This year Patrick Rea releases his follow up to his 2013 debut Nailbiter. Enclosure had its world premier at Horror Channel FrightFest 2016 this past August. Sarah sat down with Patrick to talk about the film, camping and monsters in the woods.
Hi Patrick, congratulations with the film, I thought it was brilliant! So tell me how you came up with the idea for Enclosure?
Thank you very much! It was a combination of things: Several years ago, I had a camping trip with my wife, where we had set up near another group of campers. Late that night there was an altercation between the other campers. My wife and I were inside our tent listening, and admittedly freaked out. Then one of the angry campers hopped on a four-wheeler, with a deer skull on the front of it, and began driving in circles, narrowly missing our tent.
I said to my wife, wouldn’t it be funny if something came out of nowhere and tore their camp to shreds. We were pretty terrified, so I was simply trying to add some levity. That sparked the initial idea. Then when my co-writer on the film, Michelle Davidson and I started working on it, we began fleshing out the concept. My wife was pregnant at the time, so I think a lot of that anxiety of having a child on the way, and being an artist, absorbed into the plot.
The cast is fantastic, and it’s great to see Jake Busey make something of a comeback here! Did you always have in mind who you wanted for the roles?
We didn’t have anyone specific in mind while writing. We just knew what type we were looking for. Kevin Ryan, Fiona Dourif and Jake Busey were perfect fits for the film. Really enjoyed working with all of them. We had a very tight 12-day schedule while shooting the film, so we had to move fast, and the actors were up to the challenge. We spent a few days before we went into principal photography working through the script and making any changes to dialogue that we needed. It was very collaborative.
Were there any directors or particular films which provided inspiration when making the film?
Well, I always use the early films of John Carpenter as inspiration, as well as Steven Spielberg. I did reference “Jaws” and “Alien” a few times on set since we were really trying to keep the creature hidden for the majority of the film, in order to build the suspense. There is also a moment in the film where Jake’s character, Sean, gives a speech about the creature, which I kept referring to as the ‘Quint Speech’ in reference to Robert Shaw’s great moment where he talks about the USS Indianapolis in “Jaws”.
Where did you shoot the film?
The movie was shot entirely in Charleston, South Carolina in December. Luckily the weather was mild that time of year. You forgot that it was nearly Christmas.
You manage to create a real sense of claustrophobia in the film and a feeling of being trapped. What was the shoot like? Did you face any difficulties on set?
All of the tent interiors were filmed on the sound stage where we built a mini forest around it. We had an amazing production designer, Leslie Keel, who really made the environment believable on the stage. This allowed us to control the light and not have to deal with the weather elements. However, it was still very challenging. The actors had to be cramped inside the tent with the camera and several crew members. It definitely helped create a sense of anxiety that is evident on the screen.
I personally found the creatures to be really authentic and quite scary. Where did you come up with the design for them and did you know what you wanted from the start?
The creature design was collaboration between myself and the make-up wizard Megan Areford. I had created some sketches of the creature a month from production and she and I would have meetings over Skype. She would show me some tests of the make-up, which were amazing. We definitely wanted to do something different and connect them with the central theme of Mother Nature. While on set, Megan was under a lot of pressure due to the tight schedule, but she knocked it out of the ballpark. The actual make up took hours to apply. Bruce Williamson also did an amazing job playing the creature and added some real dimension through simple expressions and body language.
There are a few twists and turns in the film, especially towards the end; was that something you always intended to have? Do you like films with big twists at the centre of the plot?
Well, we wanted to keep the audience on edge with what was happening. We didn’t want it to be a typical ‘camping in the woods’ film, so having some twists and turns were always part of the script. I am a big fan of films that give
you a little something unexpected that sets it apart from a conventional horror movie.
Are you yourself a big horror fan? If so, what are some of your favourites? I am a huge horror fan. I try to see everything that is out there. One of my favorite things to do is find really obscure horror films that no one has seen. If I were to pick a couple of my favorite horror films, I would have to say they would be “Poltergeist”, “Friday the 13th”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
If you were caught in the woods with a threatening monster or supernatural presence hunting you, how would you fight for survival?
Haha. That’s a great question. I guess I would try to be the smart one and NOT lose the map, NOT go into an abandoned shack or cabin in the woods, NOT read from an ancient book that might awake a demon and when I run…I won’t stop until I find a highway or civilization. I’d also trust any harbinger who warns us not to go into the woods and I’d stay in a hotel instead.
So what’s next for you? Have you got any upcoming projects?
I’m working on a couple of scripts that I hope to get off the ground soon. One film is a creepy new take on the imaginary friend story and the other more of a blend of science fiction and horror.
Thank you so much for your time today and all the best with the film!