Interview With Robert Eggers, Director Of The Witch
By James Whittington, Monday 7th March 2016

The Witch PosterReleased into UK cinemas on March 11th, The Witch promises to be an unnerving piece of cinema which is already creeping under the skin of audiences across America. Its director, Robert Eggers took some time out of his busy schedule to chat to Horror about this much anticipated movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the movie industry?

RE: Yeah, I mean there were times when things changed, times I wanted to be a painter or a musician but generally it would come back to being a film maker.

HC: The Witch is your debut feature, where did the idea come from?

RE: I grew up in New England and New England’s past is always very much part of my consciousness, I’d do a small New England town full of dilapidated Colonial farm houses and graveyards in the middle of the woods and I wanted to make an archetypal New England horror story, something that would feel like a nightmare from the past, like an inherited Puritan nightmare.

HC: Was there a particular feeling you wanted to set?

RE: I really wanted to take audiences back to the 17th century and if we are to believe in the witch in a given reality in the way the witch was in the early modern period, I had to do my best to recreate the 17th century as authentically as possible, in both in the design and the mind-set of the people. So the family farm is constructed using the same materials that would have been used during that period and sometimes that meant using period tools and techniques to make that stuff. Believe me if we’d had the chance to use a chainsaw or screw gun I would have but we needed it to look a certain way to camera doing it the old fashioned way was the only way and that’s what we did.

HC: The films taps into primal, superstitious fears, something most horror trends avoid in favour of shock horror and jump-shocks. Was that an important factor in the storytelling of this movie?

RE: There are a few jump-scares in the film and I’m not against jump-scares or anything but it’s not the kind of storytelling that I’m not interested in, I’m just trying to tell this story of this family in a way that made sense to me and that’s how it came out.

HC: The film has a very British cast, as an American director how did you go about casting, what was your process?

RE: This film takes place at the very beginning of New England, the very beginning of the great migration, so this family has come only recently come from England to the New World and because I wanted it to be very naturalistic I wanted a UK cast so that for the most part people can be using their own accents for it to be at least familiar enough with these kind of accents to do it properly. So, Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie were people that I was aware of beforehand and they are fantastic and then Carmel Cochrane who was our UK casting director that helped me find Anya (Taylor-Joy) and all the children.

HC: What sort of budget did you have to work with and did it have an impact on your vision?

RE: The budget that we were trying to obtain was $3.2 million and the film ended up being about $3.5 million and it took a very long time to get that budget. People didn’t want to spend the money building the farm building, clothing realistically, on getting the UK cast over to North America and the money that would take to cast the children etc. etc. so it took quite some time to get that. Once I had worked very hard to understand what the budget was going to be so that we could live within there. Once we had found the right investors, we have very supportive investors and very, very supportive creative producers, a great team of Department Heads so we were able to do it right and there was very little compromise aside from obstacles that come with things like weather or a goat (laughs).

HC: Has winning the Best Director Award at Sundance changed your approach to other projects?

RE: No. No. But it certainly has opened a lot of doors, that’s for sure.

HC: Is it true that Stephen King has been quoted as being terrified by your movie?

RE: That is true. It’s a huge honour, like being blessed by the Horror Pope!

HC: You’re currently working on a couple of horror projects, what is it about the genre that excites you?

RE: I‘m interested in the dark side of humanity and exploring that I think that it’s important. I think it’s interesting. I don’t know exactly why I’m so drawn to it, you can ask my psychologist!

HC: What scares you more than anything else?

RE: Humanity! It’s pretty scary what we’re capable of man!

HC: Robert Eggers, thank you very much.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on 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 rea...

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 ...

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 ...

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...

Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

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The Green Inferno
Saturday 29th February
10.55 PM
The Burning
Saturday 22nd February
10.35 PM
Tales From The Darkside
Sunday 1st March
8.30 PM