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Horror Pride Month: Writer/Director Marc Cartwright

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Marc Cartwright

There are few things writer and director Marc Cartwright loves more than a good suspenseful horror film with a well-placed twist, and anyone who has seen one of his films knows he’s very good at creating them.

The co-owner of Glass Cabin Films has a handful of short films that have won major awards at festivals around the world including Best Director at last year’s iHorror Film Festival. Though he’s constantly working, he took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with me for Horror Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ creatives working in horror.

“I’ve always loved horror movies,” he explained as we began. “Horror movies tell another side of life. They’re the parts of life that we sometimes think about, but hope we don’t see playing out in front of us. I’ve always seen them as a way to explore the darker sides or the twists in life. I think my first inspiration for that would be more like the Alfred Hitchcock type. Things are going along seemingly fine and then there’s that sort of horrific twist.”

If suspense and tension are your cup of tea, there are few filmmakers who ever did that better than Hitchcock, and Cartwright said that Rope particularly stands out for him.

“For a film to occur in one room and to have you on the edge of your seat the entire time? That’s really hard to do,” he said, and anyone who has seen the film is sure to agree.

Cartwright with his iHorror Award which he won for Best Director at the 2019 iHorror Film Festival.

Still, loving horror films and making them are two different monsters. Cartwright was primarily a photographer, and until he met his business partner–actor and co-owner of Glass Cabin Films Baker Chase Powell–he had not entirely considered filmmaking as a creative outlet.

“Baker was doing a web series,” Cartwright said. “I saw what they did in their first go at it, and I thought I could make it look better. So I said, ‘Let me try the cinematography on this.’ We did that and I ended up directing it. And then Baker and I were talking and I said, ‘We should do more of this. Let’s make some short films.’ We both had a love of horror, and that sort of started that whole process.”

Cartwright is still a photographer but since the decision was made, he’s been developing his voice as a director, and you can see that progression watching his work.

The director said he loves looking at characters who are in some sort of downward spiral, pointing to his film We Die Alone as an example.

In that film, Powell plays Aidan, a young man with crippling insecurities who craves connection, but who compulsively ghosts every woman he meets on dating apps out of fear. When he meets Chelsea, a young woman who moves into the apartment across the hall from him, he finds himself dangerously obsessed with her which leads to an brutal, emotional ending you have to see to believe.

“I love watching that kind of character play out,” he explained. “Someone I like who does that a lot would be like Daron Aranofsky in his movies. Black Swan and The Wrestler or even like mother!, someone trying to get stability in this crazy situation.”

On the set of We Die Alone

Cartwright says he’s also learned a great deal about collaboration and sharing control by working in film.

“It’s definitely been an adventure, and it’s been a learning process for me,” he said. “Learning to hand off something and trust that someone is going to do it with integrity. You learn how to get what you need while still empowering people. You want it to be a collaboration.”

Clarifying his voice as a director has also helped to focus his thoughts on LGBTQ representation within the horror genre and filmmaking in general, and looking back on his own coming out as a gay man, points him toward a future he hopes that every member of the LBGTQ community can experience.

“I was fortunate. It wasn’t a negative experience for me,” Cartwright said. “I know a lot of people go through so much whether it’s an unsupportive family or a bad environment. It’s scary when you realize who you are in that kind of situation, but I didn’t really have that pushback that I know a lot of people have.”

And where the film and television world is concerned, he hopes that we can leave behind some of the tired tropes that have plagues so many queer characters in the past.

“I think a lot of LGBT films and characters before now were always about the same thing,” he pointed out. “It was always either sexually driven or they were experiencing some personal crisis around coming out all the time. I think now, it’s time to create shows that show that LGBT people are just like everyone else. We aren’t all either dying or constantly clubbing. They say Hollywood is opening up and telling more diverse stories, but I find that they still act like they have to tell you if they’re doing a show about a Latin person or a black person or gay person. They feel like they have to underline that point heavily, but in my experience people don’t live their lives like that.”

That sort of normalized representation both inside and outside of the genre is something many of us in the community are striving toward and having a filmmaker like Cartwright on the front lines of that feels like the work is actually being done.

