ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Ben Cresciman Director Of Sun Choke
By James Whittington, Sunday 30th August 2015

Sun ChokeAs always variety is the spice of FrightFest and the mixed programme of movies makes it so unmissable. Sun Choke is a movie that dares to be different, a psychological drama with violent undertones the film is trippy and at times menacing director Ben Cresciman has created a very original piece. Here he chats about this much talked about movie.

HC: Where did the concept for Sun Choke come from?

BC: It started as a sort of sunlit, psychological character study of two lonely and disturbed women. But the more I learned about them, the more horrific their story became. There was this pervading sense of unease and dread that I could see was ready to detonate. That slow burn to detonation is what the film ultimately became.

HC: Did the idea and characters change much as you wrote it?

BC: Nothing changed so much as it came into sharper focus. The core of it is pretty much what I had in mind from the beginning, but for me, during the process of writing and revising, you discover moments, bits of dialogue, sometimes the smallest things, and all of a sudden the whole thing looks clearer.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie? Did you have a wish list?

BC: No wish list. The script was pretty definitive in terms of its demands, so it became about finding people who could connect with (and handle) the material. We saw close to a thousand actresses for the 3 main roles, and like the writing process, there are moments when you meet the right person and suddenly you can see the film in your head in a new and exciting way. With Barbara, from our first conversation, there was no question she was the one. In the case of Sarah Hagan and Sara Malakul Lane, they each auditioned for both roles and once we saw the chemistry between them as they are in the film, the whole picture really came into view.

HC: The cast, especially Sarah Hagan give incredibly strong, powerful performances, how did they deal with such dark material?

BC: I'm awed and honored by the work of Sarah Hagan, Barbara Crampton, and Sara Malakul Lane. They all had a keen understanding and connection to the script, saw the meaning in the madness. The film definitely takes the three of them to some dark places but actors of their caliber understand those moments as opportunities to reach new levels of emotional engagement and artistic expression. Sarah Hagan took on a daunting task inhabiting this character who's the focus of almost every frame in the film, and she turns in a performance unlike anything I've ever seen before.

HC: Barbara Crampton also gives a very deep performance, what was it like working with this legendary actress?

BC: Amazing! She's such a pro, so talented, and just a wonderful person (as are Sarah and Sara), that our work was all that much easier in many ways. She brought depth and nuance to the role and strikes such a fine balance between nurturing and terrifying that makes her character come right to life. One scene during the shoot, she delivered a first take that literally had several crew members teary-eyed, a really palpable moment on the set. And we didn't even use that take, because the next one was even better.

HC: What was the shoot like and did you have a large budget?

BC: The shoot was approximately 17 days and is the greatest, most electric, creatively satisfying experience of my life to date. We didn't have a large budget by any means, but the entire cast and crew was so dedicated, energetic, and generous with their talents, and from the first day it was just a lot of fun. Way more than you might expect given how dark the material gets.

HC: It reminded me very much of the classic black and white, psychological chillers from the 60s, would you agree?

BC: Well, Roman Polanski's Repulsion is a big influence. Likewise of Bergman's Persona. The 60's were an amazing decade for horror films.

HC: Would you make more movies in the genre?

BC: Most definitely.

HC: Are you nervous about it playing to a UK audience?

BC: Not any more than usual. I'm always excited to share the film with a new audience, so I can't wait.

HC: So, what projects are you working on at the moment?

BC: I'm working on two films I'm hoping to film in pretty close succession. One is a pretty wild and anarchic home invasion thriller, and the other I'm playing close to the chest, but I'm psyched to share more details soon.

HC: Ben Cresciman, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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 VareseSarabande.com), 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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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 ...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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 ...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Finally, Argento's masterpiece to get 4K restoration release
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
46601_2_PHENOMENA_EXPLODED_PACK_UK_V12

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Video nasty classic Don't Go in the House will reopen next year
Posted in News, Saturday 4th December 2021
47326_2_DONT_GO_IN_THE_HOUSE_OCARD_2D

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
WAZ
WAZ
Tuesday 18th January
10.50 PM
The Time Tunnel
THE TIME TUNNEL
Friday 28th January
7.00 PM
This Island Earth
THIS ISLAND EARTH
Sunday 23rd January
6.45 PM