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 Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a writer?

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actor?

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

Interview with Nicholas Santos, writer and director of It Cuts Deep
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
It Cuts Deep Image 2

At Grimmfest we're used to comedy horror but none as well written as It Cuts Deep from writer/director Nicholas Santos. Here he chats about this true dissection of a romance going terribly wrong.

HC: Have you always been a big horror fan?

NS: I've been a big horror fan since I was a little kid. Some of my favourite childhood memories are seeing Event Horizon with my dad when I was in second grade, being absolutely terrified by Chucky from Child's Play at every waking moment and watching Psycho for the first time on VHS when I was 7 years old.

HC: Where did the idea for It Cuts Deep come from and did it take long to write?

NS: It Cuts Deep is a hor...

Interview with Robert Woods, director of An Ideal Host
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Robert Woods

Ever had the dinner party from Hell with people you don't really relate to and seem alien? Well this is the premise of the the hilarious horror comedy An Ideal Host from director Robert Woods. Here he tells Horror about this cracking movie.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what made you decide that this would be your first project as a director?

RW: Tyler and I had been writing theatre together for a decade, but movies are our first love and we wanted to give it a crack as well. Tyler came up with the initial idea but we worked on the story together and it evolved a great deal from the initial pitch. As it was my first time directing, I think we were j...

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