Archive for Independent Film

Pieces of Talent: An Indie Masterpiece.

Posted in Love Horror with tags , , , on September 16, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Visit Love Horror for my five star review of the dyanmic and innovative Pieces of Talent (2014), the best horror film I have seen this year so far. A twisted tale of an underground filmmaker who has a specific vision on bringing his bizarre imagery to the screen.

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Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Damnationland 2014: Tickle, a Kickstarter campaign from Bonfire Films.

Posted in Horror Festivals, Press Release with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Just wanted to share this awesome Kickstarter  campaign with my followers. Corey Norman of independent production company Bonfire Films (The Hanover House (feature), Natal (short)) is planning to shoot an all new short film titled Tickle. Written by Haley Norman, Tickle intends to be the embodiment of 80’s gore horror, echoing back to a well-loved era of the genre which saw a slew of dynamic films from Basket Case to An American Werewolf in London to The Evil Dead as well as the decade where the classic slasher really took off. The team are hoping to raise a total of $1, 200 in order to contribute towards the cost of practical effects (a critical aesthetic of 80’s horror cinema), costume, props, food for everyone on set and lens rental.

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Maine-based Bonfire Films are responsible for creating gripping, well-crafted horror films that fans can truly appreciate. There’s no doubt that Tickle won’t be completely awesome. Their 2013 short Natal premièred at the Damnationland Festival, which specifically showcases local movies within the Maine area, so let’s ensure that Tickle will be just as successful. The aim is to have the short screened at Damnationland’s fifth festival year later in 2014. Their recent feature, The Hanover House had its world premiere this year at the Dead at the Drive-in festival. There is an option via the Kickstarter page if you’d like to make a donation, however feel free to simply share the campaign info around. Let’s make Tickle happen!

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

The Short Films of Dreamseekers Productions: Daniel (2014).

Posted in The Short Films of Dream Seekers with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

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Daniel (2014) is the latest and most ambitious short yet from Dreamseekers Productions. Released this summer, Daniel is an ambiguous piece about a young boy (Jake Ryan Scott) hiding away in a closet from some thuggish intruders, but not everything is what it seems as Peter Dukes and his team once again surprise the audience with a disturbing twist that proves effective. Despite having the shortest run-time of 3:10 minutes, including credits and fade transitions, Daniel immediately draws the viewer in with a sense of intimidation in the atmosphere, providing plenty of intrigue as to what’s going on.

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The run-time also means that the scare factor comes about fierce and  fast, leaving it long lasting in the mind. In terms of the colours and lighting used within the piece it echo’s a homage to the giallo sub-genre with bold reds and yellows adding to the tension. Each performance in the film is played well and convincingly for such a short time. The most prominent factor of the film is the role of the Quija board, bringing in extra creepiness, transforming the film from what seems like a home invasion to something far more insidious. Daniel is cleverly crafted as it manages to keep viewers engaged while bringing us in during the middle of the action, there is definitely feature film material at play here. Dreamseekers once again deserve a massive congratulations for creating yet another, interesting and inventive short.

You can watch Daniel (2014), via this Youtube link:

For more info on Dreamseekers Productions, visit:

http://www.dreamseekersprods.com
http://www.facebook.com/dreamseekersproductions
http://www.twitter.com/dreamseekerfans

Check out  my previous reviews of Dreamseekers Short Films:

Little Reaper (2013)

The Beast (2012)

A Goblin’s Tale (2011)

The New World (2010)

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

‘The House That’s always been waiting for you!’ A Review of The Hanover House (2013).

Posted in Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

The Hanover House (2013) is the debut feature film from Bonfire Films and director, editor and co-writer, Corey Norman. Since 2009, Norman and his independent production company have produced several genre shorts of a high standard including the recent, Natal (2013). Now with The Hanover House; the team can demonstrate their talents with an extended run-time compared to their previous work.

