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The King and Queen of Halloween
Anna Maguire, Stuart Spears
2014, 6m, horror
Halloween is a magical time for everyone, old and young alike. But when two teenage boys destroy a strange older man's meticulous pumpkin display, he decides to play the long game and get his revenge, in the most seasonal way imaginable.
Produced by: Anna Maguire, Stuart Spears
Cast: Alfie Field, Josh Lincoln, Michael Hallihane
6 questions with The King and Queen of Halloween director, Anna Maguire at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
1Hi Anna! Thanks for being a part of our festival! First what was the initial seed that made you want to make this film? Hi!
It was a project born out of working in a bookstore with my co-director Stuart Spears. We were talking about our love of old 'Tales from the Crypt' style horror films, and the autumn was drawing in, and we decided to jump in and make our own version. We are both big fans of Halloween so it felt only natural!
2This is a great little horror film. What are your thoughts on the horror genre and why did you want to make one? Stuart is much more of a horror aficionado and connoisseur than I am, however I always liked Goosebumps and Round the Twist - those stories for kids and young adults that were uncanny and scary but contained a lot of heart (no pun intended!) I spent a lot of time in my room reading these books and I made a pact with my dad when I was in primary school that if I got good grades, he'd buy me the whole series!! I don't think we ever got to the whole series - they kept churning them out - but I definitely had a sizeable collection. This certainly served to ignite my interest in the scary or the unknown when I was still only about 7 or 8. Also, as filmmaker I wanted to explore a genre that I hadn't explored heretofore, and Stuart and I combined our skills to make the film.
3I think you made a very bold decision to make the teenagers closer to thirteen than eighteen. I think most horror movies make the teenagers older so it's not as uncomfortable if bad things happen to them. Why did you choose to make them younger? I think we had always imagined them to be that age because there's something interesting in that shift between child and teenager. thirteen year olds should know better, but they egg each other on, they start to test the boundaries of kindness and cruelty. The boys mistreat the older man, who actually has created this display for kids like them, and of course his revenge is totally outlandish.
4This feels like it could be part of a larger story. Do you have any plans on expanding this into a feature? Not at the moment, but you never know!
5What's the film or filmmaker that made you want to become a director? That's a hard one, there's so many people who have inspired me, and I guess it was something more gradual than an immediate 'I have to do this', but I guess I'd say Steven Spielberg, both because my favourite films as a child were probably Jurassic Park and ET, and then I got the amazing opportunity to work with him as an actor on my first ever film when I was 7. He showed me how kind and fun and cool you could be as a director - taking interest in the lifespan of my Tamagotchi as well as a multi million dollar movie!
6What's next? The short film I made based on a Dave Eggers short story, Your Mother and I is currently touring the festival circuit so keep an eye out for it in a town near you! Otherwise I'm currently editing my next short film, Constellations, and I'm writing a feature film script. So I hope 2018 will be busy!
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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