Wednesday, 1 September 2010

SPLINTERED-Review and Interview with director Simeon Halligan

"Something has been killing lives stock in a remote part of North Wales and now it's started attacking humans....
Sophie,a teenager with a troubled past,puts herself and her friends at the mecy of this wild beast,when her obsession of the unexplained leads them deap into the Welsh countryside.
Looking for evidence within an abandoned building,Sophie witnesses a vicious attack oh her friend then finds herself incarcerated in a locked room.She cannot escape and her only hope is that her friends manage to find her before her captor makes them his lates victim......"

Hello people,
Last night i watched the new uk horror"Splintered"From 1st time uk director Simon Halligan and i must say i was very impressed!
The film starts with a very creepy dream like sequence in wich we see the young Sophie(Holly Weston)in bed troubled by something lurking within the shadows of her room,she then jumps ou of bed when the thing approaches and hides underneath only to be swiped at viciously by the arm of whatever the beast it,this scene i thought was very reminicent of the Oliver Reed classic"The shuttered room".
The film then jumps forward a few years to where we Sophie and friends driving up to some remote woods in North Wales to investigate a mysterious creature within the woods,you get to see sheep torn apart and various death sites leading you to believe that the woods contain something like a Werewolf,but you would be wrong!
Sophie and her friend then go off together into the night to investigate when her friend is savagely attacked and killed leaving the helpless Sophie to run away but that does not work,she is then set upon and thrown into a locked room containing only a bed and a statue of the virgin Mary.
Within the door of the room is a hatch wich she looks out of only to see a crazed man talking to himself whilst chopping meat with a huge axe,The guy approaches the door and reasures her that all will be ok as she is still a"virgin"and boy is he creepy!
You then get the by now very shaken up Sophie trying her best to get out of the room before nightfall and before whatever is out there comes to get her or is it just the creepy man with his loony persona?
This is where i'll let you watch the film for yourselves without revealing any spoilers,needless to say as i said earlier this did really remind me of old 60's/70's british horror such as"Tower of Evil"and the such like it also had a feeling of the early Neil Marshall films such as"Dog soldiers".
Not overly gory but the end does has a very top gory pay off,Filmed on a low budget and on location at St Joseph's seminary near Skelmersdal wich was once a gothic training school for preists but its now semi derelict this is perfect location shooting also surrounded by acresof creepy woods,a directors dream location.
I would reccomend this thoroughly.
Jonny t.

SPLINTERED is released on DVD 6th September.

You can pre order it here:-


How did the idea for"Splintered"come about?
The idea was brewing for some time in different shapes and forms through a bunch of different treatments and script ideas.The consistent elements being:a young female central character on the run from an abusive past and her relationship with an estranged man,living outside society in an abandoned first it wasn't a horror film,more psychological thriller

I Read that the film is shot with a 4K camera system,What is the 4k camera system and why was it chosen for the production?
We worked at a 4k resoloution,wich meant the quality of image is hugely detailed but it requires an awful amount of memeory drive space to store the footage.The camera captures onto cards or hard drives and the material can then be transferred to an edit system directly without using film or tapes as a recording medium.

Where the any particularly difficult scenes to film?
We shot for around five and a half weeks and every day seemed to short!Any scenes containing a lot of action or special FX were always the most difficult under the time restraints.Obviously scenes in which Gavin and Vincent interact were particularly tricky to shoot as both characters are played by the same actor Stephen Walters.These Sequences were shot in two passes,each time Stephen would play one or other of the characters and we would use body doubles for the other brother.There isn't one SFX sgot used in the film to put both brothers into a scene,it's all done with cutting!

Did you shoot predominately on location and where were these locations?
Finding the key location,the abandoned catholic orphanage,was a journey in itself,as i knew much of the fil relied heavily on the enviroment and how the characters interacted with it.I'd seen pictures of st Joseph's and knew a little and had tried unsuccessfully to reece it previously,i'd heard it was completely out of bounds.But after some effort,we managed to persuade the landlords.I've nevers seen anything else quite like St.Joseph's;a huge rambling,gothic monestary of a building,which used to house a preist school.

There seems to be a preoccupation with doubles,pairings and opposites within the film,what does this mean?
I guess the clue is in the title;the SPLINTERED fragmentation of the human psyche,wich echoes through the peice as a whole.There was a deliberate intention to show characters that are split in two,or can only function fully as part of or half of a whole.

It seems that Sophie is actively seeking out the threat-is this a subconcious desire for her to resolve the reocurring nightmare that she has?
Sophie is constantley looking for answers,but in chasing myths and legends she is subconciously avoiding having to find real answers to real questions and/or to confront the nightmare locked inside her head.She has spent her adult life trying to avoid the inevitable and horrific truth about her own life.

When did your interest in film making begin?
I'm one of those filmakers who knew that i wanted to get involved wit the medium from an early age.1977 was probably the catalyst year.I was 10 and dragged my parents along to see STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS.In return tmy folks dragged me along to the re-release of 2001the same year.I think my fate was sealed.

Did you make any short films prior to SPLINTERED?
Yes-my very first was a somewhat over ambitious 27 minute blac and whie film noir pastiche called TRIPLE EXPOSURE,set in forties Chicago!SLEEP MY LOVE gained financial support from the UK Film's Council digital shorts scheme and showed at a whole bunch of festivals once complteted.Influenced by Nolan's MEMENTO and Ian Mcewan's novel A CHILD IN TIME,the film portrayed the breakdown of a relationship after the death of a family member;the truth is revealed at the end as the story unravels backwards through time.

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