LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS
Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
By James Whittington, Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald has been behind a number of FrightFest favourites in the past including Bite which is showing on Horror in September. With is latest movie, I'll Take Your Dead wowing audiences at FrightFest we chatted to Chad.
HC: We last spoke a few years back about your fabulous movie, Bite, I loved it, and would you consider a Bite 2?
CA: I would love to do a Bite 2 if there was enough demand for it. Bite was the most fun I've had making a movie and I think if we made a second, we would just amp it all up. More goo, more gore, more laughs. I've got tons of ideas already so it's never off the table.
HC: Where did the story of I'll Take Your Dead come from?
CA: Years ago, I was hired to do a film that was meant to keep kids out of gangs. It was government funded and, for research for the writer, I was flown to most of the major cities in Canada to interview kids in shelters that have been affected by gang violence and manipulation. It was an eye opening experience. I didn't realize how common serious gang activity was in Canada and how so many good people get sucked in. I'd speak to parents who worked normal 9-5 office jobs and one day they ran into the wrong person and it changed their lives. A lot of gangs use fear to manipulate people into doing what they want and that's how these good people would end up going down a horrible path. When I finally got home, I started writing I'll Take Your Dead.
HC: It's very different from your other movies, do you deliberately move from genre to genre to keep your work fresh?
CA: Absolutely, we've created 10 films in the last 5 years and we never want to make the same film twice. We want to always stay fresh for audiences but also for ourselves. Always challenge ourselves and with I'll Take Your Dead, we wanted to create a blended genre film that had a lot of heart, some solid scares, and mix it with a bit of a Canadian western.
HC: How did you get such an amazing cast together?
CA: They did great eh! We made an offer to Aidan as we've seen him in many films over the years. We knew he could play the strong silent type that could explode if backed in a corner. We did extensive auditions for both Gloria and Jackie's roles. When Ava Preson auditioned for Gloria, we knew right away that she was perfect. The second she left the room we all erupted in how great she was and we were lucky enough to get her in the film. She's become a fan favourite and deserves every bit of praise that's been sent to her. Jess was actually in Spain and sent in a video audition. It was great and after asking around, we heard the most amazing things about her talent on and off camera. She was a dream to work with and brought the edge that Jackie's character needed. Lastly, Ari Millen who play's Reggie, is a good friend of ours and such a talented human being. We knew right away that he was perfect for Reggie and he nailed that cocky, arrogant character to a T.
HC: Was it all shot on location and if so, how hard was it as it seemed to have been in the middle of winter?
CA: It was 85% shot on location in the dead of the Canadian winter. The house was basically abandoned so we went in and thawed it out. It was like a frozen tomb and we had to bring in industrial furnaces to heat the house while filming. We really wanted to capture that desolate feeling that you get when you live in the middle of nowhere in the winter. I grew up in a farmhouse in the country and man when you are snowed in, you feel alone in the world and that's how we wanted William and Gloria to feel. The basement of the house was actually a set that we built. It was just too hard to find a farmhouse that had a big enough basement for us to create the burnt man's home.
HC: The way you crank up the tension is perfectly paced, how hard is it to achieve this as a director?
CA: I think a lot of it is created at script stage. If you're not feeling it when you read the script, it's going to be hard to create it on set. I think it's a flaw of a lot of indie filmmakers (and I've learned from making the mistake) but assuming that when you get on set with the cameras and lighting and cast, you'll be able to create tension and suspense that's not coming across in the script. Get it on paper! If you feel it during the read, it's much more achievable to capture it on camera. A great cast helps too.
HC: The special effects are very subtle, was this deliberate, as not to distract from the complex relationships between the main characters?
CA: We never meant this film to be horribly gruesome even though the concept sounds like something that could be really gory. Anytime I hear the word "Butcher" in a horror movie, I think of a cheesy hick in a blood covered room with a huge cleaver and a bloody apron. I really wanted to stay away from making the gore too sensationalized. I want it more about seeing how this man deals with what he's been forced to do. For him, it's like cutting up a cow to package and sell... But it's obviously not a cow. I wanted it to more about the people that the blood and guts.
HC: Do you believe that there is some sort of "afterlife?"
CA: I think I do but I don't think it's anything like anyone on this planet imagines it. I think it's something we really can't comprehend yet. I guess I would say I think there's some sort of afterlife that has more of a scientific explanation than a godly one. Maybe in a thousand years, if we're all still here, we'll know the science of the human spirit and that's will be where some of the answers to afterlife will come from.
HC: We are currently showing The Drownsman on Horror, what are your recollections on the making of this movie?
CA: Oh man, The Drownsman was the hardest shoot of my life! We built The Drownsman's basement set in the middle of a field on an apple orchard. We had no money to make this movie so it was just a bunch of friends working to achieve something so ambitious. The insane challenges we had with water, and heating water, and moving water and containing water were endless! It was a journey and to this day when I see someone who worked on The Drownsman, we share an unspoken moment of respect for what we went through and what we managed to pull off.
