ARTICLES

FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG


Interview With Dominic Brunt Director Of Bait
By James Whittington, Saturday 29th August 2015
dominic_brunt Though Dominic Brunt is well known on TV as Emmerdale's super vet Paddy, he's making big waves as a director. His first movie, Before Dawn is a huge Horror Channel favourite and his latest movie, Bait is getting a special preview today at FrightFest.

Here Dominic chats about his movies and his future directorial plans.

HC: Your first movie, Before Dawn was a huge success, were you tempted to do another horror movie?

DB: I'll definitely make more horror movies. We're in pre-production with two over the next four years at the moment. That's where my heart is. I think even though "Bait" is a thriller, there's enough show off gore and violence to entertain the horror crowd.

HC: What pressure did Before Dawn’s success create when you were looking for your next project?

DB: None really. I look at Before Dawn now with fondness but I'd like to completely re-film the whole thing (I never will) with all the knowledge and confidence we've gained as film makers over the last five years. It was done on the cheap and supposed to be released on a tiny label but then FrightFest, the Horror Channel and Metrodome got hold of it and it sailed happily away. I am proud of the film and it taught us so much. I like to think "Bait" is a huge step forward from there.

HC: How did you decide that Bait was right to be your second feature?

DB: Paul Roundell's writing just jumps off the page and is so truthful and authentic. It gave us the confidence to approach potential backers. I just knew someone would bite.

HC: Did you add or take anything away from the script when you first read it?

DB: The story is inspired by three real life situations involving loan sharks. It was just a case of embellishing what had actually happened. Paul then wrote this as the screenplay which really didn't need touching.

HC: The central leads give astonishing performances that lift this way above your standard revenge film, how did you go about casting the film?

DB: Joanne Mitchell (Dawn) and Victoria Smurfit (Bex) where at drama school together and have been best friends ever since. I knew if we could get them both, the relationship they have on screen would be organic and palpable from the start. There's love there and they deeply care for each other in real life. I like the fact that Paul wrote them as chalk and cheese but Bex allows Dawn to be herself without judgement and vice versa. You already empathise with them before it all goes terribly, terribly wrong for them. Jonathan Slinger (Jeremy) has spent ten years playing all the main parts for the RSC and is in fact one of the best stage actors this country has produced. I knew he'd be great on film too. As I found, it's always worth asking.

HC: What sort of a budget did you have?

DB: A big one.

HC: The script is incredibly strong in tone, what was it like on set?

DB: It was very professional and strict which was important if we wanted to get it finished on time and within budget. Working with other people’s money does wonders to concentrate your mind. But it was also great fun and I laughed an awful lot. Working with such a great cast and crew was utterly thrilling. 73 of us all together! There are so many locations involved with the film. It never stops moving from one place to the next. We were a travelling circus until the last week which was studio bound special effects and fights.

HC: There are some moments of unflinching violence, how important was it to you not to cut away?

DB: Well, the first show of violence in the pub, we do cut away on purpose to lull the viewer into a false sense of security. From then on we keep the camera there to show everything. You need to want the baddies dead. You have to see what these bastards are capable of doing, every day, as a job.

HC: How do you prepare for and direct such violent sequences?

DB: The dichotomy is that violence is huge fun to film. There are then questions as to whether we stick to a moral duty or ethics and still show off what we can do. All the violence is within the context of the story and everyone pays the consequences for their actions.

HC: I feel that the film has something to say about today’s society and the dangerous situations people can get themselves in, would you agree?

DB: It's exactly about that and also allegorical of the bigger picture with the banks and their impact on society. When economics rule a land without a shred of empathy or an inclusion of philosophy. Also a huge theme for me was the production of sociopathy in society and the way we excuse extreme behaviour as being "Evil". This lets us all off the hook. "It's nothing to do with us, they are simply evil". Well evil does not exist. So, what then?

HC: Are you nervous that it’s getting a special preview at FrightFest?

DB: Yes. Very. We have three showings on the main screen on Saturday 29th August 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

HC: Will you watch with the audience?

DB: The first ten minutes then the last ten.

HC: So, what projects are you working on next?

DB: Jo is working on the pre-production for Attack Of The Adult Babies which is a very British satirical slapstick horror feature in pre-production. Also something next year as a hired director which I so wish I could tell you more about but I can't. Yet.

HC: Dominic Brunt, thank you very much.


MORE FRIGHTFEST
Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017

Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...

Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?

DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017

Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.

You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?

MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017

Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.

It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?

MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017

Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.

Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?

CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.

How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?

CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?

Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2017 event
Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017

Horror Channel FrightFest Halloween 2017 unleashes seven choice shockers for the 7th annual West End Halloween chillorama - a wits-end wallow in all things gruesome, gory and glorious.

This year, the all-day shocktoberfest is at the Empire Haymarket on Sat Oct 28, 2017 and embraces one world, one European and five UK premieres, spanning three continents.

From the emotional making of a low-budget slasher to zombie nightmares, Gothic horrors, an outrageously strange mind cult, a sci-fi alien action extravaganza, a comic strip creature feature and the last word in Killer Clowns, this year-s line-up is an eclectic mix of the quirky, unusual and extreme.

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director sai...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017

One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.

HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?

DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest Day 5: Organs, pumpkins and emojis!
Posted on Tuesday 29th August 2017

The final day of Horror Channel FrightFest is usually the most anticipated especially towards the final movie of the event, more on that later. There was so much going on with what possibly be the strongest line up of the whole festival.

Anyone with even just the passing interest in cinema couldn't have failed to have been impressed by Lowlife, the superb thriller from Ryan Prows. When a simple organ-harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society's forgotten and ignored: El Monstruo, a disgraced Mexican Wrestler working as hired muscle for the local crime boss; Crystal, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black-market kidney transplant to save her husband's life; and Randy, a t...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017

More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?

MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest Day 4: No more camping holidays for me!
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017

Sunday is traditionally a more quiet day at Horror Channel FrightFest as the attendees gear up for a fourth day of cutting edge horror cinema.

This wasn't the case as the event packed as much violence, blood, gore, tension, skin-crawling and gory programme of movies yet!

Killing Ground, an Australian bushland nerve shredder is an exceptionally tight piece of work that tells a story retrospectively and then brings everything up to date in one, nail-biting conclusion. It's strange to find a movie set in the open claustrophobic but this truly is. It's also incredibly heartfelt and honest, no one is safe in this movie believe me.

We were back in Blightly for the next premiere which was the v...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest Day 3: It's time for a change
Posted on Sunday 27th August 2017

A day of premieres waited for us on day 3 of Horror Channel FrightFest. It was also the day of two incredibly inventive and most talked about movies of the whole event, Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies and Adam Green's Victor Crowley.

Over in the Discovery Screens attendees had the chance to watch a gripping, psychological thriller, Diane. This complex, emotional and satisfying piece concerns one man's descent into a forgotten hell. The two leads, Carlee Avers and Jason Alan Smith bring a real life emotional depth (they are married in real life) to their characters. Played totally straight, the movie touches on areas few movies do and delivers a soulful and emotional conclusion. Another Frig...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sally Dexter, star of Attack of the Adult Babies
Posted on Saturday 26th August 2017

Sally Dexter is one of the UK's most respected actresses. Her performances on stage and screen have lead to acclaimed and awards over the last few decades. Now, Sally is the star of Dominic Brunt's incredible film, Attack of the Adult Babies, so we chatted to her about this unique movie.

HC: You've had an incredible career gaining huge acclaimed across both sides of the Atlantic, how did you get your first acting break?

SD: I guess it was at drama school- I went to LAMDA and we did a musical 'Babes in Arms' for our final show- I guess it suited my voice or something 'cos I got offers from 13 agents!!! I was flabbergasted!!!

HC: Are you a fan of the horror genre?

SD: I'...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest Day 2: Witness the birth of a legend
Posted on Saturday 26th August 2017

Day two of Horror Channel FrightFest delivered some incredible pieces of cinema and even at times, it was educational!

Freehold is an atmospheric and emotional piece of film. Its begins traditionally enough as a home invasion movie, but it transforms into something far more sensitive. Javier Botet is superb as the stranger in the home of a once happy couple. His bizarre chats to two pigeons (its original title) at first seems odd but you discover the full story behind his reason for being there. I won't spoil it too much but it's a real highlight so far of the festival.

Over in the Prince Charles Cinema (where we'll be broadcasting Facebook Live tonight at around 7pm) we were treated to...

SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Happening
THE HAPPENING
Tuesday 19th December
9.00 PM
Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort
WRONG TURN 6: LAST RESORT
Sunday 17th December
10.50 PM
The Descent
THE DESCENT
Wednesday 20th December
9.00 PM