New movie 'Endangered Species' offers thrills, chills in story of safari vacation gone wrong

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Family vacation takes hard left turn in 'Endangered Species'
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The new movie "Endangered Species" starts out as a thrilling travel adventure for a family taking the trip of a lifetime. But the thrills quickly become chills when their vacation takes a left turn into the wild.

HOLLYWOOD -- The new movie "Endangered Species" starts out as a thrilling travel adventure for a family. But the thrills quickly become chills when their vacation takes a left turn into the wild.

Philip Winchester's character doesn't want to pay for a safari guide; it's not a good decision. The inspiration for one key scene came from an incident in the director M.J. Bassett's own life.

"The rhino kind of lowered her head and then started rumbling toward the vehicle and we're, like, 'Back up! Back up! Back up! Back up! Back up!" said Bassett.

Winchester loves working with Bassett. And that includes when many countries were shutting down film productions due to the pandemic. Turns out, Kenya was open.

"I mean, they pulled this film together in a month and then we shot it in 18 days," said Winchester.

"We talked to a local Kenyan production company and we sent them the script and said, 'Like, it's like five people in a van traveling in the wilderness so we're away from everybody. We can isolate from COVID as a crew. I'll do a very small crew of 20, 25 people. Can we do it?' And they said yes," said Bassett.

"The people who came along to this were all very like-minded. The people who would get on two 12-hour flights to get to Kenya and travel halfway around the world during the middle of the pandemic were pretty similar people," said Winchester.

The film is in select theatres and on streaming services May 28. It'll be out on Blu-ray and DVD June 1.