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Interview: Andrew Merrill (Rot)

Hi Andrew, so this movie is fascinating. How did this idea manifest for you? It was sort of like, holy sh*t. (Pardon my language. It was quite a film.)

Andrew- (Laughter) That’s a good response to hear.

I didn’t think of this as just a “horror film” but it had a few psychological moments and it sort of feels relevant for what is happening in the world today. It’s kind of crazy but in a good way. I don’t look for messages in every single film but it felt like there was some kind of message. I don’t know if you were inspired by something. It was different.

Andrew- I really appreciate hearing that. It was shaped by the times we’re in. It started off as an experiment. I wanted to see what would happen if someone in my life disappeared. If that happened in real life, I’d still have to go to work and I would have all these obligations in my life that I have to juggle while trying to figure out what happened to this person. I was interested in that storyline. Then around the 2016 election, it had kind of clicked into place what the threat was for me. I was looking around at the news and the country and it seemed like people were going crazy. It was as if people were pulling off their mask and revealing this dark and twisted side. So, the script took off in a different direction.

You wrote and directed ROT, do you feel its easier to write and direct? Or, do you feel it’s more of a challenge?

Andrew- I think it’s more of a challenge. I actually don’t think the writer and director should be the same person. There are a few people in the industry who are talented at both.

What was it like directing and working with the cast?

Andrew- Everyone showed up and was phenomenal to work with. They were so professional.

What would you like to say to the people who will be watching Rot?

Andrew- I heard some criticism about Madison, the main character. I think I would like people to focus on what it’s like from her perspective. Being in a relationship that isn’t that fulfilling. She’s got dreams and she feels like she’s being trapped. I think people judge her too harshly, maybe it’s defensive and I want to protect her a little bit. I guess don’t judge her too harshly.

Andrew, I think you did a great job. This was a fascinating film. Madison was a good character. This was a story and people go through life and wild stuff. You did a good job. I thank you for taking the time to talk with me for Horrornews.net.

Andrew- Thank you so much. We could not have made this film without the passion of our friends and families. The cast and crew bringing it every single weekend. This is the definition of a passion project. I am so grateful that I did this.

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