ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
By James Whittington, 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 valid career choice till in my late teens. At some point I just started to list all the things I wanted to do with my life and the conclusion that I had to become a film director was inescapable.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies?

MB: I'm a big fan of movies in general, but horror I do find particularly exciting. It's such a vast genre which allows you to explore and experience extremes of emotions. A lot of inventive stuff is going on in this field. It deals mainly with fear, and the sometimes successful and sometimes futile attempts at conquering it. It's an important emotion to deal with, I believe, in a medium as cathartic as cinema.

HC: How long did Where the Skin Lies take to write and did it change much over the course of writing?

MB: The script came about in a rather unusual way. It really started with the title and the location where we wanted to film. I pitched those two elements to my older brother David, telling him I wanted to make an ensemble horror film. He quickly came back with a playful concept and I knew we had something valuable from the get-go. David, who is a brilliant software engineer, wrote the first draft in his spare time over the course of four months. From then on, I reworked several drafts, mainly tweaking characters and relationships. But in terms of plot, very little changed. An important aspect of the way I work as a director, though, is eliciting the creative involvement of the cast. We went through a three-week long rehearsal process with a definite 'devising' type feel to it, which is quite unique for genre film. The cast was instrumental in building the characters, the way they relate, and their dialogue. We kept adjusting dialogue and character choreography throughout the shoot itself.

HC: Did the budget restrict anything you wanted to realise on screen?

MB: While working on the first draft, my brother and I continuously discussed what would be feasible on the low budget we'd be working on. The script is partly a product of our budget-consciousness. So, in a sense, we were able to realise everything we wanted on screen, because we didn't write anything that we wouldn't be able to.

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

MB: My original plan was to work mainly with people I knew, including recruiting cast from the Drama Centre London. However, when the delightful Joy Harrison partnered up with me as the producer, she brought with her an extensive expertise and network. This allowed us to hold wider ranging auditions. I'm very happy with the cast we were able to assemble and with what they brought to the film. They were emotionally brave and very generous. It's been really rewarding working with them.

HC: It's your debut feature, did this add pressure whilst you were directing?

MB: Honestly not. I thrive on this kind of stress and it doesn't necessarily feel like pressure to me. It's more like a focussing force. The debut aspect didn't play for me at all. The pressure, if you like, comes from your responsibility to your cast and crew - they invest part of their life in making this film, so I believe it should be time well spent for them - and the responsibility to your audience. You're essentially asking strangers to trust you with an hour or two of their valuable time, and to pay for watching your film. You have to deliver something that makes it worthwhile.

HC: It has some really cool effects, were they tough to realise?

MB: I wanted to work with practical effects as much as possible. Firstly, it gives the cast something tangible to work with; secondly, it provides a more real feel to the environment you present to your audience. Any use of CGI should augment the visuals, never distract from the sense of reality. I had the pleasure of working with Alexandra Knights as SFX designer and artist. We planned and tested all the effects beforehand, which included designing a horrid skin disease from the ground up. The little CGI we used, mainly to clean up some shots and to animate some effects, were done by VC Studios in Belgium. They were very generous with their time, running test after test for me, till we got it just right. I'm very grateful for their commitment to the project.

HC: Are you nervous at all when your movies show at festivals?

MB: Where the Skin Lies has its world premiere at FrightFest 2017, so it will be the first time I'll see the film in a festival context. That's very exciting, of course. I'm looking forwards to seeing how an independent audience will respond to the film as a whole and to all the little bits that you hope elicit certain reactions. We've screened the film privately for the cast and crew, once in the UK and once in Belgium, and I do get nervous the moment the film starts rolling. You're constantly trying to imagine what each scene, each revelation, feels like to someone seeing it for the first time. Filmmaking is all about timing the reveal of bits of information. You don't want to spell everything out to your audience and disrupt the magic, but you don't want to be so obscure that it becomes unreadable, either.

HC: So then, what are you up to now?

MB: I'm writing a survival science-fiction I hope to take into production next year. It will ride that fine line between thriller and survival horror. Building on certain themes from Where the Skin Lies, it's going to be breath-taking in more ways than one. I'm really excited working on it.

HC: Michael Boucherie, thank you very much.

MB: It's my pleasure.


MORE ARTICLES
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Posted in Reviews, Friday 18th October 2019
Ghostland - Music from the Motion Picture
Georges Boukoff, Anthony d'Amario and Ed Rig
The Omega Productions Records

Pascal Laugier's Ghostland (known in the UK as Incident in a Ghostland) was one of the highlights of FrightFest 2018 and proved once and for all that this director was a master of the sinister and murky.

Produced ten years after Martyrs, the movie was more considered in its tension building and was in its strange way a contained a classic fairy tale structure.

The movie concerns the aftermath of a brutal home invasion experienced by Beth along with mother and sister Vera. Forward a few years and Beth is now a horror novelist and has found solace in her w...

