Exclusive Interview with “House on Elm Lake” Director Jim Klass

Jim Klass says he used the original “Evil Dead” as a benchmark for his shooting choices in the new film House on Elm Lake. You can check out the result, with the film now available on VOD.

-PH: What inspired this rather unique – and very fun – particular story, guys?

-Jim: I came on board a month before the shoot and was written by the producer Scott which they made a few years earlier called ‘Lucifer’s Night’. I did rewrites, which was mainly the last act with Penny coming back as spirit to guide Hayley to defeating the darkness. The spirits were inspired from an old Halloween picture from the book ‘Haunted Air’ which were added to the book and became the driving force for how the evil was destroyed.

-PH: Did you sit down and watch similar movies before shooting? If so, which ones?

-Jim: When I first read the script ‘The Amityville Horror’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ came to mind. It evolved in homage to the 70’s and 80’s horror films that inspired me with the third act assembled to break the cliché ending I hope. Epilogue was added, as the producers always want their sequels. But ‘Evil Dead’ woods chase helped over that shoot with one light.

-PH: In terms of directing choices, anyone you emulated here?

-Jim: Using the original ‘Evil Dead’ is always a benchmark for shooting styles as they had very little and got the most use out of their kit. It’s difficult when you only have 6 red headlights and 1.2k HMI. As we didn’t have a dolly and I like smooth tacking I was limited and after day one the DOP Edward proved his handheld style was the only way we would get the shots in that I wanted which worked out well. I did get a Ronin M and hired a drone op, which was needed immensely.

-PH: Do you write with certain actors in mind?

-Jim: You only base the characters on people you know and have met through your life as that’s the only way to understand how they react in the situations.

-PH: Do you consider the film a success only when it hits a certain monetary figure?

-Jim: At this stage it is a success that it is out there and people are watching it, I’m so grateful for that.

-PH: Has the movie opened doors for you?

-Jim: It has sure opened my mind to more possibilities of what can be achieved in my life.

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