ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
By James Whittington, Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald

Chad Archibald has been behind a number of FrightFest favourites in the past including Bite which is showing on Horror in September. With is latest movie, I'll Take Your Dead wowing audiences at FrightFest we chatted to Chad.

HC: We last spoke a few years back about your fabulous movie, Bite, I loved it, and would you consider a Bite 2?

CA: I would love to do a Bite 2 if there was enough demand for it. Bite was the most fun I've had making a movie and I think if we made a second, we would just amp it all up. More goo, more gore, more laughs. I've got tons of ideas already so it's never off the table.

HC: Where did the story of I'll Take Your Dead come from?

CA: Years ago, I was hired to do a film that was meant to keep kids out of gangs. It was government funded and, for research for the writer, I was flown to most of the major cities in Canada to interview kids in shelters that have been affected by gang violence and manipulation. It was an eye opening experience. I didn't realize how common serious gang activity was in Canada and how so many good people get sucked in. I'd speak to parents who worked normal 9-5 office jobs and one day they ran into the wrong person and it changed their lives. A lot of gangs use fear to manipulate people into doing what they want and that's how these good people would end up going down a horrible path. When I finally got home, I started writing I'll Take Your Dead.

HC: It's very different from your other movies, do you deliberately move from genre to genre to keep your work fresh?

CA: Absolutely, we've created 10 films in the last 5 years and we never want to make the same film twice. We want to always stay fresh for audiences but also for ourselves. Always challenge ourselves and with I'll Take Your Dead, we wanted to create a blended genre film that had a lot of heart, some solid scares, and mix it with a bit of a Canadian western.

HC: How did you get such an amazing cast together?

CA: They did great eh! We made an offer to Aidan as we've seen him in many films over the years. We knew he could play the strong silent type that could explode if backed in a corner. We did extensive auditions for both Gloria and Jackie's roles. When Ava Preson auditioned for Gloria, we knew right away that she was perfect. The second she left the room we all erupted in how great she was and we were lucky enough to get her in the film. She's become a fan favourite and deserves every bit of praise that's been sent to her. Jess was actually in Spain and sent in a video audition. It was great and after asking around, we heard the most amazing things about her talent on and off camera. She was a dream to work with and brought the edge that Jackie's character needed. Lastly, Ari Millen who play's Reggie, is a good friend of ours and such a talented human being. We knew right away that he was perfect for Reggie and he nailed that cocky, arrogant character to a T.

HC: Was it all shot on location and if so, how hard was it as it seemed to have been in the middle of winter?

CA: It was 85% shot on location in the dead of the Canadian winter. The house was basically abandoned so we went in and thawed it out. It was like a frozen tomb and we had to bring in industrial furnaces to heat the house while filming. We really wanted to capture that desolate feeling that you get when you live in the middle of nowhere in the winter. I grew up in a farmhouse in the country and man when you are snowed in, you feel alone in the world and that's how we wanted William and Gloria to feel. The basement of the house was actually a set that we built. It was just too hard to find a farmhouse that had a big enough basement for us to create the burnt man's home.

HC: The way you crank up the tension is perfectly paced, how hard is it to achieve this as a director?

I'll Take Your Dead (Poster - Web) (1)

CA: I think a lot of it is created at script stage. If you're not feeling it when you read the script, it's going to be hard to create it on set. I think it's a flaw of a lot of indie filmmakers (and I've learned from making the mistake) but assuming that when you get on set with the cameras and lighting and cast, you'll be able to create tension and suspense that's not coming across in the script. Get it on paper! If you feel it during the read, it's much more achievable to capture it on camera. A great cast helps too.

HC: The special effects are very subtle, was this deliberate, as not to distract from the complex relationships between the main characters?

CA: We never meant this film to be horribly gruesome even though the concept sounds like something that could be really gory. Anytime I hear the word "Butcher" in a horror movie, I think of a cheesy hick in a blood covered room with a huge cleaver and a bloody apron. I really wanted to stay away from making the gore too sensationalized. I want it more about seeing how this man deals with what he's been forced to do. For him, it's like cutting up a cow to package and sell... But it's obviously not a cow. I wanted it to more about the people that the blood and guts.

HC: Do you believe that there is some sort of "afterlife?"

CA: I think I do but I don't think it's anything like anyone on this planet imagines it. I think it's something we really can't comprehend yet. I guess I would say I think there's some sort of afterlife that has more of a scientific explanation than a godly one. Maybe in a thousand years, if we're all still here, we'll know the science of the human spirit and that's will be where some of the answers to afterlife will come from.

HC: We are currently showing The Drownsman on Horror, what are your recollections on the making of this movie?

