It’s late at night, something shakes behind a bush, disturbing the horses. You rise, awoken by the noise, in front of a dimly burning campfire, your gun at your side. You can still hear the rustling of some mysterious creature. With only the light of the campfire and the bright stars, you grab your gun and check on your steed only to find him missing. The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but that’s not the only big thing lurking around. This week’s Featured FearMaker, Nathaniel Barber, has been making a series of films much like the story above, taking his audience back to the 19th century with the ancient evil being that is the Windigo.

Nathaniel Barber is a native to Arlington, Texas, where he first learned about the glory of horror though his father. A man passionate about the dark and macabre genre, he passed his love down to his son as they watched classic Universal Monster movies together. This led to a snowball effect for Barber, who turned to a life of filmmaking. “Horror is an important genre because it explores flawed characters on the worst days of their lives.” Says Barber. “Real drama emerges and characters are forced to make quick decisions. Those decisions determine who that character is and where they are going. The monsters in horror films can also be used to attack character flaws and increase the terror.”

One of the first horror films Barber remembers that spawned his love for horror was the Steven Spielberg 1993 classic Jurassic Park. Other noteworthy films which inspired Barber include Brahm Stoker’s DraculaThe Wolf Man starring Jon Cheney JrJohn  Carpenter’s The Thing, and the 2007 remake of I Am Legend. His attraction to film knows no bounds, citing genres from Western to horror, and mixing them together to make new, creative films.

Nathaniel Barber studied screenwriting and directing, earning himself an Associate Degree from the Colorado Film School. He is currently working towards his Bachelor degree in film at the University of North Texas

Barber has spent the last few years building his resume with creative and dark short films. His 2014 short film Widigo Origins was an Official Selection at the 2014 South Dakota Film Festival and an Official Selection at the 2016 UNT Media Arts Festival. Windigo Revolution (2015) was also an Official Selection at the 2016 UNT Media Arts Festival. These Windigo films are spectacular shorts which all take place in or around 1777. Period pieces are never easy, but somehow Nathaniel Barber manages to make them flawlessly.

Nathaniel Barber’s work in unwavering, and his attention to detail helps transport his audiences across time. While making films is never easy, Nathaniel knows the importance of horror in our daily lives, as well as in our history. “Horror is a genre that has its roots in our origins. Its birth place lies in the fear.” says Barber “They are vital to our culture and to our society. They are the stories that keep us up at night and remind us that their might actually be something hiding in the shadows.