FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG
Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
By James Whittington, 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 movie. For the first time, I knew that directing was something I wanted to do for a living.
You have been second unit director and assistant director on numerous major blockbusters - Sherlock Holmes 2, Inglorious Bastards, G.I. Joe - what was the movie or director you feel you learnt most from?
MT: Tarantino, with no hesitation. Inglorious Bastards was one of my first jobs in the movie business, and I was assistant of the assistant of the assistant. But when you work on the set of someone you admire, It's very special. I learnt that you have to love what you do, and as a director, you have to stay focused on the actors and the scene. Nothing else matters. Working for Quentin Tarantino was my best set experience as an A.D.
What inspired the Hostile script?
A lot of stuff. Hostile is a kind of mix between my two shorts (Sons Of Chaos and Broken). The first is a post-apocalyptic, very low-budget movie, and the second is a romance in an elevator. And If you talk about exterior inspirations, I would say the main one is I Am Legend, the Richard Matheson book. It's my favourite book ever, a masterpiece. I read it twice a year, and it's never the same feeling. Also, I'm a huge fan of the video game The Last Of Us. It has everything: a perfect story, focused on characters but in an original post-apocalyptic context, with never seen creatures, and the end is magic. I'd love to see a movie adaptation of it, but It would be tricky.
Hostile was executive produced by Xavier Gens and stars Brittany Ashworth from his new movie The Crucifixion. Can you talk about his influences and that of recent extreme French genre titles?
MT: Xavier is a good friend of mine, and also my mentor since the beginning. He's the one who presented me to FullTime Films producers (Thomas Lubeau, Eric Gendarme and Olivier Chateau) as they were looking for projects. We all met at the Cannes film fest in 2015, and two years later, here we are! He also helped us to find Brittany Ashworth, as he had worked with her on The Crucifixion. Hostile is not influenced by any of them, but I'm very happy that all those movies got made. You know, in France, It's not easy to do that kind of extreme genre movie.
Hostile builds to a wonderful emotional epiphany. Was the story all about leading to that rare moment in zombie movies?
MT: It's the first scene that came to my mind before writing the script, and without spoiling it, it was also the best moment on set. It was just magical - the natural light at that exact time (D.O.P's calls it the "magic hour").The team was speechless, and in my mind, I knew It worked. Often, as a director, you have to wait to be in the editing room to be hundred percent sure a scene works, but for that one, I knew on set.
None of this would work unless you cared about the characters, especially Juliette. Did her back-story change through successive drafts of the screenplay?
MT: Not complete scenes, but dialogue and actions changed a lot. I'm a very collaborative director with my actors, and I want them to dig into the characters, try stuff, fail sometimes, but always try to go further. And they did, every time. Juliette's backstory has been completed by Brittany. I gave her some intentions, but asked her to find a personal story, why she came to New-York and what happened in the first years of her post-apocalyptic life. We talked a lot about it, very detailed stuff that only her and I know. Actually, we could easily do a prequel about it!
We love Gregory Fitoussi in the UK because of the French law and order drama Spiral. Was that a reason for casting him as Jack?
MT: I really wanted someone with a true charisma. Gregory is one of those guys. He could just walk in the room and you feel it. It's a very rare power. And also, we worked a lot together on the character, to keep his French touch intact, but not fall in the cliche. Jack needed to be very confident, strong and mysterious. He's the entire reason for the flash-backs, so we had to keep in mind that Juliette felt secure with him, and that's what she doesn't have any more in the present.
And we also love Javier Botet who seems to be in so many movies at the moment. What did he add to his Living Dead role that no one else could have?
MT: Two things: the first is obvious, and that's why he's in all those movies. (REC, Mama, Alien: Covenant, IT). He has an incredible body, and he uses it like magic. When you see him working, it's just insane. The movements he performs, the way his thin body moves. He's a piece of art. The second thing: he's a very good actor, and that's vital for that kind of role. You can't imagine how hard it is to express yourself under the makeup. And Javier does it perfectly.
Your feature debut; what was the biggest learning curve you hadn't expected?
MT: That you have to sleep an entire month to get back on your feet! More seriously, I would say It was very hard to go from one team to another, as our shoot was only 24 days, in three different continents. So we had the New York Unit, the Morocco Unit and the Paris Unit, with different crews, productions offices, preps, etc... But on the other hand it has been an incredible adventure, and I had the chance to work with all those amazing people.
Will you always stay in horror or is it a stepping stone to other genres? Can you tell us what you're working on at the moment?
MT: Hostile is kind of a two genre movie, I just love to cross lines. But I love horror, sci-fi, thrillers... And I'm working on a very crazy project right now. It should be official soon, but I just can say that it's a sci-fi-fi/horror movie with a unique concept. We are in the casting phase right now, with the same producers at FullTime Films, and we will shoot it next spring. I can't wait to talk about it, and I hope we will see each other again at FrightFest next year to show it!
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 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 FrightFest: Day 1 was all about the doll!
Posted on Friday 25th August 2017
The Cineworld in Leicester Square looks amazing and with the Horror Channel name all over the place you can't fail to notice that something special is taking place.
Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 kicked off with one of the busiest Media Wall events I've ever seen. Jennifer Tilly, Fiona Dourif and Don Mancini plus a little guy named Chucky were there and the crowds and journalists loved it! Each one spoke at length about their new movie, Cult Of Chucky which received its World Premiere and although Chucky didn't say too much we kept our eye o...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 2nd December
Tuesday 28th November
Thursday 23rd November