LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Hattie Smith, star of The Axiom
By James W, Sunday 24th June 2018
The Axiom is a tense and disturbing chiller from director Nicholas Woods. The film concerns a woman who travels into a National forest, in search for her missing sister. Once in the wilderness, they discover they have entered a multi-dimensional world full of monsters. The film is an adrenaline infused experience with some cool effects and a smart story. We chatted to lead actress Hattie Smith about The Axiom.
HC: How did you become involved with The Axiom?
HS: I went to school with Nicholas, the director. We both graduated from Chapman University, and I was a year or so behind him in the film school. At some point, I was recommended to him as an actress for the 48 Hr Film Festival. From there on out, I was always asked back to audition for his projects. I starred in one of his smaller horror shorts several months before the Axiom was completed, and my performance in the short got me an audition for the film. If I remember correctly, when I was first called in, it was to audition for the role of Darcy. After my first read he asked me to review the sides and read for McKenzie. I was called back for McKenzie several weeks later and booked it.
HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it?
HS: When Nicholas first asked me to audition, I wasn't really sure what the scope of the project was. It wasn't until I got my call back and requested to read the full script that I knew. First things first I was super impressed. It was clear how much time went into writing the script. I was honoured to be considered, and I was jumping at the idea of being in it. It would be a huge challenge and no doubt my hands would get messy, which to me is so exciting.
HC: How would you describe your character of McKenzie and how did you prepare to play her?
HS: McKenzie is very interesting. We're not the same person by any means, but I can definitely relate to her determination and dedication. Watching the film it's easy to notice that McKenzie doesn't have a huge amount of lines, which leaves for a lot of "moments". That's why it was so important for me to dive deep into what McKenzie's motivations were to the core. Her family is a huge factor in her decision making, which I can totally relate to. At first glance she is introverted, cynical, and a bit reckless; but when it comes right down to it, all of these attributes are spurred by this love and longing for some type of companionship and purpose. That kind of longing can bring people to put a lot on the line, especially when the "unconditional" love of family is at risk. Substitution played a big role in my preparation. I mentally started putting my own loved ones in the world of the Axiom so I could get a better take on that primal instinct. Then it was just a matter of applying that to my (McKenzie's) sister and brother in the film. I had to keep those relationships as strong as ever so I came up with super intricate back stories and memories. I had a journal. The rest kind of fell into place after that especially when on location. Being in the middle of the mountains is super powerful, especially with the story like the Axiom. They can really transport you.
HC: What does it feel like to be leading a film?
HS: I mean, it's amazing, but the cast/crew was essentially my family during filming. Each character serves such a specific purpose, and without them the story wouldn't flow as well. I will say it was really nice being on set every day and getting to meet and interact with everyone involved. I have a new found respect for leading ladies and men, it was thrilling but exhausting. All in all, I was happy to do my part in carrying the film from point A to point Z. It was a blast!
HC: Which scene was the hardest to film?
HS: It's probably a draw. There's an emotional scene in the cabin right after Edgar and Darcy have their big encounter. Stakes were high for everyone in that scene, and in order to get the best possible coverage we all tried to remain as focused and involved in the scene for every take. There were a LOT of takes. By the end, I needed a nap. The second was most definitely the night shoot. First of all, if you haven't noticed, McKenzie is in very short shorts for the duration of the movie...The temperature on the mountain fluctuated, but at night it was about 25-30 degrees. That night was a toughie. It called for a lot of energy and emotion.
HC: It's an intense movie, what was the atmosphere like on set?
HS: It was a dream. The crew was amazing and completely respectful when heavy scenes were coming up. There were so many talented people working on this film. It was incredibly professional, and so beautiful. Surprisingly enough the cast and I quickly became a quirky little family. We stayed on task, but there was NEVER a dull moment. There were a lot of tears in this movie, but we definitely made up for it in laughs off set.
HC: Are you a horror movie fan?
HS: So long as I'm not by myself in my apartment, YES. I'm a believer in the paranormal so I tend to lose sleep after a good horror film all alone in my apartment. But Halloween has always been and will always be my favourite time of year.
HC: What advice would you give to young actors wanting to break into movies?
HS: Practice patience, and always exercise your craft regardless of the work that's coming or not coming your way. You never know when something big may fall into your lap, and it's your job to make sure you're ready and capable of bringing you're best. Also trust your gut and always try to surround yourself with creative energy.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
HS: I just wrapped my second feature entitled "Silhouette", which should be making the festival rounds in the near future. It's a romantic drama, so quite the opposite of Axiom. I also booked role on a comedic webseries called, "For Evan's Sake". On my own I am working to write and produce some of my own content which is on the dramedy spectrum.
HC: Hattie Smith, thank you very much.
HS: Of course. My pleasure!
Related show tags: THE AXIOM MORE ARTICLES First image from Shane Black's, The Predator
Posted in News, Friday 20th July 2018
The hunt begins...
First revealed last night to a packed-out Hall H, Twentieth Century Fox presented the brand new San Diego Comic-Con poster and image for Shane Black's highly anticipated The Predator (Photo Credit: Kimberley French.)
Starring Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Alfie Allen, Thomas Jane, Augusto Aguilera, Jake Busey and Yvonne Strahovski, The Predator stalks its way into UK cinemas and IMAX 3D from September 12th.
