The sky is dark and the wind is howling. The mysterious cackle of laughter echoes throughout the night, piercing the calmness of the storm. Don’t go outside, it is too dangerous. Stay where you are, cuddle up, and grab your laptop; The new Featured FearMaker is here and ready to keep you safe and warm. Chris St. Croix has been here before, showing off his latest film, In The Dark in an interview with the We Are Indie Horror creators mid last year. Now he’s back to expose his story, and share how he got to make our top 10 Best Films of 2015 list.
Chris’ story begins in Boston. The gift of a super 8 camera on Christmas morning sparked something deep within himself, eventually leading to his film making career. Film 101 classes and children theater were prevalent in Chris’ upbringing. He strived to be the next George Lucas or Stephen Spielberg. Making films would inevitably take a back seat while Chris pursued a career as a metal singer in the city of angels, Los Angeles. Occasionally he picked up a few small acting roles, keeping the love of film alive. The small roles allowed Chris to learn on sets of filmmakers such as Tarantino and Zimeckis guiding his path to become a filmmaker.
The music would eventually carry Chris to Tennessee, where the boom in local music videos would reignite his spark for the love of film. His first short film, Rocco and Vinnie, told the story of two mafiosos sitting down to a nice dinner and talk about what was really bothering them. The film, which starred Chris Cavolo and Vince Cusomato would become official selections for film festivals in Nashville, Berlin, Philadelphia, and Toronto. Rocco and Vinnie was just the first film by St. Croix, but not the last. Since then he has made several short films, two feature films, as well as commercials for Vizio, The Wallstreet Journal, and more.
When it comes to horror, Chris joined the game a bit later than most. During his high schools senior ditch day, a bunch of friends rented the Sam Raimi classic Evil Dead. The film blew him away, but not in a good way. “All the comedy I see in it now was lost on me back then. It just freaked me out. ” Years later Chris would turn to the wonderful world of Lloyd Kaufman and his band of freaks with Troma picutres, as well as Alien, Re-Animator, and Evil Dead 2 to turn him into a horror fan. His friend and fellow filmmaker David Buchert, and avid horrorophile, introduced Chris to a wide variety of horror films, further engulfing him into the strange and unique world of dark cinema.
But I still gravitate toward horror with an action or comic edge.
After making Rocco and Vinnie, Chris wanted to create something more “fun.” This thought would plant the seeds for a horror anthology, which would later become In The Dark. “I like all kinds of films and look to guys like Danny Boyle as inspiration for his ability to genre jump.” Other directors that have influenced Chris’ work in horror are names like John Carpenter and Wes Craven. “They created the modern template. They learned their craft in a traditional setting and added to it. It’s not about loving all their movies, it’s the sum of all the parts. The conviction, vision and rebelliousness. The art of it. Everyone after is beholden to guys like them even if they don’t know it.“
To Be Loved Segment from In The Dark
Film making has come a long way since Chris first started many years ago. The change is not lost on him, however. With the advancements in technology, as well as pricing, thousands of dollars are no longer needed to have good cameras and post production suites. But when it comes to money, Chris puts it into advertising as opposed to the actual film production. “In a world where it really doesn’t take much to get any film that can afford delivery and pass QC on iTunes or Amazon, where the most eyes are these days, it’s all about how to get people to know you’re even there.”
Chris makes a living entirely on his own work, a dream many filmmakers strive for. He is currently working on several projects, but the love for his work is not lost on him. “No one will love your film more than you. Success is relative. Make your own success and make sure you’re not comparing yours to others as you do what you do. And if you want to make a living at it, know your business. Know your business. Know your business.“
Chris St. Croix’s newest feature film, In The Dark is currently available on Cable VOD and downloadable VOD services such as iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, etc. A DVD is being released in March through Amazon.