Brand new exclusive interview with Matthew Parkhill, director of The Caller
By James Whittington, Sunday 16th October 2011

Matthew ParkhillThe Caller, the latest movie from director Matthew Parkhill is out on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th October. It's a tense, psychological shocker so we decided to have a chat with Matthew about this movie, his thoughts on censorship and his plans for the future.

HC: It's been a while since your first feature, was this a deliberate choice of yours?

MP: Not really. I was attached to a couple of feature films which fell apart, which happens more than you'd think. In the meantime I worked on a couple of films for TV and some commercials. I also write for other directors, so that's been keeping me busy. Hopefully it won’t be that long again before my next feature.

HC: Are you a fan of the horror genre?

MP: I am. I'm more a fan of the old school stuff, like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, stuff where the fear is more in the atmosphere, that's more about creating tension through what you don't see rather than what you do. I'm not a torture porn kind of guy.

HC: How did you become involved with The Caller and what were your initial thoughts on the script?

MP: I was sent it by a couple of producers I'd worked with before. I loved the script. It was very smart and kept me guessing. I'd been reading a lot of genre scripts at the time and this one really stood out. I loved that it made you think, and that it had a strong female lead. I also was interested in the psychological element of the story.

HC: You’ve got some excellent talent starring in the movie but was it a difficult movie to cast?

MP: Yes and no. Stephen Moyer was actually pretty straight forward in terms of casting. I heard he liked the script and was interested in playing the role of the ex-husband. I thought it would be more interesting to see him in the role of the boyfriend as I liked the idea of the audience not knowing where the threat was coming from. I thought the menace Moyer carries from his character in True Blood would play into that sense of threat. When we spoke it turned out he was more interested in the role of the boyfriend, so we were on the same page from the start. And Rachelle Lefevre actually stepped into the role at the last minute to replace the actress we originally had. In fact she read the script in Montreal the day before, got on a flight that night, arrived in Puerto Rico the next day and went straight into filming. She didn't even have any luggage with her and had to buy clothes from the hotel gift shop. I think she's amazing in the movie and whenever I watch it, I always think of the crazy circumstances in which she arrived.

HP: The film has dark tones, did this make the shoot intense?

MP: In some ways, yes. It is a dark movie. I think the hardest past for Rachelle was the ending when Lorna Raver turns up. Rachelle wanted to do all the stunts herself, so we ending up literally throwing her all over the apartment. By the end she was cut and bruised all over. So that was tough on her. As was the scene in the pantry where she finds the corpses. Those things we so realistic, so that was pretty scary. But what made the shoot more intense was that we had a very limited schedule (23 days) which meant long hours.

HC: The Caller seems to have plenty of SFX shots, did these take a long time to put together and co-ordinate?

MP: Actually, there aren't that many. I was aware that often in low-budget horror the FX can look pretty cheap. So I wanted to have only a few, which meant we could afford to do them well. The main FX shot is the spreading of the scar on Rachelle's skin, which involved making a real scar and then making it looking like it was creeping across her body in post. That took a long time.

HC: Where do you stand on censorship?

MP: I think there's a place for it. I think, as a film-maker, you have to be responsible for what you put out there. I think it all has to come from the story, and be justified by the story. It's actually very easy to shock. I could film someone strangling a kitten and you'd be shocked. What's harder to do is create atmosphere and tension and create a good story.

HC: If you're able to talk about them, it would be great to hear about what projects you'll be working on next?

MP: Right now I'm writing a conspiracy thriller which is set at London's Olympic Games and is all about the dark, dark world of corruption. And directing-wise my next project will probably be a modern re-telling of Oliver Twist. But instead of being pick-pockets, Fagin's gang are all brilliant at Parkour and free-running, kind of like little Spidermen without webs. So Fagin uses them to pull of a series of art heists. It's like a young Ocean's Eleven. And we're going to shoot it in 3D. Should be fun.

HC: Matthew Parkhill, thank you very much.

Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.

It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?

JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

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You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

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Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

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Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019

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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...

Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on 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...

Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

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HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

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HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

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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...

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