LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
By James Whittington, Sunday 5th September 2021
RedSnow-poster

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 make a movie with her and all my old film school friends. It was a chance encounter that got me excited about making movies all over again. I put the other project aside and started brainstorming. Two of my favourite subgenres are vampire movies and Christmas horror, so blending them together felt really fun to me and something I hadn't really seen. I had access to a family cabin in Lake Tahoe, so that would be the setting. Naturally, Dennice's character ended up being a frustrated writer, because that's exactly where I was at that time in my life!

HC: Did it take long to write?

SL: After that initial spark, I spent a while jotting down notes and brainstorming. By the time I was ready to sit down and actually write the screenplay for Red Snow, it kind of poured out of me. I actually find the faster I write something, the better it turns out. It's the stuff I start and stop over the course of years that ends up in the drawer.

HC: Was it hard to balance the comedy and horror elements?

SL: A well-told joke has similar mechanics to a well-crafted scare. I think the key is to take the horror element seriously and for the humour to mostly come from the characters. For me, the comedy adds to the horror in Red Snow. You care about Olivia because she's so funny and endearing. You want to see her make it out alive.

HC: Dennice Cisneros is superb as Olivia, did she audition for the role?

SL: The role of Olivia was written specifically for Dennice, so she didn't have to audition. It was similar with Nico, who plays Luke. He didn't audition either. They're two extremely talented actors that I kind of reverse-engineered characters for, because I wanted to work with them.

HC: This is only your second feature; what skills did you learn from your first movie did you bring to this one?

SL: I think the big issue with my first feature Prep School was that it was originally supposed to be a bigger budgeted film that I ended up having to squeeze down into a microbudget shell. That production was stuffed to the gills with all the rugby sequences and speaking parts and locations and extras. The cast and crew did a great job under the circumstances, but we never had the time or resources we needed. Red Snow was specifically tailored to be made on a shoestring budget, so it's able to shine in ways Prep School never could.

HC: Did the snowy setting cause issues during the shoot?

SL: Definitely. There were days where we needed to reschedule exterior shots because there wasn't enough snow on the ground. There is more than one scene where we had to shovel snow into the shot to fill out the frame! Other days we got more snow than we wanted. The hardest days were the exteriors for the big vampire attack set pieces. One of those days ended up being our biggest snow day by far, which looks like gangbusters in the finished film, but also was pretty taxing on the cast and crew.

HC: Were all the effects practical?

SL: Yes, it's all practical. Melanie Leandro was our makeup effects artist for the film and handled all of the vampire effects and gore gags. Melanie and I decided to take a fairly minimalist approach to the way the look of the vampires, while going in the opposite direction with the gore gags and playing those really big. There's a decapitation in the film that Melanie spent a lot of hours engineering and it looks terrific in the film.

HC: Will you be nervous when the movie screens at FrightFest Digital Edition?

SL: We've had a couple digital screenings in the US that have been well received. Of course, every filmmaker wants their work to be seen on the big screen, but the reality is a lot of horror fans will be seeing Red Snow from the comfort of home and that's fine. It's a cozy cabin-set horror film, so it plays pretty well that way.

HC: Who is the greatest big screen vampire?

SL: That's tough! Do I have to pick just one? There's a lot of Nosferatu in Red Snow, so Count Orlok jumps to mind. David from The Lost Boys is certainly up there. Chris Sarandon as Jerry in Fright Night. I'm a Christopher Lee guy when it comes to Dracula. Dean Cameron's Rockula is a guilty pleasure.

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

SL: I'm writing a new horror screenplay. I'd describe it as a supernatural slasher film. Some of the comedic elements from Red Snow are in there, but it's a darker film.

HC: Sean Nichols Lynch, thank you very much.

SL: Thanks, Horror Channel!


Related show tags: FRIGHTFEST
MORE FRIGHTFEST
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

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

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
GreywoodsPlot-1

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
KillerConcept-2

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Glenn Payne director and actor from Killer Concept
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
KillerConcept-poster

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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chad Crawford Kinkle writer and director of Dementer
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
Chad Crawford Kinkle Dementer Image 2

A movie which is bold not only with its storytelling but its casting is playing today at FrightFest. Dementer from Chad Crawford Kinkle, is an emotional, raw and very real feeling movie built around a care home which delivers some of the most effective acting you'll see at the event this year. Here he chats about this superb film.

HC: Where did the idea for Dementer come from?

CK: The idea was really years in the making. I had always wanted to do a film with my sister but my mind always went to doing a documentary of some sort. Then one year at Sundance, I watched the movie The Tribe and it sparked an idea that I could set a narrativ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Murderous ideas and hypnotic nightmares - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 1
Posted on Sunday 5th September 2021
AsInHeavensoonEarth-poster

The final day of the FrightFest online edition 2021 brings with it a huge range of genres which should cater for everyone's taste in movies.

Dementer from Chad Crawford Kinkle is a movie that brings in a realism and rawness that makes it utterly compelling. After fleeing a backwoods cult, a woman tries to turn her life around by taking a job in a care home for special needs adults, only to discover she must face her dark past to save a Down Syndrome girl. This deeply personal and emotional movie which is constructed around issues faced by Kinkle's sister Stephanie, who is also one of the stars of this unique chiller. An incredible piece.

If you managed to...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Christine
CHRISTINE
Thursday 16th December
10.45 PM
The Young Cannibals
THE YOUNG CANNIBALS
Friday 17th December
9.00 PM
Urban Legend
URBAN LEGEND
Monday 13th December
9.00 PM