Out now Among the Living sees three kids skip school in order to explore an abandoned amusement park when they stumble upon the horrific acts of a twisted murderer disguised in a clown mask.
Terrified by what they saw and the thought that the man will come after them, the boys alert the police. But their pleas for help fall on deaf ears and soon it is not only their own lives that are in danger, but those of their families as well. The men behind it Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury are also the directors of horror hits INSIDE, LIVID and the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel LEATHERFACE and we talk to them about there movie and much more below
Interview with Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Love Horror: Where did the idea for Among the Living come from?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: Our main influence was Stephen King’s work ! Beside, our first draft was an imaginary biopic of his youth, imagining that the ideas of his most known books came from real adventures he experienced as a kid. So the first idea was the desire to tell a “teenagers story” close to the ones we used to watch when we were young : the Amblin mood from the 80´s mixed with our universe in a way !
Love Horror: What is your process like as a writing and directing duo and what are the advantages and disadvantages of working in a team?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: There is no disadvantage ! It’s been 10 years now that we work as a duo and it’s very efficient ! We are working very fast because since the writing process, we’re trying to anticipate problems and find as many directing ideas as we can. So that when we arrive on set, we share the same vision, we’re always on the same page ! We know that one can talk and give instructions to the DP and the other to the actors without double checking ! Absolute trust.
Love Horror: I believe the money for Among the Living was raised through a crowdsourcing campaign. Do you prefer getting money for your movies this way and in what way was the experience different to how you have made your other films?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: It wasn’t the whole budget raised with crowdfunding but only a tiny part. It was just to help finishing the post production ! So the process was the same for us. In the beginning, we weren’t very comfortable with the idea of using the crowdfunding because we thought it was unfair to ask the fans to pay for the movie to be made. Then we realized that people were really happy and excited to help the project and to be part of the adventure ! We even had two countributors that came a few days on the set.
Love Horror: The movie pays homage to several horror and non-horrorfilms, can you talk us through the many and varied influencesand what they mean to you?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: We of course had in mind movies like The Goonies, Stand By Me, Explorers… but also The Funhouse or The Hills Have Eyes… But Among the Living is not a fan film only defined by its influences ! It’s a very personnal movie and even if it’s difficult in a such codified genre as horror, we’re trying in each of our movies to try to take a different path than the one expected by the audience and surprise them ! We are playing with the rules and the balance between suspense and graphic violence all the time.
Love Horror: What was it like directing the children and do you prefer working with kids or adults?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: We of course knew the rumor saying that you must never shoot with animals or children ! So we’ve done a very long casting and decided to follow an advice that Rob Reiner once said : the best when you work with kids or teenagers is to cast actors being in real life the closest to their character ! If the character is shy, choose a shy kid etc… And we tried to be as much realistic as we could. With teenagers being really young (not using 21 years old actors pretending they are 14…) and talking with swear words and making fun of each other as it is in real life ! So working with kids was great because they are simple in their way to apprehend the job. They are mixing their personnality with their part, just enjoying being on set and doing what we ask them without questionning us or themselves !
Love Horror: What do you think is the difference between your style of horror and the more commercial horror movies that come out of Hollywood?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: It is not for us to say ! We would love to be commercial with our movies ! That’s the journalists’s work to quote differences if there are ! We may have a different approach, a different vision of horror because we are a duo (so much more ideas with two personalities !) and we are french (we are so romantic ! ;)…
Love Horror: Your next project is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel Leatherface, what can you tell us about that?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: It’s a little bit too early to talk about it ! The movie is not finished yet, we are still in post but we’re happy with the result so far ! The story is quite different from the others episodes of the saga. It’s the 8th TCM film but this one may surprise the audience… That’s our only goal here, to deliver a good and honest horror movie !
Love Horror: What else do you guys have coming up?
Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury: We don’t know yet what we’ll do but definitely a genre movie ! We’d like to explore a lot of genres and sub-genres that we love as an audience. We write every day so we have plenty of scripts in our drawers and we also receive some interesting propositions from Hollywood. So we’ll what happen…
Among the Living is out now