An Interview with Ian Brooker by Dave Wain

BROOKER 001An Interview with Ian Brooker by Dave Wain 

Word is slowly spreading about the excellent British horror film The Casebook of Eddie Brewer. I reviewed it on UKHorrorScene [here] this week and marvelled at its subtle, atmospheric tone complete with plausible narrative and intriguing setting. A primary reason for the success of the picture is the performance of Ian Brooker who plays the aforementioned Eddie Brewer. Ian was kind enough to give an interview this week to discuss the film’s production and what he thinks are the reasons for the films widespread acclaim.

UKHS – Ian, thanks so much for taking the time out of your schedule for this interview. Having just seen The Casebook of Eddie Brewer, it’s a film that really impressed me. You must be very satisfied with it yourself?

IB – I am very satisfied with the way it turned out. However we knew that this was a special project from the beginning. We were fortunate to have a very good script (by Andy Spencer) that impressed everyone concerned with the film. It was well researched, intelligent, well structured with interesting, believable characters in believable situations and had very good dialogue; then there was the talented cast of predominantly Midlands-based actors (Peter Wight is London-based) who were assembled by Casting Director, Sean Connolly; then there was the brilliantly creative camera work, lighting and editing of Director, Andy Spencer, and finally the excellent sound-design and score by composer, Jamie Robertson. It was a collaborative effort and the film works thanks to the time, effort and commitment to the project of all the above.

UKHS – Shot in the winter of 2010-11, it certainly seems like an arduous shoot. How do you feel the conditions at Rookery House influenced your performance?

IB – At Rookery House we didn’t have to create an atmosphere of disquiet and discomfort. It was already there. The cellar was particularly unpleasant: damp, mouldy and airless. The three storied house was large and mostly empty. You certainly didn’t want to find yourself alone in the cellar or in a room on the ground or first floors particularly as the light began to fade in the late afternoons. It was bitterly cold too. There was no central heating and just a couple of freestanding modern radiators in the downstairs modern kitchen which doubled as a green room for the actors. As a result, during filming, hands were red and blue and breath was always visible on camera. Very few of the rooms in the house still had working light bulbs and so by the early evening most of the house was dark. All this contributed to the perfect atmosphere for a ghost story and didn’t require a suspension of disbelief by the cast.

We also had a couple of possible paranormal experiences when we were filming. Actress Louise Paris, who played the sceptic, Dr Susan Kovac, and I were filming the first take of a scene in the upstairs kitchen. We heard heavy footsteps ascending the main staircase from below. It ruined the take as it was captured by the microphone. We stopped filming and Louise and I volunteered to find the culprit and tell him to stop. We went into all the rooms on that floor and found no one. We returned downstairs to the modern kitchen where the rest of the cast were keeping warm – and found that no one had left the room. Later Louise went to the toilet upstairs and -in a scene reminiscent of one in the film – heard someone come into the toilet with heavy breathing. She was so disturbed by the experience she screamed. I was in the downstairs kitchen on this occasion when she came in. She thought that one of us had tried to wind her up. But once again no one in the cast or crew had left the room. Rookery House was a perfect location and inspired us to do real justice to the script.

BROOKER 002UKHS – You’ve spoken about your preparation for the character of Eddie, be it with the script or the change of accent or the change in physical appearance. Andrew (writer/director) seemed to have a very specific vision in mind for him – how easy was this to embrace and develop?

IB – Andy developed his ideas for the film and the character of Eddie Brewer over a ten year period. I only came in a month or so before filming began. Fortunately, I had met Andy in the 1990s and so he knew me slightly and was aware of my genuine interest in the subject of the paranormal. I had been a non-active member of the Society for Psychical Research at that time and had read about various case histories such as the Enfield Poltergeist. I had long been fascinated by real and dramatised ghost stories. I had also wanted to be a paranormal investigator. So when I first read the script I understood what was going on with the different manifestations, the various theories referred to in the script and recognised that the character of Eddie was based upon Maurice Grosse, the main investigator in the Enfield case. If there was any doubt in my mind as to what Andy wanted I would ask for his advice and usually found that my instincts had been right. When I felt that there was a lack of clarity in the script I suggested amendments to the script – sometimes extra lines – that would enable the audience to follow more easily what was going on or what was being said. Andy was very open to my suggestions and script revisions. As an actor/director relationship it was very harmonious and like-minded.

