Horror seems to go in waves and trends. As time goes on, fears of the masses change causing movements in the horror genre which tend to focus on a particular sub category of our beloved genre. In recent years the fear of the masses has been privacy. People feel safest and most private within their homes. Horror films reflect this movement in mass fear by taking on the form of Home Invasion films.
Shane Michaels is attacking this sub genre with a gritty realistic home invasion film which promises to take it to the next level with The Marshall Family. Currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the production of the film, The Marshall Family will explore what happens when a family who on the outside is nice and perfect has a special guest who brings out the darkest of secrets of them. The official synopsis looks as follows:
An average family’s lives are interrupted suddenly one evening by a sadistic killer out for blood and chaos. At first, the Marshall’s lives are beginning to change for the better. Rick, a small town police officer and his wife, Candice are about to become parents for the second time; their first child, Amy, is a senior in high school with great prospects for college. When a broken pipe interrupts their day a plumber is called in to fix the situation, however all is not what it seems with this man.
When the family of three is taken hostage in their own basement by the plumber, they are subjected to his brutal physical and psychological torture. Having no particular motive, this plumber satisfies his twisted desires by playing family with the Marshalls. All he wants is a little time with the family.
The Marshall Family will star Bill Oberst Jr. as Tripp, the invader. He can be seen in films like Take This Lollipop and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.
We Are Indie Horror had an opportunity to ask director and producer Shane Michaels a few questions about his upcoming film. Here is what he had to say.
WAIH: The crowd funding campaign states that The Marshall Family will be a unique take on the home invasion film, how so?
SM: Well, we don’t want to give too much away, but there is a twist ending. We also have a driving motivation for the killer, he isn’t just someone who broke in for kicks, he’s a real person, with real issues to resolve. He has a connection to the family, and is envious of them. Also, much of the pain inflicted is psychological, Tripp reaches into the minds of his subject to find what hurts them the most.
WAIH: Why do you feel home invasion films have been a force within the horror genre these past few years?
SM: Home invasion goes to the very basis of horror. It brings vulnerability to the place people feel safest. It also offers the horror element time and privacy to build. No one suspects something might be wrong in someone’s home. Also, as a society, we have more fear based at the core of our family units. Home invasion, kidnappings and spree killings are very current. We are afraid of someone killing our kids while they are at school, or coming into our houses to rob and rape and murder us. The family is in peril and violence previously left for the poor and vulnerable is now coming home to the middle class in the places that live. Being violated in your inner sanctum is a terrifying concept for me.
WAIH: The videos you are using to promote are certainly unique. Where did those ideas come from?
SM: Where do any ideas come from? They were an organic part of the way we think about the film. We want to submerge the audience in the experience. We are trying to make a Tripp a real entity, and bring the viewer in as not just a viewer, but also a participant. The videos were our way of doing that. Like Disneyland for the demented.
WAIH: Tell us about what happened to you as a kid with the police officer at the door? Did that situation lead to a crazy imagination?
SM: When I was a kid, we lived in a house in the middle of nowhere. One night, while my grandparents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my uncle and I answered it. At the door was a police officer asking if my parents were home. We told him yes, they were here and so he left. We later found out that this man was disguised in a police uniform and that was knocking on doors in the area. If no one was home, he’d break into the houses. It definitely had a major part in the growth of my imagination. I still wonder what he would have done if I’d said no and what my mind comes up with terrifies me.
WAIH: What kind of practical effects can we expect from The Marshall Family?
SM: All of the effects are practical. When our writers write, they assume that our budget consists of what we can get from the kindness of strangers. CGI is expensive, but also often goes into the ludicrous. We aren’t telling a story about space ships or mutants, but real people and so we wanted everything to seem genuine and realistic. There will be lots of blood and torture. The biggest of the effect will be a one of the character’s getting an extra hole in the head.
WAIH: What advice do you have for any aspiring horror artist?
SM: Do it. Don’t just talk about it or think about it. Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t. And don’t be afraid to put out your vision. The only person stopping you from making movies is you. Just keep putting your ideas on paper than on camera.
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