ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Tom Paton, director of Redwood
By James Whittington, 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 you wrote the script in two days?

TP: It is, although I wouldn't recommend that as it caused me some serious stress. The production company had a very limited window of time to use the funds and location that the film was made on, so if we were going to do it then we had to move quickly. It was a real challenge to craft something at that speed that I was going to be proud of so I focused in on something that felt very real and tangible, but was happening within this world of vampires.

Tom Paton

HC: The film is one of the lowest-budgeted to grace opening night at FrightFest. How did you pull that off?

TP: I have absolutely no idea how that happened! I was so blown away to find out that the movie was going to be playing at FrightFest that I had to pinch myself. I fully expected for us to be one of the more low key films, tucked away in a corner somewhere. When the programme was announced and we were one of the opening night films I had to pick myself up off of the floor. FrightFest has been the most incredible platform for my career and the spotlight it placed on Redwood. It's a debt I can never repay. Black Site (my third feature film) played at the festival the following year and I'm hoping that it's a relationship that will continue for many years to come.

HC: Although the vampires are ever-present, the film is very character-driven. Was telling the very touching human story your main priority?

TP: I'm as much a fan of a good jump scare as any modern movie watcher, but I do think it's a very overused technique these days. I felt that because the film was being made in this high-speed, low budget fashion, that it allowed me to make something a bit more restrained and character focused. Humanity is this strange, beautiful, scary thing and I really wanted the real horror to stem from something that we've all had an encounter with in the real world - cancer. The vampires are forever lurking just around the corner just like the illness and as a viewer you aren't sure when or how they will strike, or if they will at all. But it's that constant fear of them that I think plays as a strong external metaphor to what Josh and Beth are going through personally. It's more of a tragedy than a straight horror film I think.

HC: You shot the film in Poland. Why?

TP: We made the film with a Polish based production company, and it was really them that were the driving force behind the location choice. But I have to say, I would shoot in Poland again in a heartbeat. They have these huge, forest covered mountain ranges that really stood in as a good substitute for the USA and the crew over there were such a pleasure to work with. The cost effectiveness of shooting in Poland really helped us maximise the budget too, which is why I think the movie looks like it really escapes the trappings normally associated with a lower budget.

Redwood Image 2

HC: Mike Beckingham, who stars in Redwood, also has a main role in your film Black Site. What makes your working relationship so special?

TP: I didn't know Mike before we shot Redwood but I could tell from our first meeting that me and him were going to get along well. He's a really charismatic presence to have around and filmmaking can be such a tough experience sometimes that having him on set becomes this really positive force creatively. We became really good friends during production and I started to feel that I could write something that would really play to Mike's strengths as an actor and so I wrote the part of Sam Levy in Black Site specifically for him. Hopefully we'll finish our little trilogy together very soon with something new.

HC: What is it about the genre that most appeals to you?

TP: Horror just gels so well with different types of storytelling. It's one of these rare things in the medium that plays well with others, so you can partner it with comedy, tragedy, action etc and allow yourself this ability to remix things you love into something new. No other genre really affords that same creative freedom. Redwood is a prime example; although the container is horror, under the hood it has comedy, cancer and character driven drama... no other genre would be able to support those tone shifts except horror.

HC: You're renowned for your prolific work-rate. You currently average a film a year and the quality is impressively consistent. What's the secret?

TP: Caffeine! But seriously, I'm just very good at approaching my career with a sense of momentum. I think as filmmakers we work so hard to build hype around ourselves and our projects that I see it as a waste to let that dissipate once the project is complete. So I'm just very focused on keeping the party going. This year I'm actually doing two movies instead, as well as having an animated adaption of Black Site in the works. I love what I do and only intend on speeding up really.

Redwood Image 3

HC: Your next feature, Stairs, is currently in post-production. Can you tell us a bit about the supernatural thriller? What are your current plans for the film?

