LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Director Adam Green - Part 1
By James Whittington, Thursday 5th August 2010
Adam Green is one of the most celebrated directors of recent times. His movies Hatchet, Spiral and Frozen (due in UK cinemas September 24th) have had movie goers salivating for more and critics clambering over themselves to heap praise on them. With Hatchet II getting its world premiere at FrightFest 2010 we decided to chat to this talented guy and in this, the first part of a two part interview, Adam discusses the reason for bringing Victor Crowley back to the big screen, casting the movie and even reveals his middle name!
HC: We first met back in 2006 when you brought Hatchet to FrightFest; how do you think you've developed as a director since then?
AG: I've had five years of growth and made several very different types of movies since making Hatchet in 2005. With each project I've gotten better opportunities and the knowledge from the previous films as to how to really stretch a budget. I'm happy to say that my work keeps getting better and better and if you look at Hatchet, Spiral, Grace (which I only produced), and Frozen - they are all completely unique to each other. It's also a world of difference having such a great fan base now. When I made Hatchet I was making the type of movie that I wanted to see and until the movie came out in theaters, I had no real outside stress or pressure. It's certainly different when you're hearing from the people you're making the films for on a daily basis with fan mail, convention appearances, signings, etc. Sounds funny, but with great fans comes great responsibility.
HC: Hatchet has become one of the most celebrated slasher movies of the last decade, why wait four years to do the sequel?
AG: The powers that be wanted to make a sequel right away and I had even planned the sequel long before even shooting the first one. But by the time Hatchet came out I was so over it and just wanted to move on. I had made Spiral right on Hatchet's heels and while it was a completely different style of film (a jazz-infused psychodrama) I still needed to spread my wings and get further away. Not just because I didn't want to forever be pigeonholed as the "slasher guy" but because I didn't really have the fire burning in me for Hatchet anymore. When you make an independent movie (especially your first) it's like this horrible abusive relationship. For years and years I struggled and struggled with that movie and every little step was such a battle. By the time it came out I was so beaten up from it and I just never wanted to see it again. I finally understood what bands mean when they talk about how much they dread performing their big hits night after night. I'd be doing a Q&A for one movie and the first three questions would be about Victor Crowley or if there will be a Hatchet II. As flattering as that is, inside I'd be screaming "Did you not just see the film I showed you? THAT'S your first question?!" But then something happened on the set of Frozen where the itch came back. It wasn't just a "Oh, it would be so fun to step back into that world again" it was like a full-on sickness where every time I thought about it my palms would sweat and I couldn't sleep. That was when I knew it was time to bring Victor Crowley back. Secret phone calls started being made and slowly the band was put back together. That was so important to me. That the original crew return to make the sequel. I don't know if that's ever happened before. But this was our victory lap and our moment together to finally celebrate what we had accomplished with the first film that we made with good will, lots of tears, and scotch tape. On the first day when my A.D. yelled "Pictures up on Hatchet II", I swear you could hear us cheering in the next city. It was actually quite emotional.
HC: Were you ever tempted to let someone else take over the reigns?
AG: Many times. There were a few instances where I was told that if I wasn't ready, then the film would go into production without me. And I fully supported that. At the time I felt like that was what slasher franchises are for, to give a new director a shot. But in the end, I think the folks in charge realised that this film is one of the few cases where the director was a more important star to the fans than the actual actors in it. So they waited. In the end it all worked out for the best. The Hatchet II that I'll be playing in London this month is a very different movie than I would have made 3 or 4 years ago. This one is not made by a director who is burned out and going through the motions to deliver a sequel. This is a film that is a giant love letter to the fans who gave me a career and a huge middle finger to everyone who didn't believe.
HC: It must have been difficult to retain the feeling of the first movie yet inject enough originality into the plot to make sure it wasn’t “just another sequel”?
