Interview with Sinister Writer C. Robert Cargill

C. Robert CargillDefinitely one of the scariest films of the year Sinister had us at the edge of our seat during its premier screening at FrightFest this year. Now the rest of the U.K gets to enjoy being scared silly by this brilliant horror.

We spoke to the man behind the story, scribe C. Robert Cargill about his ideas, his inspiration and what the future holds.


Love Horror: Sinister is your first film. How did you get into script writing?

C. Robert Cargill: Luck. I had an idea I thought was great and pitched it to my buddy Scott Derrickson one (very drunken) night. He’d read my novel and knew I could write, so he asked me to write it with him with an eye toward him directing. Everything else just fell into place after that.

C. Robert Cargill

Love Horror: Where did you come up with the amazing, original idea?

C. Robert Cargill: A nightmare, believe it or not. I had a terrible dream after seeing THE RING. I was climbing into my attic when I saw a box with Super 8 films and a projector in it. I spooled up the first film and it was the opening image of SINISTER. That nightmare stuck with me for a while and eventually I realized it might make a for a pretty good horror movie.

Love Horror: Have you always loved horror as a genre? And what movies inspired Sinister’s script?


C. Robert Cargill: Yes. I’m a long time horror fan. My wife and I spend most weekends sifting through Netflix to find horror movies one or both of us haven’t yet seen. Inspirations for the film chiefly come from THE CHANGELING, THE RING (for obvious reasons), BLOW UP, HARDCORE and an obscure little piece of nasty cinema called DEVIL TIMES FIVE.

Love Horror: What kind of research did you do for the story? And while writing did you find yourself (like Ellison, the main character) becoming all too absorbed in the subject matter?

C. Robert Cargill: The only real research I did was part of my normal routine anyway: reading books on folklore, demonology and the occult. I’m fascinated by religious folklore and mythology and spent a week specifically reading to get inspiration for Bughuul. Ellison is my own personal nightmare. Avoiding becoming like him is a chief goal in my life. So no, it was nothing like that. Lots of sunlight and spending time with my family.

Love Horror: The film played amazingly at its premiere at FrightFest. How did you find the festival and the reception your movie received?

C. Robert Cargill: Amazing. FrightFest is easily one of the best, most intelligent, movie literate audiences in the world. And they have a great sense of humor to boot. I desperately want to go back just as an attendee so I can enjoy all of the films.


Love Horror: What’s next for you? More horror I hope?

C. Robert Cargil: Not next, but eventually. We have a number of projects in the pipe, but nothing we can speak of yet. More horror is to come, but odds are favourable that our next movie will be Sci-fi.

Sinister is out now and our review is right here.


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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