Re-imagined terror classic marches into theaters this weekend
The cinematic tale of "The Night Marchers" returns movie theaters this weekend. Local filmmakers the Cousins Brothers are back with a reimagined take on their cinematic cult classic, two decades after the original release.
Growing up in Hawaii means hearing stories, supernatural Hawaiian warriors. The disembodied guardians march from the mountains in trails of flickering flames. The sounds of drums and distant conch shells warn anyone in their path to look away or cower in fear.
The folklore of the Night Marchers is a tale told many times. Two decades ago, a pair of local filmmakers decided to bring the legend to life. The original "Night Marchers" movie sold-out theaters state-wide in 2001.
Never before had a local film been so unexpectedly successful.
Big Island filmmakers and identical twin brothers Blake and Brent cousins followed the film's success with sequels.
But now they're back with a re-boot of the legend for a modern audience.
Brent Cousins "20-years ago we made this film, and a lot of people were pretty young watching it, you know 13-years old. Now they're adults with children, and they're going to bring back their memories and their children to come and watch the Night Marchers."
The new film is set 20-years after the original. In the story, a reality film crew heads to Hawaii to hunt for proof of the night marcher's existence. They find it, and local audiences who saw the original are likely to find familiarity too.
Blake says, "We watched the audience and looked for reactions, and there was one moment in the movie that people jumped up, and it took them about two minutes to settle down. It was pretty crazy. So we wanted to emulate some of those scare factors."
Not all of the scares in the new film were scripted. The Cousins brothers talked about unexplained phenomena the cast and crew experienced during filming, some of which made the final cut.
"There's a scene in the movie that you'll have to see, but there are some apparitions captured, and when we showed it to some of the cast members they were like 'Oh my God what are we looking at?' and you know the chicken skin was pretty high on that one," Blake said.
"Basically, our actors on screen were freaking out, and that added to the film. What you see on their faces there is not acting. They are playing themselves."
Tim Boerger, who plays the reality show producer in the film, explained watching the playback and seeing the unexplained images. "That right there was when I got the feeling maybe this was a real thing; maybe we shouldn't be doing this."
Night Marchers was produced on the Big Island. The premiere of the Cousins Brothers Productions, Night Marchers, will take place in theaters throughout the Hawaiian Islands at Regal Cinemas on October 25th, 2019.