GORE IN THE STORE

REVIEW INDEX

IN CONVERSATION WITH PAUL DAVIS

“Returning to FrightFest feels like a much needed homecoming” says director Paul Davis, who fittingly brings his Halloween set UNCANNY ANNIE to the annual Halloween event.

 

Speaking about his memories of the FRIGHTFEST experience as a fan versus a guest filmmaker, he describe it as, “Chalk and cheese.” He explains, “As a fan, it’s super inspiring. As soon as I leave a FRIGHTFEST weekend I just want to write and create. As a filmmaker, everything is the same until the day your movie plays. I spend every moment before pacing in the Cineworld lobby, drinking my weight in coffee, and then directly after I just want to go out and party, which is handy because FRIGHTFEST is a party festival. Everyone goes to watch horror movies and have a good time, so whether you’re a fan or filmmaker, you still tend to have the same experience.”

 

Screening his sophomore feature will be a moment in which Davis fulfils a personal ambition, one that’s borne out of screening documentary BEWARE THE MOON in 2009, and the world premieres of his short films HIM INDOORS in 2012 and THE BODY in 2013. “… UNCANNY ANNIE marks my first narrative feature film to play in front of a FRIGHTFEST audience. When you have a short film play at FRIGHTFEST, the end game is always to have a feature selected down the line. Getting the chance to do that ten years later is a massive check on life’s to-do list.”

 

Speaking about what the audience can expect from UNCANNY ANNIE, Davis explains, “First and foremost, it’s a Blumhouse movie, and is made very much in the tradition of everything the brand stands for.” He adds, “If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll see that the film doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s heavily inspired by JUMANJI (or Boo!-manji as we called it on set). Stylistically I looked at movies such as THE GATE and Joe Dante’s criminally underrated THE HOLE to pretty much shoot a kids horror film, but with blood and swearing. Once the movie gets started, it really doesn’t let up, as the gang quickly discover that their only way out of the ordeal is to complete the game.” UNCANNY ANNIE, his second contribution  to the Blumhouse web series INTO THE DARK, following his feature debut THE BODY that was adapted from his short, offered him an unbridled opportunity. “The film has a strong supernatural core, but what I loved is that the board game presents different scenarios that pertain to different sub-genres of horror. There’s a slasher element, a ghost element, a creepy child and urban legends. I got to play with a bunch of different things, which was a lot of fun to design and devise in such a short time.” Amongst these, he recalls one sequence in particular as an example of fighting time on set. “The scene with a character known as The Prankster is one that definitely stands out for me, as we shot the entire sequence in one day, and I’ll always remember how many setups we had to do that day to accomplish it.”

 

Davis believes that his new film shows a side to him that is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and yet he remains surprised by the outcome. “Those attending FRIGHTFEST that are familiar with my short films that played before will notice immediately that UNCANNY ANNIE is unlike anything I’ve made. I’m always looking to adapt and expand as a filmmaker, and the fact that this movie has turned out as well as it has with three weeks prep, a sixteen day shoot, and a post production that resulted in me having to fly back to London due to my mother’s death… it’s remarkable to me” he explains. “This film has no business being as coherent and fun as it is.”

 

 

Paul began his career as a writer/journalist, specialising in horror cinema, before transitioning to filmmaking with BEWARE THE MOON, a making of documentary about AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. His feature debut THE BODY launched the first series of Blumhouse TV’s web series INTO THE DARK, and UNCANNY ANNIE will launch series two. He has played what he can only describe as a giant eye-poo monster in a Mark Gatiss written episode of DOCTOR WHO, and has doubled as Chewbacca in the pre-production of SOLO - A STAR WARS STORY.

 

 

Davis believes that his new film shows a side to him that is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and yet he remains surprised by the outcome. “Those attending FRIGHTFEST that are familiar with my short films that played before will notice immediately that UNCANNY ANNIE is unlike anything I’ve made. I’m always looking to adapt and expand as a filmmaker, and the fact that this movie has turned out as well as it has with three weeks prep, a sixteen day shoot, and a post production that resulted in me having to fly back to London due to my mother’s death… it’s remarkable to me” he explains. “This film has no business being as coherent and fun as it is.”

 

Paul began his career as a writer/journalist, specialising in horror cinema, before transitioning to filmmaking with BEWARE THE MOON, a making of documentary about AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. His feature debut THE BODY launched the first series of Blumhouse TV’s web series INTO THE DARK, and UNCANNY ANNIE will launch series two. He has played what he can only describe as a giant eye-poo monster in a Mark Gatiss written episode of DOCTOR WHO, and has doubled as Chewbacca in the pre-production of SOLO - A STAR WARS STORY.

 

UNCANNY ANNIE plays as part of the FrightFest Halloween at the Cineworld Leicester Square on November 2nd 2019.

 

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