To see some of Marc Cartwright’s film work, check out the Glass Cabin Films YouTube Channel.

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Movies

Shudder Promises: “Goopy practical effects…and LOTS of blood” in Upcoming Movie

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Shudder has been hitting out of the park with new horror releases lately. Now comes word that they will release the horror/comedy Destroy All Neighbors on their streaming platform starting January 12. The movie is helmed by music video director Josh Forbes. It stars Jonah Ray Rodrigues (Mystery Science Theater 3000), and Alex Winter, Ted, of Bill & Ted Fame.

There is no trailer for the movie yet, but Shudder explains that Rodrigues plays William, “a neurotic, self-absorbed musician determined to finish his prog-rock magnum opus, faces a creative roadblock in the form of a noisy and grotesque neighbor named Vlad (Alex Winter). Finally working up the nerve to demand that Vlad keep it down, William inadvertently decapitates him. But, while attempting to cover up one murder, William’s accidental reign of terror causes victims to pile up and become undead corpses who torment and create more bloody detours on his road to prog-rock Valhalla. Destroy All Neighbors is a twisted splatter-comedy about a deranged journey of self-discovery full of goopy practical FX, a well-known ensemble cast, and LOTS of blood.”

Destroy All Neighbors will premiere on Shudder on January 12.

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Hideo Kojima and Jordan Peele Unveil Trailer for Chilling ‘OD’

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Kojima

Gamers have been waiting for Hideo Kojima to give us something in the form of a horror game ever since PT’s demo scared the heck out of all of us when it was released on PS4. Well, The Game Awards didn’t disappoint by bringing Hideo Kojima’s latest project OD out to tease. While the trailer didn’t focus on any gameplay at all, it did give us some motion capture of Udo Kier Sophia Ellis, and Hunter Schafer.

The short trailer focuses on close-ups of the actors; each of whom is reciting a haunting lines from a memorable text. Following the little video, Kojima came out on stage to share his excitement about the game. That wasn’t all though!

Kojima then brings out Jordan Peele, to announce that the game is in partnership with the director. The latest horror game is titled OD and is already on big most anticipated lists.

Kojima

Kojima announces that this is of course a game but is also a new form of media altogether. He remains cryptic about the game but makes sure to give us all a lot to take in and be excited about.

Peele is on board to put gamers into the shoes of characters that will feel familiar to the sort of experiences that he brings to his films.

There is no word on when OD will see a release date but we are very excited and will be sure to let you know more when we receive more info.

Are you excited about Kojima’s new partnership with Peele? Let us know in the comments section.

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Arkane Studios and Marvel Reveal Rad Trailer for Blade

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Kojima

One of the biggest and most exciting moments from last night’s Game Awards was the unveiling of Arcane’s latest game, Blade! That’s right, y’all. Marvel is getting together with Arkane Studios in order to tell the tale of the Daywalker.

Blade

Arkane has been responsible for some of our favorite games over the last few years. They are responsible for Deathloop and Dishonored just to name a couple. So, the idea of a Blade game is very exciting. Mainly because we have seen what Arkane does with their special powers and perks in game. So, we already can’t wait to see the powers they unleash with Blade.

Not much is known at the moment other than the game will be a third-person experience that takes place in Paris.

The synopsis for Blade goes like this:

In Marvel’s Blade, Eric Brooks is the legendary Daywalker, half-man, half-vampire torn between the warm society of the living and the rushing power of the undead. From Bethesda and Arkane Lyon, the studio that brought you Dishonored and “DEATHLOOP”, Marvel’s Blade is a mature, single-player, third-person game set in the heart of Paris, now in development in collaboration with Marvel Games.

We are already dying to see what Arkane and Bethesda does with Blade. It will undoubtedly be a huge and memorable experience. Marvel has been doing a great job of carefully brining their games to life. If you haven’t played Guardians of the Galaxy, please do. It is a singular experience that goes beyond the game films and gives us an all-new experience in the Guardians tales. We are sure that Arkane will give us another amazing Marvel chapter when Blade is released.

There isn’t any word on when Blade is going to be released. But, we will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we hear more.

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