Director Alexandre Franchi’s award-winning thriller Happy Face hits theaters and digital right now and reviewed right HERE. We had a chance to grill the great director on the horror movie he loves the most.
Direct from a lauded festival run, the powerful film combines a thrilling story while exploring the importance of facial equality and representation.
Estranged from his manipulative cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. But when his deception is revealed, Stan, who is desperate to gain coping skills to care for his disease-ravaged mother, offers the afflicted patients a bargain: he stays with the group, and in exchange he teaches them how feel good about themselves : by using their “ugliness” as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.
Below director Alexandre Franchi talks about his favorite horror film:
“As for my favorite horror film, I’d go with the one that had the most impact on me when I watched it: The Shining.
My parents divorced at a young age and I did not grow up with my dad. So when I would go visit him in the weekends, he’d really put on a show: pastries, VHS movies, gifts etc… He loved horror films. But in his teenage-like spirit, he’d forget that I was 8 years old. I would have him stop the film, but it was too late. I had seen things. This is how I ended up seeing glimpses of Nosferatu and the Exorcist at a very young age. I was way too young and it gave me nightmares.
So I grew up with a fear of the supernatural. At 12, when entering a room at night, I would first pass my arm inside the room and turn on the lights before entering into the darkness. I would also sleep with a crucifix and a knife under my bed. I guess, I grew up scared, goddamn it!!!
I ended up loving horror and gore movies in my late teens, but there was something about the supernatural that got under my skin. And years later, at 30, something happened.
I was living with a roommate and we were talking movies, when she discovered that I HAD NOT SEEN THE SHINING. It was a Tuesday evening and she immediately popped a VHS in her old TV and we proceeded to watch it.
I had heard of the Kubrick classic, but did not know anything about the premise. What followed was one of the most intense viewing experience I ever lived hahaha!
I was immediately sucked in to the story. Glued to the TV. It blew me away. And the supernatural elements, so subtle and well written, brought me back to my childhood. At times, during the film, I had to ask my roommate to stop the tape, because I could not handle the tension building inside me. It’s not that I did not like the film, I loved it, it’s just that It was too much for my body to handle. She would press pause and I would get up, pace around the room, take deep breaths,down the rest of my martini and then sit back down with a “OK, I’m ready.” She’d press play again. And 15 minutes later I had to tell her to pause again. By the end of the film, I was drained, spent. Man, what a physical experience that film was!!!”
Happy Face is ON DEMAND AND DIGITAL iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers on January 5, 2021. Read our Happy Face review HERE and check out the trailer below: