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Horror fans celebrate a genre icon’s overdue return

A very famous horror movie icon is set to return to the screen in an up-and-coming film that fans are already buzzing about.

Shelley Duvall
Image via Dreznick Goldberg Productions

Shelley Duvall is set to hit the big screen again after 20 years when The Forest Hills is released. It’s currently in filming and it has Duvall fans already buzzing.

The iconic actress has been in such movies as McCabe & Mrs. MillerThieves Like UsThree WomenPopeyeTime Bandits, and Roxanne. The performance that hits home with most fans though is in The Shining with so many great scenes of her starting to lose her mind while trapped in an empty hotel by a huge snowfall. She took her leave of acting in 2002 when she played Detective Dubrinski in Manna from Heaven.

Now, she’s back in The Forest Hills where she plays the main character’s mother, a man who returns with head trauma after a camping trip in the Catskills. As the logline goes, he is “tormented by nightmarish visions.” That’s all Shelley Duvall fans need to hear because that sets the stage for a performance they’ve been waiting to see for years.

Fan reviews

Shelley Duvall
Image via Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Her fans have heard the rumors about Stanley Kubrick, and Duvall has even confirmed them when interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter about the torture she was forced to endure during the filming of The Shining. “He’s got that streak in him. He definitely has that. But I think mostly because people have been that way to him at some time in the past.”

The Shining isn’t the only fan favorite though. Her performance in Three Women is often mentioned in conversations about Duvall. Her ability to transform from an overbearing, highly talkative character to assume the mannerisms of her timid roommate, and then to do it again as she takes on the persona of her landlady. She was absolutely masterful.

What better accolade can the actress get but from The Forest Hills director himself, Scott Goldberg, “We are huge fans of The Shining and it’s honestly one of my favorite horror movies of all time, up there with John Carpenter’s Halloween and George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead with the dark tones they delivered in their movies…Shelley contributed to The Shining being an absolute masterpiece by giving her all, and performing in a way that really showcased the fear and horror of a mother in isolation.”

In her Hollywood Reporter interview, she discussed how awful it was to have to cry every day for the duration of filming, “To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realize that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled — I would just start crying. I’d be like, ‘Oh no, I can’t, I can’t.’ And yet I did it. I don’t know how I did it. Jack [Nicholson] said that to me, too. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’”

The sacrifices a great actress such as Duvall has to make to nail a memorable performance can take a toll on a person. She’s not a robot. She’s a human, and those sacrifices eventually did have an impact on her.

Dr. Phil’s exploitation

Don’t think fans have forgotten when Dr. Phil interviewed her, and it wasn’t well received. The actress was open about suffering mental illness with Phil McGraw, who came across as if he was trying to help her, but viewers were quick to pick up on the vibe that he was only doing it for his own gain. Many celebrities spoke out about it including Patton Oswalt in addition to Mia Farrow and Vivian Kubrick mentioned in the news clip.

They’re diehard fans when they care about her and come to her defense. What Dr. Phil tried to do will stay on their minds because that’s as low as a person can get.

The sentiment rings loud and clear. Shelley Duvall is an absolute treasure to be respected and not taken advantage of. Her legend will live on while Dr. Phil’s will fade along with his license he no longer renews.

There is no scheduled release date at this time nor has a venue been set for The Forest Hills. Netflix and Hulu are most likely both foaming at the mouth to get a hold of this indie film that already has the internet set on fire. Watch and see if the film doesn’t break records the moment it hits distribution.

Michael Allen
About the author

Michael Allen

Michael Allen is the author of 'The Deeper Dark' and 'A River in the Ocean,' both available on Amazon. At this time, 'The Deeper Dark' is also available on Apple Books. Currently under contract to write a full-length feature spy drama for producer/director Anton Jokikunnas.