For the release of the upcoming supernatural horror film, GHOST HOUSE, Jovy spoke with director/co-writer Rich Ragsdale and producer/co-writer Kevin Ragsdale about what ghost houses are, filming in Thailand, and where their inspiration came from.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Kevin and Rich, thank you so much for speaking with me today about GHOST HOUSE. First things first, could you tell us a little bit about your film?
Kevin Ragsdale: Sure, the film is about a young couple on a romantic trip to Thailand who make some bad choices and end up haunted by a malevolent spirit.
NC: Are ghost houses a real thing or just a story mechanism? If real, then how did you hear about them?
KR: They are real and in Thailand they are ubiquitous. A "spirit house" as they are commonly called, is a small shrine-like house that sits on a stand outside of your home or business to house your ancestors or other spirits. People give offerings to the spirits to keep them happy and comfortable in the afterlife.
My wife is Thai so I first learned about them through her. I thought they were a Buddhist thing, but really they are just part of the Thai culture and belief system.
NC: Were there any eerie on-set stories that you experienced while filming?
Rich Ragsdale: We were shooting in an abandoned temple near a graveyard and the actress who played our witch doctor, Wattana Koomkrong, was having trouble with her lines. After the Thai assistant director talked with her, the Thai crew just started leaving set and going back to the vehicles to get more protective amulets. We were behind the monitor and didn't know what was going on until the Thai AD told us that she had said that she saw ghosts all around the temple and the grounds. We had to stop shooting and perform a cleansing ceremony before continuing.
NC: What was it like filming in Thailand and keeping the atmosphere culturally authentic?
RR: Filming in Thailand was a great experience. The crew was very talented and fun to be around. The Thai crew were quick to point out the things that did not feel authentically Thai and we tried to implement their suggestions whenever we could. Also, the Thai location scouts did a fantastic job of taking us to unique places that fit our story.
NC: How did Scout Taylor-Compton come about in getting the lead role?
KR: Scout was actually on the top of our list due to both Rich and I enjoying Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN 1 & 2 remakes. She happened to be friends with our casting director, so that was a quick call and meet up. The planets aligned on getting her - she is such a great talent.
NC: In terms of the look of GHOST HOUSE, what were some of your inspirations?
RR: Classic 70s and early 80s horror movies really inspired much of the look. We tried to go for the classic horror movie look by using re-housed anamorphic lenses from the 1970s (a la John Carpenter). We also shot exclusively at practical locations to maintain an organic look and feel to the movie.
NC: Last but not least, are there any projects you are working on that we should keep our eye out for?
KR: We've got a couple of things including a zombie project we'd like to do. Of course we have some great ideas for a GHOST HOUSE sequel, so hopefully it will do well enough that someone will want to finance it. You can also keep up to date by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/knrproductions/ and through our website www.knr-productions.com.
GHOST HOUSE will arrive in select theaters and VOD on August 25th from Vertical Entertainment.