Interview with Jeffrey Reddick, writer and director of Don't Look Back
By James Whittington, Friday 23rd October 2020

Jeffrey Reddick, creator of the Final Destination franchise is back, and this time he's behind the camera with Don't Look Back. This superb chiller is packed with atmosphere and tension and goes to show that he's just as talented directing as he is writing. Here he chats about this movie and his career to date.

HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?

JR: Absolutely. I started watching horror films when I was 13. And when watched the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street," I fell in love with the genre.

HC: Was there one movie or person which inspired you to become a writer?

JR: I always loved writing. Growing up I was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology. And when I got into novels, Stephen King and Clive Barker had the biggest impact on my writing.

HC: After the huge success of Final Destination was the pressure on to come up with the next "big thing"?

JR: Of course. LOL. Everyone kept telling me to bring them something like Final Destination. Then I would pitch ideas and they would say, that's too much like Final Destination. Eventually, I had to take the pressure off myself to try and top that film and just working on creating new material.

HC: Let's talk about Don't Look Now, where did the idea come from and did it take long to write?

JR: The idea of people not helping someone in need was always something that stuck with me after reading the story about Kitty Genovese, a young woman who was assaulted in the apartment complex in the 60's. The story at the time was that dozens of people saw and heard the attack and didn't help. It came out recently that was a sensationalized urban legend. But that story always haunted me. So, I was always interested in how I would react in a situation like. That's where the idea started. But instead of just going the horror route, I wanted to create more of a mystery, so you weren't sure if there was something supernatural coming after the witnesses, or a real killer. As for the script, it took me about 3 months to write.

HC: Where did you find Kourtney Bell? She's sensational as the lead character, Caitlin.

JR: She was submitted through her agent. But I actually googled her before the audition and saw a website she created with clips of her work. And she just had every element I saw in Caitlin. So, I was really thrilled to find her. She's an amazing person and a great actress.

HC: Was the footage seen at the start actual news footage?

JR: Sadly, it was. I didn't want to show any footage where someone actually died. But I was shocked at how many videos there are out there of people being hurt and no one helping.

HC: This is your first time as director, were you nervous on the first day of shooting?

JR: I definitely was. I directed a short prior to this but stepping on a large set on my first day was intimidating. But I did my best to hide it and I knew I had a great cast and crew supporting me.

HC: Was there a time during the shoot that you thought you'd taken on too much?

JR: No. I knew we were shooting a pretty ambitious project on an indie budget, but we managed to handle everything that was thrown at us. I think the lack of sleep got me more than anything. I think I averaged 4 hours a night for a month.

HC: The film relies on tension and music to build up the atmosphere, was this a deliberate attempt to get away from elaborate set-pieces?

JR: Since the key mystery of the film was "is this a killer, supernatural force, or all in Catlin (our lead's) head" I couldn't really stage any set pieces and show people getting killed like I would in a traditional horror movie. I know fans going in for the blood and gore might be disappointed. But I definitely tried to create an atmosphere of tension. And the music was a key part of that.

HC: Who trained the birds?

JR: Tracy A. Oliver trained the crows and JJ Engel and Jeff Nix worked with them on set. They also trained the mice for a scene we in the movies. It's fun to use actual animals instead of trying to CGI them in later. But no matter how well they're trained, they're animals and they can be stubborn... just like people.

HC: Do you believe in Karma?

JR: I do. I'm a member of the Baha'i Faith, and while karma isn't a technical spiritual belief of ours, I do believe that as people, the energy that we put out in the world has repercussions. So, I believe if we do harmful things, it will come back on us eventually.

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

JR: Right now, I'm working on two animated series for Netflix, which is a lot of fun. One is a spin-off the popular Japanese comic book, Usagi Yojimbo. So, going from horror to young animation has been nice. Just to stretch some different creative muscles. But I'm a horror fan at heart, so I'm writing and producing some more projects. And I definitely hope to get back behind the camera in the near future.

HC: Jeffrey Reddick, thank you very much.

JR: My pleasure. I hope you and all your readers stay safe.

Arrow Video FrightFest 2022 announces bumper Glasgow Film Festival line-up
Posted on Thursday 20th January 2022
FrightFest Glasgow 2022 - headline banner

The UK's No.1 horror and fantasy film festival is back in person at the Glasgow Film Theatre, which for 17 glorious years has been FrightFest's second home, as part of the internationally renowned Glasgow Film Festival.

From Thursday 10th March to Saturday 12th March, FrightFest opens its terror trove to present twelve tasty treasures; an extravaganza of the dark arts, embracing the latest genre discoveries from around the globe, spanning eight countries in three continents, which includes World, International and UK premieres.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest commentated: "It's with great delight and with every single b...

Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

Final film of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 is a fangtastic (sorry) twist on the vampire movie, Sean Nichols Lynch's Red Snow. We had a quick chat about this blood-splattered shocker which has a deep vein of humour running through it.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Snow come from?

SL: I was trying to get a different horror feature financed and was struggling to get it off the ground. It was a frustrating period for me, and I honestly felt like I'd never get to make another film. I happened to run into Dennice, who I knew from my film school days at San Francisco State. We got to talking and I started to think about how great it would be to just drop everything and ...

