Love Horror: Tell us about your film?
Damon Rickard: Dissociative is essentially about mental illness. And the consequences that can face people if left untreated. Those closest to you could be suffering and you may not realise they need help. This is highlighting it with the horror genre so it’s not going to feel preachy and does have shock value but hopefully the underlying message is still there.
Love Horror: How did you get into making horror movies?
Damon Rickard: Kind of a long route in! When I was 19/20, around 1995/96 I worked with Alex Mathieson at a video store and we shared a love of horror. And for years we always wanted to do something together. So fast forward to 2013 and we finally got a script together. Alex was working at E4 at the time and had the experience of putting a crew together and running a shoot. So to stop us from always talking about making it I went ahead and booked us two actresses from the States. It kind of locked us in and from there The Tour was born. It’s now played over 30 festivals, won a few awards and is still going! Very proud of that film.
Love Horror: What is your view on horror in 2016 and how would you change it?
Damon Rickard: I think there’s two buckets of horror now. The mainstream and the independent. Back in the 80’s, the independent was the mainstream of horror.
The independent scene I think is still strong and each year I see some fantastic films. But the mainstream I think is in a poor state. The deluge of sequels and remakes and uninspiring original material is quite depressing. There are still a few which buck the trend such The Conjuring films and Don’t Breathe but in the main I feel that studio horror is very bland.
The way I would change it is get the young, fresh horror filmmakers and give them decent budgets to do what they do well and let them get on. Not get talented directors, give them shoddy projects and interfere with their work. I’d also ban remakes. Unless it’s a film which either had a great idea but was perhaps limited by budget or technology (such as the remakes of The Fly and The Thing) or was a great film already but slipped under the radar. But these days we remake films which are still popular, have huge followings or in some cases aren’t even very old!
Love Horror: What is your favourite horror film and why?
Damon Rickard: My favourite is John Carpenter’s The Thing. It’s a near perfect horror film. Isolation, slow build, sensational practical gore fx, superb characterisation and just so slickly directed. The Morricone score as well is genius, perfectly playing on the use of the heartbeat timing. It went with a group of fairly unknown actors which enabled it to play out as almost a brilliant whodunnit. Because there was no obvious hero until they started pushing Mac to the foreground you really had no idea who they were going to kill off. Genius filmmaking.
Love Horror: If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
Damon Rickard: Good question. I have an affection for ghost stories and zombie films. But the older style ones where the zombies were still scary. So would probably do one of those genres. It would star Stephen Graham, Daniel Radcliffe, Johnny Lee Miller, Barbara Crampton, Olivia Munn and Sophie Turner.
Dissociative plays at Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival at 7.20pm on 2nd November. Find out more and book your tickets Here https://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/uvhff-the-london-horror-society-presents/