Filmmaker Zoe Kavanagh takes us into the shadows of her short film Inexorable.
How would you describe the film?
Inexorable is a psychological horror film that focuses on the fears we have at night. ‘Is that baby-cries out in the back garden or is that a cat? It could be a baby in peril, may need to check it out!’
It’s me experimenting with atmosphere and tension whilst being heavily inspired by classic horror films.
How did it come about?
It’s basically a sequence from a feature script that I have written called ‘Inexorable’, which means unrelentless, unstoppable and that’s basically what the feature is in the way that from start to finish every single scene is filled with something scary in different shapes and escalates until it ends.
I directed this short film to showcase that I can do horror, I can do atmosphere as I hadn’t made that type of horror film before but I’m a huge fan of.
Any specific influences?
A lot of influences from things that really got me or unnerved me. Horror films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser and Poltergeist to video-games such as the ‘Silent Hill’ series. There’s an atmosphere and character moralistic drama I like in these franchises that not only creep me out but engage me with their protagonists and their antagonists.
Any on-set stories you can share?
In the short film, the villain wears a Plague Doctor mask and after we wrapped filming in the alleyway where he preys in the corner, none of us wanted to stand anywhere in that spot alone as we were getting paranoid that someone was there! It was all fine in the end and was a fairly smooth shoot!
What particular skills do you need to make a short horror film?
You need to know what scares you and find a way to conjure that idea into a story. Directing a short film isnt always about giving people a full three-act structure but more so in a horror short it’s actually about giving the audience a scary sequence and dropping them into a scenario that they can connect to. It’s really about understanding the pace of horror. A lot of modern horror films don’t slow down when they need to, they have loud noises and fast cutting but that should be used for action not horror. Once you have them engaged, you can manipulate their emotions with your atmosphere, your shocks and terrify them.
How do you feel about screening at Horrorthon?
It’s great! Second year in a row a film by me has screened. Last year Demon Hunter
played to a packed audience and now Horrorthon get the exclusive Irish premiere as I haven’t pushed this short yet. It also plays in Germany this week at the Obscura Film Fest
before I start submitting it to lots of festivals. Excited about its prospects on the horror festival circuit.
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