CA: Oh man, The Drownsman was the hardest shoot of my life! We built The Drownsman's basement set in the middle of a field on an apple orchard. We had no money to make this movie so it was just a bunch of friends working to achieve something so ambitious. The insane challenges we had with water, and heating water, and moving water and containing water were endless! It was a journey and to this day when I see someone who worked on The Drownsman, we share an unspoken moment of respect for what we went through and what we managed to pull off.

HC: After all these years do you get nervous when your movies are shown at festivals?

CA: I hate watching films I directed with an audience. I usually watch it once at the world premiere then never again. I feel like all I can see is what's wrong with the film or what we never had the budget to achieve or what I would go back and change. That being said, it's such a great feeling seeing an audience laugh at a joke, jump at a scare, or cry at a performance... Or puke at a disgusting scene ha ha.

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

CA: We just wrapped Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment's latest feature called "The Oak Room" which is directed by Cody Calahan and is starring RJ Mitte and Peter Outerbridge. It's a thriller mystery that once again captures Canada's cold northern winters. It's very different than anything we've done in the past and we think it's going to be something pretty special. Can't wait for it to get out to the world!

HC: Chad Archibald, thank you very much.


Related show tags: BITE, FRIGHTFEST, THE DROWNSMAN
MORE FRIGHTFEST
Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019

In the bizarre and gruesome comedy/horror Porno, Abe, played by Evan Daves is a burgeoning pervert with a guilty conscience who works in a cinema and ends up battling a demon! Here, Evan tells all about this gory story. (Headshot - Matthew Murphy)

HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?

ED: I had the audition come in through my agent. Adrienne Stern, the casting director, is great; she actually cast me in my first movie when I was 13, a comedy called "Harold" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Since then she's always been kind enough to bring me in for projects that I'm right for. When I saw her name in the breakdown I knew it would be a wacky, cool project - she has a great eye for that stuff...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sara Garcia, star of True Fiction
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019

FrightFest 2019 was contained some of the best psychological thrillers we've seen in a long time. One of the finest was Braden Croft's True Fiction which boasts incredible performances from John Cassini and Sara Garcia. We chatted to Sara about her role of lonely librarian, Avery Malone.

HC: Did you always want to be an actress when you were growing up?

SG: I've always been a performer. As a child my parents encouraged my artistic side through dance classes, singing lessons and after school performing arts programs. When I was very young, I dreamed of being a singer and as a grew older I gravitated more towards the dramatic arts. I didn't seek acting out as a profession until later in life. I fel...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Fernando Alle, writer and director of Mutant Blast
Posted on Thursday 29th August 2019

One of the wildest and most bizarre movies of FrightFest 2019 was Fernando Alle's gore-splattered sci-fi inspired feature, Mutant Blast. Here, he tells us the story about making this crazy piece of celluloid.

HC: Regular FrightFest goers will know you from your pieces Banana Motherf**ker and Papa Wrestling, why has it been so long for Mutant Blast to come along?

FA: I started making this film in 2012, and it has indeed been far too long. I figured that making a feature film would be 10 times harder than making a short film, but in fact it is at least 100 times harder. I am glad I was naive, because otherwise I would have cut a lot of stuff from the script and the film would not have turned out ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento is coming soon from FAB Press
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

To his legion of admirers Dario Argento is a horror legend of the greatest magnitude. And to his genre filmmaking contemporaries he's an inspiration and an icon. Now, thanks to FAB Press we can get the whole story on this cinematic legend in the book, Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento.

For many years Argento's ground-breaking shockers like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebrae and Opera meant box-office gold. Now the maverick auteur, lauded as the Italian Hitchcock and the Horror Fellini, has written his autobiography, revealing all about his fascinating life, his dark obsessions, his talented family, his perverse dreams, and his star-crossed ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Abner Pastoll director of A Good Woman is Hard to Find
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

A few years back we met director Abner Pastoll at the world premiere of his thriller, Road Games. 2019 and he's back with his new movie, A Good Woman is Hard to Find so we caught up with him just before its premiere at FrightFest 2019.

HC: We first met when you unleashed the "killer of a thriller" Road Games, what have you been up to since then?

AP: Making this new film! And trying to stay alive.

HC: How did you become connected to A Good Woman is Hard to Find?

AP: I was looking for a writing partner to collaborate with. My producer knew a great agent so reached out to him, asking for writing samples from some of his clients. One of those 'samples' happened to be a...

SHARE: READ MORE
Not with a whimper but with a bang! FrightFest 2019 comes to a close
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

The final two movies of FrightFest 2019 gave the crowd exactly what they wanted from the festival; invention, fun and truly shocking cinematic moments.

