ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Short Cuts To Hell 2 Finalist Interview: Michael Down - All Inclusive
By James Whittington, Saturday 4th October 2014

All InclusiveThis year’s Short Cuts To Hell competition saw some incredibly inventive entries.

Here we speak to one of the finalists, Michael Down who is behind the surreal and disturbing short All Inclusive.

To vote for All Inclusive click here.

HC: Where did the idea for All Inclusive come from?

MD: The idea is based on a true story. My brother and I went to Tenerife on a last minute all inclusive break a couple of years ago. The hotel we were in already had a threatening atmosphere but on the second night when out at a local bar, we had our drinks spiked, were attacked on the way home and woke up to find our apartment had been cleaned out – money, passports, everything. We had to cope with the situation while dealing with the side effects of whatever we were given, we couldn’t eat or sleep and it led us to become extremely paranoid about who had done this to us. Whether it was other guests, the staff even? The film is about that descent into that nightmare. I’ve expanded the idea to feature a young couple who book a last minute getaway to so as to heighten the juxtaposition between the idyllic and the horrific, and to incorporate deeper themes such as class, war even.

HC: Did it take long to write?

MD: The idea was already there, it was just a case of expanding it, so has not been that much of an effort. I have an excellent script advisor in my brother as he went through the original experience with me!

HC: How much of the budget did you use?

MD: I spent £450 on an all inclusive holiday in Turkey over 5 days - that is all. The budget limit we were given was £666 so as much as I would have liked to have taken someone with me I couldn’t have within these restrictions. So with the exception of a small scene at the start I was on my own throughout the whole process.

HC: The film plays like a surreal, found footage piece, was this your intention?

MD: Surreal maybe, but found footage? No. The fact that I was on my own lead me to shoot a lot of footage P.O.V but it is a style I have been developing for a while - a kind of immersive filmmaking if you like. The whole feature wouldn’t be shot in that way but I do like it, it gives a certain tone and I like the covert aspect that drags the viewer into the situation. Also the fact that they are real events being filmed rather than staged only adds to the atmosphere. The feature would be a combination of staged scenes and real life footage but has no real bearing on the found footage genre per se.

HC: Did it take long to shoot and edit together?

MD: I only had 6 days in total as I had been out of the country and only found out about the competition with a week to go. A friend said “You have to enter this” and the next day I was on a plane. I took a day to write and shoot the first scene, 4 days shooting in Turkey and one day editing - the deadline was the following day so I had to cut it in my hotel room in 42 degree heat with broken air con and my composer sending me files over the Internet. I also had to compete with the fact that there was a pool and free bar outside! It was so ridiculously last minute but somehow all just came together.

HC: What was the hardest part of creating All Inclusive?

MD: Trying to convey my idea with such limitations. I decided to take a risk and effectively make it as a trailer. Luckily some of the judges could see what I was trying to do - or were at least willing to give me a chance to explain.

HC: What did it feel like seeing your work on the Horror Channel?

MD: Great, I would have obviously would have liked more time to polish it up but feel I stands up with its own unique lo-fi quality.

HC: Do you have a plan as to how to extend this idea if it wins Short Cuts To Hell 2?

MD: Indeed, that was the point of the competition! I am hoping people can see beyond what is essentially a very raw piece of filmmaking and see how the bigger picture would develop. I have big plans that could be executed even on such a small budget. Without going into too much detail I’d have a small cast and crew and flown out to a real resort, find a suitable run-down hotel, stay there and essentially live the film!

HC: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

MD: Yes I have two films in production that have a similar vibe. Monument is about an architecture student who goes to the Balkans to study brutalist monuments and ends up losing his mind. The other, Ritual is the story of a greedy, exploitative City banker who buys up property in Bulgaria and ends up on the wrong end of some Pagan shenanigans in return. They are kind of modern-day horror fables I guess. They both have that first-person immersive style and again have feature written all over them. I am also writing a feature script that is a very personal account of me and my friends’ relationships with our favourite horror films. It’s a pretty unique idea so don’t really want to reveal too much at this stage.

HC: Michael Down, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel unveils an unholy host of premieres for November
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st October 2021
Nov highliights-social-1

Long weekends just got scarier as Horror Channel announces eleven premieres for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across November, including five UK TV premieres, three by emerging female directors.

Being shown for the first time on the small screen are Elle Callahan's allegorical paranormal thriller Witch Hunt, Amelia Moses' lyrical lycanthrope horror Bloodthirsty and Coralie Fargeat's directorial debut, the slickly gruesome Revenge. Also getting their first showings on TV are Nicolas Pesce's smartly sadistic Piercing and John Berardo's subversive slasher Initiation.

Neil Marshall makes a welcome return with the channel premiere of Doomsday, as do the Sosk...

SHARE: READ MORE
Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Chuck Steel Night of the Trampires poster

Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.

From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

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

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
Faceless Director

Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.

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

MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hallowen Kills...on vinyl!
Posted in News, Thursday 14th October 2021
Halloween Kills Album Cover

Renowned composer/director John Carpenter and his creative foils Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies have announced details for the impending release of the original motion picture soundtrack for the fiercely anticipated second installment in the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, from Universal Pictures, Miramax, and Blumhouse, directed by David Gordon Green and starring horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis. The soundtrack will be released in conjunction with the film release on October 15th through Sacred Bones in a wide range of variants.

In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween killed at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th October 2021
Kim Newman

Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.

With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted in Features, Wednesday 13th October 2021

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.

One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.

Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel - Now on Instagram!
Posted in Features, Saturday 9th October 2021
HorrorIGCrossPromotionV1

You can never have too much Horror Channel in your life, so follow us on Instagram too!

Find us at instagram.com/horrorchannel_uk/

SHARE: READ MORE
Classic monsters will rise this Halloween on Horror
Posted in Features, Thursday 7th October 2021
Classic Horror Halloween Banner

Famous monsters rise again!

To celebrate the Halloween weekend on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October, Horror Channel presents Classic Horror Halloween, two diabolical daytime marathons highlighted by five channel premieres, including Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the Creature, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster, The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut, Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand and Revenge ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021
Posted in News, Thursday 30th September 2021
Virtual Edition

Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021 which runs 14th-17th October and will offer audiences the chance to experience the live festival programme in the comfort of their own homes, as well as enabling them to catch up on anything they might have missed at the live event.

The virtual festival will complement and sit alongside the live festival, with much of the content crossing both events. Many of the feature films and shorts that play the live festival will also be featured within the online event but there will also be some online exclusives.

Grimmfest are excited to announce two exclusive feature film presentations only available on our virtual event an...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Incarnate
INCARNATE
Sunday 31st October
10.00 PM
The 6th Day
THE 6TH DAY
Monday 1st November
10.00 PM
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Thursday 4th November
8.00 PM