Your new movie The
Devil's Woods - in a few words, what is it about?
Devil's Woods is my little homage to the
horror genre. Rather than having generic characters I tried to give each a
personality and ultimately the film is about relationships. It's about
ordinary people who get into an extraordinary situation.
The Devil's Woods
being firmly rooted in the slasher genre - is that a genre at all dear to
you, and some of your genre favourites?
I love most aspects of the horror genre.
I feel generally it's probably not taken seriously but some of the best and
hardest performances from actors for example are in the horror genre.
Nobody can tell me otherwise that Marilyn Burn’s
performance in Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not one of the best female
performances of all time. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
would be one of my favourite films of all
time along with Halloween,
The Shining, Eraserhead,
Deep Red, The
Wicker Man, Don't Look Now… too many to mention!
of inspiration for The
sources of inspiration for The
Devil's Woods would be Mario Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here], Lucio Fulci [Lucio
Fulci bio - click here], Dario Argento. Also I am a big fan
of Rob Zombie. Actually The Devil’s
Rejects made me fall in love with the horror genre all over again.
Devil's Woods does get quite violent at times - so do talk about
the bloody bits in your movie for a bit, and how were they achieved - and
was there ever a line regarding violence in your movie you refused to
For the budget we had to work my special
FX make up artist Mags Dziadura really did a great job. Some of the gore
is special FX, others are actual body parts from pigs and sheep. I have no
line as regards to showing violence or sex in any of my films. I look at
my films as art and entertainment and I will never censor myself. I will
say the opening scene was difficult to shoot. The film starts off with a
rape scene. Rather than remove the audience I wanted to show how horrible
rape actually is so I felt it important to be sincere to that.
What can you tell us about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand?
My directorial approach is to be sincere
as possible to the story I want to tell. I believe in going all the way
and pushing things as far as they can go. That's also true as to what I
want from the actors I work with. I want to push them as far as they can
go and beyond that. I found on The
Devil's Woods the furthest we all got from our comfort zone the better the
Devil's Woods being mostly an outdoors movie, you of course have
to talk about your wonderful locations, and what were the advantages and
challenges of filming there?
Irish countryside is steeped in history. I found this old house in the
woods which had been abandoned years ago. It was just sitting there
rotting away. A mile away from there I found this old castle which
features heavily in the film. Once I found these locations making the film
look beautiful wasn't hard at all! The advantages of filming in these
locations was they are very secluded. Nobody bothered us or got in the way
of production. The challenges were these were all really locations in the
middle of nowhere! It really was like an extended camping trip.
What can you tell us about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
There was generally a nice atmosphere
surrounding the shoot. I think after a few days when people started to get
tired tempers did shorten a little. At the end of the day there wasn’t a lot of money on this production so
people were there for the love of making a film. We got through the hard
days and thankfully we kept on going and got the film finished.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The
We premiered the film at the
International Horrorthon Film Festival in Dublin. The audience reaction
was pretty amazing. I think people went in not knowing what to expect. For
the first 5 minutes I sat with my hood up hiding in the corner! But after
I heard people laugh at the jokes and see they were all getting the film I
could relax. It was a great experience being in a sold out showing of my
film and hearing everyone enjoy the film. We got some great reviews from
Any future projects you'd like to
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
working on 2 scripts at the moment. Hopefully I will have something ready
to go by the summer of 2016.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
The filmmakers who inspire me are Stanley
Kubrick, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Rob Zombie, Christopher Nolan,
David Lynch, Gasper Noe ... there are many more.
Your favourite movies?
So many favourite movies. I would say a
couple of my favourites are
The Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
Don’t Look Now,
Vanilla Sky. I seen a film recently Victoria. Its a German film shot in
one take that was pretty inspiring.
Thanks for the interview!