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A disturbing, psychological and supernatural horror/ thriller, The Hanover House is focused on the grief process and how a man must come to terms with the death of his father while placed in an extraordinary situation. Robert Foster (Brian Chamberlain) is recently married with a baby on the way. Following the devastating news of his father’s death, he and his wife Shannon (Casey Turner) return to Hanover to attend the funeral. Following a difficult encounter with his estranged mother Martha (Anne Bobby) and her lover Fred (David Shaffer), who is also Robert’s uncle, Robert and Shannon set off home. During the car journey they are involved in a freak accident which sees Robert run down a young girl. In a desperate search for help, the couple are separated and Robert stumbles on an old, gothic house which unbeknown to him has always been waiting for him. Corey and Haley Norman, the writers of the film deliver a strong script to accommodate the suspenseful and enigmatic plot.

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Shot on a haunted location in Maine, where Bonfire Films are based, The Hanover House is a genuinely creepy ghost story that works on several levels. It deals with family conflict and painful memories that can be evoked through grief which creates high drama. Tonally it is very interesting as the majority of the first act comes across as a social realist film but it soon descends into the paranormal and unknown, from then on plenty of surreal moments are captured.
Echoing classic haunted house films such as The Amityville Horror (1979) in terms of its aesthetics, and taking inspiration from Maine’s most famous genre author Stephen King with references to The Shining (1980), The Hanover House delivers some genuine, thought-provoking scares. The performances from Brian Chamberlain as Robert and Casey Turner as Shannon make powerful viewing as they deal with their individual demons within the house and leave the audience wondering if they’ll overcome them. Flashbacks are used to bring in more depth to the characterizations while eliminating exposition, keeping the blend of supernatural and drama consistent.

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Corey Norman’s editing techniques are one of the most impressive factors within the film. With fast paced cuts consisting of disturbing imagery in place to ramp up the tension during the more frightening sequences. Shot during a blizzard, the wintery setting works in the films favor capturing the coldness of Robert’s character and the darkness surrounding his past.
One of the most significant aspects of The Hanover House is that it marks Anne Bobby’s return to the horror genre. Known for her role as Lori in Night Breed (1990) which recently received restoration treatment and has circulated several film festivals all over the world, her character in The Hanover House, Martha is a far cry from what horror enthusiasts have previously seen her in, demonstrating her versatility as an actress. Martha is Robert’s self-indulgent mother, whom he has had a difficult relationship with. She is the film’s loose cannon and representative of Robert’s unhappy childhood, providing a sense of complexity and impacting on his relationship with Shannon.

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The farmhouse used as the film’s main setting allegedly holds a few real spooks of its own. The crew reported seeing the figure of an old man lurking around as well as shadow people. This certainly would have created an atmosphere on set and incorporates a lot more unease when viewing the film.

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The effects provided by set designer Eric Matheson are of a high quality. They complement the slow-burning pace of the film and come in at unexpected moments, heightening the suspenseful nature of what’s on the screen as well as the creepy style of the house itself. Beginning subtly, the special effects build up gradually becoming more impressive as they go on. There’s even some gory elements in place which is done satisfyingly without going overboard, in order to leave the viewer with an uncomfortable queasiness as the film goes into extremely dark territory.
With the makings of a classic haunted house flick with added emotional depth, The Hanover House will pull you in and keep you in its clutches from beginning till end.

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The Hanover House will be receiving its world premiere on May 9th at the Dead at the Drive-In Horror Festival 2014. If you’re around the Saco drive-in in Portland between the 9th and 10th of May I highly recommend attending the screening.

Visit the official website for more details: http://www.thehanoverhousefilm.com/

For my interview with Corey Norman regarding the behind-the-scenes of The Hanover House, click here.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Addict (2013) Review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Addict (2013) is the feature-length debut from independent Director Geoff Harmer of Fraught Productions. Since circulating the festivals in 2013, Addict earned itself a few awards including a winning 4 star award at the British International Amateur Film Festival and a ‘Best Actor’ nomination for the film’s leading man Paul Anthony.  Addict has also achieved success across the globe winning the award of excellence at the Indie Fest in the USA and was also screened in Germany’s After Dark Horror Film Festival and at the Full Length Festival Kinoteatr Projekt in Poland.

