Icons of Fright Chats THE HALLOW with Director Corin Hardy!

hallowposterCorin Hardy is one busy man. Having made a name for himself directing music videos and being a visual artist, the director not only has the wildly imaginative and mythical tale THE HALLOW hitting Los Angeles theaters on November 13th (available on VOD now) via IFC Midnight, but the filmmakers has just been tapped to helm the upcoming reboot of THE CROW. After watching THE HALLOW, which deals with mythical and demonic entities in Ireland, one can definitely see what Hardy would get that job…he’s got the chops.

Corin was nice enough to chat with Icons of Fright about THE HALLOW and the myth behind it, as well as his thoughts on how crucial a film’s artwork can be to the film itself. Read on!


 

I love myths and fables in general and THE HALLOW gives horror fans a really interesting one. What made you want to tackle this particular story?

I was on the search for finding a ‘fresh’ monster to base a movie around & visualise in a way we hadn’t seen before. I grew up reading 70’s European fairy-tales and loved staring at the pages of dark illustrations, imagining what was ‘out there in the woods’. In researching the darker, older side of Irish folk-lore & mythology I found a lot of great ideas and I thought it would be an interesting prospect to explore the idea of grounding them in reality and to watch a couple experience what it might be like to spend a night in the proximity of ‘fairies’..

You’ve made the transition from music video director (great videos btw) into a full fledged director, with multiple projects in the works, including THE CROW (wow). Has working in features been a different experience than your work in music videos or do you approach both forms the same way?

I think both are different beasts, but I have enjoyed making music videos and using them to tell short visual stories under tight budget and time constraints and to experiment with style and effects techniques which helped greatly when approaching a debut feature.

There’s such a visually appealing look to THE HALLOW and it feels like it was made by a director who has been helming films for decades. It shows how on top of things you are as a filmmaker. How much preparation did you have on THE HALLOW? it feels like there was more of a vision with the film than most genre films these days, in a great way.

Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say. Well, I spent 10 years making music videos and whilst I did that, I was also writing and developing a number of feature projects, including The Hallow which I always planned on being the first. I carry a sketch book on me at all times and regularly sketch out concept ideas, set pieces, storyboards and creature designs. I storyboarded the whole movie and planned it as meticulously as time would allow including working tightly with SFX & VFX teams to try & execute what I wanted as successfully as possibly.

The film’s poster takes us back to the days in which a film’s artwork was a very important element of the film itself. These days, a lot of films have photoshopped people standing next to each other, but that illustrated approach to THE HALLOW’s poster is able to transport its viewer into the fable of the film. Was that an important thing for you, to give that old school poster vibe?

Corin hardy's original sketch for THE HALLOW's artwork

Corin hardy’s original sketch for THE HALLOW’s artwork

I’m thrilled you mentioned this! As a child of 80’s cinema, loving the eye-popping artwork found on many of the VHS covers in the rental store, it’s depressing to see all these massive movies being advertised with such boring, lame and sometimes badly executed, uninspired posters. It used to be SUCH an important part of deciding on which movie to see, especially for genre movies, poring over the illustrated poster/cover art. Of course sometimes the artwork way surpassed the actual quality of the movie, but with THE HALLOW, like the movie itself, I wanted to subtly nod back to those movies of the 70’s & 80’s that had beautifully rendered artwork, by the likes of Drew Struzen or Graham Humphries. I designed the image of the man with the flaming scythe, facing a forest full of creatures, in my sketchbook (see attached pic)

and IFC’s design team brilliantly brought this to life, along with a second alternative poster to be released shortly… SO I’m thrilled to have a poster that people want to put on their walls again, as it should be, as opposed to, as you say, something with some big faces photoshopped together.

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