The Forest Hills: Everything We Know So Far About Shelley Duvall's Return To Horror

She last graced the screens in 2002's "Manna from Heaven" as Detective Dubrinski. Now, a little over 20 years later, renowned scream queen Shelley Duvall has re-entered the chat in Scott Goldberg's "The Forest Hills," set to release this month. This feature film is a take on Goldberg's 2007 short film of the same name, but that appears to be the only similarity as of right now. The 2007 short, alternately titled "Danielle's Revenge," takes place in Kentucky and is centered around two horror website admins in search of an urban legend. 

The highly-anticipated 2023 version is set in the serenity of New York's Catskill region, where our protagonist Rico (Chiko Mendez) is recovering from a head injury, with Shelley Duvall playing the role of his mother. Duvall and Mendez are joined by Edward Furlong ("Terminator 2"), Dee Wallace ("E.T.," "Cujo"), and Stacey Nelkin ("Halloween III: Season of the Witch"). It looks like it's going to be a trippy, practical-effects-heavy werewolf flick.

'You want to be able to choose'

When asked how she feels about returning to acting after 20 years, Duvall noted in an interview with The Grimm Life Collective, "... It's been great. It really has. It feels good, makes me want to do more acting. It's actually so much fun to act in a movie, it really is. And I appreciate every minute of it. I know there's a lot of people who want to be in the movies, and, you want to be in good movies is what you wanna be in." She continued, "You don't want to have to take every role that comes along, every movie that comes along. You want to be able to choose."

Most know that Shelley Duvall's departure from acting was due in part to Stanley Kubrick's treatment of her on the set of "The Shining," and the impact that the filming experience had on her mental health. However, it could be the more humble, low-key nature of this creative experience that drew Duvall back to the craft in the first place.

'I went as far as I could go'

It's also worth mentioning how "The Forest Hills" co-star Dee Wallace was able to empathize with Duvall over how traumatizing filming experiences need to be given more weight and understanding. In an interview with Fox News, Wallace highlighted how her time on the set of "Cujo" demanded a huge emotional output that kept her in a trauma response: 

"And every time you see a scene, we probably shot it 15 times from different angles. That's a huge amount of emotional output. And what most people don't understand is that your body does not differentiate between a perceived threat and an actual threat. So I blew all my adrenals out because for eight weeks, literally, I was in fight or flight. They treated me for exhaustion for about three weeks afterward. I still take raw adrenal supplements because I just blew them out from all the emotional work. And physically. Physically alone was incredibly demanding. But I look at the film and think that I went as far as I could go, as truthful as I could go."

Crowdfunding for the sake of horror

"The Forest Hills" was brought to life through an IndieGoGo campaign, inviting donors to be listed as co-producers, assistant producers, donators, howlers, and other various titles in the credits. Per their campaign, "This film was made for horror fans, by horror fans, without the same old generic storyline that plagues horror movies." They were able to bring in about 25% of their goal, and have scheduled the premiere for March 11th in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, presented by star Edward Furlong and Jersey-native Kevin Smith.

For duvall to return 20 years later on her own terms, for a crowdfunded New York/New Jersey horror flick makes this Jersey-born writer's heart sing. After all, there is something inherently gritty and charming about a horror movie being a collaborative, grassroots effort, as opposed to being the product of a deeply creative yet emotionally inconsiderate director like Kubrick.