Sunday, 17 June 2012

Horror hidden in the dark of Ireland

I think by this point it is very evident that I am a massive horror fan, and it is no secret I am also a filmmaker (the main reason I have restrained from reviews, as I harp on again and again in my infrequent posts), and maybe it is time to let you know that these two loves are not separate. I have been trying to hold my tongue until I was in a more solid place, not liking people who get ahead of themselves and put the cart before the horse, but now, I can officially declare that I have written the horror film I want to make as my first feature as director.

While doing a photo shoot in a forest for a college project, Kate and Brendan uncover a passageway in an abandoned and derelict. It leads to darkness and seems to go on in to infinity. Though Kate is cautious, Brendan decides to explore the passage, but ends up disappearing. When he returns, he feels amazing, and his entire demeaner is changed. While trying to figure out what it is, they introduce more friends to the passageway, with everyone feeling amazing after using. But, then, things start to turn when people are unable to control themselves and something inside them starts to take over…

Just some of the many inspirations.

For a country so rich in folklore, it is astounding how minimal the horror output is from Ireland, and what there is tends to err on the side of typical. Now is the time for this film to be made. Bubbling under the surface is a revolution of independent Irish cinema, and we filmmakers are getting louder and louder with our ‘no compromise for money’ ethos. I served as one of the producers on the independent mystery thriller, Sodium Party, and I know that when the right group of people who want to make a good film get together, nothing can stop them. Sure there is a place for trailers and personal assistants, but there are those of us who know that the innovative can make a €10,000 film look like a €500,000 film.

This is what I want to do. I want to make the kind of horror film I would love to see, and this is a film that has been touched on by other filmmakers, but never from the perspective I have wanted to see. Equal parts bed-wetting terror and hair-pulling tension, I am going to make a horror film with an intensely psychological value, much in the vein of masters like David Cronenberg or John Carpenter. I am not saying I am in their league, but Ireland needs someone to try something intelligent and different!  This film will be Hellraiser by way of The Shining, with its toes in Martha Marcy May Marlene, and (as I noticed as I finished writing) a heck of a nod to classic Italian horror of the 70s.

So why this film? Why a passageway into who-knows-what? Well, I have grown up in a time watching people lose sight of what is important in life, including myself, and I have recently lost someone very important to me, which has made me acutely aware that sometimes you have to step back and realise just what it is you are doing. I don’t want to preach, I don’t want to judge, but I do want people to question. Whether that is a cultural or a personal experience will be an individual's own experience.

I hope to procure a relatively workable budget (compared to Sodium Party, anyway!) and know that this film will be made by a talented cast and crew, not by a big budget. A good film involves dozens of people, and there are more than enough talented folk just waiting in the wings! Whether I can find investors, or raise the money with like-minded people, or scrimp and save and shoot it on weekends for a few years, I will make the horror film I want to see, and want the world to see that Irish cinema is able to be exciting and risk-taking. Best of all, I genuinely love making horror films and think this would be a great way to kick it all off to what could be a long road of scares!

If you are interested, please drop me an e-mail at Even if it is just to be kept informed, you are very welcome. The more people who want in, the better! You know I am a horror lover, and I am making this film as a horror lover.

Let’s scare the shit out of em!