Interview with Alastair Orr, director of Triggered
By James Whittington, Friday 28th August 2020
Alastair Orr

One of our favourite movies showing on Horror at the moment is Alastair Orr's superb shocker From a House on Willow Street. For FrightFest 2020 he has a new film for us all to enjoy, Triggered. Here he chats about both movies.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AO: I always loved films but it wasn't until my teens when I realised I could actually do it as a job. Growing up in a small town in South Africa, filmmaking was always seen as something that Americans do as a job - not us. We were very sheltered under the apartheid government in the late 80s so content was limited, if not censored. The video store was basically a Holy Grail where every week new stuff would arrive, sometimes it wasn't even that new, our latest releases could've been five years old. I would just watch these video tapes and didn't really pay much attention to how these films were made, but just watched out of utter enjoyment. My dad was cool with letting us watch whatever we want, he didn't really care about the age restrictions. It was only in high school, through an English class, that I started dissecting films and realised, hey, there's a lot of people that work on these movies and I could absolutely be one of them. My parents supported me with that decision and I got myself a student loan and went to the only film-school in the country at the time.

HC: We broadcast your movie, From a House on Willow Street on Horror Channel, what do you recall from making that movie?

AO: When I think back to that shoot all I remember is how cold it was. That threw us all. We're used to making films in the heat down in South Africa, but we wanted to avoid the rain with this one so we decided to shoot in winter. We could see the frost forming on our clothing as we were shooting. Everyone moves slower when they're cold so we were always running against the clock. It was an absolutely horrible process!

HC: What lessons did you learn as a director when making that film?

AO: I learnt that the director is going to get blamed for whatever decision gets put forward by producers, financiers anyway, so you might as well be an asshole and just do it your way anyway.

HC: How did you become involved with Triggered?

AO: I own a commercial production house and we wanted to do a film on our own terms. Every person that you go and ask for money from comes with their own set of rules and requirements on how that money should be spent. We decided to make a film with less money but something that we can completely control (well control as much as you can). We were working with the writer, David D. Jones, on a bigger film that we were trying to get off the ground when he pitched this low budget Battle Royale style film that we thought we could do with the money we had saved up.

HC: It seems to have been entirely shot on location, if so, how difficult was that?

AO: We shot on a horse farm that had these out trails that we could use. We only had budget for limited lights so it's basically the same 30m stretch of forest that we kept using. We found that if you lowered the lights and adjusted the angle the entire forest would change shape, so that allowed us to shoot the whole film in around 15 days. The biggest issue we had was the rain, as it poured down at least once every night. There were times when we were literally flooded out, with our lights being damaged and our vests breaking down constantly. I don't want to complain too much, but some people don't understand how hard it is to even make a crappy movie. There were at least 4 times while shooting Triggered when I got together with the producers and said, "There's no way we're finishing this movie." But the crew and cast always pulled themselves together and figured a way out of the holes we were in.

HC: What did the cast think of the shoot as it's a very physical movie set in a hard terrain?

AO: This was the first movie for a lot of our actors and that really worked to our advantage because they had no idea what they were getting into. They all became such great friends and were really up for anything.

HC: The technology used seems so cool, who designed that?

AO: There's this cosplay superstar called Brian Cargyle (Two Horns United) and he modelled and built the vests for us. They were a nightmare to shoot with because they kept breaking down with all the rain. We called an engineer buddy of ours out one morning at 2am to come over and supercharge them. He rewired them and set them up to remotes so we could control them. We had a TV remote mapped to all the vests so we could control whose vest is what colour and that they can change on screen.

HC: It's a sort of Hunger Games, meets slasher flicks meets Battle Royale, would you agree?

AO: Oh absolutely. We wear our references on our sleeves and poke fun of the films that came before. There was some dialogue that was cut from the film how this is essentially the same plot as Battle Royale. We always pitched it as SAW meets American Pie.

HC: There's a lot of effect shots, were they all done in camera?

AO: There was no way to shoot with real timers ticking down. That would be a logistical nightmare. So, we added all the timers in post - which in itself wasn't easy. We added some very small CG enhancements on the explosions. It's a very hand stitched film made by people that were really passionate about it.

