Unrestricted Views from Kyle Martellacci Writer and Director of Candy Skin

1Love Horror: Tell us about your film?
Kyle Martellacci: “Candy Skin” a story that came together from an amalgamation of topics and ideas. I was itching to create a body horror film because there is so much you can do with them – you can make anything happen to the body. Bodily destruction is horrifying and I think the fear of it comes from a real place. It’s not as exaggerated as in body horror films, but I think it resonates with audiences because everyone can relate to our bodies changing, for the better or worse, and in the horror genre you can make it way worse! I also wanted to play with the concept that people seem so comfortable relying on pills and medications for any ailments they have, some are necessary and some are not. There are so many readily available pills and medicines on the market and it can be overwhelming just looking for common cold medication. My imagination ran a bit wild thinking about how being too reliant on even seemingly mild remedies could affect you in the long run and lash back. But I also wanted to put a twist on the genre, and I took inspiration from tales in the vein of The Twilight Zone, as well as Lovecraftian themes of the unknown and uncontrollable forces to inspire the story to what it became. It also allowed me to play with a quiet sound design that relied mostly on visuals and music which was fun.

Love Horror: How did you get into making horror movies?
Kyle Martellacci:I’ve been a fan of horror from a very young age, like many filmmakers in the genre. I first started out in acting, did some plays, got an agent, but once quality consumer production equipment became more readily available I decided to try my hand at bringing stories to life myself. I wanted not only to participate in the telling of the tale, but to actively create the experience. I took courses and then continued to teach myself through hands on experience. I’ve been writing horror stories since grade school, where teachers would take marks off my projects because they were too violent (true story), so filming those stories seemed like a natural progression. I can’t really say there was a definite moment when I decided I wanted to make films, it’s always just been something I thought about and aspired to do.

Love Horror: What is your view on horror in 2016 and how would you change it?
Kyle Martellacci:I think there is always brilliant horror, and there is always lesser horror, and it has always been like that. I’ll admit I’m not a harsh critic. I can enjoy just about any horror I watch, in some way. Reminiscing and nostalgia can colour the past as better than the present, but I don’t think either is better than the other. There are fantastic horror films from the beginning of cinema, and there are fantastic horror films now. I don’t believe horror has gotten worse, but original stories need to be given more chances and more effort needs to be put in by producers and distributors with influence to bring those stories to a wider audience. I think that there is an oversaturation of certain sub-genres in every decade and it can make the genre seem stale; it seems to go in cycles. But the best horror is not always what gets a wide theatrical release, and it’s not always in features either. I know amazing filmmakers who are creating shorts right now, and they’re some of the most highly regarded films, and they are damn good. Can I say damn? I just did twice.

Love Horror: What is your favourite horror film and why?
Kyle Martellacci:This is always tough. I have an aversion to this question because it’s not fair! I think my favourites change depending on my mood. I’ll try to pick one that’s not so obvious, one that I can go back to again and again, which is “Ginger Snaps”. The performances are excellent, Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins, they were perfect in it. It has a great soundtrack, and intense moments, but it’s also darkly touching. I love that it’s Canadian and that it has much more going on than just a straight-forward horror story – which I love as well. I mean who am I kidding, I’m a self-proclaimed slasher enthusiast, and I can’t get enough of those. I genuinely adore them. But many of my favourite horror movies tend to be ones that create strong emotion within them, with sympathetic characters. I guess I like a bit a drama mixed into it. However I can’t leave this without also mentioning Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, it’s terrifically captured gruesome insanity, and one of my ultimate favourites. I could keep listing horror movies, but I’ll never stop. I’m not even satisfied with my answer because there are just so many that deserve mention.

Love Horror: If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
Kyle Martellacci:Now this is a thinker. I’ll have to answer wisely in case said opportunity comes knocking and I’m held to it. I have an idea for a sequel of sorts to one of my previous shorts that I would love to do as a feature, and that would work as a standalone film. It would carry the same themes of desire and the violent means to get that desire, but it would be a different scenario than the short and a much darker one. There are so many actors I’d love to work with, I like the idea of going with a relatively unknown actress, but I think Alicia Vikander would be awesome as well! I’d also love to get Sarah Michelle Gellar in there in some way too!
Obviously I’m incredibly indecisive.

Candy Skin plays at Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival as part of Love Horror’s Currated night on 1st November at 7.30pm. Find out more and book your tickets Here https://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/uvhff-lovehorror-presents-shorts/

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