Why are women’s voices important to the horror genre?
They’re important to any genre. Any sort of new perspective brings a new light into different anxieties and fears, and I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a “female experience” to tell a certain kind of horror movie. It’s not like only women should direct female-related horror movies, or if it’s a male protagonist then it shouldn’t have a female director. I don’t think there’s any exclusivity to storytelling in that way, but it does seem odd that we’re over half of the population and less than 10-percent of the feature directors. That’s definitely an injustice when it comes to a different perspective.
What are you most proud of accomplishing with your vignette?
I really wanted to play with the old school rollercoaster of jump scares and things that go bump in that night. And sitting in the audience and hearing everyone yell at specific points is extremely gratifying.
What is your favorite horror movie technique or trope that you got to use in your short?
I feel like my whole section is a trope. I like having very naturalistic dialogue and a very easy back-and-forth between actors like a normal conversation you would have. I like letting a scene play and seeing how it goes is a big thing for me. That’s what I want to do—take a very down the middle, pulpy story that we know for the most part, and then just play within those confines and play within those tropes.
What’s your first memory of loving horror?
Probably Stephen Gammell’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. That just fucked up an entire generation. From that moment onward, it was like, oh yeah, everything is terrifying, there’s always something under the bed, there’s always something around the corner, nothing can be trusted. I also grew up in the middle of the woods, so these urban legends have always kind of been ingrained.
Who is your favorite final girl?
Does Ellen Ripley in Alien count? You know that role was written as a male character and they didn’t change anything about it, they just changed the character to female. But it’s still well-written, because they weren’t trying to make it a female character.
If there is another XX movie, who would you want to see a horror short from?
Julia Ducournau. Oh my god her movie Raw is so good. And it’s definitely one of those movies that makes you go, “So this is what a horror movie can be.”