ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Paul Hyett, director of Heretiks
By James Whittington, Tuesday 7th August 2018
Paul Hyett director of Heretiks

Paul Hyett is a firm, FrightFest favourite. His work is always a much anticipated event at the film festival and this year is no exception with the world premiere of his latest work, Heretiks. Here he chats about this and future productions.

What first attracted you to actor Gregory Blair's script?

When Templeheart gave me the script of Heretiks (although it was a different title at the time), the one thing that really grabbed my interest was the opportunity to do a creepy period horror, set in 17th Century England. I'd already shot a war-set film, a contemporary werewolf film and here was an opportunity to do a film set in the 17th century where young girls were put on trial for witchcraft, of which some were drowned, hanged and so much worse. It was a truly dark and fearful time in the history of England, one that I was keen to portray on screen, and adding to that a supernatural element, was hard to resist.

What did you and your Seasoning House co-writer Conal Palmer bring to the final screenplay?

Conal and I did an extensive rewrite, as I remember, at the time it had vampiric nuns. I was keen to ground it and get rid of that story element but I loved this tale of these younger girls brought to this priory, so worked more on the relationships between the younger girls and hierarchy of the older nuns. And then we brought in the mythology of the supernatural element of the film, creating the flashbacks and why the priory was haunted. We then a did a lot of work of Persephone's journey and the background she left behind and then really worked on all the characters one by one, we really wanted to give everyone their own unique character and background. We also brought the themes of religion more strongly forward and both Conal and I especially worked on the dialogue to give it a more olden style. And after working on the slow burn build up, I felt the film needed to go full tilt in the last act, thankfully Templeheart liked the direction we were taking it.

Clare Higgins in Heretiks

What a coup casting Clare Higgins, the Hellraiser icon herself, as the Reverend Mother. What was it like working with her?

It was wonderful to have Clare. I grew up with the Hellraiser films, so to have her on a film of mine was great. She was a consummate professional, and she really anchors the film. It's hard for an actor when they're portraying a character that you don't want to give away their true intentions too early, and I think Clare got it pitch perfect.

And Michael Ironside is another genre icon too, it must have been fun directing him?

It was wonderful, a childhood dream. He was so lovely to everyone, really chatty, and just was so approachable to everyone on the cast and crew. It was great talking to him about Scanners, Total Recall and so many other films of my youth. He was so full of stories and anecdotes. I'd love to work with him again in the future.

Your actress muse Rosie Day turns up again, as she also does again in your next movie Peripheral. Is she your lucky charm?

Haha, yes, Rosie and I love collaborating at work together and we're great friends, so yes, we'll keep working together.

Hannah Arterton is your lead in both Heretiks and Peripheral, so Rosie might be replaced? Say it isn't so?

No, of course not, there are lots of reasons why you use certain people for certain roles, sometimes due to availability, schedules and also the right fit for the role. For example I saw Rosie as the perfect person to play Shelley in Peripheral and she nailed it perfectly, and Hannah I saw as the character of Bobbi, and she in turn nailed that role. I look forward to working with both Hannah and Rosie in the future. They're truly talented actresses and lovely to work with.

The Priory is a wonderfully evocative location, where is it?

We split the shoot into two places in Wales, the upper floors were shot at Margam Castle and the lower floors were shot in Tretower, a medieval court. They were beautiful locations, we just had to be very careful, bringing in specialists just to supervise a lit candle, so you can imagine the bigger FX sequences were challenging. But the locations were beautiful, the grounds around them outside, were so vast and breath taking, I feel it gives the film a more realistic feel then if you'd just built sets.

Heretiks image 3

We're seeing a lot of nuns in horror at the moment, why has it become a trend?

I don't know why, although I've noticed a trend of religious horror getting more popular over the last few years, horror seems to have these trends, whether it's post-modern social commentary, or home invasion, torture porn etc., it's always trying to work out what is going to be the trend in a year or two? With Heretiks we felt you could't go wrong with a retro-style religious period horror featuring nuns.

What was your biggest Heretiks challenge?

I think mostly shooting in real locations, like Margam Castle and Tretower court, there could be no drilling in walls to attach anything like stunt cables, you couldn't throw blood about in case it stained the medieval stone work, we also had to build sets within these locations but couldn't attach or drill them into the actual location, we just couldn't risk anything, but I think the biggest challenge was the endangered bats that were a protected species. We couldn't harass them, distress them, and certainly not harm them. We risked a large fine and a prison sentence. So whenever one flew out, we had to call cut and let it fly about and do its thing until it was happy for us to continue. I remember one scene that we needed a fireplace roaring in the background for continuity, and a bat had got itself settled in the chimney, I did seriously consider going in with a stick if no-one was watching.

Pleased to be back at FrightFest? Tell us some of your favourite memories from past appearances.

I love FrightFest, it's been so important in my formative years in the last decade or so and I feel so wonderfully supported by Alan, Paul, Ian and Greg, from my time as a prosthetics artists, to my first movie, and their continued support to Heretiks. If I had to choose a memory, it was the phone call telling us that we'd been selected as opening film for The Seasoning House, and then the actual screening at the large Empire screen, was the best night of my life.

Heretiks plays at Arrow Video FrightFest on Saturday 25th August, Cineworld Leicester Square.


