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Q&A with Alan Lougher, Director of “The Dollmaker”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
Dracula. He’s so misunderstood! My spirit animal is the werewolf, probably because I have a tattoo of one my arm!

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
Well, I’m still trying to figure how to get past the bad ones! I can certainly look back at my earlier work and cringe and ask myself “why did I do that?” but that’s the nature of the beast, we’re always evolving as filmmakers. Some later than others I may add.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Certainly this past year while attending more horror festivals than I have ever before, it’s made me feel part of one for sure. Most of the writers and filmmakers I know are actively working in the horror genre, so I don’t know, maybe I am?

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I tend to not to write most of my films as I often work with other writers and seek out great stories that interest me, so when I find a great script there’s usually something in there that speaks to me and makes me want to put it on screen. For example I have two young kids so when I read the script for The Dollmaker it struck a chord and I just fell in love with it and knew I wanted to put it on screen.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Well so far my films have been about killer cowboys, creepy dolls and vampires. So I’d probably douse myself in holy water and eat lots of garlic.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
The Kurgan. There can be only one.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, the King, Practical (of course), Post Apocalypse.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
On my last film, The Dollmaker, I had designed the dolls myself before they were handed over to our art and special FX department, but I recall struggling a lot with the design because I wanted to have something that hadn’t been done before. With dolls, there’s not a lot of room to play with as most designs have been done to death. I didn’t want to do something that looked like Annabelle, or even like Chucky. Of course, budget is also a huge factor. In the end, I found that simple is better and the final design, I think, is new yet familiar enough that it fits within the context of the story.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
The Omen. Still can’t watch that without the lights on.