WildClaw company member Mandy Walsh joins us today to talk about assistant directing Scott T. Barsotti’s The Revenants, Aslan’s betrayal, and What Scares Her.
1. Do you consider yourself a horror fan?
I do. The darker side of things have always fascinated me, and I love the kind of creativity that’s behind it. You can learn a lot about a person when they share what’s tucked away in that dark corner in the attic of their minds. (Under a dusty sheet, of course.) And that stuff is different for everybody. It’s incredibly personal.
2. What was your introduction to horror?
When I was maybe about 4 years old, in the days before cable and even VCRs, my parents had banished me to watch the animated version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe on the tiny B&W television in our kitchen while they watched Salem’s Lot on the big color tube in the living room. I remember getting very upset when (spoiler alert) Aslan died, and I ran into the living room looking for some comfort from my mom. As I ran in, on their giant television was a scene of the vampire’s eyes popping wide open in the coffin. My grief turned to terror and the tears instantly were cranked up to 11. I was scared taking the walk down our long, dark hallway to my room by myself from then on.
3. Zombies: Fast or Slow?
I prefer my zombies slow, thank you very much.
4. How is directing for horror different than for other genres of storytelling? What lessons have you learned from this project that you’re excited to use in the future?
Pacing is very important. At the start of a scene things might seem just fine, but in the blink of an eye, the pacing and stakes will need to go from zero to sixty and your foot needs to stay on the gas through to the end. The other thing that comes in handy is knowing how to misdirect the audience’s attention to set up a really good scare. There’s a point in The Revenants that Brad totally nailed. I love hearing the audience lose their minds as it pays off.
5. What Scares You?
Knowing there is no way out alive is pretty terrifying to me, and I’m talking bigger than being trapped in a house with a killer in a mask and a knife. In that situation, worst case, you can at least go down swinging. I’m talking things like desperately trying to stay awake because Freddy Krueger will get you when you inevitably fall asleep, or having the Cenobites after you because you stupidly played with their puzzle box. In a more real-world scenario, the idea of being sentenced to death and executed makes me super uncomfortable. In the end, I guess it’s the idea of being completely helpless that really freaks me out.
You have just THREE WEEKS LEFT to catch The Revenants at The Athenaeum Theater! Closes February 22nd!