much cruelty in that story, and madness and breakdown and it really is quite a thing... Everybody watching the movie will say, 'What would I do if I was, you know, what would Quaid find in me? And would I survive?'
"It's a completely different thesis [to the Saw movies]. Firstly, of course, we came twenty years earlier! I just have to say that for the record! But yes, you're absolutely right. Saw's thesis is a very different one, however. Firstly, it's a revenge thesis. Secondly, Quaid is essentially researching fear, he's researching the nature of dread and Jigsaw in Saw is not interested in that, he's interested in watching people break down. He's interested in watching the test - testing their ingenuity, if you will, when there's a bomb attached to their testicles. And that's a very different idea. I'd be surprised if the writers of Saw hadn't read Dread, but who am I to know..? And the tone - I'll give you an example. One of the memorable things for many people in Dread is the meat, you know the girl who will not eat meat being left with a piece of meat which is slowly decaying and becomes more repulsive. As the days go by and as she becomes more desperate you know her chance of being nourished by it becomes more disgusting - that isn't the stuff of Saw. I don't know what Saw would do in place of that - probably something like put a bomb in the food or something. But this is much more about that, I'd like to think that Dread is an elegant movie about terror and in times it will be brutal and, of course, it's rooted in things that are very close to me: I went deaf for a period in my life and I know what that terror's like and I am disgusted by certain kinds of meat, to the point where I'd actually throw up at the sight of it..."

We Are All Imaginary Animals...

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 & 12 October 2008 (note - full text here)

"I am incredibly pleased with what DiBlasi's done with Dread - oh my God...! I've seen two cuts of it now and he's been laying music in - temporary music obviously - and what I see is a movie that has the documentary reality of Friedkin around the time of The French Connection when he was really in amidst of everything, when the camera was right there with Doyle and I suppose with The Exorcist around the same period."

The Bleed Between The Apprentice And The Master

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 28 February and 7 March 2009 (note - full text here)

"Right from the beginning, Anthony DiBlasi and I felt the best way to move forward was to share our vision as broadly as possible. We would dissolve the conventional walls that divide an actor from a producer. The consequence of this restructuring is that I could no longer use people's faces or actions as an easy way out from when the narrative wasn't doing what I wanted it to do...
"Repression can be a form of self-sacrifice. We all have our own personal experiences that gnaw at the backs of our minds with flickering tongues, but the trick is finding out how to silence them."


By ahillis, Green Cine Daily, 25 March 2010 (note - full text online at

"I like the film of DREAD. I enjoy having a minor role in helping another creator take a story of mine in his or her own direction, but in the end the film belongs to its new interpreter, not to me."

Facebook posts

By Clive Barker, Facebook, 25 October 2013

...other comments

Dread, directed by Anthony DiBlasi

Anthony DiBlasi : "The story is centred around characters that you encounter in day-to-day life in a world that we live and breathe every day, and that for me is why Dread is one of Clive's most terrifying tales. It shows you that monsters aren't always born, sometimes they're made. And they walk among us and they usually look just like you and me...
"I categorise Dread as a coming-of-age horror/thriller. The main characters are that age when they're finding their way into adulthood. So I explore a lot of aspects of finding love, finding adventure, finding sex."

The Science Of Fear

By James Grainger, Rue Morgue, No 81, August 2008

Anthony DiBlasi : "In my opinion, I stayed very true to the short story. It's that kind of thing that, for the people who've seen it, it definitely splits an audience. And I think that people who... really love books sometimes really get angry at films. You know, because they are like, 'Oh my God they didn't put that in!' And for me, I think I put every ounce in from the short story into the film. Now sometimes I didn't always use it with the same characters that do it in the book. I think the biggest change that you are going to see in the film from the short story is, I altered Stephen Grace's trauma and his back story and ultimately the climax. I supplemented that character with another character named Joshua [Jonathan Readwin], who kind of takes on the role of Stephen in the short story. So although things are different, everything is there. And for me, the most important thing, and it is almost essentially word for word from the short story, is the scene with the meat. That is in the movie, full on, almost exactly as it is in the short story. Because for me that is the most important thing. That was the crux of that short story. So that is in the film in its entirety. "


By JimmyO, Arrow In The Head, 19 January 2010

London, October 15, 2008: Principal photography has commenced in the UK on Dread the eagerly-awaited new installment in Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" franchise, with Anthony DiBlasi at the helm, directing from his own screenplay based on Barker's original short story. Hot new US talent Jackson Rathbone (Twilight, S Darko) heads the cast in Dread which marks the second collaboration between the UK's Matador Pictures and LA-based Midnight Picture Show.
Joining Jackson Rathbone in the young cast line up are rising British talent Shaun Evans (Being Julia, Telstar, Princess Ka'iulani) and newcomers Hanne Steen and Laura Donnelly.
Dread is a psychological thriller centering on three college students who study other people's fears. As the study progresses, one of the students begins to seek salvation from his obsession by exploiting the terrors of his fellow participants.
Produced with Cinema Three, the UK based production and financing vehicle set up by Matador Pictures and boutique finance house Regent Capital, Dread will shoot for five weeks on location in London.
Producers are Midnight Picture Show's Clive Barker, Jorge Saralegui and Joe Daley (Midnight Meat Train, Book of Blood) and Nigel Thomas and Lauri Apelian from leading UK production company Matador Pictures (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Outpost).
Dread follows writer/director John Harrison's Book of Blood which was shot in Edinburgh and London earlier this year and both are part of a planned collaboration between Midnight Picture Show and Matador Pictures to bring horror maestro Clive Barker's "Book of Blood" short stories to life in a new feature film franchise. Los Angeles based sales company Essential Entertainment is handling worldwide sales on both projects.
Clive Barker, Joe Daley, Anthony Diblasi and Jorge Saralegui launched The Midnight Picture Show in 2003. Prior to this, Saralegui was Executive VP of Production at 20th Century Fox from 1996 where he was involved in the conception and production of such big budget successes as Speed, Independence Day, Broken Arrow and Alien Resurrection. Through his own production company, Saralegui produced Red Planet, The Time Machine, Queen of the Damned and Showtime.

Principal Photography Commences In UK On Matador Pictures And Midnight Picture Show's Dread

Essential Entertainment Press Release, 15 October 2008

Brian : "It's not a big spectacle film with 'set pieces' or anything like that - it deliberately builds at a sure and steady pace, developing the characters along with the plot as they make their way toward the horrific ending. Some may see this as 'slow', but I found it refreshing. It's rare to see a horror film - especially one from a first time director, based on a work by one of the foremost names in horror - take time to really make you identify with not one but FOUR characters, to the extent that even the film's 'villain' is sympathetic..."

Dread (2009)

By Brian, Horror Movie A Day, 5 May 2009 (Note: full text online at

Christopher Monfette : "DiBlasi doesn't pander. Gore fans will get perhaps two moments of high-tension bloodletting in the first half of the film. For the rest - and, oh, is there much more to come - DiBlasi would prefer you to wait, creating an atmosphere of suspense and unease that is, in many ways, as terrifying as any chase scene or torture-porn indulgence could ever be."

Clive Barker's Dread Preview

By Christopher Monfette,, 6 May 2009 (Note: full text online at

Jackson Rathbone : "I sparked to the screenplay because dread is a real emotion and, if everyone lived through theirs, it would quickly turn into a very real horror movie. Clive Barker is an awesome writer, so it wasn't hard to say yes to this film - and I am very picky in what I choose. It's not often you get the opportunity to do such visceral work and I've thoroughly enjoyed banging my head against the emotional scenery, metaphorically speaking. I also got to wield an ax like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. He's an idol, so I was thrilled to do that."


By Alan Jones, Fangoria, No 289, January 2010

Jackson Rathbone : "I hate to call it a horror film because it's really more of a psychological thriller. Clive Barker's known for those horroristic elements, and it was more of a humanistic story... I was considering doing the project so I gave it to a friend of mine to read. He read it, and he got to the end and was like 'Dude, it made me want to vomit.' So I was like 'Yup, doing this project. That's awesome...'
"One of the things I like is when different worlds collide. With the Twilight films, you have the horror element of the vampire, but it becomes more of a romantic action film with the vampire falling in love with the girl. With Dread it's kind of the same thing. Clive Barker's world is usually more of a mythical gothic world, but Dread is more of a personalized psychological thriller instead of a horror. It has the horror elements, but it's much more of a person-to-person drama."

Jackson Rathbone Compares Twilight To His New Movie, Dread

By Jean Bentley, MTV Movies Blog, 26 March 2010 (Note: full text online at

Shaun Evans : "Quaid is on a mission to exorcise his own demons. He has seen his parents killed by an ax-wielding maniac, and that image is ever-present in his subconscious. His involvement in the experiments is not therapy so much as wanting to isolate his dread in order to get rid of it. It's when he accepts that darkness in him that the main Dread plot kicks in - for Quaid realises it's a significant part of his life, and recognition doesn't signal closure. The one figure that decimated his family is bigger than his parents. So it has taken on godlike proportions, and that's what I found so interesting about Dread's story, because what it says about real life is important to me.
"You want to know where your fear is coming from by exploring it in others. Horror films showing people going wrong on the inside are my favourites, because you start looking at those around you, wondering what they could be truly capable of."


By Alan Jones, Fangoria, No 289, January 2010

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