HC: Are you just as nervous the movie is getting its UK premiere at a virtual event as opposed to a physical one?

AO: We all just wish we could be at FrightFest this year and have a great party with the audience. We were there in 2016 for Willow Street and it really is just the best festival experience in the world. There certainly is an energy at FrightFest in the cinema when you're watching these films and I don't know if that can be replicated with a digital version. We're glad that it can be seen though!

HC: Alastair Orr, thank you very much.

Horror Channel announces raft of premieres for February
Posted in Features, Thursday 13th January 2022
The Midnight Man - WEB1

February on Horror Channel keeps genre fans alive with the UK TV premiere of What Keeps You Alive - another suspenseful knife to the throat of 21st Century genre cinema from the deliciously warped mind of Colin Minihan, director of It Stains The Sand Red.

And expect more total shock and abject terror in the UK TV premiere of Paul Hyett's sinister sci-fi horror fantasy Peripheral. This twisted cross between Ex Machina and Videodrome boasts an astonishing performance from Hannah Arterton.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the gore-filled, stomach-churning zombie chiller Death Trench, Producer M. Night Shyamalan's claustrophobic supernatural thriller Devil, the...

Marco Beltrami and Brian Tyler's Scream scores get new releases
Posted in News, Sunday 9th January 2022
Scream Soundtracks

"Hello, Sidney"

Varese Sarabande celebrate the return of Scream with two very special releases. Marco Beltrami's scores from the first four films get the box set treatment via a 4-LP set, 6-CD set (exclusive to, and digital releases. Featuring a trove of previously unreleased material, both physical sets come in packaging that folds out into a Ghostface mask. The digital album is now available to stream wherever you get your music!

Meanwhile, Brian Tyler's score for the brand new Scream is getting an LP, CD and digital release as well... The expanded 24-track CD and digital version of Scream: Music from the Motion Picture are out n...

Who ya gonna call for help in the Afterlife?
Posted in News, Wednesday 5th January 2022
Ghostbusters Afterlife

From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, available to Download and Keep on January 10th, to Rent on Digital on January 31st and also on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Starring Carrie Coon (Gone Girl, The Nest), Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It), McKenna Grace (Young Sheldon, Gifted), Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II) and Paul Rudd (Ant-man, Avengers: Endgame), the film is written by Gil Kenan and Jason Reitman.

When single mum Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two children Finn (Finn Wolfhard) and ...

Stagefright - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 30th December 2021
Stagefright CoverStagefright
Shameless Entertainment
Certificate 18

Also known as Aquarius, Deliria and Bloody Bird, Michele Soavi's bold directorial debut Stagefright finally gets the Shameless treatment. Released at the backend of the slasher trend this 1987 effort takes the genre in a far more artistic direction than most of the era and stands up to close scrutiny to this day. More recent movies such as Halloween (2018) and Climax (2018) seems to have taken some themes from this which is a fine reminder of why slasher movies don't just start and end with the more famous franchises.

When a masked killer infiltrates a group of actors rehearsing overnight in an isolated theatr...

Horror Channel ushers in 2022 with zombie invasions
Posted in Features, Tuesday 21st December 2021

Evil-Dead II-WEB2

January weekends on Horror Channel are invaded by the undead with the UK TV premiere of Lin Oeding's newly-flavoured zombie horror-comedy Office Uprising, and the two highly acclaimed Zombie apocalypse road movies - Stake Land, receiving its Channel premiere, and the sequel The Stakelander, enjoying a UK TV premiere.

Plus, there are channel premieres for the bone-chilling The Wretched, directed by The Pierce Brothers, Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead 2, once again starring the demon battling Brue Campbell and the original Dolph Lundgrem/Jean-Claude Van Damme futuristic thriller Universal Soldier.

Here's everything you need to know:

A VHS classic on the 8th as Je...

The best kind of honey trap! Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest is coming to vinyl
Posted in News, Thursday 16th December 2021
Doctor Who Hornets Nest

On limited edition vinyl for the very first time, Demon Records presents Doctor Who: Hornet's Nest, the unique audio adventure that first instigated Tom Baker's remarkable return to the role of the Doctor.

