SXSW 2016 Exclusive | The Gory Poster for ‘Another Evil’
You’ve seen it play out before: the protagonists of a movie realize that their house is haunted so they call a paranormal investigator to root out the problem. But usually the ghost hunter hunts the ghosts and leaves, or flees for their lives right away to make the threat seem more threatening. In Another Evil, the feature directorial debut of short filmmaker and Silicon Valley writer Carson D. Mell, the ghost hunter refuses to get out, and may not even be helping at all.
Another Evil debuts this weekend at SXSW 2016, and Crave is proud to debut the first poster for the unusual horror comedy, designed by Carson D. Mell himself. We got the filmmaker on the phone to discuss the origin of Another Evil, the thought process that went into this colorful one-sheet, and what your reaction to the supernatural says about you as a person.
Scroll down to see the full postern high-resolution, and Carson D. Mell’s commentary about the one-sheet. Another Evil premieres at SXSW 2016 on Saturday, March 12 at 8:45pm CST.
Crave: This film exists in a nether state between different types of cinema. On one hand it’s a horror movie, on the other hand it’s a comedy, on the other hand it’s a character study. What is it for you? Where does it live and breathe in your consciousness?
Carson D. Mell: Well definitely I always prioritize things being funny. I feel like that’s the thing I have the best gauge of, so that’s sort of my insurance. At any time I’m going into drama or horror or suspense or anything like that, that’s an area where it’s outside of my comfort zone. So it’s fun for me to combine the things, you know what I mean? That way I feel fairly confident the funny will be funny, and then you hope that the other stuff works as well.
Where did the story come from? Did you want to do a haunted house story, and then thought it would be more interesting to focus on the exorcist?
Yeah, I wanted to do a haunted house story forever. My experience with ghosts in my own life has been that they’re just kind of benign, and they’re just around. I’ve seen a few in my life and actually the cabin where we shot the movie was haunted. I’ve had some weird ghost experiences there, and I actually found the energy concentrated in the rooms, where I wrote the script the energy was concentrated. [Laughs.] I don’t know why. Maybe that’s just the way it came to me, because of it was out of my life, but I wanted to write something that reflected that point of view, of what if ghosts were not necessarily evil. Like, it’s not a given that ghosts are bad. What’s that story?
But then what does it say about us that we assume that they must be…?
Yeah, exactly. I think that for me, the way you react to a ghost says a lot about yourself, right? It can show if you’re a fearful person, if you fear the unknown or if you’re interested in the unknown, or maybe both of those things. But because it’s such an extreme situation I think it’s a really good way of getting to, dissecting and kind of investigating characters.
“The way you react to a ghost says a lot about yourself, right? It can show if you’re a fearful person…”
Where did our exorcist character come from? Because Os is a troubled individual…
I think he’s sort of an amalgam of every friend I’ve had, including myself, who’d gone through a bad breakup. There’s like a six month period afterwards where you think you’re functioning, and you can trick yourself that you’re doing okay, but really you’re dealing with the stress and the broken heart in a very weird way, and I think that Os was already a fairly weird dude but the fact that he’s going through some trouble in matters of the heart really amplifies his eccentricities. So it was kind of just thinking about, what would a ghost hunter going through a breakup be like?
What’s interesting about Another Evil is, on one hand ghosts are real and you clarify that several times, but on the other hand Os is clearly paranoid and delusional about a lot of it. How do you strike that balance between confirming that something is real and telling the audience that it could all be in his head?
That’s interesting. I didn’t want it to be a, “Is everyone imagining this happening?” So I made sure that there’s instances in the movie where the ghosts appear objectively. So it’s not from a character’s point of view, it’s actually, the characters in the movie aren’t perceiving the ghosts. Just the audience. So that was my way of telling the audience these ghosts are real, they’re here, but what they are is open to interpretation.
Tell me about the poster that we’re debuting. It’s very bright and colorful, yet gruesome. How much of this poster was your idea?
That was totally my idea. I illustrated it. I drew it and everything. My producer ended up doing the graphic design on it, placing the text and the border and all that, but I drew it. It’s sort of a depiction of one of the entities in the movie, like an abstract depiction of one of the entities, and sort of a scene outside of the movie that doesn’t take place on screen.
One of the my favorite comic artists, Daniel Clowes, in one of his issues of his comic Eightball, on the cover he has a scene that [doesn’t take] place in the comic. You only see the results of that scene [in the comic]. It’s somebody beating someone else up, and within the comic itself you just see this person all bruised and beaten up. I always kind of liked the idea of something like a cover or a poster actually containing information that relates to the narrative if you choose to interpret it that way.
Do you concern yourself with just telling the story, or do you think to yourself while you’re making the film how you’re going to market it?
No, I didn’t consider that at all. I’m always just trying to make something entertaining. I want to make a movie that’s fun and isn’t challenging to watch, unless there’s parts that are supposed to be. I figure if I do my job then all that marketing and whatnot can come after. Though I will say that I did think to myself, I’d like to make a horror movie because I know there’s a buit-in audience, and I’d like to give horror fans something a little bit different than they’re used to getting.
Top Photo: Memory
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.