Exclusive: Denise Richards on her terrifying new indie horror flick, The ToyBox

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Sep 17, 2018, 6:16 PM EDT

Anyone who has ever endured a hellish RV vacation with the family can relate to Skyline Entertainment and Steel House Productions' new supernatural thriller, The ToyBox, which features a nightmarish family road trip into the barren desert in a haunted recreational vehicle once owned by a notorious serial killer.

Directed by indie filmmaker Tom Nagel (ClownTown), The ToyBox, stars Denise Richards (Starship Troopers, The World is Not Enough) and Mischa Barton (The O.C., The Sixth Sense) as they embark on an ill-fated excursion in a vintage RV that ends up truly being a hell on wheels.


This effective fright film just opened in a limited Los Angeles engagement at Laemmle's NoHo 7 on September 14, and goes nationwide on Tuesday September 18 for Blu-ray, DVD and Cable and Digital HD, including Amazon Instant, iTunes, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, Comcast, Optimum, Dish, and Google Play.

Also starring Matt Mercer (Beyond the Gates, The Mind's Eye), Jeff Denton (NCIS, Criminal Minds), Brian Nagel (Katy Perry's Roar), and Greg Violand (Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice), this surprisingly scary little horror flick is a perfect morsel of murderous mayhem with compelling performances by the entire cast, especially when considering the tight quarters during production.

SYFY WIRE spoke with Denise Richards on what it was like on the dry desert shoot, her love of scary movies, and what horror fans can expect from The ToyBox as it rolls into theaters and home video just in time for Halloween.

We are also premiering an exclusive clip inside the insanity so after the shock, steer your way into our chat with Richards and tell us if this crazy cruiser sounds like a dream vacation ride to you.

How did you get attached to The ToyBox project and what did you think when first reading the screenplay?

Denise Richards: The director sent me the script and my oldest daughter, she and her friends are just getting into watching horror movies, especially around Halloween-time.  I ran it past my daughter and she was very excited I was going to be part of a horror film. There were a lot of surprises in the script and I thought it would be a lot of fun.  Our director, Tom Nagel, was so great because we actually shot in the RV, which was one of the smallest sets I've ever worked on. We really shot the whole thing inside this old RV that we drove around the desert.

Where did they find that vintage RV that becomes the possessed vacation vehicle?

The director found it and bought it and thought it would be perfect for the film. That's what's so great. It was VERY vintage and had a certain musty smell to it. You could tell that RV had been around a really long time!


How was it working with director Tom Nagel and do you have a favorite scene?

I loved working wth him so much, he's just very passionate. I think my favorite scene was shooting my death scene. You have to commit if you want the scene to be scary and have elements where you don't know. I think people will be surprised how it ends up. Even though it was a hard scene to shoot, especially in the cramped space, it was definitely my favorite.

Any interesting stories on what it was like on the desert shoot?

I loved the experience and most of the time when I work I remember things that went on off camera. It felt like a family with the cast and crew, in a small space and it was hot and we had fun with it.


What are some of your favorite horror films and what scares you the most?

I love watching Friday the 13th so those movies were always my favorites as a kid and growing up. Things that scare me? I don't like Black Widow spiders. Deadly spider? Those I can definitely do without.

Do you believe in the supernatural and can you recall any specific strange encounters in your life?

I definitely believe that when we cross over there are spirits and loved ones around us. I did have one experience as a kid with some friends and a Ouija board. (laughs) It was so bad my dad sawed it in half and threw it in a trash can so we'd never play with it again.

denise richards