LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
By James Whittington, 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 real true horror moment in a movie that otherwise really wasn't horror but it has those kind of horror elements to it. I think that started it but then I became really obsessed with really writers first which is maybe why I went with writing and it was R.L. Stein's Fear Street, it was Christopher Pike, it was Lois Duncan, it was things like that. Then it became Stephen King and I gravitated towards that. I loved Edgar Allen Poe from a really early age, and I have dog now named Poe! I started to write at a very early age, and they were always pretty dark where my parents had the idea to seek help to see if this was healthy! And then comic books too, I've always been a reader of comic books like DC Vertical always seem to be the darker edgier stuff that I really loved. I was debating whether or not it was it something that was instilled in an early age, whether you are born with a love of the darker stuff. It wasn't until I had my son I was conscious we didn't want to push him into any direction and in our own taste he really seemed to gravitate towards... he is such a horror fan so I don't know if you're born with it or not.
HC: You mentioned Stephen King so it would be mad of me not to mention IT. How did that come your way?
GD: I have had a long relationship with New Line, and I was working on Annabelle, the first one, I think, and they were talking about how they were getting IT and the people involved just knew I was a fan. So, as a fan I said to them, "What you doing? How's it going?" because I love any bits of gossip (laughs) and eventually the opportunity came when they needed a writer. They'd brought Andy Muschietti on board and fortunately they got to me and got Andy and me in a room that's where we all hit it off creatively. They knew I was a fan, I had a working relationship with them and I hadn't met Andy before then but then once we'd gotten in a room together there was a vibe.
HC: Did you know it was going to be such a massive hit as there was such a buzz when the film was announced?
GD: There was a buzz, yeah, I just knew the book was so beloved. I knew it was going to be special as I knew what Andy was going to do with it. But at the same time when you're writing it, I knew there was going to be eyeballs for this. Tim Curry's Pennywise is always in the zeitgeist, I remember the mini-series when it came on, the book has sold millions and millions and millions of copies so I knew from a business stand point I guess I knew there was going to be eyeballs for it. But it wasn't really until I see it come together with the cast, I thought it was special. Everybody did such a great job.
HC: You made it feel like two separate films, it didn't seem watered down, it kept its pace. How difficult was that?
GD: Thanks very much and yeah, it was very challenging to do. Its just like everything else its like marble, you chip away and chip away you get the footage and all that and hopefully you come out with something to resemble whatever you're chipping away at. It was a goal to treat each movie like it was its own movie so you felt fulfilled and satisfied by the end of them so it didn't feel like you ended on a cliff hanger one was downer, you want to end with a sense of hope at the ending of both of them.
HC: Let's talk about The Conjuring universe of movies, how did you become a writer for those?
GD: Much like IT, it was just by raising my voice and I saw a very early cut of The Conjuring at a friends and family screening James (Wan) was doing and I was bowled over blown away by it and I've said this in the past. James was at the screening and I introduced myself and said I'd been a fan for a long time. I had worked with New Line on some stuff prior and when The Conjuring became a success they saw the reaction to Annabelle and said "Hey, there's a film here", James knew a movie was in the air and that was a phone call that was just made to me and I said again I was a fan, knew my work and asked if I would be involved and said yes without hesitation and that started my involvement in the universe.
HC: Annabelle Comes Home, like IT, had a great buzz about it and it holds the crucial creepy atmosphere the series is known for. How did you approach writing this movie?
GD: This goes back to what we were talking about earlier part of our conversation (Note: During our introductions before the interview began, we chatted about film moments we wanted to share with our kids, spending time with our families watching classic horror movies together) this is not a movie you can take your whole family too but I did want that kind of that Amblinesque element to it. I do think it's a kind of movie, its Rated R I don't have an issue with my son seeing it, or whatever. I knew the way I approached it was because that the centerpiece or one of the main character was Judy Warren who was the Warren's daughter so it was hard not to approach the material as a parent as I was looking at it through their lens as well. And I knew because it was Judy Warren, because it was set in the Warren's house you know there were certain parameters I had to fit certainly there wasn't to be a mass slaughter inside the Warren's house so it would look silly if something really devastating happened there. So, when I realised I could have fun with this haunted house romp.
HC: Are you very protective of the character of Annabelle now that you've been behind her for a number of films and how nervous were you as the director of Annabelle Comes Home?
GD: Yes, I am protective, but I think inherently because of the evil that's attached to her there's a limitless amount of stories so I am protective in terms of I never want her to be seen as benign. I'm protective that she's evil I think in terms as a first-time director I was very, very nervous but I was fortunate to have a great crew and an extraordinary cast that I could use as a safety net who were supper patient, super supportive, and really, really collaborative which is an environment I thrive in. I had a director friend tell me, you know and I was asking advice and they said "You are going to make a movie with your friends, and treat it like that and you'll have fun" and I took that to heart and that's what it felt like from day one till the end of it. So, the nerves, I was nervous every day but once I got into the rhythm each day and I saw who was around me I got through them in order to feel like I was useful.
HD: Gary Dauberman, thank you very much.
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with actor Nicholas Vince star of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Posted on Monday 30th March 2020
Fridays in April on Horror will deliver to you three of the most viscous and acclaimed horror movies ever made, Hellraiser, Hellraiser II: Hellbound and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. One of the stars of the first two movies was Nicholas Vince who brought so much to the character of "Chatterer".
Here he, err, chats to Horror about how he become involved in such memorable movies and his plans for the future.
(Photo credit Dawson James Photography)
HC: When did you first meet Clive Barker?
NV: I met him at a party in May 1984. We got on well and he invited me to model for him; for his painted covers of the first UK hardback editions of his Books of Blood.
HC: What...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Vendetta
Posted on Thursday 19th March 2020 Vengeance Season on Horror contains the UK TV premiere of Vendetta, the superb all-male maelstrom of mayhem from Jen and Sylvia Soska. We chatted to these incredible talented creatives about this action-packed thriller and what they have planned for the future.
HC: Have you always been wrestling fans and if so, when growing up, who were your faves?
Sylvia: We got introduced to wrestling during the epic Kane brother storyline during the Undertaker and Heartbreak Kid feud that led to the first ever Hell in a Cell. I mean after that kind of an introduction; how doesn't the magic of wrestling have your heart for the rest of your life? If it isn't obvious, I'm a Shawn Michaels fan.
Jen: Und...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 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 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 Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 4th April
Sunday 12th April
Monday 13th April