Director Ti West was rolling through Austin this week, unveiling his latest horror flick “The Innkeepers” at SXSW where it made its world premiere. We caught up with the director for an interview and naturally, talk turned to what he might do next and while he’s trying to keep it under wraps and is cagey about what details he can drop, he did give us a title and a taste of what the picture will be about.
“It’s called ‘The Side Effects.’ It’s a science fiction movie about…it has to do with pharmaceutical testing in space and paranoia,” West said. “It will be bigger budgeted, but in a way it would fill out a trilogy with ‘House Of The Devil,’ and ‘The Inkeepers,’ as far as dealing with isolation and paranoia, and that kind of psychological fear, but it’s set in space.”
It sounds like a mashup of two things that don’t go together but once you hear what inspired the idea, it makes a lot more sense. “I had a very difficult run-in with an insurance company and that’s what [begat the film]. It was me against a corporation and I just knew i couldn’t win so I felt like I was going to make this as painful for them as possible because this is unfair. So I would just drag it out and [that element] — one person against a corporation — is what started the idea.”
It’s definitely different than what you might expect from the ’80s horror influence that has permeated his work so far, and he’s the first to admit it. “It’s a much more high-concept idea then my movies usually are,” West said. “So I had a groovy high concept idea and then I went, ‘Oh, and that fucking nightmare with the insurance company,’ so it’s kind of a mixture of those two things.”
It certainly sounds intriguing and a fascinating next step for the helmer who continues to nudge the boundaries of the genre further and further. “The Innkeepers” screens tonight at midnight at SXSW. — Reporting by Aaron Hillis