I’m up here at the Stanley Film Festival in beautiful Estes Park, CO (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s based at the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining). I just caught up with Adam Egypt Mortimer, who directed the awesomely violent SFF premiere Some Kind of Hate, and was able to ask him a few questions.
Check out our brief chat for Some Kind of Hate below. We talk about the film’s gore, creating a new slasher villain, and what audiences can expect at the premiere. If you’re up here be sure to catch it on May 2nd at 145 PM at the Historic Park Theater. Mortimer will be there and all of his cast (Ronen Rubinstein, Sierra McCormick, Grace Phipps, Lexi Atkins, Noah Segan, Michael Polish, Maestro Harrell and Brando Eaton) will be in attendance.
Collider: Right off the bat, this film is super bloody in a good way. Was that always part of the design? What were some of the logistical challenges of pulling that off?
ADAM EGYPT MORTIMER: I’m glad you say that, because on set I’d always been saying “there’s not enough blood! more blood!” It was definitely the intention all the way back to the script, that we’d start in a realistic and dramatic world and then shift it into a bloody horror movie. This was a strategy to make sure it would kick the audience’s ass.
The logistics of it were very difficult. Because of the nature of Moira’s power, a combination of physical violence with a supernatural power, we could just spray blood out of axes, we had to carefully blend very practical effects — blood tubing, real fire, hunks of flesh — with VFX to make the impossible happen. Every single effect was its own strategy. Some are all practical, some are blended in different ways. The movie had to feel very physical, and it wound up working.
Moira Karp is a new slasher anti-hero with a fully formed backstory/legend. Can you talk about the intent behind creating her?
MORTIMER: I went to my co-writer Brian DeLeeuw (who is a novelist, his new book The Dismantling came out this week) with the mission statement, ”let’s do a slasher movie that approaches the material like it’s an emotionally driven indie drama. How would we tell a slasher story like it was a piece of literary fiction?” He pitched back the idea of a teenage guy who is bullied and a dead girl who comes back. Once we started writing it, we discovered that she was a character with an intense emotional life full of wants and desires and a very dark past. We wanted to create a Freddy Krueger for contemporary times.This meant taking away the campy one-liners and instead creating a character who could be played dramatically. We imagined what she was like when she was alive, what happened to her, and how she would actually feel if she was in this situation of coming back as a slasher.
The movie also tackles bullying. In a perfect word, what would you want young people to take away from the film?
MORTIMER: The goal of a story like this if for people to not feel alone in the world. To see something which, in an over-the-top and stylized way reflects their own life, and to feel elevated by it. Things escalate very quickly in this movie as a result of violence and dark emotions.
What’s one thing festival goers should know about this movie before they show up?
MORTIMER: You get to spend a lot of time with the characters before it goes full slasher. Be careful who you fall in love with. And try not to panic.
The film has a sprawling ensemble. As a director, how was it handling such a large cast in one location?
MORTIMER: I know man, we set out to make an ultra low budget movie and we wound up with a small town worth of actors in a super hostile windy desert environment! We should have just gone with three people in a warehouse! But once we overcame to logistical hurdle of scheduling and organizing, it was awesome! I got to play with big groups of people which felt very lifelike and real. And then we got to see various characters interact with one another in intimate scenes or scary scenes or hyper violent scenes, and it’s cool to see the way that different combinations work. That’s the fun part of directing, looking for that crackle of interaction between actors.