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An Interview with Michael Coulombe, Director of Love Me Not

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2019

Films directed by Michael Coulombe on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Love Me Not - in a few words, what is it about?


It’s basically a story about love; or rather, love lost. It’s the story of Jenny, who after countless bad relationships – mostly found on social media and dating apps – is pushed to the limit and decides to mend her broken heart by having a Valentine’s Day dinner with her current ex Brad and six of her exes, whom she had recently slaughtered.


Now how did the project come into being in the first place?


Well, the first two films I directed for Horror House did very well and were well received, but both films focused on the senses. Our writer Brantley [Brantley J. Brown interview - click here] and I had decided to do something different, something that had some meat… and dialogue! So what better than a story of a woman who monologues for 8 minutes to six dead bodies and a guy tied to a chair.


What can you tell us about Love Me Not's screenwriter Brantley J. Brown, and what was your collaboration like? And since this isn't the first time you've worked together, what can you tell us about your previous films, and how did you first meet even?


First off I need to say that I am a huge fan of Brantley’s writing. We were introduced by a mutual friend a year and a half ago when he and his husband decided to move to California. He wanted to be a horror screenwriter, and his friend Landon said ‘meet my friend Michael.’ We talked briefly as I was back in Massachusetts filming The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot. When I got back home we just talked about life, horror, writing, the industry. It really was as simple as that. I had read his script Chuckles and loved it. When I was approached to adapt my horror short Del Obispo Road into a feature film, I asked Brantley to help me generate some ideas… three months later we had a script. The process was incredible since Brantley and I have very similar styles. We also have no ego, so we know that any changes we make are for the betterment of the story!  Just for the record, Brantley and I have written seven (7) scripts in (9) months. From there we launched Horror House with my friend Ray to showcase Brantley as a writer and me as a director. The funny thing is – our first script we sold was a Christmas script! That is how we found our agent (Black Apple Talent) and our manager Matt Chassin


As for Love Me Not as a collaboration… Brantley and I have learned to trust each other as artists. As a fellow writer it is important for me to keep the original content as much as possible – that is our blueprint after all. If I feel there needs to be any changes, I talk to the parties involved – if possible – to ensure that the changes we make are best suited for the story. Screenwriting is storytelling and directing is VISUAL storytelling – either way it all comes down to story.


Do talk about Love Me Not's approach to both horror and comedy for a bit!


Well in all honesty, I feel like both the horror and comedy of Love Me Not come from the story. When you are true to the story, the honesty of it comes out. I approached Love Me Not as struggle of a woman dealing with loss rather than a horror story. Seeing her pain is more real and honest and justifies to the audience the validity of Brad’s murder.


With Love Me Not being entirely set in one room, what were the advantages there, but also the challenges to keep things interesting?


Well the advantages were that once everything was lit and dressed it was only a matter of tweaking lights when we did coverage. The challenges were trying to make a woman monologuing for 8 minutes interesting. We shot everything mostly on a slider, so even when she was standing still there was slight movement. I had her walk around the table and interact with the dead bodies – after all, she still loved them.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


A lot of this was answered above in the two previous questions. I like to approach directing much the same way Hitchcock does, in that, I focus on the story and the best way to visually portray that. In Stalk, we were mostly handheld since it was story of a woman walking home alone at night. With Love Me Not it was a story of a Valentine’s Day dinner. So for this project we focused on a color palette since the table was decorated with rose petals and Valentine’s Day cards and blood! Jenny wore a purple dress and Brad’s shirt was purple as well. And then we used blue in the hallway. Also, I should point out, I love candles. The shadows they cast on the walls and on the actors is very sinister. We had a huge candle we used in Soundbite and it was very effective. I also believe in subtlety. It’s my job to tell a story for the audience to enjoy. If I start cramming a message down your throat then I’ve lost the audience’s interest.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


Well I met Vanessa Esperanza [Vanessa Esperanza interview - click here] at a film festival award ceremony I was directing. She was our Emcee. She was brilliant. She was so funny and charming, plus I found her elegant and classy. To me, the character of Jenny in Love Me Not was someone who was tragically beautiful. She came off like Miss Havisham in Dicken’s Great Expectations. Plus Vanessa has great acting experience in drama and horror. And I was excited to have a Latina lead in a horror film, as that is something you do not see.


As for Brad, played by David Blanco. David is a good friend of mine. When our actor had to pull out at the last minute due to a personal conflict we scrambled to find an actor. He was 6’3 and we had already bought the suit to fit his size. David is 6’2 which helped. I knew he was an actor and was looking for more roles – and he has a great look. It also worked out that he is Latino. It was serendipitous! I agree that things happen for a reason.


Our dead bodies were truly amazing as well. Our writer Brantley is the young man who Jenny picks up and dances with. His husband AJ (who was also our production designer) was the young man who she lifts up in the beginning with the slit neck. The other 4 dead bodies were friends and coworkers of Brantley.


A few words about the shoot as such?


One of the best experiences I have had. Truly. There was a sense of bonding that lasted well after the shoot ended. We were just on this high! Plus I was able to have my nephew Majd on set helping me. He loves the process of filmmaking and I am glad I get to share this with him.


The $64 question of course, where can Love Me Not be seen?


On our YouTube channel for Horror House -


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Love Me Not?


Overall Love Me Not has been greatly received. People seem to really love our first two films Soundbite and Stalk mostly because I think they are short and precise. This is the fist film we have done that is more in-depth and with more dialogue. I think we took people by surprise with this one. I never expect everyone to enjoy each one of our films – even the horror genre has sub genres. I am glad though that everyone enjoys the look of the film as well as the writing and acting.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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Brantley and I have many things that are stewing… so definitely. We have an idea for a continuation of Stalk – as it has two separate story lines we are exploring. We are also developing a series for Horror House.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


My website is and my insta is @mcoulombe

For Horror House is and our insta is @horrorhousmedia


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I have a twin sister and I’m an Aquarius!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD