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Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
By Jemal Polson, Tuesday 1st May 2018

This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.

Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.

We had a chat with the film's director, Johannes Roberts (who also directed 49 Metres Down, The Other Side of the Door and Storage 24) about bringing the story to screen, what scares him the most, and his next project.

HC: You go way back with Horror and actually produced something for us in 2006. Can you tell us about the project, When Evil Calls?

JR:[Laughs] It ended my career for about 4 years! It was the world's first series for mobile phones, before smartphones. But it's also the world's last... People didn't know what the technology was gonna be [like]. We had to come up with a whole new cinematic language because the screens were so... they weren't smartphones. You couldn't shoot too close, [because] it wouldn't mean anything, but you couldn't shoot too wide either. It was kinda fun but the technology wasn't there.

HC: Strangers Prey at Night was originally due to come out in 2009. What took it so long to come to screens?

JR: It was just one of those things that got caught up in development hell, and then movies like The Purge sort of took everything from that movie. I think people felt it was kinda languishing really.

HC: Who's your favourite character in the film?

JR: Bailee [Madison]'s character Kinsey was a really good, but I just love the Man in the Mask.

HC: There are so many horror films that have alternative endings, and this film is no exception. Is that something you do to stop spoilers from getting out or is it something you love to do and think the genre celebrates?

JR: Neither actually - we shot the film and tested it, and I just felt like the ending wasn't quite landing. We had to do a few pickups anyway, so we just tried an alternate ending to see if it worked. I only ever shoot for what I need. It was really just because I didn't feel like we quite nailed it.

HC: We see a lot of weapons used throughout the film - what's the one weapon or death you haven't used in your films you'd be looking to make an appearance in a future title of yours?

JR: [laughs] I don't know. My next movie is set all in coffins and I've never done a buried alive.

HC: Who would you love to work with who you haven't already?

JR: Sam Neill, cause I absolutely love In the Mouth of Madness, and Kyle Chandler - cause I loved Friday Night Lights, and I keep trying to engineer a project for him [to star in].

HC: Last of all what scares you the most?

JR: Spiders!

The Strangers: Prey At Night opens in cinemas across the UK, Friday 4th May.


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Corin Hardy, director of The Nun
Posted on Sunday 20th January 2019
The Nun blu-ray cover

The Conjuring universe expanded recently with the box-office chill-filled thriller, The Nun. It's just been released onto Blu-ray and DVD so we had a quick chat with the very talented director of this gothic entry, Corin Hardy.

HC: How did you become attached to the project?

CH: I had made The Hallow and that had caught the attention of James (Wan) through his company Atomic Monster and he sent me The Nun script, I am obviously a die-hard horror fan, and I knew all of James' films and was particularly a fan of The Conjuring movies so I was quite intrigued as to what this story would be as I am always on the lookout. I have my own films I want to develop and make and I'm ...

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Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of zom-rom-com Ibiza Undead, we ask actress and producer Marcia Do Vales 10 scary questions.
Posted on Tuesday 8th January 2019
MDV Image 1

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of zombie rom-com Ibiza Undead, we ask actress and producer Marcia Do Vales 10 scary questions.

HC: When did your interest in horror films begin?

MDV: About the age of 11 or 12, I started enjoying watching horror films, after my parents had gone to bed. I remember watching Child's Play with the volume turned off, sitting directly in front of the TV so I could quickly turn it off if my parents came in.

HC: Tell us about your first horror film role.

MDV: In my first film role, I played The Girl in The Reverend I found myself working alongside the legendary Rutger Hauer who was cast as the Devil. He had his own private room...

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A chat with Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies
Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Ahead of the Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies, on January 5 at 9pm, director Dominic Brunt and actor/producer partner Joanne Mitchell unpin the nappies...

HC: Attack of the Adult Babies will receive its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Are you both excited?

DB: I'm over the moon. As a fan of horror, I'm also a fan of the Horror Channel. It's an honour to have our work premiered with one of our favourite channels. The Horror Channel (along with FrightFest and Metrodome) took Before Dawn under its wing when that was released as our debut feature film. It marked our transition from horror fen geeks to horror film makers and we were well looked after indeed.

JM: We're delighted and incred...

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Interview with Leprechaun Returns director Steven Kostanski
Posted on Monday 17th December 2018
LR Image 3

Horror's smallest terror is back to reclaim the treasure that's been lost for 25 years in Leprechaun Returns which has just been released across all streaming platforms. We spoke to its director, Steven Kostanski about this movie the challenges of carrying on a much loved franchise.

