How to direct a horror film while pregnant
Alice Lowe worried she wouldn’t be able to make “Prevenge” while she was with child. But she did.
Alice Lowe is very nice. That’s a little surreal if you saw her in “Sightseers.” In the 2012 dark comedy, which she also co-wrote, Lowe played a mousy woman whose boyfriend (Steve Oram) schools her in the joys of gruesomely offing random strangers. She’s at it again in “Prevenge,” which she directed, wrote and stars in, this time as a pregnant woman who believes her unborn baby is telling her to kill.
Thing is, Lowe was really with child at the time. She wrote and directed the film while very pregnant, working out some of her anxieties in a very bloody movie.
“I had all the normal fears: ‘What’s going to happen to my body? Will I die? Am I going to change overnight like a Stepford wife? Am I going to become a different person?’” Lowe recalls. But she was also drawing on her less expected anxieties.
“It had a lot to do with my fears of being an actress, of being self-employed,” she says. “There isn’t much of a safety net if you’re going to have a kid. A lot of my friends who are fellow actresses told me, ‘Don’t tell people you’re pregnant, because you won’t work for ages.’ When it’s over, you can’t say, ‘I’m back! I want to work!’ People perceive you as having disappeared.”
“Prevenge” is the first feature film Lowe has directed herself, and she’s amazed it happened at all. “I had thought my dreams of directing were over, because I was having a baby,” she remembers. “I was like, ‘Who do I know that directs films and has a tiny baby?’ I know plenty of men, but no women. I thought it was game over in terms of getting to do whatever I wanted.”
But she did get to make it. “For me to do this while I’m pregnant, it’s almost like saying, ‘You see? I can do this standing on my head,’” she says.
Still, she doesn’t want
to guilt trip anyone. “It wasn’t my aim to make pregnant women feel bad that they’re not making a feature film in their third trimester,” Lowe jokes. “The point I was trying to make is you can do whatever you like.”
In “Prevenge,” writer and director Alice Lowe plays a very pregnant woman who thinks her unborn child is telling her to kill.