Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with the director of the new horror flick The Diabolical, Alistair Legrand. Beyond the fact that he was super nice, I also learned that he was all about the scares.
Since this is your directorial debut, what inspired you to make your first film a horror film?
Alistair Legrand: I’ve always loved horror films, the supernatural, science fiction and action. That’s how I grew up. I just always seem to lean toward the horror and macabre when it comes to comics, books, TV and movies. I love spooky things, they're fun for me and horror is such a misunderstood genre.
Horror is a very artistic genre because you can combine so much. You can put a drama or comedy right under a horror film and it works really well. I always made music videos before I directed this movie and always made sure they had a horror look to them.
What inspired you to bring horror and sci-fi together in The Diabolical?
Alistar Legrand: Whenever I try to write a movie, I’m always thinking about reinventing the wheel. We’ve seen so many haunted house and poltergeist films. So it’s really fun to put people on edge by coming up with something different and trying to explain why things go bump in the night.
What is it like working with children on a horror movie set?
Alistar Legrand: We created a fun environment for them. I love working with children because it’s like going to a haunted house every day. It was a long search for the children as we wanted to find kid actors that were very real and not too serious. We made sure our little girl met the monsters first before any shooting began. We tried to have fun on their level.
I have to ask this because this is a horror movie, but did anything strange happen on the set?
Alistar Legrand: The owners of the house had all of these old radios in the attic. Just hundreds of pieces of radios throughout the attic. They also had these children in the house that kept popping up. We could never keep track of how many children actually lived there; they would just be popping out of laundry baskets. So we came up with this theory that there were these evil wizards that were building children out of old radio pieces.
No wonder the house looked so authentic; you used an actual house to film the movie!
Alistar Legrand: Thanks, I really wanted to find a house with a lot of character that was really old. It was sort of difficult in Los Angeles, but we were able to find a house that had been built in the 20th century and reminded me of where I grew up. We were lucky people didn’t lose their minds over being in the same place for 21 days.
With Halloween being around the corner, what is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Alistar Legrand: Everything! It’s like Christmas for me! I always loved the holidays as my mom was really into them and tried to make them special. My sisters and I became fanatics. I start in September watching scary movies and eating candy.
I have to ask you the hardest question of all! What’s your favorite horror movie?
Alistar Legrand: The Thing and the original Poltergeist. One of my favorite movies is Ravenous.
I love that movie!
Alistar Legrand: Yeah, that’s the film I return to watch the most!
The Diabolical is such a different kind of horror film, what can we expect from you next?
Alistar Legrand: We’re working on a movie called Clinical, which is a psychological horror story that delves into face transplants and how horrifying they could be along with psychiatry. It’s very different from The Diabolical, but still will have the same level of dread. We’re very excited about that. We’re very excited about my next project!
You have to love a director who is so passionate about the genre he's directing in. If you're looking for something spooky and different to watch before Halloween, check out The Diabolical now.