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The film is a character study focusing on unhinged individual David Pettigrew (Paul Anthony). On the surface, David is a mild-mannered businessman working on a water filter pyramid scheme but he shields a sinister interior. Harbouring an unhealthy infatuation with his married colleague Kim (Stacy Hart), David turns to his addictions to cope with his unrequited crush. Smoking, drinking and prostitutes lead David down a dark route which soon turns murderous.

While the narrative could be something out of an Irvine Welsh novel and sounds quite straightforward it does incorporate some complex undertones that make’s the film extremely compelling viewing. The performances come across as naturalistic resulting in strong characterisation particularly from Paul Anthony as the tortured David and Jenny Mitchell as Sarah, a friendly young woman with an infatuation of her own as she covers for Kim’s maternity leave at David’s company.

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Aside from an intriguing plot, what really set’s Addict apart from many films that emerge from the independent scene is its creative visuals that greatly impacts the story. The cinematography by Carl Austin and Geoff Harmer is reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman’s style providing a bleakness that really gets under the viewer’s skin. Addict is shot entirely in black and white, this compliments its indie feel but at the same time is an incredibly stylistic choice. There’s a great use of shadows as well as the contrast between light and dark which brings out the film’s grim tone. The sound design is impressive and the score by Andy Bastow and Joe Crow gives a chilling effect.

Ultimately, Addict is uncomfortable viewing. David’s character’s descent into psychosis is both disturbing and awkward as we see him engage in despicable acts as he deals with his own incompetence. That said, Harmer and co-writer Mark Brennan inject in some suitable dark humour into the screenplay which works well. There’s also some experimentation with the found-footage trend, featuring video diaries conducted by David, giving insights into his warped mind, allowing us to fully engage with the character. Addict is a product of modern day society with references to the rescission, facebook and youtube which are all influential on David to a degree. Without revealing too much, the ending really packs a punch with a shocking twist that comes out of left field but is most satisfying.

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For a debut feature, Addict is impressive. Self-funded on a low-budget, Harmer and his company have achieved a well-crafted piece of independent cinema, demonstrating that a powerful and engaging film can be accomplished if you work hard and use the resources available to you which is very inspiring.

A dark, psychological thriller and art film with elements of horror, once Addict gets under the skin it’s a difficult one to shake off and is left to be comprehended. As one of the most dynamic genre films I’ve had the opportunity to see in a long while, I can highly recommend Addict. It’s guaranteed that this is what it title promises, addictive viewing.

Teaser Trailer:

For more on Fraught Productions and their other projects, I advise you to visit their website: http://www.fraught.net/

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

More from MonsterWorks66: Happy Ending, Press Release.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

MonsterWorks66 Production team are incredibly busy this coming year as they have joined up with another company Sick Puppy Pictures in the US in order to bring a brand new sci-fi/horror/comedy adventure to the big screen, titled Happy Ending.

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With B-movie fun written all over it and the essence of  crazy Asian horror and the creature feature flick, Happy Ending promises to tell the tale of what would happen if an alien predator invades a remote, dessert bordello? It’s up to a gang of working girls led by Madam Wang (Ange Maya), the proprietor of the House of Happy Endings to save the day and fight for survival in a battle against a terrifying tentacled beast from out of space! The film also stars Maria Olsen (Our Zombie Mother) as Dominque the Dominatrix as well as taking on an executive producer role. There are many other roles yet to be cast including Doc, Roxanne, Cinnamon and Alice. The official twitter states today that the audition stages are currently taking place and progressing well:

Director Phil Condit brings Happy Ending, another independent feature film, following on from 2012’s Empress Vampire, which also starred Ange Maya in the leading role. This time its aliens instead of vampires taking centre stage and he guarantees a racy, rollercoaster ride, with strong, sexy women at the forefront of the action, each of them with their own special weapon ready to defeat the alien invader. Sounds like late night, horror movie festival fun! According to IMDB, the film is set for a 2014 Halloween release and is currently in the pre-production stages  and has a crowd-funding campaign underway on IndieGoGo. If you’d like to support the film, details are available on the official website (below), Sick Puppy Pictures have gone all out to ensure that those who donate to the film will gain the opportunity to win some cool prizes such as a copy of the script, live streaming from the set itself and autographed photos of the cast as well as a walk on cameo. Pretty awesome stuff!

http://happyendingmovie.com/index.html

With plenty of sci-fi shenanigans, tentacled terrors and saucy showgirls, Happy Ending is a genre-twisting flick that’s worth getting behind.

