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Interview with Justin Edgar director of Stalked
By James Whittington, 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 all this conspiracy stuff on the internet about quantum stealth suits, I realised it had great potential as a truly cinematic conceit. Once I'd done the research and had the story outline written, I wrote the first draft of the script in two weeks, writing a strict five pages a day, that's how I always write. For me its the only way - power on through no matter what.

HC: Did you have a cast in mind whilst writing?

JE: No, I didn't have a clue who would play any of the roles and also had an incredibly short casting period. I knew that for the lead character of Sam I'd need someone who was athletic and could handle the physical nature of the role. I offered Rebecca the part on the spot as I had this gut instinct she was right. We did a lot of work mining the script and the character but also the themes which really helped when we got onto set. In very primal terms when you get down to it, this is a battle between the worst instinct of men (power) and best instinct of women (compassion) and that was fun to explore. Rebecca has done a lot of physical theatre and motion capture for Lara Croft video games and that helped a great deal, for example, in the scenes where she's interacting with an invisible foe. We rehearsed those scenes with an actor or stuntman and then took them out when going for a take, and she repeated the movements with great precision. Even if you're low budget, rehearsal is cheap, and I think it paid off as Rebecca is nominated for the Screen Rising Genre Star award at FrightFest.

HC: It's a smart and very original take on the serial killer theme, are you a fan of such movies?

JE: Thanks! Silence of the Lambs is one of my favourite films and the music and sound are awesome. In my mind Hannibal's escape from Memphis Town Hall is the best piece of suspense cinema ever shot. However, what really makes that film are the actors and I think it's interesting that Jonathan Demme was known more as a drama director and that's what he brought to that film. The trick is always to build up the characters so we know how much is at stake, and we the audience will root for them.

HC: Was it all shot on location?

JE: Yes. The film was entirely shot at a virtually deserted factory which used to have hundreds of employees and now has about five. The guys still working there are really friendly chaps, but it's a spooky and vast empty space. I found the factory and then wrote the script around the location. The spot where we filmed the scene where Sam grabs the oxyacetylene cannister is a paint spraying area and we all got high on paint fumes that day. Happy Friday.

HC: The effects are subtle and very well done, did you have much of a budget to play with?

JE: This was a very low budget film and I wanted it to have a very British horror feel. It was always meant to look quite grungy and real and virtually the entire film is handheld. All the effects had to have that feel in order to make it work. The first concept designs for the drone were a bit too "Battle of the Planets" glamour sci-fi with lasers etc. so we had to make it look more battered, as though it was produced as a prototype.

HC: Are you nervous about the film getting its world premiere at FrightFest and will you watch it with an audience?

JE: Definitely nervous but definitely watching it! I've been to Frightfest as a punter lots of times and never thought I'd be here as a filmmaker. I remember seeing Gareth Edwards premiering Monsters at Frightfest a few years back and it was clearly such a big moment for him. This is a mecca for us genre fans and I think I'll be so chuffed to see it up there in front of an audience of people like me. It takes me back to be that 11-year-old reading Starburst magazine under the covers in 1982 and getting excited about cinema.

HC: You're a writer, director and producer, is there one role you enjoy the most?

JE: Definitely directing. I am gregarious and like to be around people and directing actors and creating characters is the best. I don't know if I'm an actor's director (whatever that is!), but I think I get on well with actors.

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

JE: I like robots and have long wanted do a robot movie so I'm planning an action suspense thriller involving a robot. Not sure I want to say any more in case someone pinches my idea!

HC: Justin Edgar, thank you very much.

JE: Thanks!


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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
Posted on 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?

...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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