Juan Carlos Fresnadillo loves horror films, but he wanted his film "Intruders" to be based on more than just a desire to scare audiences. "I’ve always been a fan of horror movies, especially those that focus on psychological terror and dig into the human aspects of fears," he says, "but this film is mainly a personal story, with feelings and sensations that come from my childhood and that throughout my life, have been there and have developed in the back of my mind and in the end have helped me create this story."
What It's About: A disturbing and threatening being appears in your house. An intruder that puts you in danger but which throws light into something that is hidden but must be revealed. Secrets that were sent to dark corners of the mind but in order to survive this being, they must be brought back, they must be accepted and they must shared to overcome the threat, to overcome the fears and to understand the origins of that fears.
Says Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo: I’ve always been attracted to how fears are created and to be able to explore the origins of fear was something that appealed to me very much. To uncover those fears, to understand why the truth has to be revealed even though it’s something we don’t want to face. Those fears that come from events or situations we don’t want to come to terms with and it reveals certain aspects of our story, which can be painful, and in order to prevent that suffering, we hide them and move forward.
I believe that nightmares come from hiding those things we don’t want to deal with, those aspects of our family history that we don’t want to accept and therefore we throw them to the back of our minds, hoping they will disappear, but instead, they haunt us until the truth is revealed and accept it.
Since I was very young I felt my call was to tell stories. It's the way I find to communicate all the things that crossed my mind. In some ways, I believe I needed to find an explanation for everything that happened around me, and the way I found was to listen and observe those things, and then explore and go deeper into them.
Once I found something that had a story, I felt that story needed to be shared, needed to be told and needed to be explored by others. I open a small door with my stories and I wish people are willing to go through the threshold and go deeper.
That way of looking at things has defined me as someone who likes to observe and to look into things, the origin of how humans react to stimulus and once I explore those elements, to tell that story.
The lure of the supernatural: Filmmaking is a great way to challenge all that energy put into the observation process because the observation takes you to asking questions and those questions can’t be left unanswered. I need those answers and telling stories gives me the opportunity to make those questions and get answers. I feel specially inclined towards the supernatural, to those things that can be easily explained and need a deeper observation process.
The biggest challenge was to tell a story as personal as this one, with my experiences and my analysis of fear and to take it to an imaginary place where that story can be told and can communicate all of what I’ve put into it to the audience, which in the end, is the aim of telling stories in filmmaking. It’s a peculiar story, sometimes complex and to be able to make it understandable for all kind of audiences is a big challenge and goal worth achieving.
Also for those images and elements we have created to be able to transmit all of what we have explored regarding the origin of fear was also challenging and difficult to achieve because lot’s of elements are involved and for all of them to get through to the audience is something we faced as a challenge since the very beginning.
Inspiring his audience: It may sound ambitious but I like to think that this can help people and pushes them to look inside their own story and to be able to accept and face those dark corners we all have and that due to many reasons, we decide to hide. I believe that in order to have the feeling of fullness, we need to be able to walk across those dark paths and that way illuminate them and dissolve those secrets that affect us in ways we can’t really imagine.
I’m really looking forward to sharing this film with the SXSW audience, as this is an audience I really admire and respect. This is a personal story that has taken me a long time to develop and to be able to share the result of it with such a demanding audience as the American audience; it’s something I’m really excited about.
Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.
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