Below, Hayley’s Horror Reviews features the press release for plenty more info:

HAPPY ENDING

SICK PUPPY PICTURES & MONSTERWORKS66 team up to ensure a HAPPY ENDING!

What happens when an alien predator invades a remote, desert bordello?

Phil Condit’s Sick Puppy Pictures and Maria Olsen’s MOnsterworks66 have joined forces to make HAPPY ENDING, the film that will answer that question…and that will, in doing so, introduce you to a host of horror hotties dressed in tinsel and tassels who will do battle with a tentacled terror from beyond the stars!

HAPPY ENDING stars the ravishing ANGE MAYA, who played the titular role (so to speak) in Condit’s last feature, the exotic EMPRESS VAMPIRE. Maya will play MADAM WANG, the sultry Asian proprietress of MADAM WANG’S HOUSE OF HAPPY ENDING (“We love you long time – military discounts”). The story begins when a power outage at a nearby top-secret government installation allows an alien creature to escape from its hermetically sealed, double-paned, bullet-proof glass security enclosure and head for Madam Wang’s, intent on having a night of fun that will have galaxy-wide consequences.

As jiggly lingerie-clad girls slowly start disappearing, the realization that something is terribly wrong begins to dawn on the remaining ladies and their partners for the night. First to catch on is DOC, runner-up for the title of The Most Interesting Man in the World, who stopped by for a visit with Madam Wang before his graveyard shift at the base. When he tells the girls his fears, they snap into action: CANDY, an ex-vice cop turned hooker, whips out her service automatic; voluptuous foody ROXANNE grabs her ever-present cleaver; Asian cougar-showgirl ALICE, draws her Samurai sword; DOMINIQUE, the dominatrix death-goddess, cracks her bullwhip; petite redhead, CINNAMON, straps on her guitar (not much of a weapon, but all she’s got) and MADAM WANG throws a bandolier over her shoulder and cocks her pump-action, 12 gauge shotgun. Aliens beware!

Added to the mix are RICK and STEVE two construction workers from the nearby town. RICK has a heart-on for CANDY, who likes him but isn’t interested in making a commitment and settling down. RICK will do everything in his power to convince CANDY that he’s her man, even doing battle with a ravenous alien life form.

Condit, the deviant mind behind EMPRESS VAMPIRE, is at it again, this time with aliens instead of vampires, and not only has he written this racy-but-never-line-crossing script, he will also produce and direct. Olsen will crack the whip both as co-producer and as Dominique the Dominatrix, and her MO66 is best known for bringing producing magic to WAY DOWN IN CHINATOWN (on the festival circuit), LIVE-IN FEAR, SOMETHING SINISTER AND FARAWAY (post-production), SUNDAY NIGHT SLAUGHTERS, and OUR ZOMBIE MOTHER (shooting). This is a filmic teaming that, like the alien, will conquer the world!

More information about HAPPY ENDING can be found right here:

Website: http://happyendingmovie.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HappyEndingSPP

Twitter feed: @HappyEndingSPP

Hayley Alice Roberts.

“I made a video for you”- A Review of To Jennifer (2013)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2013 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS**

Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing James Cullen Bressack’s brutal home invasion flick Hate Crime (2012). Certainly a film that remains in the mind for a long time after the first viewing, it demonstrated Bressack’s talent for creating  honest, realistic films that really get under the skin with his D-I-Y approach to filmmaking. He is living proof that low-budget, found footage films can be done well. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to view a screener of his latest feature To Jennifer, which incorporates a similar filmic style to Hate Crime but is far from it in terms of content and narrative.

