Last month, we brought you the first part of our interview for The Cellar (you can read it HERE), featuring writer/director Brendan Muldowney and co-stars Elisha Cuthbert and Eoin Macken, and now that the film is set to arrive in theaters and on Shudder this Friday, April 15th, we thought that this was the perfect time to bring you the second part of our discussion with the trio. In this part of our interview, they discussed The Cellar’s spooky location and how integral it became to the film, their experiences coming together during COVID to make this project, and what their biggest takeaways have been from working on The Cellar as well.

I love this location because it does feel like it's another character in this story, and whenever a movie can effectively pull that off, I'm such a fan of that. Brendan, can you talk about finding that location? I think it's incredible.

Brendan Muldowney: Well, due to financing, we were getting pointed to a certain part of Ireland. I was worried at one stage that I was going to find all of the locations, not just the house, like the advertising agency and all these places. It was just all luck, I suppose. The minute we drove up the driveway to the house and the minute we walked in the door, I just looked around and we knew immediately that it was the right house. It's just one of those things, so I'm just glad. I'm just lucky. It was in Roscommon. I could make a romantic story about finding it, but actually filmmaking often comes down to a case of where it’s sometimes just logistics and you have to make do. But luckily, that house was in the area we had to film in and it's a brilliant, lovely house.

Because of the nature of the story where it ends up being contained because of where the story heads and how much of a factor this location becomes, and then there were all the things you guys were dealing with in real life with keeping safe from COVID, do you feel that being so contained allowed you guys to find your footing as a family in that house and come together as an ensemble?

Elisha Cuthbert: ​​I think a lot of it was in the writing. A lot of it was there and the actors who played the children were fantastic, too. Brendan cast such great, great kids for us, but we had a lot of great conversations about how our characters weren't super wordy. We had a lot of action happening. There's not a lot of time to stop and chat once everything starts happening here. It helped us realize how these two characters had a backstory of where we had been together as young people and we've been together a long time, so there was a lot that could be said between us in a glance or in a look. But we chatted a lot. We had a lot of great conversations and we got to do that over those two weeks where we were isolating before production started. ​​I think that helped the chemistry for sure.

Eoin Macken: Well, definitely, because it also gave us time to talk with Brandan about everything since we had those two weeks. We were all living next to each other, so we got to talk about these relationships and then build off of that. And it also helps when you get on with somebody and you find that they have an energy that's easy to work with, too. But I think the way Brendan wrote and directed the movie, it allowed us to have an organic freedom to find these moments together and that's really important. So, it became really an enjoyable process for me.

Brendan, I enjoy when movies create these kinds of mythologies that also feel like they are rooted in reality. You kind of make math somehow even scarier than it actually is [laughs]. But I’m curious how closely the stuff we see in The Cellar follows things from real research. If we were to start Googling some of the stuff in the movie, is it actually out there, or did you take some liberties with some concepts that already existed?

Brendan Muldowney: I took a lot of liberties [laughs]. It's hokum that I made here. I probably just took all these little bits and put everything together. Obviously, the Sigil of Baphomet is all real and string theory and the ideas that we explored here about dimensions was a mix of both real math and science and me just stretching things for the sake of this story.

I'm a really big believer that whenever you do something creative that obviously you put something of yourself in there, but for all three of you, what was your biggest takeaway from your experience working on The Cellar?

Brendan Muldowney: For myself, I don’t know if you have seen my earlier films, but they're all pretty hardcore—that’s the way that I describe them. So with The Cellar, I've enjoyed making something that's a little less serious and a little more fun. I might take that thought with me going forward because I think that idea of movies being fun is something I have really enjoyed doing. I think my other movies have been deliberately, nearly off-putting, where they have upset people and they're not really audience-friendly when you think about it. So, I think I'm going to take this idea of the fun of entertaining people with me as I move forward in my career.

Eoin Macken: ​​I'm just never going to have a family because you can have kids that go missing in an evil house [laughs].

Elisha Cuthbert: My takeaway is that I want to buy a house in Ireland. I fell in love with Ireland a lot. I just loved being there. I really did. I had such a good connection with everyone I met and everywhere I went. It was amazing.


Go HERE to catch up on all of our Indie Horror Month 2022 features!

[Photo Credit: Above photos courtesy of SHUDDER / RLJE Films.]

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.