ByJessica Harmon, writer at
The ultimate fangirl - spends most nights watching back-to-back old Buffy episosdes and complaining about being tired for work the next day.
Jessica Harmon

Michael Aguiar's indie slasher The Laughing Mask, which seems to be heavily anticipated amongst the online horror community, is inching closer to release.

John Hardy, Sheyenne Rivers, Gabriel Lee and Jeffrey Jenkins star in the film, which tells of a man who wants revenge on the masked serial killer who took his wife.

We spoke to director Michael Aguiar ahead of the impending release of the film.

It's been a while since we've heard anything about The Laughing Mask. Where is it at?

Yes its been awhile, we finished in November of 2014, but our post production process took a very long time, I also took the feedback from our first showing and the opportunity to add a few more scenes to the film. I wanted to make sure that the film was the best we could make it, and when it comes to independent features, sometimes its just you doing all the work so it takes a little longer for things to be accomplished. We had a very successful viewing at the Wolfs Museum of Mysteries in St Augustine and pretty excited for the future.

Is it a must that indie films take the festival route, you think?

I think its increasingly difficult for truly independent features to get noticed, even in the festival route without a name attached. These days if you don’t have star power to your projects, odds are you will be ignored. I was told directly by some people involved in festivals that due to the fact I was an unknown director, without a start attached would be very difficult to get in specially the most prestigious ones. There is a lot of attention being paid to budgets and stars and little on content, storytelling and imagination in festivals these days.

The cast and crew
The cast and crew

They say horror is an easy sell. Do you agree? Has that been your experience?

I disagree, I was also told by several different people that the market is oversaturated with horror films and I quote ‘The commercial viability of certain genres in the current film market”. The fact that there wasn’t a star attached and it was horror would be more difficult to sell it. Where we lucked out was that The Laughing Mask itself is our draw and people seem to really like and struck a chord with the audience.

You've created a potentially new iconic horror villain here. How many different concepts did you go through before settling on the current look?

A ton!! I have sketchbook after sketchbook full of difference concepts from a full mask to just a face mask and no scars and very sleek to all ragged, it took me a good three to four months to come up with a look I was happy with, then my sister made the original mask we used in our short out of leather and we hired a professional to sculpt the one we see in the film.

A scene from The Laughing Mask
A scene from The Laughing Mask

Do you plan on releasing any merchandise when the film is released?

The masks are already out there on sale, actually there seems to be a lot of people interested in the Mask that still didnt see the film, we sold them at the Wolf’s Museum premiere and online before Halloween. Im looking at action figures and t-shirts as well before the ilm is released!

Thank you for the great questions!


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