We may be in the middle of a period in history straight out of a horror film but the pandemic has not stopped FrightFest which is back in 2020 in a new online form and bringing the best new horror from across the globe to stream exclusively into your homes. Our exclusive interview feature Five FrightFest Facts From… is also back quizzing the talent behind the terror and giving you an added insight. Below we hear from Adam Stovall writer and director of A Ghost Waits and you can read more FrightFest Facts from 2020 and beyond by clicking HERE.
1. Tell us about your film?
It’s a 79-minute B&W tale of loneliness and finding an incredible connection in an uncaring universe. I mean, what else needs to be said? Oh, lots? Okay…
Honestly, you can find a synopsis for the movie pretty easily, so I’m going to talk about what the movie means to me. I was at a very low point in my life, unemployable and completely adrift, and was trying desperately to make another movie. We couldn’t raise the necessary money for that one, though. This had become sort of a motif in my life. I had written a script that people liked but couldn’t raise enough money, so I wrote another script that would require a much lower budget but still couldn’t raise enough. In the process of trying to make the second movie, we’d met an investor who was very excited to make something, so we kept in touch and I told him when I had the idea for a haunted house movie. He told me how much he could afford to invest, I found an investor to match it, and we had our (admittedly low) budget. Then I just set to writing something that would require as few locations and characters as possible. I asked for a lot of favors, and sweetheart deals where I couldn’t get favors (not that there’s any real difference between the two).
Every location was provided by a friend. Casting was largely done through social media. I just knew that I needed to make a movie because I needed to know if I could do it since I didn’t have a backup plan. I worked hard to make this movie as good as it could be, because it felt like a life or death fight to me. And really, that is part of what this movie is about to me: If you’re not willing to do absolutely anything to find something that feeds your soul in this world, then what are you doing?
2. How did you get into making horror movies?
Simple, I made one!
I wasn’t a horror kid growing up. I was aware of it, and I saw all the Nightmare on Elm Street’s. I was just more of a comedy nerd, and my friends tended towards action over horror. Then two things happened back around 2009: I became a film journalist, and my sister’s then-husband decided to give me a horror education whenever I would visit them. At this point I realized I’d always devalued horror because it was just easy to do so. Suddenly I started to see how flexible the genre was, and how much it had on its mind. Plus, a really good horror movie is just pure cinema. I mean, the filmmaking of The Babadook is just completely unimpeachable. So once I realized I’d been a colossal dummy, I dove in.
The first horror script I wrote was called There’s Nothing Outside, which is basically my attempt to write a horror film a la Samuel Beckett. That was so much fun, I knew I wanted to write another. And then the opportunity to write and make this came about, and I grabbed it and ran with it.
3. What film would you love to see screened at FrightFest and why?
I would screen The Horror at Gallery Kay because Abe Goldfarb is a wonderful person who has made a grisly little nano-budget horror with some great stuff on its mind and in its heart and it deserves more eyes on it.
4. If you could create your own award to give at the FrightFest, what would it be and why?
If we’re talking an award to be handed out every year, I would give an award for the best editing and it would be called the Hausu. If we’re talking a one-time award for something specific, then it would be for The Greatest Performance in Cinema History and it would go to Amy Adams for Arrival.
5. If your life was made into a horror film, what would it be called and who would play the starring role?
I Am So Tired, starring Brian Tyree Henry