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The premise of To Jennifer has the makings of a dark, psychological thriller. Joey (Chuck Pappas) suspects his long-term girlfriend Jennifer (Jessica Cameron) is cheating on him. With this knowledge he enlists the help of his cousin Steve (James Cullen Bressack) to create a video for her so he can inform her he knows of her infidelity. The aim of the video is to document Joey’s emotions as he builds up to confront her. To Jennifer slides itself into the road movie category as the cousins have a long journey ahead of them to endure before they reach destination Jennifer!

Bressack and Pappas shot the film using the iphone 5 while giving insights from Joey and Steven’s perspectives of what occurs over the course of the film, allowing us to see both sides of the story. I can vouch that the camera quality on the iphone is sharp and far superior to using a video camera through experimenting between the two during my own experience creating a Making Of documentary.  The sound on an iphone is also less distorted and clearer than your average recording camera.

An example of the power of modern technology, Bressack demonstrates that filmmaking is possible through the means of using a mobile phone and takes this resourceful approach throughout, making the film feel more naturalistic. If you weren’t aware that To Jennifer was a fictional movie, it would be as if you’d stumbled on a random film made by two friends, making the viewer feel like a voyeur, which is exactly what Hate Crime conveyed, a sense of intrusion on these people’s lives. That said, the power of reality television is used as a backdrop. While Joey is making a personal film for Jennifer’s eyes only, Steve constantly challenges the line between fiction and realism as he attempts to orchestrate conflict and manipulate the variables in their environment in order to make something an audience would find worthwhile. Its all about what will make a “good viewing” so to speak. For the characters it may be unintentional, but as the tension rises they start to make a completely twisted movie and for one of them, get more than they bargained for. Before taking a turn for the psychological thriller territory, the viewer is unsuspecting as with a slow build-up, the film throws you off-balance, leading you to think you’re just watching a “buddy, road movie”.

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As stated, Bressack and Pappas give off natural performances, making the viewer believe in their characters and sense the tensions and conflicts they’re going through (possibly a comment on the lack of control filmmakers endure via the Hollywood System? Questioning “Who’s film is this really?”). Its certainly more convincing than ‘actual documentary’ Catfish (2010) , in which it displayed reminiscences of and is the film Catfish sort of set out to be. For the majority of the film they are joined by Steve’s buddy Martin (Jody Barton) who acts as the main comic relief much to Joey’s annoyance. He comes across as reluctant toward Joey’s intentions with the video and encourages him to forget Jennifer and enjoy himself. He seems locked in his own world and doesn’t see how his actions impact others and makes some pretty insane decisions which riles Joey further. After taking on the role of thug One in Hate Crime, it was nice to see Jody Barton in a lighter role, showing his versatility as an actor in a film by the same director. Chuck Pappas plays Joey as likeable to begin with then slowly builds him up as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode with rage as the reality sinks in about his girlfriend’s unfaithful behavior. Will his friends be able to save him from having a complete mental breakdown? Bressack’s character Steve has his heart in the right place but acts obnoxiously at times as he’s torn between his best friend and cousin. Bressack shows he’s a good actor as well as a talented and unique director. Between the three characters, they share an engaging dynamic that keeps the viewer with an edge of suspicion throughout.

It really is a film about communication, or lack of in a world where technology allows us the ability to converse with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Its a study of the power of the internet and how the separation between Facebook and real life is becoming more difficult to decipher. While Hate Crime may have been brutal on a visual level, To Jennifer’s brutality comes on a psychological platform which works more complexly rather than resorting to extreme violence and gore to carry the film forward.  The film is well-shot and doesn’t just opt for the shaky cam tactic, these characters know how to use a camera. The shots aren’t static either, there’s a good balance between both mentioned; mainstream found footage flicks should take note. Tristan Risk ( Beatress in American Mary) makes a voice over cameo as a flight attendant which added to its indie film vibe, through selecting the type of actress associated with underground filmmaking. While slow paced to begin with, To Jennifer keeps you on edge from the start to the nail-biting finale leaving you apprehensive and excited about what could happen next. Well done to James Cullen Bressack for making another twisted and insightful film, his work will continue to be supported by Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

