Shelley Duvall Makes Return to Acting in Horror Film Role, Her First in 20 Years

Shelley Duvall is making a return to acting after 20 years away. Deadline reports that the actress will star in a horror film, The Forest Hills, marking her first movie role in two decades. The film also stars Edward Furlong, Chiko Mendez, and Dee Wallace. Duvall is well-known for starring in films such as The ShiningAnnie HallTime Bandits, and Roxanne. In the '80s and '90s, she created and hosted a number of TV shows, including Faerie Tale Theatre, Tall Tales & Legends, and Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories.

The Forest Hills follows Rico (Mendez), a mentally and emotionally disturbed man who suffers head trauma while camping in the Catskill Mountains, subsequently becoming tormented by terrible visions, according to Deadline. Duvall will play Rico's mother, who also serves as an inner voice, for the troubled man. Below, fans can see an official image of Duvall from the film. The Forest Hills is being produced by Scott Hansen, alongside Dreznick Goldberg Productions and Digital Thunderdome Studios. Goldberg is also serving as co-producer.

In a statement about Duvall's casting, Goldberg said, "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, along with perfect scores and elements that make them my personal favorites. 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." At this time, The Forest Hills does not have an announced release date.

Duvall's performance in The Shining has been one of the most heavily debated roles in the history of horror film, with modern audiences praising her for how much she brought to the story. It has also been said that director Stanley Kubrick was cruel to Duvall during filming. In 2021, she addressed her on-set experience, telling The Hollywood Reporter that she was forced to cry almost every day for the duration of the nearly three-month shoot. 

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"After a while, your body rebels, "she said. "It says: 'Stop doing this to me. I don't want to cry every day.' And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry. 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." When asked about the speculation of Kubrick mistreating her on purpose in order to get the performance he wanted out of her, Duvall said, "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."