LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Tom Paton, director of Redwood
By James Whittington, Monday 4th February 2019
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.
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.
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.
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 Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted in Features, Tuesday 10th December 2019
Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.
There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal an...SHARE: READ MORE Sean Doyle is back but so is David Callahan in Shaun Hutson's Testament
Posted in News, Thursday 5th December 2019
British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle. Published as a new hardback and eBook by Caffeine Nights Publishing, the novel is a direct sequel to the novel Renegades, picks the story up some thirty years later. Sean Doyle is now working as an advisor in Iraq when he is approached by British Intelligence regarding the resurrection of an old nemesis, David Callahan. A man Doyle knows he killed. A man who took the one-woman Doyle ever loved from him.
Older, possibly not wiser but teamed up with a younger operative, Doyle is sent to investigate the rumours surrounding the apparent sightings of Callahan, when supe...SHARE: READ MORE Amicus classics back on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th December 2019
Following their highly acclaimed release on Limited Edition Blu-ray, Second Sight is delighted to announce classic Amicus horrors Asylum and The House That Dripped Blood are set to arrive as Standard Edition Blu-rays, complete with a slew of special features and new reversible sleeve artwork created by Graham Humphreys on 6 January.
Iconic 1972 Amicus horror anthology Asylum from Psycho writer Robert Bloch and director Roy Ward Baker (A Night to Remember), follows Doctor Martin (Robert Powell - The Italian Job, The Thirty Nine Steps) as he arrives for a job interview at a secluded asylum for the incurably insane. He must prove himself by listening to the macabre tales of four inmates to determine which is the f...SHARE: READ MORE Prom Night finally reaches Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th December 2019
101 Films presents Prom Night (1980), a slasher classic and one of the most influential horror films of the 1980s. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!), and adorned with a highly-regarded original score and disco soundtrack, Prom Night is a bloody landmark in high school horror.
Available on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK thanks to 101 Films Black Label Prom Night is available now.
Four Hamilton High School seniors have been hiding the truth of what happened to ten-year-old Robin Hammond for six long years. But someone saw what they did and is preparing for vengeance - a prom night killing spree. Hooded, masked, and wielding an axe, he'll ...SHARE: READ MORE Grimmfest 2020 - First guest announced!
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019 -
2020 sees Grimmfest reaching the dirty dozen: Twelve years at the cutting edge of genre film. And to celebrate, next year's festival will be bigger, bolder, and bloodier than ever - running from the evening of Wed 7th October through to the evening of Sunday 11th Oct at Odeon Great Northern in Manchester UK. Hell has expanded itself: the festival will now run for five days, to cram in even more amazing genre content.
The Grimmfest team is also excited to announce our first confirmed guest.
Mick Garris has been at the heart of the horror genre since the early 80s, working closely with horror legends such as Stephen King, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento and many more. A screenwriter, producer ...SHARE: READ MORE What would you do if you only had 8 Days left to live?
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019
What would you do if you only had 8 Days left to live? A meteorite is on a collision course with Earth. The chances to survive in Central Europe: Zero.
8 Days is a colossally ambitious German series which explores the answer to this impossible question through the eyes of an ordinary Berlin family living through the last days of mankind as we know it. This gripping series arrives on DVD and digital 6 January from Acorn Media International.
Each episode of this eight-parter brings us one day closer to annihilation. The impending catastrophe sets in motion the reorganisation of society as we know it, and the world rapidly sinks into a huge, panicky, chaotic party. Suddenly people can...SHARE: READ MORE The Exorcist III coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th November 2019
The true heir to William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece, The Exorcist III is a hellish horror detective story that pairs thoughtful theological themes with scenes of sheer terror and is coming to Blu-ray December 9th.
The personal vision of Blatty (the acclaimed author of The Exorcist), The Exorcist III is set 15 years after the events of the first film and sees Lieutenant Kinderman (George C. Scott, The Changeling) investigate a series of horrific murders that follow the modus operandi of the notorious Gemini Killer... who died several years earlier in the electric chair. After his friend Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) is murdered in his hospital bed, Kinderman's invest...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted in Interviews, Monday 25th November 2019
Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.
HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?
JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted in Interviews, Saturday 23rd November 2019
Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.
HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?
GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...SHARE: READ MORE First look at the thriller, Antebellum
Posted in News, Thursday 21st November 2019
Lionsgate UK has announced that highly anticipated thriller Antebellum will be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland in Spring 2020.
Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monaae) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it's too late.
This is the much anticipated thriller from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, and groundbreaking directors Gerard Bush and Christoper Renz (Bush+Renz) - an exciting new voice in filmmaking.SHARE: READ MORE Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st November 2019
Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.
There is also a UK TV premiere for spider-infested supernatural thriller Guardians of the Tombs, starring Kelsey Grammer and Channel premieres for martial-arts futurist thriller Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, werewolf chiller...SHARE: READ MORE Are you ready for The Gallows: Act II?
Posted in News, Wednesday 20th November 2019
The spectre of 'The Hangman' returns in this sequel to smash-hit supernatural thriller The Gallows in The Gallows: Act II.
When Auna Rue, a teenage vlogger and aspiring actress, logs onto a sinister website, she's soon trapped in the malevolent world of cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks - as well as a twisted challenge from the deadly spirit of The Hangman himself...
Produced by the company that brought you the box-office phenomenon Paranormal Activity and modern horror-classic Insidious, The Gallows Act II is written and directed by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, the ...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 13th December
Saturday 21st December
Friday 20th December