LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Corin Hardy, director of The Nun
By James Whittington, Sunday 20th January 2019
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 always on the lookout for something I can get my teeth into something that has a rich world within in it. When I read The Nun script which was a very fast read written by Gary Dauberman and James, it really surprised me it was almost an adventure/mystery story which took place in the 1950s and it had this great environment of graphic, gothic horror to it with castles in remote hills and cemeteries and really reminded me of the horror movies I grew up watching loved with that embodied that era of horror and it wasn't cynical it wasn't spoofing anything.
HC: Yeah, I think the way it captured a sort of "classic Hammer" vibe and the feeling of those much-loved movies is why it grabbed the audience.
CH: That's really cool. I'm glad you've said that. Secretly that's my most proud feeling is people saying, and not in a nostalgic way, as we tried to make something that was a blend of old school and gothic horror with a contemporary feel and wasn't cynical it was respectable to those, so it was a bit of a ride it was a bit of fun.
HC: I think the way in which the film is shot, its framing, the well-timed and executed jump-scares without over-doing it, it feels fresh without losing its "classic vibe".
CH: That's great and that was really the intention when I got Maxime Alexandre, the DOP we sort of sat down and talked about classic movies, I put together a kind of mood book like a visual guide of all the movies I felt we could take inspiration from and the kind of lighting that we could go with so just to try and make it no too hand held and kind of go with solid camera set ups that we on dolly tracks and cranes almost like relatively sort of slow paced in some ways and equally bouncing in the scares and what becomes quite a relentless set of sequences.
HC: Were you nervous when you said "Yes" to directing The Nun and if you could keep up the quality of The Conjuring series?
CH: Not nervous because I suppose, I felt quite at home straight away with it, I felt like I knew where James was coming from and where those movies were coming from and when I flew over to LA and met with James and New Line and Gary, and its an over-used phrase but it was like being part of a family as New Line has made some of the greatest horror movies over the last 30 years. Its done movies with James, James is a real horror fan, Gary is a real horror fan, so I guess it would have been fearsome if I had met a bunch of executives who didn't give a sh*t about horror! We were able to chat about cool stuff, talk through what we wanted the movie to be and James was like the advocate of pushing it to be a very different Conjuring movie, he wanted it to be a hark back to classic, gothic horror which was nice to hear because that's what I thought we were doing. It was more when leading up to the movie's release that you suddenly go, "Sh*t" and remembered something and "Will this one sink the franchise!"
HC: It's got a great cast. Were you involved or were they attached when you came on board?
CH: I was involved. Again, what I love and what James has set a famous bar for, especially with The Conjuring with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, which again feels like what someone like William Friedkin did in the 70s, was casting these amazing actors in a horror movie and played it straight and respectfully and we wanted to continue that. Demian Bichir is someone who I'd seen play Che in the Castro movies and Tarantino's The Hateful 8, loved the idea of playing this slightly older character, playing a sort of grizzled, "Dirty Harry" and we really wanted an actor for Sister Irene who was fresh faced, and naive in a certain way and originally The Studio wanted a European or British actress and I saw hundreds of them, some brilliant English actresses as well and every one I was almost reluctant to even contemplate Taissa Farmiga being Vera's sister and would seem like I hadn't even bothered to do any homework or even bothered to try but when I saw Taissa's audition she was just so unique, it was what you look for as a director when you're casting. When you see someone in an audition and you go, "Right, no way can anyone else do this role, she's 100% perfect." And then Jonas Bloquet came in and he is a Belgian actor who lives in Paris and he has an authentic French accent, we all just had a really good time shooting it and everyone genuinely got along very well. You see all these press junkets where everyone is saying they loved everyone, but these really were close friends and kept in touch.
HC: I have to agree on the casting, especially Taissa who has this innocent face that's perfect for the role.
CH: She's got this, well, what it was when she did this audition she was performing against this grey person where she had to convince me she was seeing something terrifying and when I watched it the hairs went up on arms and I felt I could see what she was seeing by looking at her eyes. If someone can do that in an audition with nothing there you know you're going to go fine in the movie. It was pretty gruelling, we did a lot of night shoots, she was running around graveyards in bare feet and having to dig graves and go in the water and she was quite terrified in real life of the demon nun played by Bonnie Aarons (laughs). They were perfect.
HC: That leads nicely to my next question, what was the hardest scene or sequence to shoot?
CH: Its hard when you go in the water tank, I wanted to push for that as I wanted the environment to expand as you got deeper into the story to push this water element in and its tricky when you've an actor like Bonnie in full contact lenses and Nun habit and she has to be raised up and down in the water. That was hard and the geography as we shot in a real castle in different parts of Romania and Transylvania and they had to link up with sets in the studio. We had a beautiful castle in Transylvania, but the rooms didn't connect in the way you want them to do in the script and you have to work around tourist visits. The combination of Jennifer Spence, the production designer did some smart and beautiful set designs in the studio and by the nature of it we had to shoot at night in a castle by candle light in cemeteries required a lot of Taissa walking around in a nightdress holding a candle. And then obviously the scares themselves, the way we articulated them in story arcs and the movie itself needs an arc with rhythm then break the rhythm for the audience. I like the environment for the movie automatically gives this foundation for fear then you have to build off that and build on the suspension of belief throughout the whole movie with different types of scares.
HC: Would you go back to The Conjuring universe
CH: Of course!
HC: What are you working on at the moment?
CH: I'm working on a number of movies that I continue to develop in the back ground whilst whatever I'm making. I'm also in the thick of pre-production of my first TV show which is called Gangs of London, a drama I'm shooting three episodes so we're gearing up to shoot and there's no monsters!
