“dark house

With his first stab at horror film making, My Little Eye, MARC EVANS has reinvigorated the genre. Words: Nick Dawson

ike The Blair Witch Project. My Little lz’ye came

to the Iidinburgh International Film liestival as a little independent horror film with big buzz

surrounding it. Like Blair Witch. it has a cast of unknowns who are terrorised in the middle of

nowhere. and like Blair Wilt-Ii their fear is caught on camera in the style of reality TV shows such as Big Brother and .S'uri'ii'ar. The significant difference here is that rather than filming themselves stumbling about some creepy woods. the characters in My Little lz‘ye are six contestants in an internet-based reality show who. in order to win $1111. have to last six months in an isolated old dark house. With a serial killer. Already assured cult status. the film now looks set to be a box office success. But it was initially something of a gamble for Welsh director Marc Iivans. who went to America to take his first stab at genre filmmaking. ‘From the point of view of this being a genre film it felt like new territory to me. there being rules and history behind that.‘ says Iivans. ‘A lot of genre filmmakers are real specialists who know how to do that stuff instinctively. To be honest. I didn’t know if I could do it. It was the hardest shoot I've ever done. ‘We were trying to find the find the style of the film as we went along. And it was a very cocooncd existence. It was a long way from home. it was very cold outside the house and inside there was a strange atmosphere. It was weird. we did actually get cabin fever a bit. But I wanted to make something that would gain the respect of the horror audience. who are really smart and really picky. So that was a real challenge.‘ The greatest challenge for any horror film maker is

26 THE LIST Ii~f /‘ ()et PM)?

‘If you change the context in which

made, web that’s already pretty suddenly it’s really again, Bum If’ars. Some American

Marc Evans had to learn the horror rules from scratch

to invent new ways of frightening audiences that have

seen it all before. from the old school scares of slasher

fiicks such as Halloween to the self-referential irony of the Scream films. Iivans. however. claims that film. now having moved into the digital age. continues to hold the power to surprise and shock audiences.

‘As each new technological generation occurs.’ he says. 'filmmakers revisit things and look at them in a different way. It's true that we've become casual about

screen violence. but the violence is no longer

believable because it‘s formulaic. However. if you change the context or the way in which something‘s made. suddenly it's really shocking again. Digital films and the internet are contributing to that. by

opening tip new doors and finding new ways of

looking at tltings.’

I)oes livans feel that the internet is becoming a showcase for increasineg sadistic entertainment'.’ "I‘here‘s part of me that thinks it‘s all a bit of a myth.' he says. ‘that inside we’re all decent human beings and that people aren‘t necessarily that cruel. But there’s stuff on the

shocking. There was a story recently about a site called

kids took two tramps off the street. paid them money to beat the shit out ofeach other. filmed that and then put it on the web. That‘s not too far away from the idea of My Little live. A lot of good horror films rely on the notion that this could happen. That. even though it’s improbable. it's not impossible.’ livans himself has achieved the improbable with My Little live. reinvigorating the horror film with the zeitgeist ofour times. reinventing the genre with a new perspective on terror.

My Little Eye opens Fri 4 Oct at selected cinemas. See review, page 29, and 2-for-1 ticket offer in film listings.

1 film©list.co.uk

Rough cuts

Lights, camera, action . . .

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CAN YOU GUESS WHO wrote the autobiography And Why Not? Memoirs of a Film Lover’? That’s right film critic and broadcaster Barry Norman (you might recognise the title as Bazza’s catch phrase), who will be appearing at Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema on Thursday 17 October to talk about his career as a critic and sign copies of his book. The evening includes a screening of one of Norman’s favourite films of recent years, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And why not, indeed?

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THE BLUE ROOM RETURNS to the Cameo cinema on Monday 7 October, not to showcase what Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights termed ‘exotic motion pictures’, but with a programme of short films made by locals in conjunction with Edinburgh Mediabase. Filmmakers, fans and fanatics are all welcome.