SHARE: READ MORE
Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 17th October 2019

Halloween: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Expanded Edition)
Sacred Bones
Double Vinyl

Halloween 2018 was a box-office hit and gave the franchise a much-needed tension injection. It saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and that of original director John Carpenter though he wasn't in the driving seat for this one. Instead he, alongside his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies created the score and delivered an atmospheric piece which retained whispers to the past without drowning in them.

The soundtrack album was a hit as much as the movie was debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you experience Kraken Screamfest: The Director's Cut?
Posted in News, Tuesday 15th October 2019

This Halloween, London braces itself for The Kraken Rum to deliver a unique bar and horror experience like no other, commissioning legendary horror mastermind Neil Marshall to direct every detail of the night. The Kraken Black Spiced Rum is joining forces with the esteemed Hollywood Director to present 'Kraken Screamfest: Director's Cut' - promising to bestow fresh new nightmares on even the most devoted fans of the horror genre.

Neil Marshall, famed for classics The Descent, Dog Soldiers and Game of Thrones, will be terrifying those brave enough to step inside the real-world creation of his darkest imaginings. Everything from the decor and the staff to the Kraken Rum cockt...

SHARE: READ MORE
Superb supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to have UK cinema release on 25th October
Posted in News, Tuesday 15th October 2019

Wildcard Distribution is bringing the Irish supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary to UK cinemas on 25th October. The film will play exclusively in key cities around the UK with Odeon Cinemas.

Extra Ordinary stars comedian/writer/actress Maeve Higgins (Naked Camera, Inside Amy Schumer), Barry Ward (Jimmy's Hall, MAZE), Will Forte (Nebraska, McGruber, Last Man on Earth), and Claudia O'Doherty (Trainwreck, Love, Inside Amy Schumer, Long Shot) and tells the story of Rose, a sweet and lonely small town driving instructor who must use her supernatural 'talent' to save the daughter of a local man from a washed up rock-star looking to use her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame.

The film wh...

SHARE: READ MORE
"It's the most zombified time of the year!" Anna and the Apocalypse is coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Thursday 10th October 2019
Anna and the Apocalypse Bluray cover

What better way to celebrate the festive season than with a zombie apocalypse Christmas musical?

Anna and the Apocalypse is set for its UK Blu-ray debut on 2 December in a feature packed double-disc edition, courtesy of Second Sight.

It's Christmas time and the sleepy Scottish town of Little Haven is under threat from a zombie apocalypse, forcing Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But even zombies can't stop the teen drama: will Anna's best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) reveal his true feelings for her, or will her smu...

SHARE: READ MORE
Terry Pratchett's Discworld comes to vinyl for the first time this November
Posted in News, Thursday 10th October 2019

Terry Pratchett's Vinyl Discworld is a 15LP vinyl audiobook box set featuring seven classic stories, which will be released on Friday 29th November.

Following the very successful Good Omens, Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy releases on vinyl, Demon Music Group presents Discworld featuring the following stories:
Mort
Wyrd Sisters
Guards! Guards!
Eric
Small Gods
Night Watch
Bonus non-Discworld story Only You Can Save Mankind

41 Discworld novels were written, set on a fictional flat planet, balanced on the backs of four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle. It is estimated that more than 80 milli...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted in Interviews, Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted in Features, Tuesday 8th October 2019

For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chris Bavota, co-director of Dead Dicks
Posted in Interviews, Sunday 6th October 2019
ChrisBavota_DeadDicks

Horror is the perfect genre for getting across very serious issues. Dead Dicks, which is showing at Grimmfest today does exactly that by looking at the sensitive subject of mental health. Here co-director Chris Bavota talks about this intriguing movie.

HC: How did you and co-writer and co-director Lee Paula Springer first meet?

CB: In case people don't know, Lee and I have been married for almost 10 years and we have 2 young daughters. Making movies somehow came as a natural evolution of that but wasn't really a part of our lives until about three or four years ago. We originally met back around 2004 through a mutual friend and honestly, we didn't really ge...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Robi Michael, writer and director of Every Time I Die
Posted in Interviews, Saturday 5th October 2019
Robi Michael

Grimmfest 2019 is well underway and one of the stand out movies so far has been Every Time I Die from director Robi Michael. Here he chats about this gripping movie.

HC: Was there one person or movie that you saw that made you want to be a director?

RM: Hard to think of one person or movie, because as long as I remember, it was clear to me that all I want to do is make movies - I was in love with films and decided to pursue it from a very early age. I was too young to realized what it takes to make movies or what is the job of a director. I can say that an early big influence in story telling is the legendary graphic novel writer, Alan Moore. Books like "Watchmen" and "V for...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted in Frightfest, News, Thursday 3rd October 2019
FF19-Halloween logoArrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.

The popular Halloween all-day event returns to the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November and the 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four UK premieres, one European and one International premiere.

The day kicks off with the European Premiere of Josh Hasty's Candy Corn. With an impressive all-star genre cast (including Tony Todd, who exec-produces), an innovative iconic killer...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Tuesday 29th October
7.00 PM
The Possession
THE POSSESSION
Saturday 26th October
9.00 PM
You're Next
YOU'RE NEXT
Thursday 24th October
10.35 PM