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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #34: Corin Hardy Explores the Perils of Parenting in ‘The Hallow’

Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #34: Corin Hardy Explores the Perils of Parenting in 'The Hallow'

Shot in picturesque West Ireland, Corin Hardy’s “The Hallow” carefully navigates the fine line between fairy tales, horror, and reality. The film features the story of a young couple (with a baby, of course) that moves to the countryside — only to accidentally incur the wrath of the seemingly innocent woodland creatures.

What’s your film about, in 140 characters or less?

I wanted to tell a story based on an idea of what might be the truth behind fairytales and folk-lore and suggest a link with science & nature. We’ve read fairy tales all of our lives, but what truth might they be based on in a modern, grounded, non-gothic reality? Essentially it’s about those two things; folk-lore and nature and what happens when you mess with either of them.

Now, what’s it REALLY about?

The perils of parenting.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I grew up on fairy tales. I love being consumed by stories. I love monsters and horror and I love emotional rides that move me. When I was younger I wanted to be a monster-maker and made horror movies with my friends each summer with as many home-made gore effects as possible. I eventually studied theatre design before making my debut stop-motion short “Butterfly” and directing music videos. “The Hallow” took 8 years from initial inception through writing, to production & completion. It’s been an emotional ride, with monsters at every turn.

What was the biggest challenge in completing this film?

Completing the film………………………………….. Yeah. (Writing this whilst mixing final sound design & score, in Ireland. It’s January 7th 2015.)

What do you want audiences at Sundance to take away from your film?

I hope they will be scared, thrilled & moved, in equal measure… When I see a film I want to be lost in it for an hour and a half and escape life itself. I would like it to be an exhilarating & sometimes primal experience that is one best accompanied by a bucket of popcorn & a beer and a partner to cling to. I want my stories to entertain, in the humblest sense. And I’d hope that on their drive home they might chitter chatter on what they saw & decide for themselves, what it was about… 

Are there any films that inspired you?

Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion creature movies captured my young mind & didn’t let it go. “Evil Dead II” blew the same teenage mind all over the wall with its inventive craziness & made me want to make films. “Alien” and “The Thing” presented the height of practical monster FX in a serious, terrifying and truly artistic way. “Don’t Look Now” resonated with the emotional power of a truthful performance and proved that horror films can also be devastatingly moving. And finally, I’m inspired by the balance of imagination, horror, emotion and wondrous execution in Guillermo Del Toro’s films, particularly his Spanish ones. Also, “The Big Lebowski.” “Jaws.” “Rambo.” “Deliverance.” “Under The Skin.” Lets talk some more… What have I forgotten?

What’s next for you?

The Crow, and I have a number more of my own projects that I want to make.

What cameras did you shoot on?

I’d spent my whole life waiting to make a feature ‘film’ & always wanted my debut to be shot on film, to keep everything as organic as possible, but it just was not possible for this project in the end, and we shot on the Arri Alexa. But I knew that I needed a very special DOP to strive for the best, most beautiful look & fresh feel for a horror movie and in the hands of Martijn Van Broekhuizen, whose cinematography resembled moving paintings of light, I believe we achieved a pleasing end result.

Did you crowdfund?

I didn’t, I was lucky enough to have great producers in Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino who have made several independent movies and succeeded in securing me just enough from E1, IFB, Prescience and Hyperion, via Altitude so I didn’t need to approach crowd funding, although its something I think is an amazing resource, keep track of and may use in future. 

Indiewire invited Sundance 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 2015 festival. Click here for more profiles.

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