May 05, 2016 02:38PM
By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
Classic horror conventions abound in the frightening local flick Endor: The car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere, no one but creepy country locals for miles, blood spurts dramatically from the wounds of the slaughtered, and the terror-stricken lead, played by Julia Farrell, runs for her life through lush cornfields.
Russ (Dustin Smith) and Farrell’s character Kiera are sweethearts traveling through Nebraska on a road trip when the gas tank goes empty and all hell breaks loose in the tiny heartland township of Endor.
“The filmmakers wanted to make a movie that fed into all the common universal horror movie clichés and small town stereotypes, but that also had this unique religious undertone,” says Farrell.
IndyRed.com rated Endor four out of five stars, calling it a “solid slasher with one hell of a surprise ending.” Dread Central praised its strong lead character development, saying it inspires viewers to “root for them all the way.”
Farrell, originally from Colorado, always loved acting. As a child, she gathered the neighborhood kids together to put on plays—which she’d then write, star in, and direct.
“I’ve always been a storyteller with a wild imagination,” says Farrell. “I love that storytelling aspect, the ability to become whatever you want and live in that world for a while.”
Farrell earned her journalism degree and theater minor from University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she met her husband, Jim. The couple relocated to Arizona, where she got a master’s in elementary education and rekindled her love of film work with a small part in Jolene with Jessica Chastain before moving to Omaha in 2008.
Although it’s not exclusively her genre, there’s a strong horror presence in Farrell’s filmography page, including titles like Cheerleader Camp: To the Death, Demon Dolls, and Silent Night, Bloody Night 2. She’s currently filming The Amityville Legacy.
“I’m a huge fan of horror,” says Farrell. “I love everything from slasher/grindhouse to psychological thrillers, so I do tend to pick those roles, but I’ve also found that horror movies are pretty popular projects in the Midwest.”
Aksarben Cinema screened Endor throughout February, and Farrell says filmmakers Aaron Gum and Faustus McGreeves made final tweaks ahead of future showings.
“Endor is horror, but not cheesy B horror. It’s meant to make you think and disturb you,” says Farrell. “There’s depth to it, and the cinematography has some nice, artsy touches—mixed with plenty of gore, of course.”
Farrell appreciated that the role helped expand her skills.
“I had to go places I hadn’t taken myself before, but as an actor challenge is always good,” she says. “Some people scoff at horror, but it’s tough to put yourself in that state of extreme emotion on demand. To be believable, you really have to go to some dark places.”
Farrell hopes to continue growing her acting chops.
“For me, it’s not necessarily about making a blockbuster, I just love acting and independent films,” she says.
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