“I am dreaming of a Red Christmas” sang no one ever except for Craig Anderson
Horror movie fans like their film is all shapes and sizes or cuts and slashes depending on who you talk to. Director Craig Anderson like’s them good and horrifying. In his new film Red Christmas he tackles some tough subjects and considering it’s a horror film that’s saying something. He spoke with Terror Time about the fine art of scaring the shit out of us.
What inspired you to write the story of Red Christmas?
I was inspired by a Tony Kaye film called Lake Of Fire, which is an excellent multi-layerd documentary about the abortion debate in America. I think that Horror should deal with taboo subjects, and not just the acceptable ‘safe’ taboo subjects it usually deals with.
How did Dee Wallace get attached to this project?
I had always thought Dee was such an awesome actor, most notably in Cujo, which I think, she should have got an Oscar nomination for. I sent her the script and she loved it, so after a few skype calls she was on her way to Australia.
How was it working with Dee Wallace as Producer & Actor?
I asked Dee to be a producer after she started mentoring me through filmmaking issues and scripting issues. She also took on a lot of the risk associated with financing by agreeing to come to Australia and perform.
As an actor, Dee fought furiously for her character and the logic of her storyline. On set, this was awesome because it meant that the story wrapped around her character and every decision she made extremely important to the story. Dee sure knows how to be protagonist in a horror film!
Do you think the abortion subject matter has added a controversial element to the movie?
It sure has! In Australia, it isn’t such a big issue, we have a lot more apathy down under. But I love cultural debate and America thrives on it. Reproductive rights is so important to the health of any nation and religion often clouds common sense. Red Christmas deals with this, but probably not in the way people would expect.
What has been the most challenging aspect of making Red Christmas?
Grappling with the themes of abortion! I realized whilst writing the second draft that no matter what I did, the act of personifying a fetus, giving it a voice and a character, meant that I was making a pro-life film.
So I had to work extra hard to express Dee’s character’s pro-choice point-of-view, which is kind of at odds, when she has to sit across from her abortion at Christmas lunch.
Tell us about working with Gerard O’Dwyer?
I wrote the role for Gerard, as I’ve been lucky to enough to work with him for around a decade. He is a wildly exciting talent, who responds to the world emotionally and this is exactly what you want an actor to do. Out of all the actors I’ve ever worked with, he truly offers something new with every single take.
Do you have a favorite scene (without giving too much away)?
Ha ha! The stuff between Gerard and Dee is definitely my favorite stuff! They are both great talents and the best scene in the movie is the only one I didn’t write. Dee improvised it on the day, because she was following her character’s internal logic. It’s absolutely heartbreaking (I’ll say no more).
What has been your proudest Red Christmas moment so far?
Having it screen at Fantasia Fest was pretty exciting! I love genre festivals and got to travel all the way from Sydney to Canada to watch the film with a packed cinema was exhilarating. After that screening, someone created fan art of the villain, I was very excited.
What was one thing that your learned from making this movie?
I learned lots about producing and the current filmmaking market place. The way audiences consume content and the type of content we should be making- it’s all very fascinating, but it has definitely inspired me to be louder and more disturbing.
Would you want to make another horror movie?
Without a doubt! I love horror, as much as I love comedy and I am finishing the draft to another horror movie, this time dealing with misogyny, misandry and MRA’s on campus.
Take a look at the Red Christmas trailer
Go see this movie! It’s all kinds of twisted just the way horror movie fans like it! Dee Wallace kicks ass as always! Big thanks to Craig Anderson for this interview and can’t wait to see what’s next from him.
Wishing you all a Merry Red Christmas and a Bloody New Year!!!!