“The Zombie Apocalypse is coming…” An Interview with Dave Jeffery and the Crew of “Ascension”.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Writer Dave Jeffrey composed a short story that was published in Alt-Zombie (Hersham Horror Books) focusing on an impending zombie apocalypse and how a group of people deal in a fight for survival. His short story is titled Ascension and is soon going to be made into a film by Independent film company Venomous Little Man Productions. In this in-depth interview Dave along with director James Hart and special effects company N2FX talk to me about bringing the story’s concept to life, their hopes and expectations with the film, their ideal visions in terms of casting and direction and their love for the horror genre. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave, James and their crew for taking their time out to speak with me and providing an interesting interview and an intriguing perspective on the Zombie sub-genre. Now grab your shotguns at the ready and enjoy…!

1. Tell us about your up and coming project Ascension?

A. 1. The project is based on my short story of the same name published in ALT-ZOMBIE (Hersham Horror Books). I have to be vague about giving the details other than to say the world has gone to hell and it is how people deal with the consequences.  DJ

2. What inspired you to write the story?

A.2. The answer to this is it really did come from a nightmare I had late last year. The essence of the story is how far someone would go to protect those they love. I think we all have the idea that we would do anything for our family but when it really comes down to it are there limits? And once we step beyond those limits do we lose something of ourselves in the process? DJ

3. How does your Zombie story differ from others that have come out the sub-genre in the past and recently?

A. 3. I have canvassed opinion and it would appear that there is something unique about the angle from which Ascension comes when exploring the zombie genre. Yes, it has a band of survivors trying to cope with what has happened to them and their families in the aftermath of a zombie holocaust. However, the lynch pin for the tale is that of loyalty and the adherence to what is, in effect, the New World Order; humanity reshaped and civilisation re-defined. DJ
4. It must be a very exciting prospect bringing your short story to life; do you have any particular visual styles in mind for the look of the film?

I can clearly remember the first time I read the short story Ascension? And how it made me feel. I could see these people and I liked how the story refused to back away from a very difficult question, what would you do for the people you love more than life itself? For a mini movie this has a large scope in the sense of emotional context and that’s what we want at the core of the film. After discussion with our cinematographer, Gary Rogers  I also want to incorporate shots that aren’t normally used in this genre, that will hopefully enhance the viewing experience. JH

5. Are there going to be any major differences between certain aspects of the written story when translating it to film?

A: The Film will be true to the core of the written story but we have changed some aspects. The most notable change made will be to the end of the story. It was quite an organic development to be honest. Myself and Dave were talking about the project and I think I made a suggestion about how we could enhance the emotion of the film, then Dave added something and this went back and forth, before we knew it, we had, what we hope will be, this quite shocking and unsettling finale. There are other more subtle changes but they are mostly because I’ve got a little carried away! JH

6. James Hart is directing, how did he come on board the film?

A: I love film and Dave loves film. We both love horror! I told Dave that it was a dream of mine to make a film but that I was struggling with a workable script. Dave is a really generous guy and offered to let me use one of his stories, once he had obtained agreement from his publisher, Hersham Horror Books. A week later we had a workable screen play. JH

7. You’re in the early stages of the casting process, who would you ideally like to see in the main roles?

A: Oh this is such a hard question. I could see Clive Owen or Damian Lewis as the main male protagonist, maybe Tom Wilkinson or Jimi Mistry as ‘Tom’. Irdis Alba would make a great Eddy and I could really see Jewel Staite as Annie, now I come to think of it, if you let me have the whole cast of Serenity I think I could make a pretty good film. In the real world though, we are talking to some really exciting actors that will fill the roles and that the audience will really connect with. JH

8. N2FX will be providing the make up effects; will they be taking a really gory approach to the zombies and the kills?

A:1 I’ve spoken to the Neil Stevens and the guys and they are going to get to do some really exciting things, things we didn’t think would be possible until the guys came on board. One of the kills is going to be really special and I think the fans of core are going to appreciate it. Our mini movie will hopefully tick the boxes for zombie fans who like their kills messy. JH

A2 It will have gore where it’s required but it won’t be over the top for the sake of it. We’re looking forward to creating some great effects for Ascension – NS from N2FX

9.Would you say Ascension makes a statement on today’s society? And do you think it’s one of the more important aspects of horror films when a message is evoked about the state of the society we live in through a metaphor?

