Killing Sea­son

Five things you need to know about… the genre- splic­ing indie sci- fi/ hor­ror/ ro­mance

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

I T’S BE­FORE SUN­RISE MEETS BODY HORR OR

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In Spring, the new film from co- di­rec­tors Justin Ben­son and Aaron Moor­head, young Amer­i­can Evan ( Lou Tay­lor Pucci) trav­els to Italy and meets the girl- of- his- dreams, Louise ( Na­dia Hilker). So far, so Richard Lin­klater, whose will- they- won’t- they ro­mance Be­fore Sun­rise can be found in the film’s DNA. And then? Turns out Louise isn’t your ev­ery­day girl- next- door, hid­ing a cen­turies- old se­cret about her past. “We like to say it’s a nat­u­ral­is­tic ro­mance in the vein of Lin­klater,” says Ben­son, “but with the body hor­ror of early Cro­nen­berg.”

A UNI QUE MON­STER MYTHOL­OGY

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Evan swiftly learns that Louise is a shape- shift­ing crea­ture, re­quir­ing pe­ri­odic in­jec­tions to stave off her trans­for­ma­tion. But what is she? The film lays out an in­tri­cate set of rules: “This movie has been made with a com­pletely unique mon­ster, and a new mythol­ogy had to be de­vel­oped,” says Moor­head. The trick was ex­plain­ing it to the au­di­ence or­gan­i­cally, hav­ing it grow out of the emo­tion of the scene. “That’s the good way of do­ing it,” says Moor­head. “The bad way is hav­ing the ex­perts show up, to ex­plain it all.”

THE VFX ARE HOME­MADE

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As he did on their last film, the su­per­nat­u­ral Win­ter’s Bone- like

Res­o­lu­tion, Moor­head worked on many of the vis­ual ef­fects him­self. “There were about 150 vis­ual ef­fects shots and I’d say I did 145.” Train­ing him­self on the art of VFX from a young age, he ad­mits it’s been “ab­surdly use­ful” when it comes to mak­ing an ef­fects­driven indie. “You have no idea how much money we saved. Our post- pro­duc­tion bud­get was like noth­ing! There’s a lot in there that are to­tally in­vis­i­ble and I’m re­ally, re­ally proud of them.”

DIVIDE AND CON­QUER

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Meet­ing at Ri­d­ley Scott’s com­mer­cials com­pany RSA, when they were both in­terns, Ben­son and Moor­head have since got their film­mak­ing down to a fine art. Both co- di­rect, co- pro­duce and co- edit. While only Ben­son is cred­ited as a screen­writer, he main­tains that his part­ner is very much in­volved with the devel­op­ment process, tak­ing notes and giv­ing feed­back. “He’s in­trin­sic to the script,” says Ben­son, who wrote their next script – about the leg­endary de­mon- wor­ship­ping Aleis­ter Crow­ley – while Moor­head was fin­ish­ing the VFX. “We pre­fer to do ev­ery­thing our­selves if we can.”

MIN D THE GAP

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An­other job th­ese multi- hy­phen­ates did to­gether on Spring was the cast­ing. It wasn’t easy. “We don’t re­ally fol­low celebrity as much as we should,” says Moor­head, which made sift­ing through the 500 head shots sent by the tal­ent agen­cies for ac­tors to play Evan very dif­fi­cult. “They all looked ex­actly the same – like chis­elled Gap mod­els.” Even­tu­ally, they en­coun­tered Lou Tay­lor Pucci, star of the re­cent Evil Dead re­make, who had told his agency a week be­fore he read the script for Spring that he was look­ing to do a ro­mance with a sci- fi/ hor­ror an­gle. “Two days later, he sent us a text and he’d shaved his head, like the char­ac­ter,” notes Moor­head. “Right then it was like, ‘ This movie is real!’”

Spring opens on Fri­day 17 April.

Is she a vam­pire, were­wolf, zom­bie, witch or alien? Wait and see!

sci- fact!

Spring’s Na­dia Hilker can next be seen in TNT’s Breed, a show that’s also about mur­der­ous

mon­sters.

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