Just Beyond Stars Look Back at Their First Exposure to Horror
The new series Just Beyond on Disney+ will help introduce an entire generation of viewers to unsettling and creepy stories that manage to get under their skin just enough to fascinate them but have heartfelt messages and themes at their core, preventing such tales of terror from keeping them away from genre stories forever. The series was inspired by the comic books of the same name from author R.L. Stine, who has decades of experience when it comes to intriguing young readers without necessarily giving them nightmares, with even the stars of the series recalling the impact Stine's work had on them prior to joining the project. Just Beyond premieres on Disney+ on October 13th.
"I know Goosebumps, which is R.L Stine's work. It definitely started me off with what horror is because there was children's fun in that, but it was still scary at the same time," Cedric Joe recalled to ComicBook.com. "I grew up reading his books, watching the Goosebumps series, so that opened up doors to a lot of horror. And then soon I branched off to scarier films than that and now I'm just a true fan of horror films."
Lexi Underwood added, "I really started out with R.L. Stine's books, Goosebumps, Mostly Ghostly, The Haunting Hour. So, that was my first introduction to horror. And then after that, once I got a little bit older and I gained a little bit more confidence, that's when I really started to get into the classics."
Inspired by the writings of R.L. Stine, Just Beyond is an eight-episode anthology series that tells astonishing and thought-provoking stories of a reality just beyond the one we know. Each episode introduces viewers to a new cast of characters who must go on a surprising journey of self-discovery in a supernatural world of witches, aliens, ghosts, and parallel universes.
Underwood's episode saw her character making impromptu acquaintances from another realm, which came with some interesting acting challenges for the ensemble.
"All the actors were on set with us, they are troopers. They would have to be in the hair and makeup chair. They would have to come to work three hours earlier before us and to get their arms, their hands, their face, their necks, all of it just painted," the actor recalled. "And then they would come on set and then we would do our thing. The only thing that wasn't real was the haunted demon skull that's chasing us throughout the episode, it was just the guy with the green stick chasing us. But other than that, no, it was really cool to really be in it with the special effects because I haven't really been a part of too many projects that incorporate special effects like that. So, it was cool to see the behind-the-scenes process of it."
With Joe's episode seeing comic books featured prominently, this presented an interesting opportunity to embrace Just Beyond's roots while also being true to this specific storyline.
"There was definitely going some looking back at [the comic book series], getting a feel for what his stories are about and how people were in them," Joe pointed out. "And then I did a lot of sticking with the concept of the script and just what it's about, like my story and how mine is more of a heartfelt story between the relationship with my parents and everything that's going on."
Just Beyond premieres on Disney+ on October 13th.
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