Indie director Patrick Rea first blipped onto my radar a couple of years back at the Shriekfest Horror Film Festival with his supernatural short, Next Caller. I really enjoyed the creepy little comedy, and asked him to keep me in the loop on his upcoming projects.
Rea's been a busy fellow. A few months ago, he sent me a screener of another of his shorts, Time's Up Eve, a black and white thriller set in the 1940s. It's not often one sees period pieces in the short form, so that was a bit of treat. However, I really didn't know if and how Rea could pull off a feature… until now.
Having just watched Nailbiter, quite an accomplishment (review of the film here) and a departure from all his other stuff, I must say I am impressed. The movie is still awaiting the right distribution fit, but in the meantime, look for it in 2012 at film festivals (to be announced at nailbitermovie.com).
But I still can't get used to Rea doing things in long form. So, I've asked him to answer the following questions in 140 characters or fewer. Brevity is indeed the soul of wit, as Patrick proves!
Staci: How would you describe your horror film Nailbiter?
Patrick Rea: It's a horror film that relies on suspense rather than gore. When I pitched it to people, I always said it was a combination of Alien and Twister. Ha, ha. It's definitely more old-fashioned stylistically.
Staci: What are the monsters like?
Rea: The monsters are very unfriendly. Without giving too much away, the creatures in the film are directly connected to storms. Most of the film, the monster element is kept in the shadows and has mystery around it.
Staci: Who is your audience?
Rea: This is definitely a horror film that I think any demographic can enjoy. It's not gory, and focuses more on suspense and characters. When we test screened the film in Kansas City, we got a positive reaction from an 80 year old audience member as well as teens.
Staci: What was it like working with mostly women as your leads?
Rea: I feel really comfortable directing women. Some of our short films have female leads, so I was very prepared. They were a real joy to be around.
Staci: Were you shooting in a real basement?
Rea: It was the basement of an old organ factory in Lawrence, Kansas. It was very large, which was perfect for having the cast and crew down there, except if you had allergies.
Staci: If you were to encounter creatures like the ones in Nailbiter, what would be your first line of defense?
Rea: Play dead. Ha, ha. Just kidding. I would probably try to find any heavy blunt object to use as a weapon....or I'd climb a tree.
Staci: Texting is essential to the plot of your film… are you yourself a texting-fiend?
Answer: I text all the time! Though I have to admit I'm very proud my texts almost never have typos. ;)
Staci: What other horror movies would you most liken Nailbiters to?
Rea: I would say it has some hints of the original "The Howling" and "The Descent". I wanted to give it just a small touch of some non-horror films as well, like "The Goonies."
Staci: Was making this feature harder, or easier, than doing your signature short films?
Rea: It was a challenge, but all of our films have had their own set of hurdles. The feature is more of a marathon than anything. Your working on it for years, while our shorts usually take about 6 months to complete.
Staci: What's next on the agenda, Patrick?
Rea: Besides a Nailbiter sequel, our next feature project is a horror-comedy about a deadly energy drink titled "Buzz Kill". We are also in post-production on a dramatic short film titled "Rhino", starring Malcolm Goodwin.