Christopher Smith – Creep, Severance, Triangle and The Banishing – How to Direct & Write Independent Genre Movies

We are delighted to have legendary director Christopher Smith on this weeks episode. He has been a firm favorite of host Giles Alderson who has wanted him as guest since the start and finally he is here to talk about his latest gripping film The Banishing.

Joining Giles as co host is fellow director Christian James as they discuss Chris’ journey to becoming a filmmaker. His first brilliant film Creep and how he met producer Jason Newmark who has since been a team with him pretty much all his journey as a filmmaker.

We also chat about pitching and personality, what he has learned as a director and agents and managers. We discuss working on set, why it is important to create a great vibe for actors and crew and why sometimes you have to lay down the law!

In 2004 Christopher Smith wrote and directed the nasty shocker CREEP, putting Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) front and centre as a woman stuck in the tunnels of the London Underground, pursued by something you really wouldn’t want to meet in the dark. Run Franka, run!

Smith hit the ground running with his 2006 pitch-black horror comedy SEVERANCE, about a team-building excursion that goes horribly, dreadfully wrong. Featuring a talking decapitated head, Danny Dyer on superb wideboy form, women blasting machine guns and one of the cheekiest pay-off lines in cinema history, this was a brilliant mix of the horrifying and hilarious that had audiences howling in delight.

In 2009 Smith went out to sea for the thrilling TRIANGLE, with Melissa George (The Slap) trapped in a hellish time loop on an abandoned boat, pursued by a hooded figure with a bloody axe. Nightmarish, gripping and intense, TRIANGLE showed Smith exploring uncharted waters with a genre film that engaged the mind, as well as bending it to breaking point.

Smith’s hugely enjoyable BLACK DEATH (2010), set in 17th-century plague-ridden England, had a terrific lead performance from the ever-reliable Sean Bean (Possessor), and an early role for future Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything). It also featured a striking turn from Carice van Houten, that predated her similar forthcoming role in Game of Thrones.

After forays into family comedies (Get Santa) and TV series (Alex Rider), Smith comes back to the horror genre this year, with THE BANISHING, a spine-chiller set in Britain’s most haunted house, Borley Rectory, during World War Two. Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay is a young woman uncovering dark secrets in her new home, while Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible) is ghost hunter Harry Price, and John Lynch (Isolation) a sinister ‘man of God’. Smith expertly handles this handsomely mounted period mystery, twanging the nerves along the way, with creepy dolls, shadowy figures, religious mania and a couple of proper jolting shocks.

THE BANISHING is released on digital platforms from 26th March and will stream on Shudder beginning 15th April.

WATCH The Banishing here:

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