HC: After all these years do you get nervous when your movies are shown at festivals?
CA: I hate watching films I directed with an audience. I usually watch it once at the world premiere then never again. I feel like all I can see is what's wrong with the film or what we never had the budget to achieve or what I would go back and change. That being said, it's such a great feeling seeing an audience laugh at a joke, jump at a scare, or cry at a performance... Or puke at a disgusting scene ha ha.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
CA: We just wrapped Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment's latest feature called "The Oak Room" which is directed by Cody Calahan and is starring RJ Mitte and Peter Outerbridge. It's a thriller mystery that once again captures Canada's cold northern winters. It's very different than anything we've done in the past and we think it's going to be something pretty special. Can't wait for it to get out to the world!
HC: Chad Archibald, thank you very much.
Related show tags: BITE, FRIGHTFEST, THE DROWNSMAN MORE FRIGHTFEST Interview with Tony and Ryan Smith co-writers of Volition.
Posted on Tuesday 7th July 2020
FrightFest 2019 delivered some amazing movies and one of the best was Volition from the talented brothers Tony and Ryan Smith. Now that the movie has been unleashed onto Apple TV, Prime Video and other Digital Platforms we chatted to them about this acclaimed movie and their plans for the future.
HC: You both hail from South Africa, what's the movie industry like in that country at the moment?
TDS: I believe the South African film industry is very healthy and it's a place Ryan and I would love to revisit and make a movie about. I have a number of filmmaker friends who film there and absolutely love the people, the scenery and the incredible crews.
HC: Did you know from an...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest to present August digital edition
Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2020
Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual over the August Bank Holiday, presenting up to twenty-five films from Friday 28th August to Monday 31st August inclusive.
There will also be additional online content including special guest intros, Q and As, and a short film showcase. Plus, some free Live events are at the planning stage. Passes and individual tickets will be available and go on sale early August. The films will be geo-blocked for viewers in the UK.
More details will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the line-up of films.
Ian Rattray, FrightFest co-director said today: "Although we can't recreate the special atmosphere of our public gat...SHARE: READ MORE Important news from team FrightFest
Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions on social distancing, Arrow FrightFest's traditional five day event in August has been regretfully put on hold. Instead, the organisers are planning to expand their traditional all-day Halloween event at the end of October.
Alan Jones, co-director, said today: "Sadly, we won't be able to come together and celebrate our 21st year in the summer but rest assured, we will make our London Halloween event one to remember. FrightFest has always been about the genre community joining together, not just to embrace films but to demonstrate our unique spirit of supportive closeness".
Details on dates, venues, films and tick...SHARE: READ MORE 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 Arrow Video FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2020 line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th January 2020
Welcome the transgressive, the traumatic and the terrifying as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 15th fantastic year, from Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March, 2020.
Thirteen is lucky for some as that's the number of new films being presented at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning four continents, including one world, two European and seven UK premieres.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: "Welcome to another banner FrightFest and another invitation to explore the horror fantasy genre's fertile harvest bursting with creativity, ...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 Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019 Arrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.
The popular Halloween all-day event returns to the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November and the 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four UK premieres, one European and one International premiere.
The day kicks off with the European Premiere of Josh Hasty's Candy Corn. With an impressive all-star genre cast (including Tony Todd, who exec-produces), an innovative iconic killer...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest favourite A Good Woman is Hard to Find coming to cinemas and HD
Posted on Thursday 26th September 2019
Directed by Abner Pastoll and starring Sarah Bolger, Edward Hogg, Andrew Simpson and Jane Brennan the superb thriller A Good Woman is Hard to Find will be released in Cinemas and Digital HD on 25th October.
Written by Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Ronan Blaney, the movie closed FrightFest 2019 to much acclaim this crowd-pleasing and violent kitchen-sink revenge thriller is a dark and daring journey through Northern Ireland's criminal underbelly.
Recently widowed mother of two Sarah (a tour-de-force Sarah Bolger) is desperate to know who m...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019
In the bizarre and gruesome comedy/horror Porno, Abe, played by Evan Daves is a burgeoning pervert with a guilty conscience who works in a cinema and ends up battling a demon! Here, Evan tells all about this gory story. (Headshot - Matthew Murphy)
HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?
ED: I had the audition come in through my agent. Adrienne Stern, the casting director, is great; she actually cast me in my first movie when I was 13, a comedy called "Harold" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Since then she's always been kind enough to bring me in for projects that I'm right for. When I saw her name in the breakdown I knew it would be a wacky, cool project - she has a great eye for that stuff...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 19th July
Friday 17th July
Monday 27th July