Cesare Scarpone was drawn to “Black Forest” upon first reading the script and considering all the potential in its premise. The slasher-styled horror feature from writer-director David Briggs (“Sleepwalking,” “Blood Night”) would berth an opportunity for Scarpone to act in dynamic, high-paced movie set in the woods of northern Ontario, Canada.
The story follows best friends – Bree and Jess – who have designs on a summer camping trip, but instead find themselves trapped in nightmare when they encounter Isaac, a seemingly madman with twisted visions of post-apocalyptic survival.
Scarpone’s reaction after taking the script in for the first time?
“I loved it. The story was great. It had me imagining scenes the instant I started reading. It does follow the classic style of a slasher, though the story doesn’t give you any time for rest. It leaves you in the minds of the two women leads feeling lost and trapped in the beauty of the forest.”
Starring as Bree is Marie-Josee Dionne, who acted in Danny Perez’ horror feature, “Antibirth,” and in the forthcoming “Theories” horror film from director Mike Tyrrell. Actress France Huot debuts in the role of Jess. Jayson Stewart (“REZilience,” “The Pasta Killer!”) plays the crazed Isaac.
Scarpone carries out the role of Paul, a local who acts as a guide in helping Bree and Jess navigate their way through the terror. “Paul is an easygoing guy, quiet and not too ambitious,” said Scarpone, who hails from Brampton, Ontario and grew up later in Maple, Ontario. “He cares for people and always looks for the best in them.”
A celebrated and revered talent, Scarpone is previously known for his roles in director Rob Comeau’s “Chance,” Mark Korven’s “Dead Monday,” Gabriella Bevilacqua’s “Aftermath,” Rebecca Carrigan’s “All I Need” and Omii Thompson’s “Modern Romance is Dead.” He’s acted on TV in Cineflix’s “Dual Suspects” and History’s “Curious and Unusual Deaths.”
Coming from a robust theatre background, Scarpone has studied acting at the esteemed London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Among his impressive stage acting career, Scarpone received the Sears Drama Festival award of excellence for the York, Ontario region for his stalwart performance as Jerry in Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story.”
Regarding acting in the horror genre in the case of “Black Forest,” Scarpone said, “There is freedom to make bold choices and enjoy playing characters with a limitless palate of justifications.”
With performing charisma, intuition for characters and a veracious passion for his art form, it comes as no surprise Scarpone’s decisive role in “Black Forest” returned an affirmative commendation from his director.
“His sense of humor and enthusiasm elevated everyone on set,” Briggs said. “Cesare’s a cool guy and a great actor to work with. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chance we have to work together.”
The film’s forest setting loomed large and fundamental to the story. It proved to be a filming location with challenges, but also attributes to the production that were felt within the cast.
“It was hard dealing with the incontrollable sounds of nature,” Scarpone said. “We’d have the odd squirrel or bird that wants their time to shine. But it was also charming and beautiful exploring areas I’d never seen before and essentially having the freedom to use whatever the forest had to offer.”
Scarpone added, “Found footage is featured in sections of the film, adding the characteristic element of being directly part of the action, keeping you on the edge of your seat.”
“Black Forest” is from Distant Field Productions. The 2015 film released at the Northern Frights Film Festival and won the Best Original Soundtrack award. It had a theatrical release across northern Ontario and has a DVD release forthcoming.
Ultimately what made “Black Forest” a success, to Scarpone, was the swiftly-paced story that drives the film. “The story being fast-paced without time for rest keeps the viewer engaged the whole way through,” he said. “The visuals and effects are also pretty good.”
Of his favorite part of participating on the project, Scarpone explained it was “working with everyone in the cast and crew and getting to enjoy the great outdoors of Ontario!”
It might not be the end though for “Black Forest” as Briggs teased: “A sequel might be in order.”
Check out the trailer on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/55137390
Follow “Black Forest” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackForest