Creating Horror On A No-Budget Production
At a recent screening of Andre Hyland’s latest short film effort – a no-budget comedy horror called “Old Haunt” – at the Oak Cliff Film Festival in Dallas, Texas, Hyland opened up about his new fascination with the horror genre, and just how much it lends itself to his DIY and man-on-the-street comedy stylings.
“Old Haunt”, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January, is a slow-burn tone poem to the oddly comedic and creepy tropes of the horror genre’s hidden messages and suspenseful sequences. It’s also notable in its simplicity, clearly shot on a small crew with a DIY-aesthetic as Hyland stars at the lead character who is often left wandering alone through his haunted AirBnB in Los Angeles.
The Horror Itself is the Monster
“I’d say in general, for anyone looking to do DIY horror stories, or any DIY films always lean in to what you already have, that way you’ve already got what you need. For this one, I had a cool house by a lake location I could shoot in for free, so I built my story around that. once I felt I had everything I needed – which wasn’t much. There’s a couple practical effects, but no blood and gore, the concept of the story itself is the monster. Like a Twilight Zone episode, they can be incredibly scary without ever even seeing a drop of blood. Try to think of things like that. Not that I don’t enjoy slashers and gore too.”
Photo credit: No Film School