Interview with Alex Kahuam writer and director of Forgiveness
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Alex Kahuam 1 Forgiveness

Director Alex Kahuam has brought to Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition a brutal and intelligent film, Forgiveness. Almost devoid of dialogue, it's an excursion into the raw side of reality. Here he chats about this movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when growing up which made you want to go into filmmaking?

AK: When we were kids my brother and I my parents took us a lot to the theaters and this is where everything began for me. I just loved the experience so much and till this day I thank them because they triggered this on me and for many years filmmaking has been my life. While growing up Hollywood films have always be...

Interview with Sarah Appleton co-writer and co-director of The Found Footage Phenomenon
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Sarah Appleton

The final documentary of FrightFest Online Edition looks to one of the most misunderstood genres out there. The Found Footage Phenomenon dissects this often over-looked type of movie with interviews from many key players. We chatted to co-writer and co-director Sarah Appleton about this very informative piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

SA: Yes, I grew up watching Hammer horror movies and Japanese horror because my dad was a film critic, so I used to look through all his VHS tapes he'd taped off the late night tv and pick something to watch. Evil Dead II was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, aged about 8.

HC: Can you recall the first fo...

Taxi rides and crumbling hotels - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 2
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

As we enter the final evening of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 there's still plenty to look forward to starting with a belter from directors Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon, Night Drive. Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte... and his whole life turns upside down. Slipping him a wad of cash, she hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex's place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. What starts off as a simpl...

Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

There are a number of monochrome movies at FrightFest this year and one of the stand out ones is Josh Stifter's Greywood's Plot so we had a quick chat with him about it.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when you were younger that made you want to be in the filmmaking business?

JS: Beetlejuice. I saw it when I was 5 years old. My family all got the flu and my mom went and rented it. This was back in the day when you didn't have access as easily to movies so if you rented a movie, it often would get watched a couple times before it was returned. Since we had nothing else to do, we all just laid around sick watching Beetlejuice over and over. I became obsessed. It was the first tim...

Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

Based on his own graphic novel 'Generous Bosom', Conor Stechschulte has written a tight and tense script for Ultrasound which is showing today at Arrow Films Fright Online Edition. We chatted to him about the process of bringing his original idea to the big screen.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to become a writer?

CS: I did! At about 7 or 8 I went from wanting to be a fighter pilot to wanting to be a writer. My formal education is in visual art, but I've always had narratives at the heart of all the creative work that I make and have never really stopped writing in one form or another.

HC: Was there any one person who inspired you?

CS: I can't...

Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

The feature debut of Rob Schroeder, producer of Sun Choke and Beyond The Gates, Ultrasound is a startling puzzle box Sci-Fi mystery and playing today at Arrow Films FrightFest Online Event. We chatted to Rob about this chilling movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be in filmmaking?

RS: Not really. When I was young, I loved going to the movie theatre every week, but I didn't see filmmaking as a career because in my town I didn't know any filmmakers. The movies were always so special for me and even sacred, so at a young age I did sense the magic.

HC: How did become attached to this project?

RS: I developed the project, by reaching out to Cono...

Interview with Peter Daskaloff director and co-writer of Antidote
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Peter Daskaloff Anitdote

Peter Daskaloff has brought his nerve-jangling movie Antidote to FrightFest Online Eidtion 2021 so we chatted to him about this complex and intriguing movie.

HC: What is your writing method when working alongside someone else?

PD: I usually write alone. But for Antidote, I had to hire a co-writer because the subject was complex. I needed another set of eyes to look at it from outside my box. Matt Toronto was recommended to me by my executive producer, Ian Michaels, who has worked with Matt before. The collaboration was a bit bumpy, but the resulting script turned out pretty good.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

PD: I had a casti...

Interview with Francesco Erba writer and director of As in Heaven, So on Earth
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Francesco Erba As In Heaven director

As In Heaven, So On Earth mixes the found footage genre with incredible animation to deliver a truly unique take on the format. The movie effortlessly moves from its gothic animation to cutting edge technology footage and brings together a tale which is emotional and utterly heart breaking in equal measure. We chatted to its writer and director Francesco Erba as it plays at FrightFest Online Edition 2021.

HC: Where did the idea for As in Heaven, So on Earth come from?

FE: As in Heaven, So on Earth was born not only from one specific idea but, as very often occurs, from many different ones, different influences and life experien...

Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Writer Casey Dillard is back alongside director Glenn Payne but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to Casey about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted, apart from Killer Concept, what have you been up to?

CD: Mostly avoiding Covid and trying to find work-arounds so that I can still perform safely.

HC: Where did the idea for Killer Concept come from?

CD: Glenn wanted to make a simple movie with minimal people while our core filmmaking team was unable to go to work so we kicked around a lot of ideas and KC wa...

Interview with Glenn Payne director and actor from Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Director Glenn Payne is back alongside writer Casey Dillard but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to him about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since you brought the superb movie Driven to FrightFest, how was that movie received across the world?

GP: Thank you for the kind words! We've felt very blessed by how warm the reception's been for Driven. We knew the story was different, given the entire thing takes place inside one vehicle, but the characters really seemed to resonate with people. I think that's a huge testament to the per...

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She Never Died
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