I also appreciated that for a scene of revelation of horror to work for Eddie it was best to underplay it or to internalise it – to make it as real as possible. I worked hard in advance of the shoot to get the mechanics of the performance right so that when I came to film the scenes I didn’t really have to think about what I was doing. I think that allowed it to seem natural.

UKHS – My favourite quote by Eddie is the brilliant “I’ve never heard anyone under forty say anything remotely interesting”. He’s a real traditionalist who resolutely sticks to his principles – a character very much in contrast to the ubiquitous conveyor belt of screaming teenagers that populate contemporary horror films. How did you think Eddie Brewer will be received by audiences today?

IB – I think Eddie Brewer is a fascinating, complex character. There is lightness and humour in the early scenes and ever increasing darkness thereafter. I think through his vulnerability, humour, honesty and integrity, he’s rather appealing to a general audience. Admittedly he has a temper and is often moody but that goes for most of us. There’s no doubt that as a personality he is flawed, but who isn’t flawed? He is a bit of a curmudgeon, but a likeable one. Eddie reacts to the way he is treated by others. I think he appeals to the rebel – the outsider – in all of us – young and old.

The film works on several levels: as a ghost story, character study and as a psychological drama. Even those who don’t particularly like the genre appreciate the film as it offers so much more than the usual run-of-the-mill horror films. They like Eddie as a character.

BROOKER 003UKHS – It’s been interesting reading reviews for the film where critics have namechecked such iconic British horrors as The Innocents (1961) and The Stone Tape (1972). I myself related the picture to similar fare such as Dead of Night (1972) and Saxon Logan’s Sleepwalker (1984) with the films ability to create horror from a seemingly ordinary situation. These comparisons relate the film to a different era of filmmaking – do you think this ultimately will make The Casebook of Eddie Brewer a film that will be etched in to the landscape of British horror for years to come?

IB – The biggest fans of the film tend to be those who like a literary basis to their horror as with the tradition of the English ghost story (M.R. James and his successors) or the original television plays (and adaptations) by Nigel Kneale. These traditions are by nature “old fashioned”, but, in my book, the best adaptations of ghost stories for TV, film and radio, and original plays on a supernatural subject were written and produced between twenty to forty years ago. Today in modern horror films I think there is a tendency to show and tell far too much. Nothing is left to the imagination. And the plots invariably do not make a lot of sense and the explanations offered for the paranormal manifestations are often risible. The Casebook of Eddie Brewer, by contrast, does not spoon-feed its audience. If anything, it puts the viewer in the position of a paranormal investigator who is presented with an array of unexplained data. As with Eddie Brewer, it’s up to the viewer to interpret that data and come to their own conclusions as to its meaning.

I hope the film will find its way into “the landscape of British horror” and that it will eventually achieve a cult following. Many people who have seen it say that it’s a film that stays with you long after you’ve seen it. In my opinion it’s a film that repays several viewings as there are several things going on in the plot that are perhaps not evident on first viewing. It’s a complex film that brings the viewer as close as is possible to the reality of a paranormal investigation. It’s a film about the values of belief, truth, decency, respect – admittedly old fashioned but sound values – in a modern world that places greater value upon the glib and shallow opinions of glitzy television charlatans and dishonest ratings-hungry production companies. There are no easy answers when it comes to the paranormal. At the end of the day, it’s a field that is highly subjective. There is no objective truth in this subject. The paranormal is ultimately unknowable. Eddie Brewer understands that fact, but he comes closer than anyone else to understanding that truth.

I hope word of mouth will enhance the reputation of this film.

UKHS – You’ve chosen self-distribution for the film – or have you? Was this the only means of UK distribution on the table or was it a conscious decision to try this avenue? How is it working out?

