ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With The Horseman Director Steven Kastrissios
By James Whittington, Sunday 7th November 2010

Steven KastrissiosThe Australian movie The Horseman was a huge hit with the audience at FrightFest 2009 and will be coming to the Horror Channel on November 18th. This dramatic and powerful movie concerns a parent out for bloody and final revenge. Containing many violent and graphic scenes it's an excursion into the darkest side of human existence.

We were lucky enough to interview the director of this intense, stunning and raw movie, Steven Kastrissios last year so for those of you who may have missed it here it is again.

HC: How did you get into the movie making business?

SK: I've been making films since I was fourteen beginning with stop-motion animation with GI:Joes and later moving into to wedding and sports videos to finance my short films. I went to a small film school where I met Rebecca Dakin, who produced the film with me.

HC: Where did the inspiration for The Horseman come from?

SK: After seeing Dead Man's Shoes, it became clear to me that I should make a revenge movie, because that theme kept creeping into my other scripts. So I worked backwards knowing that the hero would be a middle-aged average father. It all vomited out of me very quickly. I based the leads on my father and girlfriend at the time so I knew the characters very well.

HC: It’s a strong subject for your first movie isn’t it?

SK: It is, but that's what I want to do, is take a concept and treat it realistically and this particular concept of revenge is quite dark so that's the path I was led down. But I don't want to work exclusively in dark subjects.

HC: Was it hard raising the finance for it?

SK: No, because it was an investment my family and I made with some very generous tax breaks the Australian government was offering, so it was win-win.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

SK: Rebecca Dakin and I cast the film all out of Brisbane and we managed to find a truly amazing cast out of our own backyard, which we weren't expecting.

HC: Most of the film is carried on the shoulders of stunning lead actor Peter Marshall, did he stay in character during the shoot?

SK: No, absolutely not. Method isn't that big in Australia. Actors take their work seriously, but without torturing everyone else on set.

HC: Talking of which what was the shoot like?

SK: It was mostly fun actually as it was a small crew of young and hungry people making their long-awaiting feature debut in various roles. There was a lot of enthusiasm which helped through the long nights. But shooting action the way we did kept things fun.

HC: Did you trim any of the violence for the cinema cut?

SK: Nope.

HC: The film contains some very brutal moments of violence and at times is incredibly bleak, how careful were you to keep it “real” without it becoming too much for the audience to take?

SK: We just put together what the story needed and left it up to the audience to either give it a thumbs up or down, but it seems to be mostly thumbs up.

HC: It will be wrongly tagged as a “torture porn” kind of a movie by some critics due to the amount of violence, but to me, at its heart, this is a revenge movie. Do you agree it may be wrongly tagged?

SK: I was originally concerned with that, but the only people who have tagged it that way are people who didn't like the film or at least objected to the violence, but no-one who likes the film has called it torture-porn, because it simply isn't. Yes there's torture, but it's not the reason you're watching the film and it's not the driving force.

HC: I saw the movie with the audience at FrightFest 2009 and I found myself really rallying behind the character of Christian, urging him (rightfully or wrongly) on his trip. Is this the effect you were hoping to achieve?

SK: People have varied reactions to him and his actions which is the greatest thing you could hope for. Mostly we just wanted to present a father on a revenge mission but to add some complicated morals along the way so it wasn't entirely a flag-waving experience for violence. But violence can be fun in movies and anyone who denies that is denying a huge range of films including films like Lord Of The Rings. We love watching Aragorn chopping off limbs because it's done with a degree of taste and that's what we aimed for too.

HC: You’re a writer, director, producer and editor, is there one role you prefer?

SK: Director. The rest come from necessity. I love writing too, but it's extremely frustrating and can really bog your life down. At least as a director, when you're working, you're moving about and meeting people. It's very social. But to balance that with late nights of writing with coffee and wine is healthy too.

HC: So what do you have lined up next, something slightly lighter in tone or do you like prefer movies that dare to look at the darker side of life?

SK: Yes something lighter, sort of. It's an Aussie creature-feature called Remnants. I'm co-writing with Nathan Vanderbyl and it's gonna kick ass if we can get the production going in this climate.

HC: Steven Kastrissios thank you very much.


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Adam Green, director of Victor Crowley
Posted on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Adam Green's Victor Crowley, the great director shares his personal tragedies, George Romero's inspirational words, the importance of genre comedy and hints that the Bayou Butcher may rise again...

HC: Adam, you're back on Horror Channel with your latest Hatchet instalment, Victor Crowley. Excited?

AG: I'm always thrilled to hear that another one of my films will be playing on the UK's Horror Channel! It's crazy to think that the US hasn't had a horror specific television channel in 6 years now, only horror themed subscription platforms like Shudder. Then again - look at the real life horror we're dealing with here as far as our current President goes...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lukas Feigelfeld, director of Hagazussa
Posted on Friday 17th April 2020

The themes of witchcraft and the occult are making a bit of a come back at the moment. Movies such as The Witch and Midsommer have brought the genre back into focus and now Hagazussa from writer/director Lukas Feigelfeld takes the genre to another, even darker level. Here he chats about this incredibly atmospheric movie which is being released on May 11th thanks to Arrow Video.

HC: Where did the idea for Hagazussa come from and how long did it take to write?

LF: I had been living with the idea of doing something witch and folklore related for many years. Part of my family originates from this particular area in the Austrian Alps, and from a young age on I was greatly fascin...

SHARE: READ MORE
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 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...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Sunday 7th June
8.30 PM
Wake Wood
WAKE WOOD
Thursday 4th June
10.50 PM
Joy Ride
JOY RIDE
Tuesday 9th June
9.00 PM