Horror Favourites – Michael McCartney

Writer/director Michael McCartney’s razor-sharp, LGBTQ-themed horror-comedy “ROOMMATE WANTED” will have its World Premiere at the renowned Salem Horror Film Festival on October 2-4, 2020 and we had the chance to grill him on his favourite horror films.

An edgy cocktail of shocks, suspense and knowing, timely satire, “ROOMMATE WANTED” is a comedic thrill ride showcasing a fresh and diverse cast that pits Maria, a strong-willed Black heroine facing an uncertain future and her own identity crisis, along with her carefree college roommates against their seemingly perfect new tenant, Dean, who is actually an escaped mental patient with multiple homicidal personalities. Now, Maria must face her own inner fears and step up to confront their murderous new roomie before his blood-soaked rampage overtakes them all!

“I’ve always loved horror films because they are the perfect combination of escape, artistry and subversion,” says the film’s writer/director Michael McCartney. “I love the challenge of telling a story that has mixed tones, as well as delivering larger social themes masked with laughs and thrills.”

The film stars Angelique Sabrina White, MJ Garcia, Jack Shulruff, Ricky Cruz and Isabela Valotti. Along with its cast and crew made up of people from all over the world including; Brazil, the Bahamas, South Africa, Russia, Kazakstan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia, China, amongst others, this inventive character-driven thriller also features signature music and songs by the acclaimed queer punk band GRLwood, who lend their distinctive musical voice to the film, marking their very first cinematic collaboration. The band boasts an impressive and fervent fanbase, with more than 50,000 Instagram followers and over 750,000 on Spotify.

“We are so excited to unleash our film at Salem Horror Film Festival!” enthuses McCartney. “They completely understand and respect all genre fans. It’s the perfect fit and the perfect, inclusive audience for us. We just can’t wait for everyone to see it!”

Virtual festival passes for online screenings of “ROOMMATE WANTED,” which is showing during the fest’s October 2-4 “Weekend I” along with other films and events, can be purchased now here: https://www.salemhorror.com/store

Below Michael McCartney talks about the horror movies he loves:

“Choosing a favourite horror film is near impossible as so many have had such tremendous impact on me for a variety of different reasons. HALLOWEEN, for scaring the crap out of me when I rented it, unbeknownst to my parents, from the local video store and it caused me to hide under my desk all night. ROSEMARY’S BABY, for opening my eyes to how far you can go with the complexity of character and artistry of storytelling in the genre. SUSPIRIA, for blowing my mind! And, showing me how subversive, radical and experimental one can be in a horror film. But, the film I believe that had the most profound influence on me over all is, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.

I remember seeing AMERICAN WEREWOLF in a theater in Times Square with my father and brother when I was just ten years old. Although I still question my father’s decision to take us into the porn district of 1980’s New York City to see a film that we were far to young to see, I am so grateful to him that he did. I found myself totally captivated and it spoke to me like a good ghost story told sitting around a campfire, or before bed. I walked out of the theater onto Broadway shaken but amused, totally content, swept away by the eerie, romantic, funny tone of the film. I wanted to be those characters and I would have gladly joined them on their backpack across Europe, even if it meant never making it to Italy.

AMERICAN WEREWOLF made me want to become an actor. It encouraged my desire to travel and see the world. It made me fall in love with the horror genre and continues to deeply inspire my work as a writer and director today. I’m still awestruck by the film and every time I watch it I notice another nuance in the script, direction, performances, soundtrack or design. It continues to bring me back to a simpler time and I escape into a world where werewolves hunt the moors, best friends return as the undead and nurses fall in love with you even if act beastly around the full moon.”

Follow “ROOMMATE WANTED” on Twitter @WantedRoommate and get your tickets for the screening during the fest’s October 2-4 “Weekend I” here: https://www.salemhorror.com/store


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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