The old west howls when a town is overtaken by skinwalkers. Knowing they’ve got to combine forces if they want to survive the night, the passengers of a stagecoach unite with a heroic gunslinger and a couple of outlaws to battle the beastly enemy under the blood moon. Only the second ever western to be filmed in the UK, the award-winning film stars The Woman in Black’s Shaun Dooley, George Blagden (TVs Vikings), Anna Skellern (The Descent II) and Corey Johnson (Captain Phillips). Jeremy Wooding directs from an Alan Wightman script.
We caught up with director Jeremy Wooding to talk his film’s unique mesh of horror and wild west thrills, favorite horror movies and the potential of a sequel.
Okay, tough questions first : Favorite horror movie?
The Lost Boys
Favorite horror-western? Is there another? Maybe From Dusk Till Dawn?
High Plains Drifter is maybe the closest. Yes, Dusk Till Dawn is a horror western dressed in modern clothing.
Is that part of the reason you wanted to do Blood Moon, because it was so unique?
I can’t resist a challenge of crossing genres and seeing what comes out of it. I loved the fact it was just so out there, and yet strangely conventional.
How did you come upon the script?
Alan Wightman, the screenwriter, sent it to me after we realised that we shared a common interest in horror movies, and westerns. We just both love ‘Cinema’ and this seemed like it would be a lot of fun to work on.
Was it hard to get up, initially, because of the western element? Or did the financier see potential right off the bat?
I was almost impossible to begin with. This is a couple of years ago before Django Unchained and True Grit hit the screens, and everyone just said westerns don’t sell. In the end producer Michael Vine just believed in the project and together we convinced other people of the value of the film.
It was filmed in the UK. Is that for financial reasons?
Mostly it was financial. We scouted locations in Spain where Sergio Leone had filmed Fistful of Dollars etc and they were great locations, but getting cast and crew to Spain was too costly. Then I found this perfect re-created western town just outside London – it was a gift and the key to making the film period.
Who do you think the film will appeal to?
Well, so far it has appealed to a wide audience. There’s plenty in there for horror fans, western fans, and I hope it’s entertaining for the curious casual viewer. And it’s fun and often funny.
Do you think you might do a sequel?
Many people who have seen it want more. Alan is writing Blood Moon 2 right now. I can’t wait to get back on the trail…