The much talked abut Rabid remake from Jen and Sylvia Soska didn't disappoint and delivered a smart updating of the David Cronenberg classic. Rose wants to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves her scarred beyond recognition. Undergoing a radical untested stem cell treatment, wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball and starts to realize her ambitions. But everything in life comes at a price and Rose's newfound perfection is no exception as she unwittingly sets off a bloody spiral of contagion. Well-paced wi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds director of The Barge People
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019
Ever wanted a horror movie set on a canal boat? Well your dream has come true with Charlie Steeds' new movie The Barge People.

HC: Looking at your CV you seem to be a big fan of the horror genre, can you recall which film inspired your career?

CS: Absolutely, I'm a horror fanatic, that's why I'm making horror films! I got hooked on this genre by watching Stephen King adaptations. I looked for anything with King's name on and knew I'd love it, this one guy's imagination produced a whole world of unique horror stories, the Stephen King brand, it still amazes me.

HC: Has any one director or other creative influenced your work?

CS: I'm a huge fan of Lucio...

SHARE: READ MORE
Where did that time go? Day 5 of FrightFest has dawned
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019

Hard to believe but in a blink of an eye the final day of FrightFest 2019 has dawned but the festival is going out with a real bang with a programme packed with some of the strongest movies from the entire event playing today.

Brian Hanson's The Black String allows Frankie Muniz to really get his teeth into a mature role and he carries it off perfectly. A slacker goes on a blind date with a strange woman, and his world suddenly begins to unravel in horrifying fashion as he's plagued by paranoia, illness and nightmarish visions. Part social commentary part tale of a truly lost soul this is smart film that takes us into a life that has been oppressed for so long and when he finally does think ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Justin Edgar director of Stalked
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019

The themes of fear of the unknown and being hunted collide in Justin Edgar's Stalked. Here he talks about the creation of this smart chiller.

HC: Where did the idea for Stalked come from and did it take you long to write?

JE: I believe we're living in a golden age of suspense thrillers and horror and I wanted to be part of that. I knew I had to come up with a cool suspense concept that could form the basis of the film. I've always been very interested in how we all love watching - reality TV, social media, CCTV, surveillance and phone cameras and how that relates to the nature of cinema -voyeurism and scopophilia - the fetish of watching. When I found...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dangerous games and apps from hell, it can only be FrightFest!
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019

A trio of movies brought day 4 of FrightFest to a chilling close as they were a mixture of psychological horror and full out exploitation madness.

Director Adam Egypt Mortimer, a guy who had already impressed FrightFest goers with his brutal movie Some Kind of Hate a few years back brought with him Daniel Isn't Real. Here, a troubled young man's imaginary friend from childhood returns as an adult eager to indulge in darkly disturbing desires. As you might guess this is a film that mixes surreal situations with grim reality and makes for some very memorable set-pieces.

Ready or Not from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett is a cool take on the "I've just married into an incredibly creepy...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Casey Dillard writer and star of Driven
Posted on Sunday 25th August 2019

FrightFest 2019 contains some of the most inventive and rewarding movies that are out there waiting to be discovered. One in particular, Driven is causing a bit of a stir so we chatted to Casey Dillard, writer and star of this smart shocker.

HC: How did the idea for Driven come to you?

CD: Glenn wanted to try to make an "easy" movie that took place entirely in a car, so the concept was his. I came up with the idea of a ride-share driver and passenger. Once I had solid reasons for them to stay within this space the story came easily enough. I enjoy a good curse as long as it isn't put on me.

HC: Did it take long to write?

CD: If you count the time that I actually sat in front of t...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Brett and Drew T. Pierce co-writers and co-directors of The Wretched
Posted on Sunday 25th August 2019

Brett and Drew T. Pierce are firm FrightFest favourites who originally won over the audience years ago with the superb movie, DeadHeads. Noe they're back with another must see movie, The Wretched so we grabbed them for a quick chat.

HC: Is it true your father worked on The Evil Dead?

BP: It's true. He served as the photographic FX artist on the film. Tim Sullivan and he are responsible for the amazing stop-motion melt down sequence in the end of the film. As a kid I snuck into the basement when they were screening the test footage of this for Sam and the crew. Scarred me for life!

HC: We last chatted at FrightFest 2011 with the crowd-pleasing Dead Heads, what have you been up to sin...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Skyline
SKYLINE
Tuesday 24th September
9.00 PM
Lake Placid
LAKE PLACID
Friday 27th September
9.00 PM
Fright Night
FRIGHT NIGHT
Tuesday 1st October
10.55 PM