London Community News
By Mallory Clarkson/London Community News
A London-based production company is bringing horror flicks back to basics by preying on the imaginations of viewers worldwide. In its debut film entitled Devil Seed, Matchbox Pictures takes a classic approach to a genre film and brings it to the next level under a “let’s hide in the inexpensive shadows” mandate. Devil Seed is a demon possession story about a college student, Alexandra, who begins to hear creepy noises, hallucinate, black out and receive unidentifiable scratch marks all over her body after a psychic reading. But, what sets it apart from the plethora of other horror flicks? Greg A. Sager, script writer and director, said it comes down to what isn’t being seen. “It’s the buildup to the scare, that’s what you want for all that it’s worth,” Sager said. “It’s waiting for that jump to happen, when you prolong that for as long and as much as you can.” While talking, Sager was sitting in the Matchbox office, which had props from the movie strewn about it. He was sitting beside Producer Gary Elmer. Elmer said the modest budget was a challenge, but everyone worked to make the movie efficient, not cheap. “We didn’t want to fall into the trap of not having enough money to do a particular thing well,” Elmer said. “We said we’re going to try to write this so what you don’t see is more frightening than what you do.” Sager agreed, saying, “To me, the scariest part of any movie is when you cannot see it, that’s why they say 'if you don’t see it, it can hurt you'.” But, to honour the air of mystery surrounding the flick, you’ll have to watch it yourself to find out what happens. The premier flick isn’t just a first for the company, but for London, too. “We’re the first one that’s from start to finish — it was written here, shot here, edited here, produced here and then it’s been distributed,” Sager said, adding you’d have to look carefully to pick up on the local cues. The area flavour doesn’t end there, Sager said, as even the process of writing the script utilized a group of writers from London. Currently, the Devil Seed movie is topping the iTunes movie charts in the horror category; it’s followed by The Woman in Black.
The film has been distributed to 43 countries and just had its North American release earlier this week. Sager added by topping the iTunes charts, the movie is being judged with the “big boys.” “That’s kind of intimidating because … we didn’t even have their catering bill,” he chuckled. And while there are still a couple of scenes that didn’t turn out exactly how they were envisioned, Sager said those are part of what’s sticking in people’s minds. “That was in my head, you know, for what we had, what we did, we did a bang-up job,” he said. “I’m proud of everybody that worked on this.” That success didn’t come without hard work, however, for the 10 or 12 crew members, five principle actors and the local talent who filled some smaller roles. “It’s been the battle to try to get it distributed, to try to get somebody else to believe in it, to try to get it marketed,” Elmer said. “I guess everybody thinks their baby is good, but we knew that if it somehow got out that it would do OK.” He added Devil Seed almost functioned like a proof of concept in terms of whether Matchbox could shoot and produce a movie that sells, before moving onto increasingly bigger flicks. But that doesn’t mean Matchbox will be heading to Hollywood anytime soon, Sager said. In fact, the company plans to stay on their home turf. He added it’s not about just producing movies, but good ones that are story driven. “It would be great to blow shit up and spend lots of money, but that can only carry you so far,” he said. “I watch all of these blockbusters and … they completely forget the story.” Keep your eyes peeled; the next movie to be done by Matchbox is called Kingdom Come, which is about a group of strangers who wake up in an abandoned hospital to find themselves stalked by a supernatural force. Kingdom Come should head into production this fall. For more information on Matchbox visit www.matchboxpictures.com. To view the trailer for Devil Seed, visit www.devilseedmovie.com.
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