Unrestricted Views from Richard Rowntree writer, producer and director of Dogged

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 Richard Rowntree writer, producer and director of Dogged which has its European Premiere on the 31st of October at 7pm. Get your tickets HERE

Love Horror: Tell us about your film?
Richard Rowntre: “Dogged” is the story of a young man named Sam who is forced to return to the remote tidal island where he grew up to attend the funeral of a young girl named Megan who has died in tragic circumstances. As Sam begins to dig deeper into what really happened, he uncovers some shocking truths about the sinister & mysterious residents of the island. Following a terrifying encounter with a masked assailant, his life begins to spiral out of control in a macabre descent of paranoia and suspicion. He must race against tide and time to save the lives of those he cares about most.
The film was originally conceived as a micro-short which we shot back in 2015 for the BBC Three show “The Fear”. It had some great reviews and toured the festival circuit for over a year, winning some awards along the way. By that time we’d already decided we were going to use the basis for the short as our first feature, and we raised the financing through Kickstarter, going into production in August 2016. It’s been a passion project of the team for almost 3 years now, and we were dedicated to trying to make a film that we would want to watch ourselves – something without jump scares and the traditional trappings of contemporary micro-budget horror. We all have a keen interest in folk-horror, and have been fascinated by the resurgence that the sub-genre has had through the likes of films like “Kill List”, “Wake Wood” and “A Dark Song” – and it has enabled us to craft something which we think is a little different from the standard horror fayre on offer.

Love Horror: How did you get into making horror movies?
Richard Rowntre: I have loved horror since a very young age – too young in all honesty! I decided when I was 6 or 7 that I wanted to be a filmmaker – and have followed that path ever since. In 2013, I realised that I was spending so much time working on other people’s films, that I wasn’t making my own, so along with Chris Foulser (DOP/Producer), we decided to give making a short a go. We enjoyed the experience so much, and the response was so positive, that we ended up making 6 shorts in the next couple of years, before going on to form Ash Mountain Films with Lee Wignall (Editor/Producer/VFX wizard!) and Matt Davies (Writer/Producer) and launching into pre-production on “Dogged”.

Love Horror: What is your view on horror in 2017 and how would you change it?
Richard Rowntre: I think the market is very difficult right now to gain any interest in micro and low budget films, particularly horror. You have to think outside the box a little in terms of your content to get your film noticed. I would love it if more people set out with the goal to make a film that they’d want to see themselves, rather than pandering to what is expected of them by festivals and distributors in terms of content, length, titles and so on. Filmmaking is an art form, and if I could change anything, I’d try to instill that belief in young filmmakers!

Love Horror: What is your favourite horror film and why?
Richard Rowntre: “The Shining” without a doubt! The multi-layered aspect to the story and the characters brings out something new for me on every viewing. It’s like a masterclass in filmmaking – practically everything about it is perfect for me – so much so that I have visited both the Timberline Lodge in Oregon where they shot the exteriors and some of the interiors, and the Ahwanee Lodge in Yosemite where they shot a lot of the interiors.

Love Horror: If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
Richard Rowntre: We have a script we’d love to make called “Prelest” – which means “spiritual delusion with unawareness of one’s own sinfulness” – but it’s going to be a relatively expensive one to make, so I’d say that! It’s a psychological horror revolving around a psychiatrist and one of his patients, and involves past life regression therapy. And ideal cast…well for the lead it would have to be someone like Kate Beckinsale – she’s a fantastic actress, and would suit the role wonderfully!

Dogged which has its European Premiere at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival on the 31st of October at 7pm.
Read more about the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival and buy tickets at www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/

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