TP: Stairs is a totally different beast to anything I've made before. It's an ensemble film this time and really ramps up the action and horror elements from my previous movies. It's also a bit of a head scratcher. I've always focused on very linear storytelling and creating character focused stuff, but with Stairs I've changed that up and made something with a lot of twists and turns that features a huge dose of time-travel. I'm very excited for people to see it. The premise is that a team of special ops go into a war zone they aren't supposed to be in. They carry out their morally dubious orders and then find themselves trapped in an Escher-esque nightmare as the universe forces them to own up their sins. I won't give anything else away though!

HC: You're shooting a big budget space film shooting in 2019. What more can you tell us?

TP: The movie is called G-LOC and is indeed set in space. There's a lot of world building going on and i think we've created a really fun action adventure movie that sci-fi fans are going to love. Keep your eyes peeled for news on this one.

HC: We also hear you have got another horror film planned for July 2019. True?

TP: That is true. I'm tackling the subject of Fake News in a horror movie called The Manuscript. The story straddles two timelines and deals with a mysterious book that has evaded translation for sixty years and is steeped in mythology and murder... but is everything as it seems? You'll find out after I shoot it!

HC: Finally, Tom, when are you taking a break?

TP: I might have a holiday this year, we'll see if there is a little gap in there somewhere.

Redwood has its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel, Friday February 8 at 9pm.


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST, REDWOOD
MORE ARTICLES
Terminator: Dark Fate - New poster and trailer!
Posted in News, Thursday 23rd May 2019

Twentieth Century Fox today revealed the poster, trailer and new stills for the eagerly anticipated Terminator: Dark Fate.

Director Tim Miller has said: "I remember watching T2 in Westwood when I had just moved to LA - it was an amazing experience. I was particularly stoked because Jim had done ALIENS a few years before and it is - hands down - my favorite action movie of all time. It blew my mind, as it was unlike any sci-film I had ever seen - it felt like a grounded, realistic and gritty future. And of course, T2 was just as amazing and continuing that franchise is more of an honor than I could ever imagine."

Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger ...
SHARE: READ MORE
Killer Thriller season sends shock waves through June on Horror Channel
Posted in Features, Tuesday 21st May 2019

Summer kicks off on Horror Channel in suspenseful style with Killer Thriller Season - a selection of tense shockers including the channel premieres of Rod Lurie's 2011 pulsating remake of Straw Dogs, starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth; the murder motel chiller Vacancy, starring Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson; and the 2009 remake of kin killer slasher The Stepfather.

The Saturday night primetime season also features psychological thriller House at the End of the Street, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and Neil LaBute's horrifying racial drama Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Wilson.

Here's more info on these killer movies...

David and Amy...

SHARE: READ MORE
This June, everything will be Child's Play!
Posted in News, Friday 17th May 2019

Vertigo Releasing has announced the acquisition of theatrical and certain downstream media of Orion Pictures' Child's Play for UK and Ireland. The movie will feature Mark Hamill as the voice of Chucky, along with Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry and Gabriel Bateman.

The movie has been produced by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith under their KatzSmith banner, whose film adaptation of Stephen King's It has earned over $700million worldwide. Aaron Schmidt and Chris Ferguson executive produced the project. The film is directed by new talent Lars Klevberg [director of the forthcoming horror chiller Polaroid], and written by Tyler Burton Smith, based on the original script. Aubrey Plaza stars as a single mother who buys her son A...

SHARE: READ MORE
Earth - Mostly Harmless according to the The Quintessential Phase
Posted in News, Friday 17th May 2019

The next four BBC Radio episodes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will be released on Friday 28th June following the successful release of the first four phases on vinyl earlier this year.

The Quintessential Phase vinyl (episodes 23 - 26) is available to pre-order now from Amazon.

First broadcast in 2005, the Quintessential Phase is based upon Douglas Adams's fifth Hitchhiker's novel, Mostly Harmless. This is the first ever publication of the original radio edits of the Quintessential Phase, as heard on their original BBC Radio 4 broadcast.

