Unrestricted Views from Sean Breathnach Writer and Director of Beyond the Woods

bLove Horror: Tell us about your film
Sean Breathnach: My film, “Beyond the Woods” is a supernatural horror movie set in an isolated house in the middle of a forest. Seven friends have decided to meet up after not seeing each other for a long time. Unfortunately for them a fiery sink-hole has opened up in the mountains near the house and it’s burning hot and spewing out sulphur. The friends are determined to make a good weekend of it even though the roads around the area are closed and there’s a nauseating stink outside. They might be confined to the house, but they know how to party. As the weekend progresses some of the friends start behaving out of character, one disappears, and they all experience troubling events. It’s too late when they realise that it’s not just a sink-hole that opened near their isolated retreat, but something altogether more horrific…

Love Horror: How did you get into making horror movies
Sean Breathnach: It was a natural progression from reading lots of horror as a child, though it wasn’t a choice I consciously made. I’ve been making short films and music videos for a while now. Some of the films leaned towards the dark. The first horror short I made has had 45 thousand views on youtube. I’ve written 8 feature scripts, but only 4 of those are horror. The rest were a mix of sci-fi, gangster and comedy. But horror is the genre that comes most naturally to me – I guess because of my childhood training!

I decided to write something I could make on a micro budget. I knew a brilliant bunch of actors so I started writing the film with them in mind. Two of them had shot horror shorts with me before. Another few of them had shot horrors with other directors. I knew they’d be great in Beyond the Woods. I had a fantastic crew that I’d also worked with in the past, so armed with my script we headed off to a house in the middle of 70 acres of woods and the rest is history!

Love Horror: What is your view on horror in 2016 and how would you change it?
Sean Breathnach: I don’t know that it’s any different to horror in 2006, or 1996. I think there are great horror movies always being made. Clearly some years are better than others. But there are very innovative directors out there working on horror with talented writers and actors and there are some really great horrors coming out every year. I guess the main thing about 2016 is that it’s easier to make movies now than ever before. It’s also a lot harder to earn a living making horror movies, but that’s another story! So the message is – keep making great horror! And keep promoting it!

Love Horror: What is your favourite horror film and why?
Sean Breathnach: This is a very tough question. There are so many great horror movies. Personally I gravitate towards the supernatural horror’s. I’ve never had much time for torture porn. I love Alien, The Thing, The Omen, Nightmare on Elm St, Poltergeist, Saw, Sinister – I could go on. But you are asking me to pick one, so I’ll go with Ringu. I saw it many years ago and it had a long lasting effect on me. I’ve watched it a few times, and it never fails to impress me. But I am constantly seeking out horror, both new and old. Only recently I watched Romero’s Martin – that’s a great movie, a unique view on the vampire genre. But I am digressing. Apologies!

Love Horror: If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
Sean Breathnach: I’m already 35 pages into my new script – so if hollywood is reading this – come and get me! It’s a new twist on an old story – with a very spooky old mansion, but more importantly a great bunch of characters that we really care about. And they are being terrorised by an ancient evil with a particular trait – which I won’t give away here. It’s horror from the first page.
Who would it star? Maika Monroe, Jessie T. Usher, Thomas Mann – though I would happily work with the cast of Beyond the Woods any day of the week.

Beyond the Woods plays at the Unrestricted View Horror film Festival at 2.30pm on 6th November. Find out more and book your tickets Here https://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/uvhff-beyond-the-woods/#prettyPhoto


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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