Unrestricted Views from Martin Stocks writer and director of Toll Booth & co-directer of The Ex

The amazing Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival is back for its second year, running from the 30th October to the 5th November, and so is our Unrestricted Views bringing you an insight to the people behind the fantastic fright fest of films on show.

Below we talk to Martin Stocks writer and director of Toll Booth & co-directer of The Ex. Toll Booth screens on 1st of November at 8.25pm and The Ex screens on the 5th of November at 2pm. Get your tickets HERE

Love Horror: Tell us about your film?
Martin Stocks: Toll Booth follows Terry throughout his first night working at an isolated toll booth following his predecessor’s disappearance. Throughout the night he finds out more disturbing details from the eccentric locals driving by, and starts to suspect that something lurks outside in the fog. The film is a horror/thriller but there are comedic elements throughout. Such as the bizarre local characters and the lengths Terry goes to when trying to alleviate his boredom, before the terror creeps in.
My other short, The Ex (co-directed with Gareth Brown) is a dark comedy about a first date spiralling out of control with the girl’s dead ex-boyfriend haunting the flat. Gerald is already nervous, but when he starts hearing the voice of her dead ex-boyfriend in his head, things take a weird and menacing turn. This turns into one of the most excruciating first dates imaginable.

Love Horror: How did you get into making horror movies?
Martin Stocks: I’ve been writing screenplays for years and have experienced other people direct my work before and not do a great job. Over recent years I have got to know lots of talented filmmaking professionals, so Gareth and I decided to bring them all together to make The Ex. Directing your own work is the best way to carry through your vision from beginning to end. Through this project we had a great core production team, who happily agreed to help me make Toll Booth earlier this year.

Love Horror: What is your view on horror in 2017 and how would you change it?
Martin Stocks: I think there’s some great horror around at the minute, especially indie horror. Some horrors are really pushing the genre boundaries of what is considered a horror. For instance, for a relatively big budget horror, Get Out was a brilliant example of creating a unique narrative and genre. I think the surreal comedy works really well when coupled with the horror/thriller narrative. There’s also been some films like The Witch and Train to Busan, which offer a unique take on familiar concepts. I’d like to see more horror films which avoid clichés and create more original narratives and characters.

Love Horror: What is your favourite horror film and why?
Martin Stocks: I love The Silence of the Lambs. I think it’s one of the tightest horror/thriller films and is captivating from start to finish. The concept is unique, as is the relationship between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lector. The acting is also electrifying. It’s one of the films that I can’t turn off despite how many times I’ve seen it.

Love Horror: If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
Martin Stocks: I’m currently developing Toll Booth into a feature script, so I’d love to get this film made. I am envisioning this as a surreal, psychological suspense thriller – with lots of comedy throughout. I’d like to use some of the talented cast from my short film, especially my lead actor Andrew Shire. I’d also like to cast some well-known character actors.

Both Martin Stocks movies screen at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival. Toll Booth screens on 1st of November at 8.25pm and The Ex screens on the 5th of November at 2pm.
Read more about the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival and buy tickets at www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/
See Martin Stocks website here http://artfulfilms.co/web/humble-pie

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