Horror Favourites – Oliver Milburn

Written and Directed by Oliver Milburn School’s Out Forever is a high school horror based on the novel by Scott K Andrews. Starring Oscar Kennedy, Liam Lau Fernandez, Alex Macqueen, Samantha Bond, Jasmine Blackborow with Steve Oram and Anthony Head its a tale of boys and blood and we got a chance to chat to the director.

No sooner has 15-year-old Lee Keegan been expelled from his private school than an apocalyptic event wipes out most of the world’s population. With his father dead and mother trapped abroad, Lee is given one instruction: go back to school. But safety and security at St. Mark’s School for Boys is in short supply. Its high walls can’t stop the local parish council from forming a militia and imposing marshal law, while inside the dorms the end of the world is having a dangerous effect on his best friend and his unrequited crush on the school nurse isn’t helping him concentrate on staying alive.

Below liver Milburn tells us all about his favorite horror film HELLRAISER:

“There are so many horror films I love, it’s almost impossible to choose, but for some reason Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is the one the springs to mind as most formative so I’ll talk about that! It actually couldn’t be more different from my new film School’s Out Forever – its a very different prospect tonally – but I try to always make films with it’s spirit in mind.

I think there’s something so different about it and maybe that’s why. It was my first introduction to horror that wasn’t scary because it was ghostly or supernatural, it didn’t keep you awake at night, but it was scary because it was kind of psycho-sexual, and weird in ways that I was probably way too young to be seeing. It creeped you out in a more guttural way.

It had this obsession with the flesh – and was gory in a way I’d never seen before – but that ran with this subplot of infidelity which made it so much darker than a regular boogeyman feature. Its vision of hell as something other than fire-and-torture, and also this idea that someone would ENJOY the torture, or at least want to explore it, was fascinating.

And then as a filmmaker there’s a kind of geek interest in Barker himself. He didn’t know how to direct at the time – there are stories of him reading a bunch of books just before shooting to get the basics. There are aspects of the film where you can see that, but there’s also an incredible visionary aspect to it, a sort of freedom of thought and style and narrative that was a total breath of fresh air. I’ll never forget seeing the skinless Frank for the first time… it was so weird, and gross, and you couldn’t look away, and he’s basically the main character!

I’ve watched all the many sequels, none of which quite reached the heights of the original int heme or content… but im always interested in exploring that warped, unique world. I wish Barker had made more films – I love his books, and there’s a Weaveworld adaptation begging to be made (read it!).

Also, Pinhead looks predator-level cool.”

School’s Out Forever releases in the UK on VOD now and on DVD & Blu-ray from 12th April, 2021

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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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