Having just had it’s North American Premiere at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, director Can Evrenol’s latest film, HOUSEWIFE, gives off a feeling of a surreal and vicious dreamscape that stays with you long after it’s over. Following it’s premiere, Shannon had the chance to speak with Can about his latest film and what it was like directing his first English-speaking movie.
Nightmarish Conjurings: Hi Can, thank you so much for speaking with me today. To start things off, for those not familiar with your latest film, HOUSEWIFE, can you tell us a little bit about it and what inspired it’s creation?
Can Evrenol: It’s a slightly bigger scale project, a female version of BASKIN. Dreams, confronting the child inside and family values and a call from the beyond inspired me to make it.
NC: BASKIN is known for many things, but most people talk about the shock and gore. How is HOUSEWIFE a departure from BASKIN?
CE: I’m not sure if it’s a departure from BASKIN. The two films have many things in common, the main one being the similar narrative and visual style. Maybe BASKIN was more coming from my relation with my father, and this one is coming more from my mother and my wife.
NC: HOUSEWIFE is your first English-language feature. What was it like to shoot an English-speaking film and did you run into many challenges?
CE: I was encouraged by 70’s and early 80’s Italian horror cinema. Making a film in English in a foreign country, without really setting a specific location in the story was something I wanted to do a long time. It was fun. I learned a great deal. Clementine Poidatz and David Sakurai were angels sent from above. Defne Halman, Alicia Kapudag and the child actors also gave their best. Mostly we had a great atmosphere on set.
NC: Your cast is predominantly Turkish, which I really like. How did you go about casting for the roles and were there any actors you had in mind for specific roles?
CE: From the moment I met David Sakurai, I thought he would be great as Bruce O’Hara! He was amazing. Upon meeting him I made some changes and did my best to tailor the character for David! The same thing goes for Clementine Poidatz. I thought she had the perfect neo-giallo face. Her approach to acting and general attitude on set was divine. Both very relaxed and religiously dedicated. And experimental. I loved that. I learned a great deal from both of them. Budget-wise, casting the rest of the actors from Turkey was a necessity. And I quickly realized casting English-speaking actors in Turkey was something I underestimated. I was so lucky to find the cast we ended up having in the film. Praise be to the ancient ones.
NC: What should audiences expect from this film and is there is anything you would like them to take away from it?
CE: The audiences should expect to be subconsciously infected by it. They might love it or hate it. But they should expect to see traces of HOUSEWIFE in their dreams. One day they too will meet the dark melody that comes to me in my dreams and make me these films. Maybe years later, one day their daughter will wake up from a nightmare in the middle of the night, and as they are hugging and listening their daughter telling her dream, a flash from HOUSEWIFE will spark in their minds. And they will know.
NC: Last but certainly not least, are there any upcoming projects you are working on that we should be keeping our eye out for?
CE: I did a segment on the new anthology film coming in 2018 – THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL. I’m quite happy about it. Turned out to be more disturbing than any of my other films. It’s about an evil djinn of childbirth called AL KARISI. An ancient Anatolian legend found in Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish folklore. Many people still believe that sometimes these djinns haunt the pregnant women today.