“Tarot” drums up scares as unsuspecting moviegoers find out their fate

Tarot brought nightmares to life at The Grove in Los Angeles, California, as they pranked unsuspecting moviegoers with the monsters of Tarot bursting from behind seemingly ordinary movie posters. Watch their reactions in the “Theater Scare Prank” featurette.

Watch the featurette here: https://youtu.be/dlalfU4ERE0

Director-writers Anna Halberg and Spenser Cohen also aimed to terrify each other when they started working on Tarot. “That's when we know that something is working,” Halberg says. “If we go like, ‘Oh gosh, that's horrifying!!’ Then we're like, ‘Yeah, let’s do that!’”

Their vision of the terrifying monsters residing within the tarot cards was made into reality by two talented artists. Trevor Henderson, a talented horror illustrator famous for creating creatures such as Siren Head and more, was tasked with doing the concept art for the monsters of Tarot.  “We’re huge fans of Trevor Henderson, who's an amazing artist that we follow on Instagram; we reached out to him and asked him to be the sole designer of all the creatures in the film,” says Cohen. “When we had the concept to bring the tarot cards to life, we knew we needed to bring these iconic cards—The Magician, The Devil, Death—to life in a way that would be the stuff of nightmares and in a way that no one had ever seen before.”

Henderson, while working on Tarot, felt that the recipe for making truly terrifying monsters is to inject a bit of reality into the design. “I always feel that for something to be scary, it has to feel like a tangible part of our world,” he says. “Thankfully, everyone was devoted to working with real creature actors and practical effects, which really aided the process. I definitely tried to keep the creatures more grounded than a fantasy approach.”

To bring Henderson’s creations together in a tarot deck, graphic designer Richard Wells was approached.  “The great Trevor Henderson had already designed the monsters when I came on board,” says Wells. “My task was to retain the essence of his designs but configure them into a form that would work for the tarot cards. In some cases, like the Hermit, that meant illustrating a setting for the character, emerging from a tunnel holding his lantern. In other cases, I gave some extra drama—like the Death card, having it stand in a landscape of skulls.”

Setting the scene was equally special, and the team chose to film in Serbia, as they have access to locations that were perfect for Tarot. “[Serbia] allowed us to film in incredible locations that we probably wouldn't have access to anywhere else,” says Cohen. “We closed down a bridge that looks like it should have been in a Mission: Impossible movie—that's how big it is; it connects two parts of the country. We were able to close it down for two nights to shoot an incredible sequence on it. It was Serbia’s excitement at having us there that afforded us the ability to do that.”

Tarot arrives in Philippine cinemas on May 1.

About Tarot

When a group of friends recklessly violates the sacred rule of Tarot readings–never use someone else’s deck–they unknowingly unleash an unspeakable evil trapped within the cursed cards. One by one, they come face to face with fate and end up in a race against death to escape the future foretold in their readings.

Directed and written by Spenser Cohen & Anna Halberg

Produced by Leslie Morgenstein, Elysa Koplovitz Dutton, Scott Glassgold

Executive Producers are Andrew Pfeffer and Scott Strauss

Starring Harriet Slate, Adain Bradley, Avantika, Wolfgang Novogratz, Humberly González, Larsen Thompson, and Jacob Batalon

Coming on May 1 in Philippine cinemas, Tarot is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #TarotMovie

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