When was the first time you watched a horror film, and how did it affect you?
The first proper horror film was Zombie Flesheaters when I was about eleven and our maths teacher showed it to us after the exams because he couldn’t be bothered to teach us. I think the thing I was most affected by was the naked woman swimming underwater – don’t think I’d seen one of those before!
What was it that first attracted you to horror?
Hard to say really but I guess I always liked watching the extreme situations that often horror films put their protagonists in and also the suspense as to whether someone is going to die, when and how etc.
I guess the fact that I’ve continued to make features over the last decade and travelled the world with them but best ask me on my death bed!
What are you working on now?
A few different projects/scripts as ever, including a chase/thriller movie and another movie which investigates the rights and wrongs of revenge. The next film that will be shown publicly will be The ABCs of Death, the twenty six director anthology about death in all its glory. I shot a five minute short for that called Paramaribo which is the capital of Suriname. I’m literally editing it right now.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
I’d have to say Wes Craven for his incredibly enduring career.
Do you prefer gore or psychological horror?
Psychological horror – no contest.
How important is it to unsettle a viewer?
Personally I think all horror films should unsettle a viewer but nowadays this seems almost antithetical to the conceit of what is considered commercial horror.
How do you evoke fear?
Good sound design and music always helps. Some kind of knowledge of, and intimacy with, the character in danger also helps I think. Something potentially nasty happening imminently is also pretty important!
What scares you?
That’s top secret!
Why should people watch your films?
Cos they’re good and don’t conform to any notion as to what cinema should and shouldn’t be.
How far is too far when it comes to horror cinema?
As long as things are contextual and at least attempt to be justified rather than gratuitous, then I’m not sure too far can go too far
How do you think horror cinema will evolve in the next ten years?
I hope I’m completely wrong but I’d imagine indie/lower budget films will become increasingly seen at festivals only, while larger budget horror will become increasingly formulaic and inane.
I’ve seen a couple of great non-horror films recently: Lourdes and I Am Love. In terms of more horror stuff, I’d say Confessions is the best horror film I’ve seen recently even though it was a year ago…