ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Jordan Barker, director of Witches in the Woods
By James Whittington, Sunday 25th August 2019

It's been over a decade since we last chatted to director Jordan Barker when he was at FrightFest with his chiller, The Marsh. He's back with Witches in the Woods so we tracked him down for a chat.

HC: Its been a while since we last chatted which was at FrightFest 2006 with The Marsh, what have you been up to since then?

JB: Since the Marsh I did a noir thriller in LA called Duress starring Martin Dovonan and Ariel Winter (Modern Family) and then opened my own production shingle with my producing partner Borga Dorter, Gearshift Films. Since 2009, we've produced six films, two of which I have directed. Torment, which played at Frightfest Glasgow in 2014 starring Katharine Isabelle and Witches in the Woods.

How did you come about directing Witches in the Woods?

JB: I am lucky to be repped at a great LA management company that is home to some seriously talented writers and directors. I read Chris Borrelli's draft of the script, formerly titled Stranded and thought this was a very challenging project with some very timely themes. The script has been at New Line and was in turnaround and I gave Chris my pitch and we were off to the races. It was the perfect project to shoot up in Canada in the middle of the winter.

HC: The cast are solid throughout, how do you direct people when dealing with such strange material?

JB: I firmly believe that a lot of the work is done with great casting. It was a challenge to put together 7 characters, some of whom aren't going to have a tonne of time on screen, and still have each character resonate and seem like a three-dimensional person. Our goal from the beginning was to keep everything grounded in reality and let the underlying issues between the characters bubble up as things got more tense. I always felt that getting stranded in the woods itself was not a scab you keep picking, it's the resentment toward the person who got you there that can push you over the edge. I felt that was the most interesting thing to watch, to peel away the onion so to speak.

HC: Was it all shot on location?

JB: 75% of the film was shot outside on location in the frigid northern Ontario temperatures. Early on we knew that once the window fogged up in the car, we could get away with shooting most of that in studio and we did.

HC: How nervous are you that the movie is getting its world premiere at FrightFest?

JB: It's equal parts nerves and excitement. Obviously, there is no better audience to premiere a genre film and you want everyone to like your film and have an enjoyable experience.

HC: Do you believe in the paranormal?

JB: I believe that reality is not a fully objective experience that we all share. So, I fully believe that certain people are open to experiencing things that others are not. Without getting too metaphysical, let's just say that I haven't had a personal experience, but I would never say something is impossible.

HC: You've got quite a list of talents on your CV, is there one job you like doing the most?

JB: Ha. I enjoy bringing stories to life and have had the opportunity to work in a few capacities, mostly as a gateway to try and have more control over the films and stories I tell. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw my first movie in a theatre (The Empire Strikes Back) and don't consider what I do for a living to be work at all.

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

JB: We just wrapped post on a film I'm producing, a crime drama called Tainted and I'm putting the finishing touches on my next project, a sci-fi horror called Harbinger, based on the HP Lovecraft inspired short story One Way Conversation about a group of engineers who have discovered a way to transmit information faster than the speed of light and are unprepared for the unexpected consequences. It feels a bit like Primer meets Ex Machina.

HC: Jordan Barker, thank you very much.


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST
MORE ARTICLES
Brain Dead is coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
BrainDead_SLIPCASE_3D_PACK

101 Films will release Adam Simon's Brain Dead on 28th September, a mind-bending nightmare based on a story from The Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont, released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK on the 101 Films Black Label. Extras include a new documentary on the film, a new interview with director Adam Simon in which he discusses Brain Dead and working with Roger Corman, and a booklet with new writing on the film. The initial run with booklet and slipcase is limited to 3000 units.

The Eunice Corporation is on the ground floor of an exciting growth industry, utilizing a memory re-sculpting technique pioneered by eccentric neurosurgeon Rex Martin (Bill Pu...

SHARE: READ MORE
Poster art revealed for Howard J Ford's latest feature, The Lockdown Hauntings
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
The Lockdown Hauntings poster-WEB

Howard J Ford's latest feature film is The Lockdown Hauntings, a supernatural serial killer movie. The award-winning director behind The Dead, The Dead 2: India, and Never Let Go, revealed that plans are underway to release the film, which was shot entirely in lockdown without a crew, exactly one year after the UK lockdown was called (March 16) which is the very same day the film's story starts.

With the streets now empty, it isn't just nature that is taking advantage of this unprecedented global disaster. Spirits are freer than ever before and the spirit of a notorious serial killer, AKA 'The Locksmith', is back from the dead and he has even more p...

SHARE: READ MORE
David Lynch's Eraserhead to get the Criterion treatment
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
Eraserhead Cover

Sony Pictures are releasing Criterion Collection's Eraserhead on 19th October, in new 4K digital resolution on Blu-ray complete with a host of David Lynch approved features.

David Lynch's 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead, is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey remains one of American cinema's darkest dreams.

Apart from a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack the disc also contains "Eraserhead" Stories which is a 2001 documentary by Da...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Andy Nyman about his role in the classic TV version of The Woman in Black
Posted in Interviews, Sunday 9th August 2020
The Woman in Black Network packshot

Andy Nyman is one of the most popular and hardworking actors working today. From thrillers to chillers, from comedy to drama, Andy can turn his hand to any genre. Thanks to Network Releasing we are able to appreciate his first ever TV appearance as they release a remastered version of the acclaimed television adaptation of The Woman in Black. We chatted to Andy about his role in this legendary piece.

HC: Let's chat about this TV version of The Woman in Black, was it one of your first ever roles very first TV role?

AN: That was my very first TV role, I was 23, the same age my son is now. It is a shock, isn't it? I was like, when I saw it ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dracula's Child by J.S. Barnes - The Unofficial Sequel to Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020
Draculas Child Book Cover

J.S. Barnes dives straight to the dark heart of Bram Stoker's legendary creation, capturing the voice, tone, style and characters of the original, whilst exploring pressing themes of modern life in this age of false facts and fake news in Dracula's Child. The book offers a wonderful and wholly original expansion to the story of the world's most famous vampire. After all, evil never truly dies.

It has been some years since Jonathan and Mina Harker survived their ordeal in Transylvania and, vanquishing Count Dracula, returned to England to try and live ordinary lives.

But shadows linger long in this world of blood feud and superstition - and, the older their s...

SHARE: READ MORE
I Spit on Your Grave franchise to get box-set treatment
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020
I Spit on Your Grave Box SetKaleidoscope Home Entertainment has announced I Spit on Your Grave: The Complete Collection - the shocking, controversial and ground-breaking film series, presented on Blu-ray and DVD for the very first time, arriving 5th October.

When the original 1978 film was banned in the UK upon release, this notorious revenge movie helped launch the "video nasty" craze of the 1980's and inspired a generation of genre directors through its provocative, no-holds-barred filmmaking. 32 years later, a bold and shocking remake reignited the franchise and spawned a series of sequels which pushed the envelope even further.

Available in the UK as a complete set for the first time, t...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August 2020 Short Film Programme
Posted in Frightfest, Saturday 8th August 2020
FrightFest August Short Film -logo2

The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year's selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.

The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for Werewolf, where game night just got dangerous, A Bit Of Fun, where a girls' night in brings out the dead and The Beholder, in which you'd be wise to ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Airell Hayles

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.

HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?

AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Toby and Fionn Clapper 1

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.

HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?

FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
45507_1_DEVILS_REVENGE_KEY_ART_V0g

All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.

The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).

John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
FrightFest Online-Logo-3_NEW

The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.

Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.

The men...

SHARE: READ MORE
Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Piranna II The Spawning exploded pack shot

It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.

While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.

As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.

This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Patient Zero
PATIENT ZERO
Friday 21st August
9.00 PM
Reborn
REBORN
Saturday 22nd August
9.00 PM
Gallowwalkers
GALLOWWALKERS
Tuesday 18th August
10.55 PM