There was a lot of seasoned talent on hand when I visited the set of Seven Below,
including Luke Goss (Hell Boy, Death Race) and Val Kilmer (The Doors, Tombstone), and the youngest actor on set, 12-year-old Corey Reilly, fit right in just like an experienced pro.
Shot in Goshen, Ohio, the story revolves around a group of strangers trapped in a farmhouse where a terrible event occurred exactly one hundred years before. The stranded travelers, stuck in a time warp, soon find out that this is not the type of 100-year anniversary they want to be celebrating.
Seven Below is Reilly’s second feature film lead. Last year he appeared in the
The Anniversary at Shallow Creek by Efish Entertainment, also a mystery/thriller.
When I asked Corey if he ever got frightened while working on such scary material he said, “Nah, the knives are made of rubber! I love horror movies, but my mom won’t let me watch them so I got to act in one instead!”
During downtime on the set Corey got a once in a lifetime chance to learn some fencing tricks directly from Hellboy’ action star, Luke Goss. Corey also had a great time on the set with co-star Matt Barr, who is now starring as Kevin Costner’s son in the film, The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. The location grounds were sprawling and included a large pond, so when they would wrap up a scene and had time, the two would look at each other and declare, "Gone fishing!" and they really did catch some fish.
In addition, Corey made a friend and got a great laugh out of veteran actor, Ving Rhames, when they first met on the set. Ving said, "So you're the killer huh?" Corey responded with, "Uh huh... AND DON'T MAKE ME MAD!!”
Kevin Carraway, the director of Seven Below, had some nice things to say about Corey at AFM the American Film Festival. Carraway was impressed at Corey's awareness and professionalism during his scenes. Carraway mentioned that he would always ask Val and Ving during each scene what their perspective was and if they had an idea or a different look on it and he valued their input. He found himself conducting the same drill with Corey because he thought the young actor had great ideas. For example, when Courtney (Rebecca De La Costa) was alone in the haunted house bathroom Corey suggested that he be in the background so she could see him through the mirror and scream before he disappears. The director loved Corey's ability to take a scene, improvise and make that scene even better.
On a personal note, when I first met Corey it was in the hotel swimming pool the night before the shoot I observed for Buzz Magazine. I was using crutches from a recent knee surgery and even though Corey didn’t know I was a reporter from Chicago there to cover the movie, he was the only kid in the pool who jumped out to help me.
Even at his young age, Corey Reilly is a handsome, mature, talented young actor with an old soul. In addition to Seven Below, due out in 2012, I expect we’ll see much more of him on the big screen very soon.
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