AG: Part of what made that a non-issue was that the sequel was set-up before we shot the first one. Even some of the weapons Victor Crowley uses in this film, if you go back and re-watch the first one you'll see glimpses of them in his shed and by his house. There's an amazing kill in Hatchet II involving a 6-foot long giant Redwood forest chainsaw which my production designer and make-up effects coordinator were both in on 5 years ago. Characters such as Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd) who only briefly appeared in Hatchet 1 now take the spotlight and so very many things are explained, such as who/what Victor Crowley actually is. The film even starts on the exact same frame that I abruptly cut to black to at the end of Hatchet 1. It's truly the next part of the story as opposed to rehashing the exact same thing. You could actually physically cut the two films together and they would make one awesome movie where everything is perfectly set-up and it all works together like a well oiled machine (Aside from the fact that "Marybeth" is now played by Danielle Harris instead of that other girl... but hey, sequels are supposed to improve over the original, right?) It's fun like the first one (there are so many stand up and cheer or laugh your ass off moments) but it's not as fun-ny, if that makes sense. It's a bit darker in tone, a bit more emotional, and there's a much better story going on whereas the first one was quite simply "bunch of jokesters get killed" when you really get down to it. We retained the original feeling by constantly keeping ourselves in check and not taking things too seriously. As much as this film might be better made or slightly more serious, we never let it get pretentious or started thinking we were making art. It's Hatchet II. Is it going to win an Oscar? No f*****g way. But is it going to have slasher fans clapping, screaming, and leaving the cinema with big f*****g smiles on their faces? Hell yes. I'm confident that we trumped the first film in every way and that there is no way that fans of the first movie won't like this one even better. If you didn't like the first one... well this isn't for you, so f*** you and your opinion. That was what was so great about Dark Sky (ArieScope's partner on making this film and Hatchet II's domestic distributor) is that never once did they say "This time make it a bit broader to please more people" or "Maybe tone it down for a lighter rating this time". They were right there with us trying to make the ultimate slasher sequel for the Hatchet Army. To me that is so ballsy and so rarely done. I mean, to make a sequel that is truly catering to the fans and the fans only? I am so grateful that I got to make the movie this way and I truly thing we succeeded.
HC: You must be very proud of the cast you’ve assembled, was it hard getting the likes of Danielle Harris on board and Kane Hodder to return?
AG: The cast is amazing. What was unique about this film was that I cast it before I wrote it. I had the story and characters in my head and so what I did was call each actor that I was thinking of into my office at ArieScope (my production company) under the guise of a "general meeting". Once they were there I started telling them "Look, I'm gonna finally do the Hatchet sequel and I want you to play a role". I discussed the character with them and then I wrote the part FOR THEM. So, so rarely does it work that way. Normally you write a movie and then search to find the right actor for the part you wrote. In Hatchet II each part was custom tailored to each of these actors. Only like one person in the cast actually even auditioned for their role (only because the person I wrote the role for had to bail over a schedule conflict at the last minute), everyone else is a friend of mine or an actor who's work I am very, very familiar with. The "heavy hitters" like Kane and Tony had been waiting for this movie and they were so excited to get the call that it was officially happening and that I was returning at the helm. Kane, as you may know, pretty much works on every movie I do whether he is acting in it or stunt coordinating. He's a very dear friend. All of them are close friends of mine though. Tony, Kane, Danielle, Tom Holland... they were among several of the "horror greats" at my wedding this past June. It's sort of to the point now where we all like working together so much that it's never really a question as to whether or not they'll do a project. And as someone who used to stand in line to get their autographs at conventions... I can't tell you what it's like to be so respected by the heavy weights of the genre now. Danielle and I became close during the many years of convention and festival touring that I've done with the various films I've made. Our autographing tables would wind up next to each other from time to time and I think because we're the same age and because we have so, so much in common (we have the same neurosis, ailments, illnesses - it's kind of creepy) we sort of have this brother/sister relationship where I can pick on her pretty hard but she can give it right back. Little known fact, but my middle name is actually "Harris".
In the second part of this interview Adam talks about the importance of playing FrightFest and his plans for the future.
MORE INTERVIEWS 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...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020
Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...
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...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE 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...SHARE: READ MORE 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?
SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...SHARE: READ MORE 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.
HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on 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 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...SHARE: READ MORE 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 ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019
Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.
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 ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019
Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...
HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?
PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019 It 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...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 6th March
Friday 6th March
Friday 28th February