Horror Favourites – Matt Eskandari

Screen legend Bruce Willis (Die Hard franchise) drives the action against a pair of dangerous criminals in gripping home-invasion thriller Survive the Night. Starring Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill, Riverdale) the film is directed by Matt Eskandari (Trauma Center, 12 Feet Deep) and Live Free or Die Hard co-producer Stephen J. Eads. We had the chance to chat to Matt about his favourite horror film which just happens to be The Shinning.

After committing a violent robbery, brothers Mathias and Jamie are making a getaway with their loot when a simple stop at a gas station escalates into a shoot-out due to Jamie’s violent impulses. With Mathias mortally wounded, trigger-happy Jamie is forced to stalk a trauma doctor named Rich (Chad Michael Murray) from the hospital to his home. Holding Rich’s wife, daughter, and ex-sheriff father hostage, Jamie demands Rich operate on Mathias and either save his life or lose his family…

To survive the night, Rich must team up with his estranged, tough-as-nails father, Frank (Willis), in order to gain the upper hand and turn the tables on the criminals. With lives hanging in the balance on both sides and Jamie’s desperation leading to increasingly erratic actions, the tension rises as the morning approaches as father and son are forced to make a stand in order to defend their loved ones.

Below Matt Eskandari talks about his favourite horror film The Shining:

“I’ve always been a big fan of horror. The first short film that I made in film school was a horror – I’ve always been fascinated with creating fear and tension. If you look at every film that I’ve made, even the action ones, there’s always some tension and suspense in there. If I had to pick one horror movie that’s the best, it has to be Kubrick’s The Shining because it’s just so uniquely constructed that you can come back and look at it years later and see it with fresh eyes and it’s still so unsettling and disturbing. It all comes down to the way Kubrick shot it, the way he constructed the score where the music kind of builds and obviously the central performance from Jack Nicholson. I’ve read the book and it’s interesting to see how Kubric took certain elements from the book and discarded them or elevated them… and just made a really interesting, unsettling horror movie that stands the test of time.

If you look at a lot of successful Hollywood directors like Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi, they often come from horror backgrounds, because you have to learn to construct scenes with tension. You have to really break the scenes down to its very bare shots. Horror is not a very dialogue-driven genre, and even in Survive the Night, there’s a good 10-minute sequence with not a lot of dialogue where the two brothers are stalking Chad Michael Murray’s characters and breaking into the house. For any film that I do, there’s always that subtextual level of horror and suspense built into what I’m doing.”

Survive the Night is on Digital Download 20 July & DVD 27 July from Lionsgate UK
Check out this ‘DIY Surgery’ Clip featuring Chad Michael Murray and Bruce Willis:


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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