Interview With Robert Eggers, Director Of The Witch
By James W, Monday 7th March 2016

The Witch PosterReleased into UK cinemas on March 11th, The Witch promises to be an unnerving piece of cinema which is already creeping under the skin of audiences across America. Its director, Robert Eggers took some time out of his busy schedule to chat to Horror about this much anticipated movie.

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

RE: Yeah, I mean there were times when things changed, times I wanted to be a painter or a musician but generally it would come back to being a film maker.

HC: The Witch is your debut feature, where did the idea come from?

RE: I grew up in New England and New England’s past is always very much part of my consciousness, I’d do a small New England town full of dilapidated Colonial farm houses and graveyards in the middle of the woods and I wanted to make an archetypal New England horror story, something that would feel like a nightmare from the past, like an inherited Puritan nightmare.

HC: Was there a particular feeling you wanted to set?

RE: I really wanted to take audiences back to the 17th century and if we are to believe in the witch in a given reality in the way the witch was in the early modern period, I had to do my best to recreate the 17th century as authentically as possible, in both in the design and the mind-set of the people. So the family farm is constructed using the same materials that would have been used during that period and sometimes that meant using period tools and techniques to make that stuff. Believe me if we’d had the chance to use a chainsaw or screw gun I would have but we needed it to look a certain way to camera doing it the old fashioned way was the only way and that’s what we did.

HC: The films taps into primal, superstitious fears, something most horror trends avoid in favour of shock horror and jump-shocks. Was that an important factor in the storytelling of this movie?

RE: There are a few jump-scares in the film and I’m not against jump-scares or anything but it’s not the kind of storytelling that I’m not interested in, I’m just trying to tell this story of this family in a way that made sense to me and that’s how it came out.

HC: The film has a very British cast, as an American director how did you go about casting, what was your process?

RE: This film takes place at the very beginning of New England, the very beginning of the great migration, so this family has come only recently come from England to the New World and because I wanted it to be very naturalistic I wanted a UK cast so that for the most part people can be using their own accents for it to be at least familiar enough with these kind of accents to do it properly. So, Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie were people that I was aware of beforehand and they are fantastic and then Carmel Cochrane who was our UK casting director that helped me find Anya (Taylor-Joy) and all the children.

HC: What sort of budget did you have to work with and did it have an impact on your vision?

RE: The budget that we were trying to obtain was $3.2 million and the film ended up being about $3.5 million and it took a very long time to get that budget. People didn’t want to spend the money building the farm building, clothing realistically, on getting the UK cast over to North America and the money that would take to cast the children etc. etc. so it took quite some time to get that. Once I had worked very hard to understand what the budget was going to be so that we could live within there. Once we had found the right investors, we have very supportive investors and very, very supportive creative producers, a great team of Department Heads so we were able to do it right and there was very little compromise aside from obstacles that come with things like weather or a goat (laughs).

HC: Has winning the Best Director Award at Sundance changed your approach to other projects?

RE: No. No. But it certainly has opened a lot of doors, that’s for sure.

HC: Is it true that Stephen King has been quoted as being terrified by your movie?

RE: That is true. It’s a huge honour, like being blessed by the Horror Pope!

HC: You’re currently working on a couple of horror projects, what is it about the genre that excites you?

RE: I‘m interested in the dark side of humanity and exploring that I think that it’s important. I think it’s interesting. I don’t know exactly why I’m so drawn to it, you can ask my psychologist!

HC: What scares you more than anything else?

RE: Humanity! It’s pretty scary what we’re capable of man!

HC: Robert Eggers, thank you very much.

Interview with Julian Richards, director of Reborn
Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2018
Julian Richards

Ahead of the World premiere screening of Reborn at FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturous challenges of Daddy's Girl, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of Rabies.

HC: After six years away from directing, you have two films, Reborn and Daddy's Girl poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?

JR: My previous film Shiver was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling th...

Interview with Jules Vincent, co-writer and producer of Alive
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
Jules Vincent

Grimmfest 2018 is well underway and delivering some memorable movie moments, and one of the best is showing on Sunday, Alive. This cracking film sees the return of Grimmfest favourite Rob Grant as director and has been co-written and co-produced by Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent. Here Jules tells all about this brilliant piece.

HC: Where did the idea for Alive come from?

JV: We'd talked about writing a horror screenplay for a number of years before we finally came up with the right idea. We're both big fans of classic horror and we love the works of Hitchcock, Carpenter, Friedkin, and Cronenberg so in a way we had a very specific style and feel in mind before we even had the story. A...

Interview with Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls
Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls

Grimmfest 2018 kicks off tomorrow and one of the many highlights of the four day event is the blood-splattered shocker Girls With Balls. We chatted to it's director Olivier Afonso about this fab film and his career as an SFX artists.

HC: What inspired you to write Girls With Balls?

OA: My co-writer and I we wanted to write a trash comedy to entertain an audience because we love festivals: the atmosphere, people screaming, laughing... Personally, I'm inspired by the eighties and nineties movies such as of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. We wanted to make a survival movie but with strong women, a girl ...

Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted on Saturday 15th September 2018
Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano

FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.

Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?

Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...

Exclusive interview with Adam Green, director of Hatchet.
Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018
Adam Green director of Hatchet

Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV Premiere of Hatchet on Friday 14th Sept, director Adam Green gives an exclusive interview about his beloved franchise and what the future holds for Victor Crowley...

Hatchet is finally getting its first showing on UK TV, courtesy of Horror Channel. We're excited, are you?

I couldn't be more excited! I've always said that even though Hatchet may have world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, it was at FrightFest in London where "Victor Crowley" was truly born. FrightFest was "the screening heard around the world" and the UK audience was so enthusiastic over Hatchet that every genre festival on t...

Interview with Tom de Ville, director of Corvidae
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Tom de Ville director of Corvidae

HC: This is your first short as a director, what inspired you to write this script?

TdV: I read a really interesting article about how smart crows are, in particular how they can hold grudges. Apparently a group of scientists had gone out and harassed a murder of crows whilst wearing masks. If they went back wearing the masks, the crows would remember them and fight back. If they didn't wear the masks, the crows would leave them alone. This made me start thinking about what would happen if someone tried to save a crow from a bunch of kids who were trying to kill it. Would the other crows from its murder remember this? And what would they do to help her?...

Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Director Stewart Sparke watches a scene

HC: Your last movie, The Creature Below was two years ago, what's life been back since then?

SS: Since The Creature Below premiered at Frightfest in 2016 things haven't really stopped for myself and my collaborator Paul Butler. We were lucky enough to have the film released on DVD and VOD in over eight countries under various names. I think my favourite has to be Japan's Leviathan X: From the Deep! The film even had a theatrical release in Taiwan which was quite surreal as it was playing opposite Thor Ragnarok over there so overall, we've been completely blown away by everything that's happened. Paul and I are always coming up wit...

Interview with Ferdinando D'Urbano actor, writer, producer of The Laplace's Demon
Posted on Tuesday 28th August 2018
Ferdinando D'Urbano - Director of Photography Producer COL

A stand-out movie from FrightFest 2018 tested the brain power of those who saw it. The Laplace's Demon is an incredibly powerful piece so we chatted to one of the creatives behind it, Ferdinando D'Urbano.

HC: I'd never heard of Laplace's Demon theory before, can you give us a quick explanation of what it is?

FDU: The Laplace's Demon is a philosophical theory of the early 1800s. Pierre Simon Laplace was a French mathematician who in his work "Essai philosophique sur les probabilites" (A philosophical essay on probabilities), theorized that if there were an intellect capable of knowing al...

Interview with Andre Gower director of Wolfman's Got Nards
Posted on Monday 27th August 2018
Wolfman's Got Nards

HC: You had already starred in a lot of stuff before The Monster Squad came along, did you think that this was just "another" acting job?

AG: At the time, it was just that. The next audition, the next project. However, once on set and seeing what you were a part of, we realized quickly that this was something bigger and more unique than anything we had done before or may even get to do in the future.

HC: Were you a fan of the Universal monsters at that time?

AG: I always had an appreciation for the classics even as a kid. As you mature, you keep that appreciation and learn more about it and how it affects the present and realize these were very important...

Interview with John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn the writers and directors of The Night Sitter
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018

HC: Where did the idea for The Night Sitter come from?

JR: From the beginning of this story, I had my childhood home in Nashville in mind as the perfect location. After several months of convincing, my parents allowed us to film in their house. It's a pretty amazing feeling to have grown up in the same location that we'd eventually film our first feature in! We were able to incorporate all the parts of my house that used to scare me as a child and weave them into a story about witches, which was extremely fun and nostalgic at times. While developing the story, I tried to recall the scary thoughts I had when I was Kevin's age.

AB: Finding an inspiring location (the house has this stran...

Interview with Joanne Mitchell, director of Sybil
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018
Joanne Mitchel Image 4

One of the best things about FrightFest is the Showcases of Shorts which is the way to catch undiscovered talent and unique ideas. Joanne Mitchell has been in the entertainment industry for a few years but has just directed her first piece, Sybil which is showing at FrightFest today.

We decided to chat to her about this amazing and disturbing piece as well as he plans for feature films.

HC: Have you wanted to direct for a while?

JM: To be honest I hadn't really thought of directing until Tracey (Sheals) sent me an email with her idea for Sybil. And I really liked the story and thought this would make a great short film and possibly a feature in the fut...

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Posted on Saturday 25th August 2018
mike Mort Director of Chuck Steel

HC: Where did the character of Chuck Steel come from?

MM: I came up with the character of Chuck Steel in 1985 when still at school. I used to doodle this square jawed action hero in my English book when I should have been concentrating on the lesson. Over the years he developed a bit as I drew him in various adventure scenarios, usually involving monsters of some kind. I made a Super8 short film with the character when I was experimenting with animation and I also made a college film featuring Chuck a few years later. These were basically just Chuck fighting monsters for 10 minutes or so but I was learning about how to construct scenes and action as I went. Later in my animati...

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