A.9. Ascension exists because of the societal message it tries to portray. It is about extreme circumstance and what the reasonable will do in order to maintain some semblance of normality. The title Ascension conveys what the characters feel they have achieved by adapting to their new understanding of civilisation and the perpetuation of humanity. Horror has propensity to challenge convention on a number of levels, from the bold statements of Dawn of the Dead and Battle Royale to the subtle humorous approaches of Shaun of the Dead and Inbred.


10.What’s the biggest attraction for you when it comes to the Zombie Sub-genre?

A.10. I am attracted to the zombie genre because from start to finish, from hero to villain, it is a story about people; be it their tale of survival or their tragic demise. There is such scope in exploring the interactions between those who are placed in desperate circumstances and how they cope with it that constantly appeals to me as a storyteller.


11.Are you currently writing or working on any other genre-related ideas?

A.11. I have just finished a zombie short story called STILL LIFE for a new anthology by Nightwatch Press and I am now in the final stages of completing NECROMANCER, the sequel to my zombie novel NECROPOLIS RISING for Dark Continents Publishing, Inc. There are two more horror related projects on the horizon but I’ll be in a better place to discuss those once they are confirmed. Both promise to be exciting projects to be involved with.

 

12. What have you enjoyed most about writing the screenplay?

12. It was good to collaborate on the project with James as it gave fresh perspective and allowed for the existing story to change organically. Some changes were based on better ways to transfer the emotional integrity of the piece to a visual medium. Others have come down to budgetary constraints. Overall the process was rewarding and has, in my opinion, created a sharper story than the original.

13. Did you encounter any major differences from writing a screenplay in comparison to a short story?

A 13 In writing the screenplay I have made several adaptations to the dialogue and James has adapted the settings and well as incorporating many visual shots not seen in the short story. One of the things I found out relatively quickly is that in a written story you can convey thoughts and feelings with description. This does not translate as well on screen and has to be put across with dialogue and performance rather than words. This was difficult to shut off in the early stages but I got there eventually!

After discussions with James, it was also felt that the ending in the short story would not create the kind of emotion that we want audiences to experience at the end of the film. As such, the original ending remains as the first shock but James and I worked out a final moment when audiences will be unsettled rather than horrified. We think it works well enough to the point that I wish it was now part of the original short story. DJ

14.What’s the best part about working in horror films?

Oh I’m in dream land, believe me when I say, this has already gone past my expectations. I’ve always loved movies and can remember watching my dad’s copy of An American Werewolf in London when they were out, I think I was 9 or 10. That stayed with me! That film scared me! For me Horror should invoke emotion in its audience, if our film can do that then that will be the best part for me. So far though, the best part is working with people who are passionate about film, working with these people is inspiring. JH

15. What advice would you give to any aspiring writers or filmmakers?

Go for it! Give it a go! Ask people to help, if you don’t ask you don’t get. There are so many people out there willing to help, tap into that! JH

16. Finally, will we be seeing any teasers for Ascension soon?

Hopefully very soon. Almost from day one we wanted to use what we are calling the ‘news reels’, that will form part of the start of the film, as teasers. We have it all planned, people are in place, we are just waiting for the last few element and they will be done. We are talking weeks hopefully! JH

Interviewer: Hayley Alice Roberts

https://www.facebook.com/HayleysMovieAndTvReviews

Check out Ascension on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/project.ascension

“The Shadow of Death” (2012) Teaser Trailer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Feast your eyes on this teaser trailer from Gav Chuckie Steel’s upcoming independent slasher “The Shadow of Death”.

Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231373045485/

and Follow @theshadowfilm on Twitter for news and updates

Click here for my early review: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/brit-flick-fest-2012-the-shadow-of-death-from-deadbolt-films/

“Shadow” will be premiering at Portsmouth’s Groundlings Theatre on May 12th be sure to check it out!