"I have a fully functioning brain that makes me want to fight back when someone is in my house."
While filming "Black Christmas," star Aleyse Shannon quickly discovered shooting horror flicks can be more demanding than meets the eye.
The former model -- who plays Kris in the reimagining of the 1976 original and its 2006 remake -- opened up about the challenges of filming a slasher, where a character's emotions can run the gamut from elated to terrified, all while trying to stay alive.
"It was my first time being on a full big shoot, movie-wise, and definitely difficult to get through. I mean, horror films are nothing to brush off as far as acting goes, you're really using everything -- but it was a great process. It was cool," Shannon detailed in a recent interview with TooFab.
In the Sophia Takal-directed film, Shannon's character is best friends with Riley Stone (lead Imogen Poots), a college student dealing with the fallout of a horrific sexual assault. Kris is an unwavering pillar of support for Riley, as they attempt to uncover the identity of a murderous stalker with the help of their empowered sorority sisters, played by Lily Donoghue, Brittany O'Grady and Madeleine Adams.
The modern take on horror tropes with a fierce female cast drew Shannon to the project, but she believes the storyline of retaliation against a patriarchal enemy shouldn't simply be labeled "feminist."
"The funny part, for me, is that 'feminist' is something you say to explain to the greater population," Shannon began. "Between women, between me and Sofia, it was just like, 'Duh.' That's how you deal. You defend yourself. I have a fully functioning brain that makes me want to fight back when someone is in my house. So, maybe feminism isn't the word we'd use for each other, it would be badass. Perfectly accurate."
And the "badass" comes out in full force when the sorority sisters have to quickly become accustomed to handling cross-bows, swords and axes to protect themselves in the flick.
"Well, that was the question too. We were like, 'How good are these chicks at using these things they supposedly just picked up?' I think we were all very good, maybe selfishly so, but we were like, 'Yeah, I'd pick that off the wall and be perfectly happy swinging that.' It was great," Shannon explained.
The "Charmed" alum also said she waited to watch the original "Black Christmas" -- starring Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder -- until after she wrapped her work on the new one, so as not to compare acting notes.
"It was the first thing I did after shooting the movie. I'm one of those people that's like, I can't watch the old one while shooting the new one, I'm just going to feel inadequate. I fought it off for a bit, but I watched it and loved it. It was good," she confessed.
Warning: The rest of this interview includes vague spoilers about the end of the film. You've been warned.
As for any hints of a follow-up film in the works, Shannon deferred to the last expression given by Poot's character Riley in the film.
"I would want there to be a sequel, based on that look. Like, 'Girl, what does this mean?' My old drama teacher saw one of the test screenings, and that was her first question, like 'What was that about?'" Shannon quipped.
To try and figure it out for yourself, check out "Black Christmas" -- written by Takal and April Wolfe -- in theaters now.
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