For the release of the upcoming horror/possession film, THE CRUCIFIXION, which is based on a true story, Shannon had the chance to speak with writers Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes (Annabelle, The Conjuring) about their latest films and the truth surrounding the supposed possession and death of Sister Marinescu.
Nightmarish Conjurings: How did you both come on board for this film and where did you first hear about the story surrounding THE CRUCIFIXION?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: Like THE CONJURING, we are really drawn to true stories and spend a lot of time researching and looking for them. We came across this one on the internet and just started really digging into it and actually began writing it while we were on location in North Carolina filming THE CONJURING.
NC: The film states THE CRUCIFIXION is based on real events. How much of the true story is infused within the film?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: So much of the film is true, depending on the point of view you choose to agree with. What made it so interesting, is that the Church had one point of view, the priest and nuns who were sent to prison had theirs, and the family of the nun who ultimately lost her life, had theirs. We felt the only way to tell the story and have audiences identify with it was to tell it entirely through another fictional character who could put all the pieces together; Nicole, a young and smart journalists, who has religious issues of her own.
NC: Other than the real life events, where else did you both source material from for inspiration?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: We grew up surrounded by a lot of relatives involved in the church. From pastors to missionaries, so a lot of muse came from them. But faith has always fascinated us because it’s so personal, and so powerful. People out in the world attempting to conquer demons don’t have any weapons other than their faith, and yet, there are those who have none.
NC: You both have an impressive list of writing credits within the horror genre. What is it about this genre that you love so much?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: To be perfectly honest, we feel that good films within the genre are identical to a GREAT rollercoaster ride. You take your seat, feel safe, but the moment it starts climbing up that first hill and you feel the tick, tick, tick, your heart begins to beat just a little faster with anticipation, then WHOOSH it takes that first unexpected turn, and so on and so forth for the length of the ride. It’s the same in the genre when done well… Really great scares, peppered with moments of relief, just to be built up, then hit again and again… Really great scares, peppered with moments of relief, just to be built up, then hit again and again.
NC: The film heavily focuses on religious horror, especially within the Catholic faith. Was there a subtext, either positive or negative, that you were hoping to convey through this film?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: We purposely used the line: “Deceit sometimes hides in the garments of the holy”, which obviously has been a huge issue within the Catholic Church. That being said, it’s not the church that’s bad, it’s always certain individuals within it that we wanted to highlight.
NC: Outside of THE CRUCIFIXION, are there any upcoming projects we should be keeping our eye out for from the two of you?
Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes: Yes, we’re in pre-production on an Amblin Partners film called THE TURNING that is scheduled to start production this January in Ireland with Floria Sigismonid directing. We also have been developing THE EXORCIST DIARIES as a ten-hour mini-series over at Amazon, with Eli Roth attached to direct. It’s based on the true story of THE EXORCIST, following what Robbie Mannheim and his family went through back in 1949.
THE CRUCIFIXION will arrive in select theaters and On Demand October 6th from Lionsgate