Interview with “They’re Outside” Filmmaker Airell Anthony Hayles

Filmmaker Airell Anthony Hayles, who with Sam Casserly directed the festival horror fave THEY’RE OUTSIDE, talks to us about the film’s conception ahead of the film’s North American release.

-PH: What part of the country, across the pond there, do you call home?

-Airell: Sam and myself live in London, which is an amazing city with a thriving horror community. Of course the place has horror hits like An American Werewolf in London associated with its name too.

-PH: Close to where ‘They’re Outside’ was shot?

-Airell: Sam and I actually shot the film in Hastings, East Sussex. It’s a small seaside town that harbours a unique pagan community. It was this place that sparked my imagination enough to write the screenplay.

-PH: Was it in the can before the pandemic?

-Airell: Yes. We were very lucky with that as the Traditional Jack in the Green festival we filmed at hadn’t been restored to its full flirt since when we filmed at the event before the pandemic. Magical to have that caught on camera

-PH: Did you write the film with budget in mind?

-Airell: I did write the film with budget in mind, as it simply speeds up the pre- production process. Also when you have certain financial limitations it can free up your creative thinking. I know lots of people say that, but it is true.

-PH: As you cover agoraphobia in the film, what kind of research was required there?

-Airell: Research was done by reading a lot about the condition online, speaking to people who had it, and seeing how other movies tacked the condition in a cinematic way.

-PH: Did you learn anything about it that you weren’t aware of?

-Airell: Yes, lots of things as it’s a complex condition. One of them was that after a violent incident such a bar brawl, people would fear being around too many people again as people can do scary things. But that’s the risk all of us take leaving our front doors. We can just end up in crazy life situations

-PH: There’s some great moments in the film- what’s your personal favourite?

-Airell: I really love the festival scenes as they open the story up to a rare old pagan community. It seems to cast a spell over everything that follows. Sam- I really liked the (without giving too much away) final moments of the film. It’s scary stuff (we hope) and packs a powerful emotional punch at the same time.

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