Kiwi actress Rebecca McFadzien reveals how women fight back in new feminist horror movie Quarries

We've seen it all before: a group of young, attractive women lost in the woods fall prey to some murderous locals and the screaming, chases and violence ensues.

That's what Quarries looks like at first glance, but thankfully, it flipped the script spectacularly.

The film follows a group of women on a wellness hike, who run into the territory of a group of hunters whose preferred prey is humans. But unlike the damsels of most horror films, these women fight back.

They kick and claw their way to survival in this bloody, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat horror/thriller and it is refreshing as hell.

"And timely too, with everything that's going on in the world," says Kiwi actress Rebecca McFadzien. "I hope there is more of it to come, hopefully it can become its own genre."

McFadzien plays the mildly air-headed but charmingly happy-go-lucky Brit in the US film, and says even before she got the part she was in love with the script.

"After reading the script I wrote an email to [writer] Nicole [Marie Johnson] and I just said something like; 'Thank you. Even if I'm not successful'.

New Zealand actress Rebecca McFadzien. Photo / Frances Hernandez
New Zealand actress Rebecca McFadzien. Photo / Frances Hernandez

"I don't even know if I'd auditioned at that point, but it was just like, 'Thank you for writing this script, and these strong female characters. It's really empowering for women all over the world,'" McFadzien says.

And the film was a major achievement for her in many more ways. She scored the role from her first ever audition in Los Angeles, after having been there for just one month.

That, and once the crew met her and got to know her, she got to retain her Kiwi accent, sensibilities and character.

Brit was supposed to be a stereotypical blonde from California - "wrapped up in herself and her appearance". What she ended up being was the bubbly, inclusive, ultra-nice, incredibly chatty Kiwi of the group.

"I think because they were always planning to distribute in New Zealand and Australia, they kind of thought well, why not have a Kiwi girl in there? There's always one," she laughs.

"It was a really creative process. [Director, Nils Taylor] added things here and there when he heard me say them. He would be like, 'I like that, I like how you said that' and he'd throw it in the script for the following day.

"And I think the one thing I've learned from being overseas for a bit is just how nice New Zealanders are, just genuinely nice. So I felt really honoured that they made those alterations based on what I brought to the role, and to be able to represent that on the big screen in the States."

That, and after a month of living in the concrete jungle that is LA, McFadzien was stoked about the chance to "return to nature" as the shoot saw her and her fellow castmates hiking in the wilderness for a month or so.

"We all got quite fit because we were outside hiking every day. It was really nice to go back and have a reason to be in nature, coming from New Zealand," she says.

"And I'm hoping that's why New Zealanders and Aussies will enjoy watching the film - because of that wilderness aspect. It's kind of like Outward Bound - all the women pay to go on this trip to kind of find themselves and deal with their issues or their addictions."

The experience has set McFadzien up well as she's about to embark on another film project and continue to run the auditions gambit in LA, and she says she has one goal throughout it all:

"I'm really trying hard to keep my Kiwi values and morals intact, regardless of where I go in the world."

*Quarries is available in New Zealand from today via iTunes, and will be coming soon to Google Play, Sony PSN, XBox and Amazon.

- NZ Herald

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