IB – We chose self-distribution in the UK. Doing it yourself gives you total control of the product – the artwork for the DVD and bluray covers, menus, discs and the theatrical poster and the content and direction of the marketing campaign. It is hard work – particularly when your main job is as an actor. But when you believe in something – as we believe in this film – it’s worth sticking with it. The film has been available for streaming with the HorrorShow TV since last September. Otherwise, the film is available to buy in the UK on DVD and Bluray through Both the DVD and bluray packages come with special booklets full of background information on the film and the production including interviews with the key personnel. So far sales have been very good. Later this year the film will be released on DVD and digital media in the USA. For the American campaign a distributor based in Baltimore will be responsible for the promotion of the film.

CASEBOOK 002UKHS – It’s almost four years now since you got the role of Eddie Brewer – it must seem strange when so many projects come and go that you’re still talking about this film and introducing it to people who have not yet seen it?

IB – The Casebook of Eddie Brewer has always been a special project for us. As co-producers, Sean Connolly and I have put a lot of our time and effort into marketing the film and we are delighted with the success that has been achieved. It’s been an Official Selection at seventeen film festivals (ten in the USA) and has won six awards. I don’t know of many low-budget films that have enjoyed the success of our film. But there’s still a lot more work to do. We are always on the lookout for new ways to promote the film.

UKHS – As for yourself Ian, what’s next on the agenda? We saw you playing Harold Shipman in a docu-drama recently – what can we look forward to you working on?

I have a number of projects on the go. I have still to complete my scenes as a priest for a Sci-fi feature film: Kaleidoscope Man. That will probably be in mid September. I have also recently recorded six one hour audio dramas of Pathfinder Legends: Rise of the Runelords for Big Finish in which I play the dwarf ranger, Harsk. We are looking forward to recording the second series. I also have an ongoing part in the new BBC Radio 4 drama series about WW1, called Home Front, which starts this month. I play the captain of a steam trawler in Folkestone in 1914. However, regarding the paranormal, I am now working on another film. I have been developing the story for a feature, working title Familia, with the horror writer, Simon Kurt Unsworth, who is writing the script. It’s quite different from The Casebook of Eddie Brewer. It will be much darker and very disturbing. It’s still early days but Simon and I are confident that we have an excellent and unusual story that will definitely appeal to horror fans. Watch this space……

CASEBOOK 001My thanks to Ian for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat to me, and I urge you to visit Amazon to pick up a copy of this fantastic film. In a genre over-populated by an endless supply of ‘six teenagers in the middle of nowhere’ styled films, this film gives us something different and we should stand an applaud the tenacity of Ian, Andrew and the relevant people associated with this film to buck the trend.

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The Casebook of Eddie Brewer (2012) DVD review


Directed By: Andrew Spencer

Written By: Andrew Spencer

Starring: Ian Brooker, Peter Wight, Louise Paris, Alison Belbin, Erin Connolly

UK Certification: 15

RRP: £10.99 (+ P&P)

Running Time: 89 minutes

Distributor: Rookery Pictures

It was a pretty innocuous retweet. As with most of our Twitter feeds the majority tends to scroll through like the ticker on a rolling news channel with us paying sporadic attention to it. For some reason this caught my eye – a RT by MJ Simpson saying how The Case of Eddie Brewer was available to buy. I know the release schedules like an evangelist knows the bible, so a film I didn’t know about instantly piqued my interest. After some digging it turns out that this movie in question is an independent British horror film which is being self-distributed in the UK. Since its premiere at the Flatpack Festival, Birmingham in March 2012 it’s been on the festival circuit for the last 18 months picking up six awards on both sides of the Atlantic. It was hard not to be intrigued.

The film begins with a hi-vis jacketed electrician attending what appears to be a power shortage in the depths of an as yet unnamed building. Before long we see the expected expression of horror accompanied by his torch falling to the ground. It’s a fairly standard opening sequence, but as we move on following the title card the introduction of our main character Eddie Brewer (Brooker) gives us the hope of something a little more intriguing.

