Andrew P. Jones was born in San Diego, California, USA. He is a director, producer, and editor, known for Kings of the Evening (2008), Haunting of Cellblock 11 (2014), Darkness Reigns (2018) a well as the syndicated series The Adventures of Pug and Zero (1997).
Clearly, the horror films of the ‘90s, like The Blair Witch and Kevin Williamson’s efforts, left quite an impression on you. Can you talk about how they directly and indirectly influenced the script?
To be honest, I’ve never seen “Blair Witch,” but films of the 80’s and 90’s in general had a big influence on me. Those were decades that were filled with entertaining, bold, fun films which seems to be lacking nowadays. “Darkness Reigns” is also influenced heavily by my experiences with the indie film business and all the things we have to deal with in order to make and distribute movies.
Where does Darkness Reigns differ from most horror movies, you think?
With “Darkness Reigns” I wanted to create a new genre that I named “continuous footage.” I occasionally find people referring to it as “found footage” and that’s 100% incorrect – there is no found footage. It’s all seen through the unblinking eye of a documentarian’s camera. So, the challenge, or gimmick, is that these horrific things happen before our eyes and without edits.
Can you talk about some of the different actors you might have considered – to play themselves – in the movie before settling on Casper Van Dien?
We looked for a celebrity actor who would play himself and have fun doing it. That takes a special kind of actor who can push his own ego aside and just go along for the ride. Casper was perfect for that because he’s such a talented, fun, and incredibly nice human being which is important on a low budget set where the creature comforts are very limited compared to those you might find on larger productions.
Do you have a favorite moment in the film, one that you’re particularly proud of?
One thing I’m proud of are the visual effects. We worked long and hard to make things as seamless as possible and there are effects that no one will even notice because they are so seamless. But, the one scene in particular that I’m most proud of is the final “death” scene. It plays out in one, continuous, wide shot with no scoring, no editing – just great acting. I think it’s chilling and hard to watch.
Do you think the horror genre is in a good place right now?
I think the horror genre is in a great place right now because of the variety. “Get Out” helped redefine what “horror” can be, and then you have Rob Zombie making really artful splatter films, and there are still creepy paranormal films being made too.
Seen any good horror films lately?
I still like the classics like “The Exorcist” and “The Shining.” I like “The Conjuring” movies. But I was blown away by “Get Out.”
Who do you think our best horror filmmaker today is?
There are a lot of incredibly talented filmmakers working right now, so, I don’t think I could name a “best.”
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