HC: Corin Hardy, thank you very much.
MORE INTERVIEWS Brand new interview with Dee Wallace, star of Cujo, The Howling and now Beyond the Sky
Posted on Sunday 12th May 2019
Dee Wallace is one of those people who seems to have be around forever and yet never ages in enthusiasm or her ability to bring to life some of cinema's most memorable characters. With a resume that includes E.T., The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo and now Beyond the Sky, we chatted to Dee about her career to date and how she prepares for each acting project.
HC: What made you want to be an actress?
DW: Oh, you know... I was born! (laughs) Seriously, I think creative people are just born to be creative and they have to find an outlet for that. My mother also was a beautiful actress, locally in my hometown and did all the plays at church so I think I naturally found my way into a family that supporte...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
Posted on Friday 10th May 2019 Stewart Bridle is Horror Channel's longest serving Channel Manager. He has guided Horror for almost a decade and has managed to bring to our screens many classics as well as introducing us to some new horror movie talent. In this, our 15th anniversary month we chat to Stewart about his role and some of the juicy pieces he has lined up for the rest of 2019.
HC: Have you always been a horror movie fan?
SB: Yes! I've always been interested and fascinated with horror and all genre stuff. I have an older brother who would manage to rent or get bootleg VHS of some great horror titles and I have memories of watching things like the original Dawn Of The Dead or slashers like The Burning while far too youn...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with exploitation legend David McGillivray
Posted on Wednesday 24th April 2019 Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Pete Walker's Schizo on April 27th, horror and sexploitation movie writer/director David McGillivray reflects on disastrous scripts, his volatile relationship with Walker and writing smut for Julian Clary.
Q: Schizo is unusual in your body of work with director Pete Walker because the concept and narrative were not of your choosing. How much of a problem was that for you?
DM: Huge. I thought the script that we re-worked was terribly old-fashioned and this led to big arguments with Walker that ended our relationship.
Q: You often play a cameo in the movies you've written - you're 'Man at Seance' in Schizo. Any particular reason?
DM:...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Abner Pastoll, director of Road Games
Posted on Thursday 21st March 2019
Horror Channel loves to promote new talent in the industry and one of the most exciting new directors around is Abner Pastoll. His first feature, Road Games, is an adrenaline packed killer of a thriller which is showing on the channel on March 22nd at 9pm. We decided to chat to Abner about this tense movie and his plans for the future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?
AP: Yes. I remember being as young as 4 or 5 and just knowing with such clarity that I needed to make films. My family had a cinema, drive-in and video store, all of which certainly enhanced my obsession with movies of all shapes and sizes.
HC: Was there one film t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Zach Lipovsky, director of Leprechaun: Origins.
Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019
On March 1st, Horror is bringing you the UK TV premiere of a real corker of a shocker, Leprechaun: Origins. The movie follows two couples backpacking through the Irish countryside who end up spending the night in an old cabin, and learn the terrible truth about Ireland's most famous legend. So begins a living nightmare... The movie is a smart entry into the franchise so we decided to chat to its director, Zach Lipovsky.
HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to work in this industry?
ZL: Yes, I grew up as a child actor. Mostly as an excuse to be on set and not at school. I was quickly more interested in making movies than acting and from the age of 10 started shooting silly pro...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tom Paton, director of Redwood
Posted on Monday 4th February 2019
Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Redwood, director Tom Paton reveals the secrets of his prolific work-rate, talks about tackling the subject of fake news and the twists and turns of his new film Stairs.
HC: Redwood gets its UK TV premiere on Friday 8 February, courtesy of Horror Channel. Excited or what?
TP: Honestly, I'm so proud that Redwood has made its way onto Horror Channel. I've been a huge fan since the channel launched and over the past decade I've discovered so many horror gems on there from classic through to films I'd never heard of but now love. It feels incredible to know that someone might discover Redwood in the exact same way.
HC: Is it true y...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with journalist and documentary maker Calum Waddell
Posted on Saturday 2nd February 2019
Calum Waddell has been involved in writing, reviewing, making documentaries and teaching about movies for over a fifteen years. His knowledge on cult movies has been used by such labels as Arrow Video and 88 Films as well as appearing in magazines such as Total Film, Fangoria and DarkSide.
We managed to talk to Calum about the ups and downs of his career and his plans for the future.
HC: When did you decide that you wanted to become a journalist?
CW: I am not sure I ever was a journalist [laughs]. Maybe just a for-hire film writer more than anything else! But my biggest inspiration about cinema was and still is Kim Newman, whose work I discovered at a very young age...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Iain Ross-McNamee director of Crucible of the Vampire
Posted on Sunday 27th January 2019
Making its World Premiere at Cannes Film Festival and garnering rave reviews at other major festivals, Iain Ross-McNamee's gothic chiller Crucible of the Vampire is set to arrive in UK cinemas on 1 February.
This will be followed by its home entertainment release on 4 February on dual format DVD and Blu-ray and on digital platforms courtesy of Screenbound Entertainment.
Here he chats about this retro-feeling piece of cinema.
HC: What inspired you to write Crucible of the Vampire?
IRM: I chose the location first and wrote the story around it with my two co-writers, John Wolskel and Darren Lake. The idea of people ...SHARE: READ MORE 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
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...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Leprechaun Returns director Steven Kostanski
Posted on Monday 17th December 2018
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...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Bill Watterson director of Dave Made a Maze
Posted on Sunday 4th November 2018
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...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 24th August
Sunday 25th August
Wednesday 28th August