Exclusive Interview with “The Tent” Director Kyle Couch

THE TENT director Kyle Couch on favorite horror films, Joe Bob Briggs and why he loves practical effects!

-PH: Would say this is a genre you’d normally gravitate towards?

-Kyle: I gravitate towards horror and drama a lot. I grew up on movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing, the 1930’s King Kong, and Spielberg’s Jaws. I loved those movies because in the midst of the chaos and terrifying situations, you had real character development and drama. That was the combo I was looking to emulate in The Tent.

-PH: Have any films or filmmakers from your youth -heck, even now – influenced this one? How so?

-Kyle: Yeah a HUGE inspiration was the movie Signs, the deep character moments and the horrifying scenario was a big push for me to dive deeper into the layers of David and Mary in The Tent. Another big inspiration was Jaws. I loved that we didn’t see the shark for most of the film, similar to Signs and it’s aliens, until the end. I’ve heard it said before, nothing you can create and show an audience is more terrifying than what they are imagining and I subscribe to that way of thinking 100 percent. Jaws was also big because it’s such a character story, it’s less about the shark and more about what the shark brings out of these men and that for me was always my intention with The Tent. What does the Crisis bring out of David and Mary and how they handle it in different ways much like most of us would.

-PH: Growing up, did you have a favorite or go-to scary movie?

-Kyle: I remember my father showing me a movie called The Legend of Boggy Creek. It scared the living daylights out of me because of it’s documentary type feel. It made it seem so real and I just remember being scared but ultimately intrigued by the possibility of a creature like this existing. I have always loved the genre from that day on.

-PH: There Are different types of horror films – where do you think this one fits? Do you personally like one sort of horror movie over the other?

-Kyle: I think The Tent fits, if I can say this without sounding any sort of way, in a similar category as Jaws or Signs or even Blair Witch Project, simply because it leaves A LOT to the imagination and is ultimately propelled by the characters layers being revealed over time and under the escalating pressures of the story.

-PH: CGI or practical effects. Preference?

-Kyle: Practical effects 100 percent. CGI has come a long way and still no one has done it better than the first Jurassic Park but even then, practicals were used to ultimately make those CGI creations feel much more real. There is something about a physical creation over a computer creation, but again, it’s incredible what we are seeing being done with CGI so my viewpoint may change overtime.

-PH: If the movie were part of a double feature at a drive-in theatre, what would make the perfect support/second movie?

-Kyle: Oh man, great question! I would have to say It Follows so that it could be a made in Michigan double horror feature! Only if Joe Bob Briggs could host it though, he is the best!

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