Hi Danielle, and Andy, please tell me a little about SQUEALER. It was a creepy film, and a beautifully shot.
Danielle- Thank you for taking the time to watch the movie.
Andy- Thank you. I’m happy that you observed it’s beautifully shot because I think it is beautiful in places. That was a conscious effort that we wanted to make this horrible story but set it in a beautiful setting. It is such a dark and dingey story. It was important for us to not to make it sort of gothic, and a rainy night type of thing. We wanted a beautiful setting. The real character was set right outside of Vancouver which is a beautiful part of the world. We wanted to shoot it in New Mexico, which is a different sort of beauty, but it’s still a fabulous landscape.
Danielle – This particular story is powerful. Andy brought it to me quite a long time ago, and it stuck with me for years. When it finally happened, and the stars aligned. I reminded him of this story. We talked quite a lot about it, and we consciously did not want to tell exactly the true story. We took some of the big building blocks to create part of the storyline, and we let Andy’s creativity fill in the blanks. We wanted to be respectful to the victims families. We hope to satisfy the true crime audience, and the horror genre.
I think you accomplished both because on a true crime level, this is a fascinating story but also terrifying. Sometimes people see a person, and they automatically know who the villain is but with serial killers, there is no AH HA, I’m the bad person. Serial killers and genuine horrible people sometimes think they are doing things that are okay. They may know they are not okay, but they are regular people, and that’s scary. Ronnie Gene Blevins did such a great job with this character. Is it complicated to make a film based on a real person?
Andy- No, I think as long as it’s only used as a guideline, and we could fluctuate from there. It was important to keep the character grounded in reality. I think that was achieved. It doesn’t take place on some weird island. I love the fact that this could be happening to your neighbor. That’s a terrifying aspect of it. The real guy was liked, he was pleasant up until the times that he wasn’t. I feel that Ronnie hit that note perfectly. I like characters that are grounded in reality, and nothing is sort of supernatural. He’s only a monster when the monster comes out of the closet.
What do both of you want to say to everyone that will be watching SQUEALER? What do you want people to know from your perspective?
Andy- Perhaps, eat first.
Andy- I hope it operates on a couple of levels. The first level, the basic level of a horror film with its gruesome bits, and shocks, and on the second level, there is a little bit of a social commentary about the way we consider and react to people that are often less fortunate. A lot of the women were not cared enough about. Thats a terrible tragedy. There are certain parts of society that sadly the rest of society cares less about. I saw a documentary recently about the number of Native American women that have gone missing. The numbers are huge. There is not enough passion or compassion for people to chase after this and solve it.
Danielle- I hope they will enjoy the ride. Our intention is to take people through a wide range of emotions. I want it to be a ride, and I hope that they fall in love with some of the characters.
I agree with what you said Andy, jump out of the box, and do some research. This film hit me because I was actually almost kidnapped. My mom was held at gun point. Horror movies are sort of cathartic for me. It was good to see a film that shows you the other side of this. The tragedy, the heartbreak, the gruesomeness. I live in PA, and I avoid certain roads. You know. Danielle, did you take anything away from this, and what do you think about horror?
Danielle- Thank you so much for sharing. I have thought about why people like horror. I think for some people, it’s the adrenaline rush, and the ride. I think for me, it’s a little bit about facing my fears. Maybe it can be entertainment on one level but maybe there is some commentary coming through that might touch somebody.
Andy- Absolutely, and very well put. Thank you for sharing that story which is terrifying. One of the things that can be so much destructive is complacency. That person that you walk past on the sidewalk who might be having a bad time, maybe just reach out to them, and be aware of other peoples fears and concerns.
Thank you both so much for taking the time to talk with me.