‘Into the Dark: Tentacles’ Stars Dana Drori & Kasey Elise Explain How They Created A ‘Female Gaze’
Creators and stars of the newest addition to Hulu’s hit thriller anthology series reveal the secret to creating the “female gaze” in Into the Dark: Tentacles.
The movie follows the story of a couple Tara and Sam, (Dana Drori and Casey Deidrick) who quickly fall in love, though the cause of their affection may be more sinister than it first appears.
“The film explores the details and the dangers of intimacy gone too far,” Drori described. She called Tara a “lost spirit looking for something or someone outside of herself to attach to.”
“I think she’s very committed to her relationships,” Drori said laughing.
Kasey Elise plays Esther, “the character that keeps it real,” she said. “I have an intuition about something without even knowing any details, it’s just something feels off to her.”
“I feel like I’m like that with a lot of my friends in real life, so it wasn’t a hard to pull off,” she added, smiling.
Director Clara Aranovich and writer Alexandra Pechman discussed the importance of a women-led movie in the thriller genre, which often casts women in a negative light.
“I was really inspired by this idea that women in a lot thrillers,” Pechman said, “whether they be kind of the sexy date night horror movies like Basic Instinct or classic noir like Vertigo, when women wind up being the villain it’s because they’re crazy or a liar or they want money. And what would it look like if there was just something very powerful going on that sets these two lovers on opposing sides as they get closer? And Clara really visualized that, I mean realized that in just such an amazing way with this slow burn that has a very decidedly female gaze.”
“For me, you know, I don’t go into anything being like, ‘What can I bring to this as a woman?'” Aranovich said. “I just say like , ‘How can I make the best f*****g movie possible?’ And I am inextricably linked to my perspective, which happens to be as someone assigned female at birth who identifies as female …
I bounce off an experience differently than someone in a different body.”
“And what was really exciting was I was met with people and collaborators who were also excited about this fresh perspective,” she added. “It’s still embarrassing how few of major grossing films are directed by women so there’s just a dearth of this perspective.”
Drori added that working on Tentacles was “a completely different experience from other projects that I’ve worked on.”
“There is definitely this sense of a female gaze, a female gaze in terms of the sexuality, the sexual subjectivity, instead of being the sexual object Tara really drives a lot of the sexual scenes in the film, and that was really empowering, that was really fun,” she said. “And I think the movie really kind of turns a lot of those tropes that are associated with the male gaze on its head, and it was really an honor to be in a film like that.”
Elise agreed, “I loved how we got to explore the women’s perspective from different characters.”