August 19, 2008

INTERVIEW - Steve Niles Has Long-Term Designs on Making Us Jump

Author and comic creator Steve Niles seems to have made it his personal business to broaden the spectrum of the scary movies that make it to the big screen. The film based on his 30 Days of Night was only the beginning -- here's my roundup of what you're going to be seeing from him in the next few years. In the meantime, while going over his Wikipedia page together we discovered a screenplay credit for a film he's never even heard of; I deleted it for him, but someone keeps adding it back -- I say he should just let it go and then sue for royalties later.

Here are a few extra notes from our talk, regarding Steve's favorite movies...

On the honor of writing John Carpenter's next film:

"If there’s anyone who’s inspired me, it’s certainly John Carpenter... I love his stuff, starting with Dark Star, which I just watched again this week. The Thing definitely made me think that Arctic settings were scary as hell, I think it’s a great way to cut people off. 30 Days of Night is essentially I Am Legend, Night of the Living Dead, and The Thing all rolled into one; those are my three favorite stories! I don’t think it’s surprising I ended up doing anything I ended up doing."

On the "subliminal messages" in William Friedkin's The Exorcist tapping into the fears of the times:

"That’s when everyone was convinced that, you know, every liquor ad had penises hidden in the ice... People believed there were backward messages on heavy metal albums, and it's like, 'These bands could barely write music forward, do you really think they can do this stuff backwards?' Subliminal advertising was like the Bigfoot of the time, it was really on people’s minds, and the filmmakers just played into it. I remember all the rumors that people on the set were being killed, that it was a haunted the site, and that either God or the devil didn’t want it made, and Friedkin and those guys just fed on that. In the end, you’re just trying to scare people, any excuse to get ‘em, to make them afraid, is fair game.

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