ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Andy Nyman, co-writer, co-director and star of Ghost Stories
By James Whittington, Monday 9th April 2018

I've met Andy Nyman on many occasions over the last decade or so, and over that time I've watched his career constantly go from strength to strength. To call him multi-talented would be an understatement and along with Jeremy Dyson has created the must-see horror movie of 2018, Ghost Stories. Here he chats about the stage play, Ghost Stories as well as how it changed on its way to the big screen.

HC: When did you first meet co-writer and co-director Jeremy Dyson?

AN: Jeremy and I met at a Jewish Summer Camp in 1981, and you just get thrown together in dorms of four people and Jeremy is from Leeds and all my family are from Leeds so I used to spend most of my weekends up in Leeds so we instantly had a bit of a connection there. Within about five minutes we realised we were both obsessed with horror. We were right on the cusp of the video nasty boom, I'd just seen An American Werewolf in London at the pictures, I managed to get in and he'd seen it and that was it!

HC: Oh yes! The dream sequence when I saw it when I was younger just blew me away.

AN: That has some of the greatest jumps ever filmed that. It's amazing and that's one of the surprises and joys of the Ghost Stories journey is getting to meet some of our heroes. Tobe Hooper came to the play in town and I had a night with him and he loved it and he did an interview for the New York Times shortly before he died and he was asked when was one of the times he was really scared and he said Ghost Stories!

HC: There's no greater endorsement than that, is there?

AN: And then [John] Landis came to see it about three times and has remained a great champion of ours and a friend now. So that's been one of those "pinch yourself" moments. You grow up and those people have a direct impact and shape your life and you actually get to meet them. Amazing.

HC: Ghost Stories the stage play was and still is an incredible success across the world, did this take you and Jeremy by surprise?

AN: There's this wonderful thing where you create something that in our heart was always creating the thing we would want to see and not compromising on that and then you hope that there are a few other people who feel the same way. I think the reality of the play was when we came up with the idea I very much had the kind of instinct that if we could really deliver what we wanted to deliver there's definitely a life for it because there'd never been nothing else like it, even The Woman in Black which is an absolutely brilliant play and a brilliant piece of work it's a very different piece of work, its DNA is very different to what we were doing. Ours is much more of a narrative of horror films as opposed to the gentle British ghost story. So, it had never really been done but there is a world of difference between as you lay in bed at night thinking, "This could actually work" and it actually working (laughs). It completely amazes us that it continues to grow there are about four international productions happening this year. Next year there's a revival in Shanghai, its been all over the world. And the other incredible thing and what we're loving about the reviews of the film so far is that the play, well over half a million people have seen it around the world you can't really find out what its about so you can't really spoilt it and that is such as joy because that's been one of our things, I just cannot bear spoilers, I cannot bear the trailers that f*****g ruin everything I hate them, and Lionsgate have been amazing because we were so passionate about that and they've crafted, with a company called Intermission and with us, and we've all worked together and they've been absolutely on board with that. Those trailers they've produced have been so brilliant because they give you the tone, they give you just enough without spoiling, there are no key moments spoilt and that's a really brilliant achievement on their part.

HC: What's it like adapting such a major stage hit for the big screen and how did you make any major changes?

AN: Yes, hugely so. The basic secrets and the basic three stories of the play are the same. What's really changed is the major driving narrative of the piece has had to really change and that's been incredibly exciting. You know, its very daunting initially especially when something is put together in the way Ghost Stories is where it's a very complex jigsaw its really daunting pulling it apart and trying to put the jigsaw back together again with new pieces but what is exciting is that the driving narrative is completely different and it very much makes it its own beast from the play so these two things that are fundamentally the same have their own separate lives with their own twists and surprises. If you've only seen the film and the play is on and you go and see the play there are twists and surprises that you won't expect.

HC: Did you have a "dream cast" in mind whilst creating the screenplay?

AN: No, we didn't. We sort of had in the back of our minds thinking wouldn't be amazing to get Martin Freeman, but again (laughs) one thing is lying in bed thinking that and the other thing getting the phone call saying he'd love to do it, you know they are very different things and the other thing when you're actually filming it and you're thinking "F*** me!" And then the same with Paul Whitehouse and Alex Lawther who, in the time between us casting him and filming it he was number one on IMDb a couple of weeks ago. It's insane! His star is just rocketing. I have to say they are the key cast I've mentioned when you see the film you'll see every single performance is brilliant. The cast, no matter how big or small it really puts you in the world, we're so proud of them.

HC: When you co-write or co-direct something, how do you decide on what's a good line of dialogue or best take?

AN: We have a very similar taste and then you just, you know one thing is in the actual shoot where you're just doing everything together and then any moments that I was acting in we set the shot up with my double so we could create the shot and I could step in and then the edit, you know, you discuss and wrangle and if there were moments we disagreed on then you, you know, you just work through it. The other thing, we're both passionate about what we like and what we don't like, and you just constantly have to be on your guard that you're dealing with each other with respect and you're trying to hear the other person's point of view. Jeremy had 10 years solid collaborative with The League of Gentlemen who have just rekindled again brilliantly, and I've been with Derren [Brown] for 20 years. So, we're both used to working in collaborations. It's a special thing with the right person.

HC: Is there scope for a Ghost Stories 2, would you ever consider that?

AN: There won't be a Ghost Stories 2 as that would feel like a betrayal of the truth of it but we're certainly working on our next script!

HC: Would it be an anthology movie?

AN: No, not at the moment the thing we're working on is a single story.

HC: Do you have a favourite anthology movie?

AN: Dead of Night! We nostalgically love so many of the others but Dead of Night. The thing we learned from it more than anything is that the strongest story of all them is the main protagonists story because all the others, all of them, the framing devices tend to be, "Welcome to my Antique Shop..." (laughs) We love that, absolutely love it as a framing device but in Dead of Night its like a kick in the bollocks because you realise, in the way we hope with Ghost Stories, the whole world that you've been part of is the very reason for the anthology it's not just an excuse to have three short films.

HC: You're a multi-talented person with many strings to your bow, but what do you like doing, work wise, the most?

AN: Acting is always my primary career, that is what I adore more than anything, but I have to say that directing is a very close second to that.

HC: Andy Nyman, thank you very much.

AN: James, an absolute pleasure.

Ghost Stories is in now in cinemas rated 15.


MORE ARTICLES
David Tennant turns into the Bad Samaritan later this year.
Posted in News, Wednesday 25th April 2018

One bad night - one bad decision - can haunt you forever.

Misfits and Mute star Robert Sheehan goes up against Jessica Jones and Doctor Who's David Tennant, here on sensationally nasty form, in a white-knuckle home invasion thriller from the producers of Independence Day, Bad Samaritan.

Struggling photographer Sean Falco (Sheehan), who funds his lifestyle with a sideline in burglary, thinks he has hit the jackpot when he breaks into the luxurious house of the wealthy Cale Erendreich (Tennant). Things go wrong when Sean discovers a woman chained up in the house. Unable to free her before Cale returns, Sean reluctantly goes to the police to explain what he's seen. By the time they investigate, Cale has cov...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you experience the madness and mania of Gifted?
Posted in News, Wednesday 25th April 2018

In the tradition of Oldboy, I Saw The Devil and Chaser comes one of South Korea's most mesmerising stories of madness and mania that is not for a squeamish - do not say you were not warned...!

There is little doubting that the tension between North and South has led to some of strongest cinematic achievements of recent years. Indeed, the South Korean wave, with its stories of battle-scarred testosterone, living-for-the-moment madness, all-too-fragile psyches and behind-the-doors delirium, has long pointed to an image of shattered innocence and a nation concerned with the future.

