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HORROR FILM FESTIVAL

The Hen and Chickens Theatre, Islington

30th October - 5th November 2017

All tickets £8

 

Horror Film Festival

 

 

Unrestricted View are the resident production company at Hen and Chickens Theatre.  Alongside drama and comedy, they also have an independent cinema.   Their Horror Film Festival is back for its second year.  Run by filmmakers, it aims to celebrate and encourage all aspects of independent horror film making.  The festival will culminate in an award ceremony on 5th November.

 

Festival Director James Wren says that he "realised there was a huge

appetite for the horror genre.  Last year we had a fantastic response, the filmmakers were really appreciative of the festival and many have submitted new films this year; our submissions are up 100% on last year!"

 

The Festival runs for seven days (and nights) showcasing the best independent horror features, shorts and web series chosen from 100s of entries.  

 

Interviews with selected film makers below:

Full line up of films here  

 

 

 

DOGGED - World premiere

31 October 7pm

Dir: Richard Rowntree

116 mins, UK

 

What kind of twists and turns can we expect in your film?

Although there are twists and turns in there, they all culminate in the last few minutes of the film – we like the audience to figure them out as they progress through the film at a steady rate – a couple of critics have likened it to a very sinister episode of “Midsomer Murders”, so that should give you a hint!

What inspired your film?

There’s a few inspirations in there for sure!  We made the film as a micro short originally back in 2015, and that drew heavily from “Little Red Riding Hood” – which I had been reading to my kids at the time, and I’d forgotten how dark that is as a fairy tale.  Then one night I saw a documentary on channel 4 that also had a pretty profound effect on the film – is was about “dogging” culture in the UK, and these guys were all standing around a car and they were all wearing these incredibly creepy animal masks to protect their identities – it was nightmare fuel for sure, and conjured in my mind the idea of this bizarre cult activity.

What was the most important consideration for you in the making of your film?

When we decided to make the film, we (producers Lee Wignall, Chris Foulser, Matt Davies and myself) were all bored with watching the current output in the genre – everybody seemed to be following the same formulaic routine, and aiming for the lowest common denominator, with jump scares, buckets of blood, and thin plots with one dimensional characters.  We decided that the best route forward for us was going to be to make a film that we would want to watch ourselves, rather than conforming to the usual trappings.  So we spent a long time polishing the script, fleshing the characters into realistic representations of people in these situations and hopefully making a film that will stay with audiences for more than a few minutes after they’d seen it.  We firmly believe that the real monsters in this world are people – and we wanted to show how everyone has a little bit of that in them.

What should we particularly be looking out for in the film?

Hopefully you’ll find the film to be a refreshing change from other micro-budget features.  Don’t go in expecting a 100 mile an hour adrenaline ride!  The film is a slow burn – every shot is very deliberate, thought out – every line of dialogue has meaning – and hopefully that comes across, and will leave you with a feeling of unease, and a desire to talk about the film after you’ve seen it!

 

 

 

THE OFFER

4th November 7.30pm

Dir: Christopher Griffiths  & Gary Smart

50 mins, UK

 

What's particularly sinister about The Offer?

What some powerful people will do for entertainment is truly sinister. The Offer is very much a character driven piece that really highlights human behaviour and how far people will really go to get money.

It sounds a particularly gory film, do you have an original take on this?

When you’re dealing with a project where multiple people are killed you’ve got to come up with some great kills, so I really wanted to get a chainsaw and machete death into the mix. Horror audiences love a bit of gore, it’s what makes horror special for me as long as it’s in context with the narrative.

Could you tell us a little bit about how the special effects were achieved?

We were extremely lucky to have Stuart Conran on board as our Special Effects Supervisor. Stuart who is also our producer has worked on some huge projects including Brain Dead, Shaun of the Dead, The Decent and Hellraiser. Stuart built a small but amazing SFX team with Jodie Stanton and Marie Swain. All of our effects were practical apart from some added CGI blood. I’m a huge fan of old-fashioned effects so Stuart was amazing in realising our vision into on-set effects.

What should we be looking out for in the film?

We have a number of twists and turns in The Offer. Each character is not as they seem and all hide dark secrets. We really hope that viewers follow the characters journeys and are surprised with who they really are.

 

 

the offer gsmart

                    THE OFFER

"We were extremely lucky to have Stuart Conran on board as our Special Effects Supervisor. Stuart who is also our producer has worked on some huge projects including Brain Dead, Shaun of the Dead, The Decent and Hellraiser." Gary Smart

                   

 

theoffer dogged - still 2 Dogged - Dir Richard Rowntree

                DOGGED

“We firmly believe that the real monsters in this world are people – and we wanted to show how everyone has a little bit of that in them” Richard Rowntree,

         

 

 

 

 

 

THE 13TH

31 October 9.15pm

Dir: Chris Hastings

72 mins, UK

 

The 13th is closely linked to the idea of horror.  Is there something in particular about this number that relates to the film? 

The 13th relates to Judas Iscariot, who was supposedly the 13th guest at the Last Supper and whose death, in a way, is the starting point for our psychological horror movie.

Your horror film is set on an island.  Where did filming take place and what special considerations did you have to make in choosing the location? 

Myself and the co-writer of the 13th (James Collins) who lives on the Greek island of Symi, had long wanted to write a script together that uses the island as a location.  It's a unique landscape  which has an identity and personality all of its own and it felt very much like my own private film studio!  As part of their annual Easter celebrations, the islanders take part in a ceremony that involves the burning of an effigy of Judas and this just fired our imaginations when we were looking at source material to shoot a feature film there.

What was the inspiration behind the film?

By chance (which is how these things so often happen) I'd recently become interested in the Gospel of Judas - a document which was only translated about 10 years ago - and suggests alternative theories about the role of Judas in Jesus' death.  It was largely fortuitous that at the same time as we were looking to create a film based around Symi, that I'd become interested in this particular story.  When I learned of the burning ceremony, it was like all the stars had aligned.

What should we particularly be looking out for in the film?

The 13th is very much intended as a film that gets under your skin.  It's something of an existential nightmare.  I often tell people that I don't want them to enjoy my movies and that's very much the case with this.  From the opening frame to the final bar of music over the closing credits, as you walk out of the theatre and as you lay awake in bed (hopefully thinking about the movie) it should burrow into your chest, your thoughts and hopefully your nightmares!  

 

The 13th Christ hastings

                THE 13th

"The 13th is very much intended as a film that gets under your skin.  It's something of an existential nightmare.  I often tell people that I don't want them to enjoy my movies ..." Chris Hastings

the 13th s

 

 

 

Little Terrors 6, 5 November 4pm

TURN LEFT &THE BABY'S CRYING

Dir: Bob Pipe

 

 

What are your film about?

They are both microhorrors - two minute (or under) horror shorts. 'Turn Left' is about a haunted SatNav & 'The Baby's Crying' is about the fear becoming a parent/growing up.

What was your inspiration?

'Lights Out' - which is a short horror film that went viral a few years ago.

Are there special consideration when making a horror film short?

It's all about the set up... a bit like telling a joke but instead of a punchline, there's a scare (and hopefully a twist).

What should we particularly be looking out for in the film?

'The Baby's Crying' has a reference to Martin Scorsese's 'The Last Temptation of Christ' for the keen eyed movie buffs out there.  

 

 

TURN LEFT &THE BABY'S CRYING

"It's all about the set up... a bit like telling a joke but instead of a punchline, there's a scare (and hopefully a twist)." Bob Pipe