HC: How were you approached to direct Leprechaun Returns?

SK: The producers contacted my manager and he sent me the script. I had a few conversations with them over the phone discussing the direction they wanted go, and once I saw that they were looking to get away from the seriousness of Leprechaun Origins I knew I wanted to do the project.

HC: What did you think of Suzanne Keilly's script when y...

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Interview with Bill Watterson director of Dave Made a Maze
Posted on Sunday 4th November 2018
William Watterson

At Grimmfest 2017 we had the chance to view one of the most original pieces of cinema we'd seen in a long time, Dave Made a Maze. Directed by Bill Watterson it's an intelligent, thought-provoking film that deserves to reach a global audience and will be released here early 2019. We chatted to Bill about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did this concept come from?

WW: Three places: Steven was underway on a script called 'Operation: Death Maze,' or something cool like that. Portions of it were re-purposed after he jibed with a story I told about my mom coming home and seeing an incredible fort that I'd build in my bedroom, and concluding that I'd gotten lost within it when I d...

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Interview with Paul Hyett director of Peripheral
Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018
Paul HyettPaul Hyett is a firm FrightFest favourite. His work jumps from genre you genre with ease but still retains that "Hyett" feeling in each piece. His latest work, Peripheral is having its UK Premiere at the FrightFest Halloween 2018 event so we decided to chat to Paul about this and his view on technology.

HC: How did the project of Peripheral come together?

PH: Peripheral was bought to me by the original producer, he thought I'd be a good fit. Originally he had pitched me a one woman in a room, contained location about bad technology theme. It didn't feel appealing as after Howl, which was a big film in terms of cast, VFX, stunts etc and I was looking for a more challenging film logisticall...

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Interview with Julian Richards, director of Reborn
Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2018
Julian Richards

Ahead of the World premiere screening of Reborn at FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturous challenges of Daddy's Girl, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of Rabies.

HC: After six years away from directing, you have two films, Reborn and Daddy's Girl poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?

JR: My previous film Shiver was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling th...

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Interview with Jules Vincent, co-writer and producer of Alive
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
Jules Vincent

Grimmfest 2018 is well underway and delivering some memorable movie moments, and one of the best is showing on Sunday, Alive. This cracking film sees the return of Grimmfest favourite Rob Grant as director and has been co-written and co-produced by Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent. Here Jules tells all about this brilliant piece.

HC: Where did the idea for Alive come from?

JV: We'd talked about writing a horror screenplay for a number of years before we finally came up with the right idea. We're both big fans of classic horror and we love the works of Hitchcock, Carpenter, Friedkin, and Cronenberg so in a way we had a very specific style and feel in mind before we even had the story. A...

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Interview with Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls
Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls

Grimmfest 2018 kicks off tomorrow and one of the many highlights of the four day event is the blood-splattered shocker Girls With Balls. We chatted to it's director Olivier Afonso about this fab film and his career as an SFX artists.

HC: What inspired you to write Girls With Balls?

OA: My co-writer and I we wanted to write a trash comedy to entertain an audience because we love festivals: the atmosphere, people screaming, laughing... Personally, I'm inspired by the eighties and nineties movies such as of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. We wanted to make a survival movie but with strong women, a girl ...

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Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted on Saturday 15th September 2018
Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano

FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.

Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?

Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...

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Exclusive interview with Adam Green, director of Hatchet.
Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018
Adam Green director of Hatchet

Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV Premiere of Hatchet on Friday 14th Sept, director Adam Green gives an exclusive interview about his beloved franchise and what the future holds for Victor Crowley...

Hatchet is finally getting its first showing on UK TV, courtesy of Horror Channel. We're excited, are you?

I couldn't be more excited! I've always said that even though Hatchet may have world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, it was at FrightFest in London where "Victor Crowley" was truly born. FrightFest was "the screening heard around the world" and the UK audience was so enthusiastic over Hatchet that every genre festival on t...

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Interview with Tom de Ville, director of Corvidae
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Tom de Ville director of Corvidae

HC: This is your first short as a director, what inspired you to write this script?

TdV: I read a really interesting article about how smart crows are, in particular how they can hold grudges. Apparently a group of scientists had gone out and harassed a murder of crows whilst wearing masks. If they went back wearing the masks, the crows would remember them and fight back. If they didn't wear the masks, the crows would leave them alone. This made me start thinking about what would happen if someone tried to save a crow from a bunch of kids who were trying to kill it. Would the other crows from its murder remember this? And what would they do to help her?...

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