CASEBOOK 002Eddie is being followed by a documentary film crew, and when we meet him he’s guiding them around his house as he demonstrates the history of a variety of trinkets that adorn his home. He’s old school – no new-fangled gadgets, no gimmicks, nor a swagger either. He has the demeanour of a lived-in schoolteacher with his checked shirt, pullover and beige jacket bemoaning the younger generation with utterances like “I’ve never heard anyone under 40 say anything interesting”. It’s not long before Eddie and the TV crew get to the building that featured at the start of the film – Rookery House, an eighteenth century construction that’s currently in use by the local council.

The electrician – Ray Riddle (Peter Wight) tells Eddie that upon heading down to the cellar he heard a female crying, possibly a child. Eddie counters this recollection with questions attempting to derail Ray’s story by suggesting a number of possibilities that could logically explain the experience that he had, but Ray is adamant about what he heard. Eddie heads down himself to investigate but with nothing suspicious he heads home to conduct some research. It’s not long however before another incident takes place, and once more Eddie heads over to the potentially haunted cellar. This time he has a supernatural experience himself – which alone represents a breakthrough, but with another case involving a young girl obsessed with Grimaldi the clown, the two situations combined yield something that Eddie could never have prepared himself for.

Made for £10,000, the idea for The Casebook of Eddie Brewer dates back to 2001 when Andrew Spencer shot a ten minute comedy entitled Eddie Brewer P.I. Its current incarnation loses most of the comedy, developing into a typically British ghost story that could easily fit snugly alongside such atmospheric chillers like Dead of Night (1972) or Sleepwalker (1984). The key to the film’s success is undoubtedly the performance of Ian Brooker who brings a level of passion and authenticity to his character while providing Eddie with an air of fragility having experienced the loss of his wife in a house fire a number of years previously.

CASEBOOK 003Andrew Spencer has created a little gem of a movie here. His script (followed nearly to the letter) manages to flesh out the key characters in the film, while the scenes of ghostly activity are shot in a manner that makes the tension palpable while belying the budgetary constraints. My favourite British horror film so far this year is The Borderlands, and coincidentally – shot two years prior – The Casebook of Eddie Brewer has a few similarities such as mature leads, handheld camera work and occasional dark humour. I only mention this as that’s the level this film almost achieves, so I just hope that the reputation of this film continues to spread and it continues to get the acclaim that it very much deserves.

8 out of 10

While there are no extras on the DVD, the film does come with a 28 page booklet with musings from writer / director Andy Spencer, lead actor Ian Brooker and co-producer Jamie Robertson. There’s also a wealth of trivia with details of the genesis, the production and other fascinating facts behind the film and the locations used.

The Casebook of Eddie Brewer can be purchased at Amazon – CLICK HERE

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An Interview with Lord Zion by Dean Sills

zion1An Interview with Lord Zion by Dean Sills

UKHS – Hello Zion, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene.

You are best known as the lead singer and co-founder of UK rock band, ‘Spit Like This’, which you formed back in 2002. Can you tell us about your band and how you got started?

Z – The band has done OK for itself and we have a pretty decent cult following. Under our belts are 4 EPs, a compilation CD and two albums. We’re not exactly prolific but like to think that, when we do release something, it is worthwhile it being out there. We’ve been lucky enough to play some great festivals and play in a bunch of different countries. Done a slew of videos and generally had a great time! We have achieved more than 99.9% of bands that ever form, so that’s pretty cool. Shame we’re not as big as Metallica though 😉

We had a rather unusual beginning as we were funded by the sale of Vikki’s used panties on eBay. We had less than zero cash and cottoned on to that as a way to generate something fast. A nice salacious way to kick things off! From the funds made, we started a slightly more legitimate business,, designing and producing our own range of sweary slogan T-shirts.

Little did we know that would take off like it did! That site is in the top 1% most visited on the planet! Shame they don’t all fkn buy something though. I think they all come to look and be outraged. Anyway, it kept us liquid and all profits went into getting the band off the ground proper and keeping it ticking over.



zion2UKHS – OK, let’s talk about your filmmaking career. When did you first discover your passion for filmmaking, acting and writing and will your production company ‘Fuel My 928 Film Productions’ just focus on the horror genre?

Z – Well, as a published songwriter, I have obviously always written in some form. I’ve also kept a handwritten diary for the past 24 years so that has kept my creative hand operational. Always, at the back of my mind, was the notion that I would one day write and make films but I didn’t expect it to happen quite when it did. A series of events collided for the opportunity to arise…

First off, we (the band) were asked to appear in Zombie Women Of Satan 2. Whilst on the set of that, I was looking around, thinking how much fun it was and how much I would like to do more stuff like that. Then me and Vikki got asked to act in the “Snow” segment of “Blaze Of Gory”. More on that later! I knew a couple of other directors through various channels and all took an interest when I mentioned that I was thinking of writing a film.

Believing that, if I wrote something not-shit, one of these new friends would help me make it, I set about writing a sci-fi thriller. A two hour long epic. I didn’t even think about a budget! Until I finished, of course, and realised that it would take some serious cash to get that ball rolling. Shame, as I spent six months on it.

So to Plan B: write something quick, cheap and easy to shoot. That was when I came up with “Meet The Cadavers”. Wrote it in 10 days, showed it to David VG Davies (from “Blaze Of Gory”) who said, and I quote: “This HAS to be made”. So I took him up on that and, within a couple of months, we were shooting.


zion3UKHS – You have worked on two of the segments for ‘Blaze of Gory’, which is a great achievement, well done! In the segment ‘Snow’ you play a character called Vir. What can you tell us about your character and the challenges you faced filming in Norway?

Z – Thank you. I wish I could take more credit for the achievement but, in all honesty, all I did was say “Yes” twice then worked out how the fuck I was going to do it! Thankfully, on the acting front, the character in “Snow” was rather similar to myself. Or rather my old, drunken self. So that was very easy to slip in to. Also, my role wasn’t that large so I didn’t need to worry too much about me cocking everything up. A nice introduction to acting.

Filming in Norway was epic. Getting to the location was a story unto itself! It was all going so well until we tried to climb a gentle gradient in a car without snow tyres. We span a bit and got stuck. For five hours. In the middle of nowhere. At night. In minus 25 degree weather. At first, it was all jolly-good fun, until we realised that we were actually FUCKING STUCK. Eventually, we did get out and, next day, made it to the filming location. It was beautiful. A lodge by a frozen lake 30 minutes from the nearest civilisation. We had no light, no heat, no electricity, no running water and the loo was outside.

I am glad I had the experience but I am not sure I would want to repeat it. Having said that, I did love it. Weird.


UKHS – You have just directed the ‘Blaze of Gory’ segment ‘Spawn of the Devil’. Did you enjoy the experience and do you find directing more enjoyable than acting?

Z – I absolutely loved it. I don’t consider myself an actor much – I think my range is comedy or evil. But, that’s OK as my aspirations lie with writing and directing. Naturally bossy, telling people what to do with an air of authority comes quite naturally to me. I think in visual terms so, the more I am exposed to directing opportunities, the better I will get and I will find my own visual language. Truth be told, I have hit the ground running first with “Cadavers” and then with “Spawn” but it is the best way to learn. No fucking around, just do it. The only bit I don’t like is the early mornings. I’ve been on rock n roll time too damn long! I am loving filling my head with new information though and absorbing everything I possibly can about making films. I think life is for learning so am glad to be trying out something new and different that not many people get to have a go at.


zion4UKHS – Last year you shot ‘Meet The Cadavers’ which you wrote, starred in, produced and co-directed with David V.G. Davies. Where did the inspiration for a Zombie family come from and how will this compare to other Zombie movies?

Z – Yeah, I did throw myself in at the deep end, rather. Why did I take on so much? I think it is for a singularity of vision. “Meet The Cadavers” is not a typical film, in any sense, and I really needed to be involved everywhere to make people understand what the hell it was supposed to be. A lot of people, even on set, didn’t “get” it. I would be asked questions all the time as I am breaking a lot of Zombie “rules” but, eventually, everyone got it and fell in love with the Cadaver family and the story.

