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Q&A with Laura Kulik, Director of “The Girl in the Woods”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Brigitte from Gingersnaps. No question.

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?

Bad ideas? You mean like shooting a horror movie in the woods at night with no money?
In all seriousness, the first version of any script is full of bad ideas. When I start a script, I write down all of my ideas, even the ones that I’m not sure about. Writing it all down helps me separate the good and the bad. For example, the initial draft of The Girl in the Woods was a lot longer and gave more backstory. I took a lot of that out because it was creepier without any context.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I do! The horror fans I met at film festivals or through ALTER are so receptive and encouraging. I keep in touch with them and it’s been great to see everyone’s work.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I get a lot inspiration from other movies, especially David Lynch’s work. He does a great job of crafting these worlds that are simultaneously fascinating and repulsive. Even through I don’t incorporate that level of surrealism into my films, it’s definitely affected my approach.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I would be terrified. I grew up in rural Upstate New York so I spent a lot of time driving through the woods at night. It always creeps me out. I’ve thought of about 100 horror movies that start with someone breaking down on an isolated road.

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Ghostface, the Nun, Samara, and Baghul.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, Stephen King, Practical, Pre Apocalypse

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
When writing horror, I always try to draw on things that scare me. For this film, the initial idea came from my fear of being stuck in an isolated location with no way to call for help. With that as a jumping off point, the story wrote itself.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Lake Mungo. It’s a very low key movie but something about it just gets under my skin.