Never is this clearer than with 2014's acclaimed and intense shocker Gifted

Directed by Jai-hong Juhn (One Step),...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grizzly - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Sunday 22nd April 2018

Grizzly

88 Films

Certificate 15

The "nature-runs-amok" genre is littered with plenty of forgettable pieces but there are a few gems such as Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972) and Dogs (1976) but apart from Orca: Killer Whale (1977), Grizzly is the one that gets closest to being the most realistic, if you take it with a very large pinch of salt and swap the jaws for paws!

Starring Christopher George and directed by the exploitation master William Girdler, Grizzly traces the bloody rampage of the titular animal who is chomping, tearing and terrorising innocent campers and showcasing a case of insatiable hunger.

This movie is a lot of fun, completely old-school in its se...

SHARE: READ MORE
Pacific Rim Uprising is coming home!
Posted in News, Thursday 19th April 2018

Ten years after the events of the first film, the Kaiju return in Pacific Rim Uprising with a new deadly threat that reignites the conflict between these otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and Jaegers, the human-piloted super-machines that were built to vanquish them. Pacific Rim Uprising arrives on Digital on July 16, 2018, with 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Steelbook and On Demand available on July 30 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Building on the striking visual world created in the first film, Pacific Rim Uprising features a next-generation battleground complete with upgraded Jaegers and new Kaiju that offers a captivating a state-of-the-art spectacle.

John Boyega stars as the r...

SHARE: READ MORE
New label from 101 Films
Posted in News, Thursday 19th April 2018

101 Films are seeking out cult and catalogue films and promising to give them the best releases possible. With their new Black Label, 101 Films is curating a numbered series of dual format limited editions, complete with original artwork and newly-commissioned extras. The Black Label is dedicated to fully doing justice to the very best cult and classic films from some of cinema's most renowned directors, and unearthing hidden gems in luxury packages for the first time.

The first 3,000 copies of each title will come complete with a slipcase, and include a booklet featuring newly written material.

One of their first titles will be from visionary director David Cronenberg w...

SHARE: READ MORE
Sweet Sixteen - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Wednesday 18th April 2018

Sweet Sixteen

88 Films

Certificate 15

Another rarity from the 1980s slasher boom courtesy of 88 Films, this time around its Jim Sotos' Sweet Sixteen. To be brutally honest it's not aged very well but for completists out there I gather that this will still be a must.

Starring Susan Strasberg, Bo Hopkins, Dana Kimmell (straight from Friday the 13th Part III), our very own Patrick MacNee and Don Shanks, who would go on to play Michael Myers in Halloween 5, this is a tale of childhood trauma that crafts a whodunit mystery around a small Texas town where there's mysterious disappearances and a stack of dead bodies. Is the perpetrator male or female? And just what is going on with th...

SHARE: READ MORE
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - New trailer
Posted in News, Wednesday 18th April 2018

It's been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who's still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous...

SHARE: READ MORE
Acclaimed sci-fi thriller Radius amongst four UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in May
Posted in Features, Tuesday 17th April 2018

The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK's most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.

There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labreche and Steeve Leonard's unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller Radius on the 25th.

Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in...

SHARE: READ MORE
Time to discover The Secret of Marrowbone
Posted in News, Friday 13th April 2018


From the writer of The Orphanage and team behind Pan's Labyrinth and A Monster Calls comes The Secret of Marrowbone.

Out in cinemas on Friday 13th July, The Secret of Marrowbone stars George Mackay, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton.

Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant, in this haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sanchez, screenwriter of The Orphanage and The Impossible.

So, here's a treat for you all this Friday the 13th, the brand new trailer for this awesome looking movie.

SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Howling
THE HOWLING
Monday 7th May
10.55 PM
Knowing
KNOWING
Sunday 6th May
9.00 PM
Into The Grizzly Maze
INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE
Tuesday 1st May
9.00 PM