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Shanley Caswell Talks Detention

The film “Detention” is being billed as a “teen comedy-horror film” and even though that’s a lot to take in, “Detention” star Shanley Caswell said there’s even more than that.

“It’s a multigenre film,” she said. “Sci-fi, time travel, body swapping, with comedy mixed in.”

Caswell plays Riley Jones, a social outcast who eventually becomes one of the heroes of the film. “She’s not really sure of herself in the beginning, but later on in the film, we see her step up, saving the world,” said Caswell.

Getting in character wasn’t hard for Caswell since Riley’s insecurity is something everyone has dealt with. “Everyone has gone through the stage of feeling down on themselves,” she said. “Everyone’s gone through feeling like their problems are the worst in the world. It’s easy [getting into character] because I’ve been that character.”

Caswell was among many of her acting peers in this film, including Josh Hutcherson and Dane Cook. “Most of us on the set were 18,” she said. “A lot of us had not been in many big movies. We became really close during the ‘Detention’ experience–shooting at midnight, crazy hours–we’re still really, really close friends.”

You might have seen on shows such as “CSI: New York” and “The Mentalist” (starring her crush, Simon Baker), but you’ll also see her in a film inspired by a true-life story, “The Warren Files,” also starring Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston and Patrick Wilson. “It’s about a family in the 1970s,the Perron family,” she said. “They’ve moved into this old house that has paranormal activity, and the paranormal activity is so oppressive that it physically starts hurting them.” The film comes out next year.

Paranormal activity, killers, body-swapping, and horror? All in a day’s work for Caswell.

“Detention” comes out April 13, 2012.


“[Detention is] the highly-stylized film which is described as an ‘apocalyptic fantasy, horror, science fiction, action thriller, body-swapping and time-traveling teen romantic comedy’ about the local students of Grizzly Lake who must survive their final year of high school. Standing in their way is a slasher movie killer who has seemingly come to life, quickly becoming a race against time to stop the killer and save the world – if only they can get out of detention.

(Photo credit: Gabriel Goldberg)

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Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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