This release will include an exclusive, frameable portrait of the Fourth Doctor - every copy of which has been individually signed by Tom Baker himself and is just one of the treats inside this stunningly designed package which also includes an impressive, die-cut removable outer sleeve houses a hornet-adorned lidded box, inside which are 10 individual, exquisitely illustrated LP sleeves featuring full cast and credits for each story.

Also included is The Do...

Interview with Abigail Blackmore, writer and director of Tales From The Lodge
Posted in Interviews, Tuesday 14th December 2021
Abigail Blackmore 1

Ahead of Horror Channel's Xmas Day broadcast of her horror comedy feature Tales From The Lodge, director Abigail Blackmore recalls the brutal weather conditions, the challenges of casting and the joy of playing at FrightFest.

HC: Thanks to Horror Channel, Tales From The Lodge finally gets its UK TV premiere on British TV. Excited or what?

AB: So excited! I know a huge amount of people watch the Horror Channel so I'm hoping it opens TFTL up to a whole new audience.

HC: Looking back to its showcase screening at FrightFest in 2019, what are your abiding memories?

AB: It was a wonderful experience! FrightFest has long been one of the highlights of my ...

Interview with Barbara Crampton, star of chilling horror Sacrifice
Posted in Interviews, Wednesday 8th December 2021
Sacrifice Image 1

Barbara Crampton is a Horror Channel favourite. This much loved and much admired creative is starring in the UK TV premiere of Sacrifice, which is showing December 12th at 9pm on Horror so we chatted to her about this movie and her plans for the future.

Note that there are some spoilers for Sacrifice in the interview.

HC: Can you recall how you felt the first time you stepped onto a TV or film set?

BC: Yes, I remember the first time I was ever on a television set, it was for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, and it was my very first job, and I had one line, "Hi. I'm your cousin Trista from Colorado". It was to the character Marlena Evans and subsequently I had w...

Stagefright to be released thanks to Shameless
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
Stagefright Cover

Combining graphic, blood-splattered set pieces with his trademark wit and filmmaking elegance, Michele Soavi's (Dellamorte Dellamore, The Sect, The Church), Stagefright is now unleashed in a new 4K restoration.

When a masked killer infiltrates a group of actors rehearsing overnight in an isolated theatre, thesta ge is set for carnage! Featuring an abundance of over-the-top kills and spills, shot with Soavi's typical style, marvel at the mayhem as the iconic chainsaw wielding 'Owl Man', delivers a bloodsoaked performance for the ages.

From one of the masters of Italian horror, Stagefright is at the pinnacle of 80s slashers. Michele Soavi was schooled by Dario Argento and Terry Gil...

Scream - Legacy cast posters revealed
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”)

It's always someone you know.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.

Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) and David Arquette (Dewey Riley) return to their iconic roles in Scream but will all three survive?

The cast also includes Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.

Paramount Pictures and Spyglas...

Finally, Argento's masterpiece to get 4K restoration release
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021

From master of horror Dario Argento (Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) comes Phenomena - one of his most eccentric and unique thrillers, featuring telepathic insects, maggots galore, and even a razor-wielding chimp!

Jennifer Corvino (Jennifer Connelly), daughter of a world-renowned movie star, arrives in the so-called "Swiss Transylvania" to attend an exclusive girls' school. However, a vicious killer is targeting the pupils, and sleepwalker Jennifer finds herself in the assassin's headlights when her nocturnal wanderings cause her to witness the death of a fellow pupil. Aided by paraplegic entomologist John McGregor (Donald Plea...

Video nasty classic Don't Go in the House will reopen next year
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021

A legendary title from the Video Nasties era, Joseph Ellison's relentlessly bleak and disturbing Don't Go In The House has lost none of its power to shock in the decades since it was first censored by the BBFC and seized by UK authorities.

Donny Kohler (The Sopranos' Dan Grimaldi in a gripping central performance), a disturbed loner unhealthily obsessed with fire, comes home from his factory job one day to find his abusive mother has died. Now all alone in the large Gothic mansion he calls home and consumed in an inferno of insanity, he is finally able to fulfil his violent revenge fantasies against her. Soon, any woman unlucky enough to enter...

Articles Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
The Wretched
Friday 28th January
10.55 PM
Tales From The Darkside
Sunday 23rd January
8.30 PM
The Darkness
Wednesday 26th January
9.00 PM