Initially, when David first got involved, he was going to direct it. I asked though if I could go direct and he very kindly agreed to give me that chance. He would gradually let me do more and more as my understanding of the medium grew. Hey, I must have done something right or I am guessing he wouldn’t have asked me to do “Spawn”!

The inspiration from the family came pretty fast. I tend to like quirky takes on tried and tested themes so my mind just started melding a Zombie movie (fast to make, popular, relatively cheap to produce) with a Carry On Film (recurring cast, differing situations).

Next thing I knew, I had the Cadavers. Like a modern take on The Addams Family or The Munsters. It’s a comedy horror, the humour being quite modern and reactive (rather than joke lead). When the horror starts though, it is really horrible and the humour stops. It’s not a Zombie movie though. They just happen to be Zombies. Make sense?!


zion5UKHS – Your real-life partner Vikki Spit plays Kelly Cadaver in ‘Meet The Cadavers’. How much of your real-life relationship comes across in this movie and on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), how good is Vikki as an actress?

Z – I guess when I wrote it I had both our voices in my head. I’ve been with Vikki 13 years now so I obviously know that some stuff just wouldn’t work coming out of her mouth. I also know what she will tolerate (she is the victim of a rather gruesome sight gag), so that helped. Neither of us are parents in real life so, suddenly giving ourselves offspring was a bit weird, especially as Vikki is too young in real life to have an 18 year old. So we made her older in the film. That was funny, actually, the first time she met Jack (who plays our son, Sidney Cadaver). He is very tall and Vikki is very short. She took one look at him and said “How the hell did you come out of my vagina?”. The poor boy nearly died.

To specifically answer your question, I am going to say an 8. The Cadavers are a loving, caring family, with an edge of taking-the-piss. I deliberately avoided the tiresome East Enders style SHOUT A LOT family. The only real differences are the lack of children and the lack of being dead.

zion6UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

Z – I think character is very important and something sadly lacking a lot of these days. A lot of films cannot wait to get to the gory stuff so gloss over the people involved. So you watch as a voyeur rather than as someone that has a vested interest. The thing is, if you care about the characters and what is happening, it will have a much greater effect on you. Case in point: with “Spawn”, I worked hard (in the limited time constraints) to give as much life to the lead character as possible. As such, when events happened, we were all on set disturbed by them. Ingredient one then, definitely character.

Tone I think is important. I decided that I wanted my segment of “Blaze Of Gory” to have a 70s vibe and look. So the shots were wider, sometimes obscure, often unnatural. It will be colour-treated to give it that 70s look and we shot with a slower shutter speed to avoid the modern choppy look. Setting out with that in mind will give the film a unique vibe.

The third ingredient would be inventiveness. Try and give the audience something they haven’t seen before. Or, at least, a new take on an old theme. That was certainly the case with “Cadavers” and also the next project I am working on.


UKHS – Lauren Harris is your leading lady in your ‘Blaze of Gory’ segment “Spawn Of The Devil”. She is not only an actress but also a musician who also happens to be the daughter of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris. Your band ‘Spit Like This’ have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with her over the years, which is really cool. If you could perform on stage with any three artists (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

Z – Lauren was amazing. We had an ad on Star Now and, when she applied and I saw her name my first thought was “surely not THAT Lauren Harris?”. I clicked through and it was. It was a blessing, I think, as we kind of knew each other so, instantly, there is an amount of trust from both sides. Good job, as we put her through some trying times!

We were trying to work out where we had played together – pretty certain it was at the 1st and 3rd Hard Rock Hell festivals. And, although nowhere near Lauren’s own adventures with Iron Maiden, my band has actually played on the same bill as them; Wacken (Germany) in 2010. Quite funny, actually. After filming “Spawn”, Lauren popped in our house where there is a BIG poster from Wacken. Of course, Iron Maiden are right at the top. I promised her I’d not planted it there! And I should mention, she is a FANTASTIC actress.

Who would I like to play with… Hmmm. Tough one as I have played on the same bill as some of my favourite live bands (Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, Alice Cooper). Would be cool to play with Queen from the 70s, just to see if I could out-camp Freddie. That’s about it, really. One band I never saw but wished I had.


zion7UKHS – Can you tell UKHS something you’ve never told anyone else in an interview?