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Bla...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest 2018 announces guest line-up, additional films and long list for Screen Genre Rising Star Award
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 19th July 2018
Two extra films have been added to the record-breaking 2018 line-up: Pimped is director David Barker's modern transgressive erotic thriller, an Hitchcocktail of elevated suspense and shock in the revered style of Brian De Palma, and If you've never seen John Carpenter's Halloween on the big screen, now's your best chance. The inclusion of this 4K restoration needs no explanation in anticipation of a new Michael Myers slasher being released in October. Check screening details on the FrightFest website.
Ahead of single tickets going on sale from Saturday 21st July, 9am, we're thrilled to announce our current slate of guests, which includes Poldark star Aidan Turner, who ...SHARE: READ MORE Coming soon from producer J.J. Abrams, Overlord
Posted in News, Wednesday 18th July 2018
Well, here it is, the new trailer from producer J.J. Abrams, Overlord.
We don't really know much else except its out later in the year! Let us know what you think over at our social channels.SHARE: READ MORE 88 Films pays tribute to the late great Umberto Lenzi with a mega-edition of his all-time terror classic, Eyeball!
Posted in News, Tuesday 17th July 2018
Long since regarded as an underrated name among the top tier Italian terror directors, Umberto Lenzi sadly left us just one year ago. Fans should rejoice as 88 Films have been preparing the ultimate edition of what is widely regarded as his most mesmerising horror hit - the 1975 stalk 'n' slash shocker Eyeball!
In this eerie bout of blood-splashed brilliance, a tour bus visiting some especially scenic Spanish resorts encounters a series of gruesome goings-on when one-by-one various tourists begin to lose their peepers to a red-gloved (yes, not a black-gloved!) slaughterer. It is difficult to predict how this roller-coaster ride of knife-play plasma-spilli...SHARE: READ MORE Production begins on the feature film, Rabid!
Posted in News, Tuesday 17th July 2018
Canadian production company Back 40 Pictures announced today that production has begun in the Greater Toronto Area on the feature film Rabid. Written and Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in A Trunk, American Mary) and John Serge. Rabid stars Laura Vandervoort (Jigsaw) as Rose a demure seamstress who goes through a radical transformation after electing for plastic surgery following a disfiguring accident. Ben Hollingsworth is Brad a fashion photographer. Rabid is a remake of the classic David Cronenberg 1977 horror feature film which was executive produced by Ivan Reitman. Rabid also stars Hanneke Talbot who portrays Rose's best friend Chelsea and Mackenzie Gray ...SHARE: READ MORE 88 Films raises the splatter movie stakes with Italian gore classic Amazonia!
Posted in News, Sunday 15th July 2018
Fans of the video nasty era rocked along to the flesh-feasting greatness of Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and Cannibal Ferox (1981) - but the BBFC were fast to ban such shockers outright, only adding to their controversial legacy. As a result, when Amazonia - also known as White Slave and (wait for it) Cannibal Holocaust 2 - arrived on the horror scene in 1985, no one dared to submit it to the notoriously stringent British censor board.
In today's more lenient times, however, 88 Films is thrilled to bring this macabre masterpiece of late-day Italian exploitation excess to Blu Ray in a new 2k restoration, totally uncut and uncensored - and with all of the colourful creepine...SHARE: READ MORE Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Original Motion Picture Soundtrack details
Posted in News, Friday 13th July 2018
Waxwork Records has announced Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Harry Manfredini.
For the fifth soundtrack installment of the beloved slasher-horror franchise, the Friday The 13th crew reeled back in composer Harry Manfredini to score "A New Beginning" in 1985. Waxwork collaborated closely with composer Manfredini to release the complete and re-mastered original soundtrack which spans two 180 gram "Imposter Jason Blue" vinyl records.
Die hard horror fans, campers, and promiscuous summer camp counselors alike will appreciate this classic soundtrack featuring massive orchestral cues, giant stabs, and the classic "Ki, ...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest and FAB Press launch the FrightFest Guide to Ghost Movies
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 12th July 2018
FrightFest and FAB Press once again join forces to launch The Frightfest Guide To Ghost Movies, which goes on sale during FrightFest 2018, August 23 - August 27.
Following the success of The FrightFest Guide to Exploitation Movies, and The FrightFest Guide to Monster Movies, this is the third in an on-going series of wide appeal books for both the curious spectator and the cult connoisseur.
This year's FrightFest Guide is written by horror genre writer and award-winning filmmaker Axelle Carolyn, who has helmed an atmospheric bone-chiller herself - Soulmate, Axelle is well-versed in all things weird, wicked and witchy and he...SHARE: READ MORE Celebrate Scala Cinema 1978-1993 with this superb new book from FAB Press
Posted in News, Wednesday 11th July 2018
Scala Cinema 1978-1993 is an in-depth and entertaining guide to the history of this legendary London repertory cinema, featuring the complete collection of all 178 iconic monthly programmes. These tell their own unique story about culture and society during a post-punk/pre-internet period of significant change.
From its deep roots in the former site of an ancient concert hall and theatre in Fitzrovia, the Scala moved to the Primatarium, a 1920s picture palace and one-time 70s rock venue in King's Cross. An atmospheric cinema with its mysteriously rumbling auditorium and resident cats, people travelled to the Scala from all over the country for its alchemical mix of Hollywood class...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 29th July
Tuesday 24th July
Saturday 28th July