Charlie Steeds talks about his latest film, a snow-ridden, western-like horror romp called Winterskin, which hits May 21 from High Octane Pictures.
-PH: Winterskin seems to encompass a little bit of everything. Was that the appeal to you, to do a movie that mixed genres?
-Charlie: I’m a huge fan of Westerns, especially the ultra-violent Italian Westerns, and I wanted Winterskin at times to have that look and feel. On top of that, it’s a horror film, and there’s a balance of splatter violence and practical creature FX, and tense psychological thriller scenes. So it’s a bit of a mish mash of styles, which I think compliment each other and bring many surprises to the film, that was the appeal to me.
-PH: I imagine getting to shoot in such gorgeous locations like you did was also appealing?
-Charlie: We shot the exteriors in Lapland, which was incredibly appealing. The scenery was gorgeous, it was really easy to shoot out in the snow, and we got to see the Northern Lights. The interior of the cabin was a set build, and that was also great, to have so much control of every element, the layout, the furniture, the colour scheme of everything.
-PH: Had you worked with the cast before?
-Charlie: Both David Lenik and Rowena Bentley had been in previous films of mine, and I wrote these characters for them. They have a great chemistry together, they also trained at Drama School together, and it was essential to have two actors who could work well together on this shoot. Barrington De La Roche is the only actor who’s been has been in all of my films, and I always find a role for him. He’s not playing a villain in this, which is quite unusual. And there’s also appearances from my regulars Kate Davies Speak and Peter Cosgrove, and of course my younger brother Dylan Curtis.
-PH: Is there anything in the movie you found difficult to film? It is the snow!
-Charlie: The film was mostly shot at night, in January in England, and it was extremely cold, which you can see in the film, and that just made everything difficult. Everyone is tired and freezing. The climactic final shootout was very difficult, its all in slow motion, it took days to get it right.
-PH: The movie seems like a real throwback – almost a product of the ‘70s and ‘80s, when horror was king! Is that fair to say?
-Charlie: I’m majorly inspired by 70s and early-80s horror, that was the best time for horror, and visually they looked beautiful, so I try my very best to recapture that era and style of horror film in my work.
-PH: What do you hope audiences get out of the movie?
-Charlie: I hope they’re kept guessing as the film unravels, I hope its a tense experience, and I hope to satisfy fans of blood and splatter. Its a snowy, winter-themed horror movie, so I hope people get it out to watch on cold winter nights when they’re looking for a horror flick to pass the time.
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