We caught up with new British film director Sean Vincent as he visited the Cannes Film Festival to market his almost-finished new horror The Addicted. Read on to find out more about what to expect from this dark and disturbing look at addiction and the paranormal...
Is the film finished now?
Sean Vincent: It's about 90% finished - the edit was done by January, we're just working on the sound now and the score, which is a full orchestral backing.
How long was the shoot?
Sean Vincent: Principal shoot was three weeks in the main location. We worked really fast, shooting through the night - we'd start about 5 or 6 in the evening and finish at about 4 in the morning.
So what can moviegoers expect?
Sean Vincent: It's a horror and it ticks a lot of those boxes, it's got jumps and scares and a very iconic bad guy with a freakish mask. But it's also got a paranormal aspect to it. And the back-story is very dark, about drug addiction. I think that's the main thing - it's not a tongue-in-cheek horror, there's no comedy or any light moments.
A gruelling night out then?
Sean Vincent: Maybe! (laughs) It's not a big splatter movie, there are four deaths in the first five minutes and three throughout the rest of the film
Did you do research into heroin addiction as part of making the film?
Sean Vincent: Yeah, I did - I have a few friends who were addicts, so I saw what that did. The back-story of the film's set in the 80s so I also did some research on the figures of how many people were addicted, how many were treated, how many recovered, how many didn't.
What about the paranormal aspect - is that something you believe in?
Sean Vincent: I'd like to say no but I had a bit of a freaky experience a few years ago that changed my mind! I lived in a flat that turned out to be haunted and in the end moved out because of that, and I found out recently that it's now actually on a ghost walk!
The current trends in horror seem to err towards the paranormal, but also towards setting up franchises - is that something that The Addicted has the potential for?
Sean Vincent: It's left a little bit open for that, but I've got no real plans. Personally I'm not a big fan of sequels - there are exceptions like Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back, but generally they're just cashing in on a film's success.
Are there any current horror films that do impress you?
Sean Vincent: Not really. What I watched most while I was making it was Alien, because to me it's the best horror film ever, even though it's also a sci-fi. You only actually see the thing for four very short shots in the film, but it's the scariest film I've ever seen.
The fear of the unknown?
Sean Vincent: Yeah, and that's what we tried to do in The Addicted. You don't see the ghost character very much at all until right near the end, and it's the same with the psychopath character. For me, you adjust to [films with] lots of blood and gore very quickly.
So what are the plans for release?
Sean Vincent: If all goes to plan, and we do a deal, I'd imagine we'd be looking at a release towards the end of the year, maybe in time for Halloween.
Is horror a genre you'll stay in?
Sean Vincent: At the moment, we're toying with the idea of the next one, which we'll shoot at the end of the year, being a sci-fi film. Which is a bit iffy at the moment because Prometheus is coming out and is going to be huge, so there might be a glut of those kind of movies! (laughs)
If you were trying to recommend The Addicted to someone, which films would you compare it with?
Sean Vincent: It's quite unique! There's elements of Alien because they're in a confined space and trapped in a building... it's got the mask but it's not anything like Saw... maybe The Hole? But it's got a very dark back-story, which we keep flashing back to about the drug addiction, so it's pretty disturbing! There's actually a brief mention of Orange in the film though, when someone's phone is on screen!