Returning to make the Halloween period all the more petrifying the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival is back running from the 28th October to the 3rd November, and so is our Unrestricted Views bringing you an insight to the people behind the fantastic fright fest of films on show.
Tell us about your film?
The Perished is a social horror set in Ireland two years ago, when Abortion was still completely illegal. Like many women before her, the lead character Sarah Dekker has to travel from Ireland to the UK for the procedure. Shunned by her family and with her boyfriend breaking up with her before she can tell him about the pregnancy, Sarah feels totally alone. Upon returning to Ireland Sarah’s best (and only remaining) friend brings her to his parent’s remote country home to recover. Sadly, for Sarah, the house is an old parochial house which sits atop a mass baby grave. The spirits of the infants lost there long for a mother and they look to Sarah to fulfil that role for them.
This was an important film for me to make with the discussion ongoing around this topic in Ireland. I wanted to treat it with empathy and not force my views on anyone but instead create a film that encouraged discussion around these topics.
How did you get into making horror movies?In 2014, I returned from a year living in Malta, to Ireland with the intention of starting a writing career. I wrote several short stories and one, Ensnared, was selected as the best in a competition by Irish horror website Emerald Gore Society. A colleague suggested I turn the short story into a short film. After that I had been bitten by the bug.
Over the next 4 years I met and collaborated with an incredible range of actors and crew and eventually formed Celtic Badger Media to make the kind of films we wanted to make. This wasn’t strictly limited to horror films but those are my favourite and thus that was where a lot of my interest lay. From 2015 to 2019 Celtic Badger Media has created over 30 short films and 2 feature films as well as a segment for Hex Media’s feature film anthology, For We Are Many.
What is your view on horror in 2019 and how would you change it?
My personal take is that while I enjoy popcorn horror like It Chapter Two and Annabelle Comes Home, I really wish more people would focus on and support Indie horror from upcoming directors. Some of the best horror films I’ve seen this year were at Festivals including Larry Fessenden’s Depraved, Joe Bego’s Bliss and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real. Honestly, I don’t have an answer as to how I’d change it. I just wish more horror fans would support these artists by paying for their work and encouraging smaller studios to once again take risks on theatrical runs for indie horror films.
What is your favourite horror film and why?
Hellraiser. I remember seeing it when I was either 10 or 12 years old and it had such a profound effect on me. I knew straight away this was different from the Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers movies I was familiar with at that time. This had something to really say and was at it’s core a family drama with a horror overlay. Honestly, it’s the film that I think of most. Almost daily if I’m being honest. It turns out that influence is something that comes through in my own work, even subconsciously as many of the reviews for The Perished compare it to Clive Barker’s magnum opus. Not only are the performances incredible and the story perfectly tight with singular vision, but the actual creature designs are so unique and memorable. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Nicholas Vince, who played the Chatterer on a number of my films to date, which was just a dream come true and he’s a wonderful person to boot ?
If Hollywood came knocking and gave you anything you wanted what movie would you make and who would it star?
One thing I’ve always joked about – though it’s not really a joke for me – is doing a dark take on Capcom’s Mega Man. I listen to several bands that do Mega Man songs including The Mega’s and The Protomen and this really led me to believe that there is an incredibly dark tale at the core of that franchise. As for who it might star, maybe Finn Wolfhardt in the titular role, Tom Holland as Proto Man, Willem Dafoe as Doctor Wily and Josh Brolin as Doctor Light.
Alternatively I have a bromance horror comedy script sitting under my desk for the last 3 years that I’d desperately love to get off the ground with my colleagues Adam Moylan & Brian Clancy in the lead roles as well as Samara Weaving and Kane Hodder. Ha ha.
The Perished plays at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival which runs 28th October to the 3rd November. Click the link for info and tickets.