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HORSEMEN

About The Production
In his 2002 directorial debut "Spun,” director Jonas Åkerlund took audiences to the gritty, grotesque, toxic and, at times, humorously absurd underworld of methamphetamine addiction – the amped addicts, the cookers and their hookers and The Man and his boys who kept the cycle spinning. 

Now, in HORSEMEN, Åkerlund brings us to a very different world. This time it's a place where seeming normalcy collides head-on with teeming abnormality as a modern day cop becomes transfixed on a series of brutal and bizarre killings rooted in the Biblical prophecy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He is so gripped by the murders, he is losing his grip as a father and his two young sons are becoming victims of another kind altogether.

"The extremely varied elements of this story suited me very well,” says director Åkerlund. "It is a combination of a very suspenseful crime thriller with a very emotional family drama all set against a very haunting background of fervent yet terribly misguided religiousness. In fact, when I first met with the producers about directing the film, I actually referenced "Seven” and "Kramer vs. Kramer” and the documentary "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.” That may sound a little weird but to me HORSMEN is directly related to those works thematically speaking.”

Radar Pictures and Mandate Pictures soon paired up with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes and put the project on the fast track. 

"We all just loved this script at Platinum Dunes,” says Andrew Form. "For me, it was a real page-turner with a great twist and it was about stuff I really didn't know anything about so I was completely enraptured with it. The characters and the images and the horrifying stuff that happens just stayed with me after I read it. It was a real unique find and I'm glad we're the ones that found it.

"We all felt it needed to feel very real,” says Form, "and not be filled with a lot of gimmicks. It is a very dialogue-heavy movie and Jonas was terribly excited to be working with such a high level of dramatic content. He likes getting right in there with the actors so that affected his choices in camera work, locations, lighting…all of it. It's very much all about the details and that's they way we like to approach the work as well.”

"I'm big on storyboards,” says Åkerlund, explaining that the entire script was storyboarded before principal photography began, "and yes I'm very big on locations. I'm a big fan of the super-wide shot and the very intimate close-up. This film is filled with so many contrasts; from the panoramic desolate winter landscapes to the claustrophobic police interrogation rooms. I love being so close up that you can almost feel the texture of the character's skin.

"My background is editing,” says Åkerlund, "so I always try to tell my stories through the edit rather than through the camera. I do a lot of coverage with my cameras so that I can set the tone and tempo in the edit. Over the years I've learned that there are lots of different techniques and approaches one can use to tell a story through film and this just happens to be what works best for me. I guess you could say that this is my ‘style' and this script gave me so much opportunity to feel free in expressing my style of storytelling.”

"Jonas is a visual genius,” says actor Dennis Quaid. "He really knows how to tell a story in the images. He knows when to hold back and when to make the audience want to see more. He knows how to capture the details and gives you a very visceral experience visually.

"I also feel like the producers were really part of the partnership in making this film,” says Quaid. "We were all very collaborative in trying to tell the same story and I think it's critical to be on the same page especially when making a movie like this one.”

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