The brand new first-time vinyl edition comes on heavyweight pink vinyl, packaged in the lavish style of the preceding LP releases with the Am...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror will be at MCM Comic Con London 2019, and you could be too!
Posted in Features, News, Friday 17th May 2019

Horror will be at MCM Comic Con London 2019 and you've got the chance to be there too. More details on our Competitions Page.

SHARE: READ MORE
Brand new interview with Dee Wallace, star of Cujo, The Howling and now Beyond the Sky
Posted in Interviews, 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
Evil has found its superhero. Brand new clips from Brightburn
Posted in News, Saturday 11th May 2019

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

This is the chilling premise of Brightburn, the anticipated new movie from James Gunn, the visionary filmmaker of the global hit Guardians of the Galaxy and the creature feature Slither.

Brightburn is written by Mark Gunn and Brian Gunn, and has been directed by David Yarovesky.

The cast includes Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner, and has a UK and Ireland release date of 19th June.

To get you into the mood, here are two clips from the movie courtesy of Sony Pictures UK, 'Di...

SHARE: READ MORE
Growing Things and Other Stories are ready to chill you
Posted in News, Saturday 11th May 2019
Growing Things

Featuring 19 tales, Growing Things and Other Stories is an incredible collection of horror and speculative fiction shorts from an award-winning author that offers a compelling look at the range of his imaginative prose and storytelling.

A chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from multiple award-winning Paul Tremblay's most acclaimed short fiction (many of which are published here in the UK market for the first time), as well as new stories set in the worlds of two of his popular novels. This is a masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction that offer an exciting glimpse into Tremblay's fantastically fertile imagination.

The collecti...

SHARE: READ MORE
The 10th Doctor rides again... on green vinyl!
Posted in News, Saturday 11th May 2019
Doctor Who Creeping Death 3D packshot

ASDA will launch Doctor Who: The Creeping Death starring 10th Doctor David Tennant and Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble on Friday 24th May 2019 thanks to Demon Records.

The exclusive ASDA title will be released as a Limited Edition run of 1,000 copies on neon green vinyl and will be only available in the UK.

London, 1952, and a deadly smog envelops the capital. But something even more dangerous - and alien - is hiding within the mists. When the Doctor and Donna get lost in the fog, they find a motley group of Londoners trying to make their way home. Soon the stakes are raised as death creeps along fume-choked streets, and not e...

SHARE: READ MORE
Experience the Terror of Hallow's Eve thanks to FrightFest Presents
Posted in News, Saturday 11th May 2019
TERRORS_OF_HALLOWS_EVE_AMAZON

Brace yourself for a gore-filled, twisted and chaotic experience; Terror of Hallow's Eve is a nostalgic treat for the eyes, set to become a horror cult classic.

When 15-year-old Tim is brutally beaten up by High School bullies. Yearning for revenge while carving out a pumpkin head, unknowingly he summons up the evil spirit of the hideous Scarecrow. And before long Timmy has unleashed a mighty supernatural force offering to grant his dark desires to scare his hated enemies to death. Be careful what you wish for!

Directed by Todd Tucker and starring Doug Jones, Caleb Thomas, Christian Kane, Juliet Landau, Sarah Lancaster and Eric Roberts, Terror of Ha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
Posted in Features, Interviews, 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
Horror Bites - Now available on Freesat
Posted in Features, News, Wednesday 8th May 2019

Satellite TV audiences are now able to catch up on their favourite Horror Channel, CBS Reality, CBS Justice and CBS Drama programmes through their Freesat set top boxes as the CBS AMC UK Channels Partnership, a joint venture between AMC Networks International and CBS Studios International, launches Horror Bites and CBS Catchup Channels UK on Freesat, the UK's leading subscription free satellite TV platform.

Freesat viewers can now access content from the CBS UK channels, one of the fastest-growing channel portfolios in the UK, for up to thirty days after broadcast. Viewers can also watch on-demand content in the form of box sets and CBS Reality Original programming such as Ev...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Knowing
KNOWING
Sunday 26th May
9.00 PM
Severance
SEVERANCE
Monday 27th May
10.50 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Sunday 2nd June
8.30 PM