In Patrick Brice’s latest film, THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, based on the novel by the same name from author Stephanie Perkins, Makani Young has moved from Hawaii to quiet, small-town Nebraska to live with her grandmother and finish high school, but as the countdown to graduation begins, her classmates are stalked by a killer intent on exposing their darkest secrets to the entire town, terrorizing victims while wearing a life-like mask of their own face. With a mysterious past of her own, Makani and her friends must discover the killer’s identity before they become victims themselves.
Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings attended the press junket for THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE and chatted with director Patrick Brice and screenwriter Henry Gayden where they discussed everything from adapting Stephanie Perkin’s book to making the gore feel realistic.
How did this film come to be and had either of you read Stephanie Perkin’s book prior to making the film?
Henry Gayden: It started with Dan Cohen, who works on Stranger Things as a producer, sending me her book. He only sent me the first half which I think was a ploy cause I was like, oh, it’s 200 pages, great. And then I read them and was like, this is going to end really quickly, wait a second…And I was hooked and I was really upset and I was like, you did this on purpose! [Laughs]. When I connect with something I just can’t stop thinking about it no matter what and so, that happened with that book and within a few weeks, we’re putting together a pitch with Stephanie’s blessing. That book was a gift because it’s full of emotionally rich characters and layered characters inside of a slasher movie, which you don’t get much.
When it came to adapting the novel for the screen, how faithful were you able to keep it?
Henry Gayden: Basically, it’s very faithful in nature, but we had to make it into a movie so, there were a lot of characters that had to be collapsed into each other, events were changed and honestly, the MO of the villain shifted and even the villain changed. But all of it was within, I think, honoring what she was trying to do. In fact, when she read the script, she said, “If I’d had three more years to work on this, this is what I would have wanted,” which is like the best compliment I’ll ever get.
Switching gears a little bit, can you talk about the kill scenes and the process of making it seem realistic?
Patrick Brice: What was really nice about this movie was I finally, for the first time in my career, had a substantial budget to make a genre film which is a dream, I think, for any genre director. You’re always trying to stretch whatever amount of money or time you have, especially with the Creep movies where we literally had no money at all and we’re doing everything practically and trying to figure it out on the go with a small crew. So, now I had this vast amount of resources and so, I really took that as my opportunity to finally be able to craft sequences, which is funny to say like five movies in that this is the first time I’ve been able to do that, but it was great. We had James Wan’s storyboard artist, John Fox, who’s a genius and was someone who I worked with very closely leading up to the movie, storyboarding and detailing all the kill sequences. When it came to shooting them, I was probably more relaxed than I’d ever been as a filmmaker because I’d already kind of solved all these problems, you know, like months ago and had set it up. Now it’s the joy of seeing it take place. I think the goal was to make it as practical as we possibly could with everything and then augmented with visual effects later on. I think the movie stands on its own amidst other genre stuff right now where it ends up feeling more visceral. [Practical] takes more time. It’s a pain in the ass on set, and everyone’s waiting around for someone to pump blood through a tube attached to someone’s neck or face [Laughs].
Henry Gayden: The scene I won’t give away where someone is near a water contraption was fully practical and it was so fun and shocking to see, it really lands on the screen
Patrick Brice: It was a joy to have the chance to finally be able to do that, for sure.
THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE is now streaming on Netflix.
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