A teaser has just been released from the pilot episode for a new paranormal comedy titled CURSED, from Head Above Water creator Connor Fairclough and award-winning producer Tristan Barr.
Ever been interrupted by an interdimensional force of evil whilst on the toilet? Or had to take responsibility of a possessed doll when you haven’t even mastered personal responsibility? Had to distance yourself from a clingy demon spirit in the form of a clown? Isaac and Ned have, and they’re not overly thrilled about it.
CURSED is a horror-comedy series that parodies the clichés and techniques typically found in the horror genre, similar in style to Shawn of the Dead. Shot with the intention of an online release, CURSED draws influence and satirises such horror films as The Conjuring, IT, The NUN, and Annabelle.
The story follows Isaac (Kyle McCallion), who releases a curse on himself after fiddling with a Ouija Board one drunken night. Through each episode, he and his useless housemate Ned (Omar Al-Sobky) must deal with countless paranormal hauntings whilst managing their daily mundane lives.
We spoke to producer Tristan Barr about the show.
-PH: Congrats on the series. It looks very unique series– but I assume you were influenced by the odd Zucker or Wayans’ brother along the way? Can you talk about the influences on Cursed?
-Tristan: Of course, we grew up watching those guys, but we still haven’t defined what it is, it’s in a world of its own. It’s somewhere between Shaun of the Dead and What We Do In The Shadows meets some form of sketch comedy.
-PH: Was it all shot down under?
-Tristan: Yes, Cursed was all shot in Connor’s mates house in the little suburb of Ipswich, outside of Bris Vegas.
-PH: How different a project do you think this would have been if it were filmed 20 years ago? I imagine you’d have to had distribute it differently?
-Tristan: Not sure it would exist. Surely no one would have given us money for online content unless they were pretty a head of the curve. I think YouTube is still like 6 or 7 years away… In a less-dickhead way of answering your question, I think our only option would have been private finance and straight to DVD. How the times have changed!
-PH: Is the emphasis on Cursed more on horror or comedy?
-Tristan: I want it to be 50/50, but the cast steal the show, so we’ll have to write scarier content.
-PH: How hard is it to ground a film like this, one that’s focus is on silliness? Or is that a concern?
-Tristan: The director of Cursed, Connor Fairclough was very concerned about this. He would always do a few takes of the script before opening it to the actors. The improv was gold, so it was very hard in the edit. Luckily we had Digby Hogan from The Empire Post who somehow made it all work.
-PH: Where did the cast come from? All open auditions?
-Tristan: The cast is a mixture of people Connor and I had known or worked with before. We found this one guy on Instagram who we had to include: Charles D who is an assistant to a real estate agent but lives life as if he is the next big digital entrepreneur. You can follow his hilarious socials @charles_success_d
-PH: Have you a favorite scene in the new series?
-Tristan: It’s so difficult to pick a favourite scene, I’d have to say the scenes between Kyle McCallion and Omar Al-Sobky always brought about some hilarious improvisation. I was crying on set. The guys were weirdly in tune like brothers.
-PH: If you get a second run of episodes, what horror films would you like to spoof?
-Tristan: In the first season, we spoof Annabelle, IT, Insidious, Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring. I’d love to spoof The Shining, The Exorcist, Halloween, Get Out, and It Follows.
Official premiere date of CURSED to be announced soon via the CURSED social accounts on Twitter and Instagram at @cursedshow and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CursedShow.