Five FrightFest Facts from Jared Rivet, writer of Jackals

1. Tell us about your film?
Jared Rivet: Jackals is set in the early 1980’s and it’s about a family who hires a cult deprogrammer to kidnap their teenage son out of a dangerous cult. They take him to the family’s summer cabin in the woods and start the arduous/emotional process of “deprogramming” him. He’s turned into this vicious, evil person that they barely recognize and it’s incredibly rough. While that is going on, the cult shows up outside and they want him back. And from there, I’ll just say that things go from bad to worse.

2. How did you get into making horror movies?
Jared Rivet: I am a horror junkie. I actually co-host a monthly horror trivia night out in Burbank, California. I got into horror when I was very young but the transformative movie for me was George Romero’s Creepshow when I was 11 or 12. The playfulness of the tone, the anthology format, and the wild comic book-stylizations just spoke to me at such an impressionable age. I was already being drawn to horror films but they always scared the crap out of me. CREEPSHOW was the one that made me realize I was supposed to have fun being scared and led me to want to see more from guys like Romero and Savini and I caught the bug.

3. What film would you love to see screened at FrightFest and why?
Jared Rivet: Living in Los Angeles means that I am very spoiled by all of the revival screening opportunities, between the New Beverly, the American Cinematheque and Cinefamily, we have no shortage of incredibly rare, forgotten gems that screen alongside all-time classics, so it’s tough for me to say. I got to see the U.S. cut of Ken Russell’s The Devils at the Egyptian Theater last year but it goes without saying that I would love to see a restored print of Russell’s definitive, uncensored cut. It’s such an amazing, disturbing, devastating movie in its censored form, I can only imagine the kind of impact it would have with all of the deleted material incorporated back into it.

4. If you could create your own award to give at the FrightFest, what would it be and why?
Jared Rivet: I was excited to see the “New Blood” contest for writers from FrightFest and MPI/Dark Sky, I think anything that encourages and supports screenwriters is a great thing. Honestly, it took ten years for Jackals to get made and the road for a screenwriter is a long, difficult and daunting one. Any sort of patronage or positive reinforcement is most welcome. As far as creating an award? If there isn’t already one for “best horror screenplay” in some form or fashion, that would get my vote.

5. If your life was made into a horror film, what would it be called and who would play the starring role?
Jared Rivet: If my life was made into a horror film it would be called DYING FROM ENCOURAGEMENT and I would be played by Seth MacFarlane.

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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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