Z – Certainly. I used to frequently expose myself to the babysitter when I was a small child.


UKHS – Finally, Can you tell us about your movie ‘Sleep’ and any other projects you are planning to shoot in the near future?

Z –  “Sleep” is a psychological horror. The story explores the psychosis that occurs due to prolonged bouts of insomnia. Those that have read it have compared it to “My Little Eye” and “The Cabin In The Woods”. Lauren is attached to that as the lead female. The whole thing is written, I am just trying to put it together. Daily though, developments happen that could achieve that. I think it could be a winner. Low budget, simple story, neatly interwoven with some fantastic twists.

Other than that, I have two other screenplays I am writing. One is a Nazi comedy, the other is another horror. I would love to get my first screenplay into development but, like I said, big budgets..! I am also in contact with a couple of other filmmakers whose projects I might be working on in one capacity or another. Ultimately though, my future definitely lies in writing, producing and directing my own ideas.

zion8UKHS – Good luck with all those projects. Keep up the great work and thanks again for your time.








Image courtesy: ‘Snow’ segment photo by Duff.

Others: Lord Zion, Meet The Cadavers, Spit Like This and Vikki Spit.

In Fear (2013) DVD Review


Review by: Dave Wain

Stars: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech

Written by: Jeremy Lovering

UK Certification: 15

UK RRP: £12.99

UK DVD Region: 2

Runtime: 81 minutes

Directed by: Jeremy Lovering

UK Release Date: 10th March 2014

We join Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) as they embark upon their first getaway as a couple. Tom has booked the Kilairney Hotel for the pair to enjoy some uninterrupted time together, but as they head to their location a number of horror movie clichés rear their ugly head. From a confrontation with a faceless Land Rover driver, to the road to the hotel chained shut (they open it), to the satellite navigation system losing signal. All the indications are there that point to uninspiring predictability as they follow an endless number of signs that indicate the hotel being in a specific direction, but just seem to be driving round in ever decreasing circles.

IN FEAR 002As the evening wears on tensions become a little more frayed between our young lovebirds as this wild goose chase continues. Finally Tom decides to stop and leave the security of the car to find someone to give directions. As the two head into the forest to look for some help the car alarm begins to sound, so the two run back and Tom goes to grab the keys he left in the ignition to switch it off – except they’ve gone. Thankfully the crisis is short-lived as he finds them on the ground nearby, although he’s convinced he left them in the car. It’s moments like this that occur in the first quarter of In Fear that pull it out by its lapels of that cliché-ridden vat of predictability. Small, subtle nuances that to me are far more frightening than bombastically orchestrated **BANGS!**.

After administering the necessary dosage of valium after watching In Fear, and once your heartbeat has returned to normal, it’s pretty obvious that you’ve just been watching a sublime British horror film. From its initial beginnings as a movie in which you feel you could likely scribble the complete narrative on the back of a napkin, it evolves into something quite unexpected – a taut, dark, psychological nightmare. At first it seems that the film will have more in common with the great Dead End (2003), but with the inclusion of a third party to this tense two-hander, a person whose intentions are initially hard to determine, it becomes another entity altogether.

IN FEAR 003While In Fear doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with regard to what it offers, it does what it needs to thanks to some great technical ability. Much of the film is shot within the confines of the car, but using a variety of angles this limited perspective stays fresh and vibrant throughout the movies 81 minutes, while the decision to shoot scenes in order certainly enhances the gradually building tension. The two leads, De Caestecker and Englert – largely improvising their lines, are superb as the young couple in the infancy of a relationship, while the setting of Bodmin Moor (doubling as Ireland) is perfect for a film of this type with its barren vistas and endless hedgerow-lined single track roads.

I don’t tend to subscribe to the “you won’t see a better British horror this year” bandwagon, however films like this need your support and the more money you spend renting / buying / streaming them will ensure that other directors like Jeremy Lovering will deliver debut features as memorable as this.

8 out of 10