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST, PAUL HYETT, ROSIE DAY, SCANNERS, THE SEASONING HOUSE
MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on 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
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on 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
Interview with Chris Bavota, co-director of Dead Dicks
Posted on 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 on 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
Interview with Tom Botchii, director of Artik
Posted on Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Tom Botchii

Grimmfest 2019 begins tomorrow and Horror will be there bringing you news of all that happens as well as three Facebook Live events on the 4th, 5th and 6th of October.

One of the movies showing is Artik from director Tom Botchii so we chatted to him about this superb, brutal shocker.

HC: Where did the idea for Artik come from?

TB: The idea of Artik came from two things -
1) Getting my car broken into and seeing the initials A-T-K tagged on the wall behind it. When discussing with police they said that stands for a local gang member named ARTIK and when he spray paints ATK it means that you're marked and he or one of the other gang members is coming back to brea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Grant, director of Harpoon
Posted on Monday 30th September 2019
Rob Grant director

Grimmfest 2019 is only days away and Horror Channel will be there delivering all the info you'd want from this fear-filled festival as well as bringing to you three Facebook Live events on 4th, 5th and 6th October.

Here we chat to Grimmfest regular Rob Grant about his superior psychological shocker Harpoon which is showing at the festival this year.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted when Fake Blood played at Grimmfest, what have you been up to since then?

RG: Been very busy... was a director for hire on Alive. that I unfortunately had to miss at last year's Grimmfest due to an illness in the family, made Harpoon and been travelling around ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Brand new interview with Dee Wallace, star of Cujo, The Howling and now Beyond the Sky
Posted on Sunday 12th May 2019
Cujo

Dee Wallace is one of those people who seems to have be around forever and yet never ages in enthusiasm or her ability to bring to life some of cinema's most memorable characters. With a resume that includes E.T., The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo and now Beyond the Sky, we chatted to Dee about her career to date and how she prepares for each acting project.

HC: What made you want to be an actress?

DW: Oh, you know... I was born! (laughs) Seriously, I think creative people are just born to be creative and they have to find an outlet for that. My mother also was a beautiful actress, locally in my hometown and did all the plays at church so I think I naturally found my way into a family that supporte...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
Posted on Friday 10th May 2019
Stewart Bridle is Horror Channel's longest serving Channel Manager. He has guided Horror for almost a decade and has managed to bring to our screens many classics as well as introducing us to some new horror movie talent. In this, our 15th anniversary month we chat to Stewart about his role and some of the juicy pieces he has lined up for the rest of 2019.

HC: Have you always been a horror movie fan?

SB: Yes! I've always been interested and fascinated with horror and all genre stuff. I have an older brother who would manage to rent or get bootleg VHS of some great horror titles and I have memories of watching things like the original Dawn Of The Dead or slashers like The Burning while far too youn...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with exploitation legend David McGillivray
Posted on Wednesday 24th April 2019
Pete WalkerAhead of Horror Channel's premiere of Pete Walker's Schizo on April 27th, horror and sexploitation movie writer/director David McGillivray reflects on disastrous scripts, his volatile relationship with Walker and writing smut for Julian Clary.

Q: Schizo is unusual in your body of work with director Pete Walker because the concept and narrative were not of your choosing. How much of a problem was that for you?

DM: Huge. I thought the script that we re-worked was terribly old-fashioned and this led to big arguments with Walker that ended our relationship.

Q: You often play a cameo in the movies you've written - you're 'Man at Seance' in Schizo. Any particular reason?

DM:...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Abner Pastoll, director of Road Games
Posted on Thursday 21st March 2019
Abner Pastol

Horror Channel loves to promote new talent in the industry and one of the most exciting new directors around is Abner Pastoll. His first feature, Road Games, is an adrenaline packed killer of a thriller which is showing on the channel on March 22nd at 9pm. We decided to chat to Abner about this tense movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AP: Yes. I remember being as young as 4 or 5 and just knowing with such clarity that I needed to make films. My family had a cinema, drive-in and video store, all of which certainly enhanced my obsession with movies of all shapes and sizes.

HC: Was there one film t...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Zach Lipovsky, director of Leprechaun: Origins.
Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019
Zach Lipovsky

On March 1st, Horror is bringing you the UK TV premiere of a real corker of a shocker, Leprechaun: Origins. The movie follows two couples backpacking through the Irish countryside who end up spending the night in an old cabin, and learn the terrible truth about Ireland's most famous legend. So begins a living nightmare... The movie is a smart entry into the franchise so we decided to chat to its director, Zach Lipovsky.

HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to work in this industry?

ZL: Yes, I grew up as a child actor. Mostly as an excuse to be on set and not at school. I was quickly more interested in making movies than acting and from the age of 10 started shooting silly pro...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tom Paton, director of Redwood
Posted on Monday 4th February 2019
Redwood Poster

Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Redwood, director Tom Paton reveals the secrets of his prolific work-rate, talks about tackling the subject of fake news and the twists and turns of his new film Stairs.

HC: Redwood gets its UK TV premiere on Friday 8 February, courtesy of Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TP: Honestly, I'm so proud that Redwood has made its way onto Horror Channel. I've been a huge fan since the channel launched and over the past decade I've discovered so many horror gems on there from classic through to films I'd never heard of but now love. It feels incredible to know that someone might discover Redwood in the exact same way.

HC: Is it true y...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Pay The Ghost
PAY THE GHOST
Thursday 31st October
9.00 PM
The Eye
THE EYE
Monday 28th October
9.00 PM
Halloween II
HALLOWEEN II
Wednesday 30th October
10.55 PM