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Interview: Peter Cornwell (A Haunting in Connecticut)

Peter Cornwell, director of the new film A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, stopped by to chat a bit with me about his new film and rise to the top of the horror genre popularity ladder! I am so honored and excited to present you with my interview with him and hope you see what an rare and exciting talent he truely is!

Thank you Peter for joining us today, I bet your crazy with all the things you have coming up!

My pleasure!

You are an Australian native, what do you think of the US?

I love the US! I love Australia too, but as it happened, this is where I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to direct movies!

As stated, you started your career working for ABC TV in Sidney where you started doing animations for different children’s shows. Then you eventually moved on to making your short film WARD 13 about a man who wakes up after a accident in a creepy medical facility. Tell us a bit more about your film.

Ward 13 is an action packed horror comedy (done in stop motion animation) about a hapless patient who learns he has to fight his way out of a crazy hospital where the doctors aren’t interested in his health! I shot it mostly by myself over a number of years, with a clockwork wind up Bolex camera.

what made you move from children’s shows to horror animation?

I have never thought of animation as being a medium just for telling children’s stories. It’s a medium, not a genre. I actually got into animation because I wanted to make films like Ward 13 in the first place. Doing the chidrens stuff was primarily a way to hone my craft.

WARD 13 was well received by critics and even earned a few awards. How did it feel to have such acclaim with your first short?-

It actually won 16 awards around the world. I really just made it because it is a film that I wanted to see and didn’t think too much about the awards. But, it felt great tolearn that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see it!

What are some of your favorite horror films?

-Well when it comes to supernatural hooror, obviously I love The Shining and The Exorcist. I love Robert Wise’s The Haunting. It’s an old film,but still the prototype haunted house movie. I was impressed with the wave of Japanese ghost films at the start of the decade. Apart from The Ring, there was a whole movement in Japanese horror that created a different kind of scary. As far as other horror I also love the Evil Dead films, the original Texas Chainsaw and The Descent

Coming up to the present, you have a movie coming out March 27, A HAUNTING IN CONNETICUT which has become a largely anticipated movie throughout the genre. How did you acquire the role of director?

I knew Paul Brooks, the boss of Gold Circle films, from another film we almost did before. So my name came up, and I loved the script.

Tell us a bit about the film.

It’s about a financially strapped family who move into a House where they learn that the basement used to be an embalming room. Some really strange things went on down there, and caused the house to be haunted by some terrifying entities. It’s based on the Discovery Channel documentary.

Were you familiar with the story before working on the film?

No. I wasn’t. But it is an amazing story.

What were some memorable events on set for you?

Being on the set of a movie on the first day. It was awesome doing live action, and to be shooting more than four seconds a day!

With all the press and promo this film and you yourself have gotten within the past fours years, how much of a transition have you had to go through from working as a sound recorder for an television network to becoming one of the most anticipated directors in the horror film genre?

Well the process has been so gradual and incremental, that there was never a moment where I felt out of my depth or anything. It’s just such a privilege to direct a movie it’s just been so great to have a chance to do it!

Well congrats on all of your success and thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!

No worries!

What’s next for you?

I’ve got a few things on the cards.

I’m looking forward to seeing your work!

Thanks very much Dai!

I want to thank Peter for stopping by and all of you for reading our interview! Make sure to check out A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT in theatres March 27!

Interview: Peter Cornwell (A Haunting in Connecticut)

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