Q&A with Maxime Sévellec, Director of “Intrusion”
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
As much as I’d love to answer a badass Sidney Prescott from Scream, I’ll have to be honest and go for Kristen McKay from The Strangers, clueless, terrified and inefficient from start to finish. I wouldn’t last very long in a horror movie…
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?
I once started to develop an idea that I was really proud of, without realizing that the twist was just another take on “…but he was actually dead from the start!”. When it finally became clear to me, I scrapped the whole thing for obvious reasons.
In my opinion it’s important not to let bad ideas take you down, bad ideas are part of the process, and they’re in no way an end to anything. Also, I find very helpful to discuss ideas with someone. Their take on your story, whether you like it or not, might trigger something interesting. Plus, having to explain your ideas out loud to someone else is a good way to take a step back and see it under a different light!
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I love pretty much all sorts of scary movies, from zombies to ghosts with a soft spot for slasher films! The only exception being torture porn, that I really can’t get myself to appreciate, too gory for me…
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I think it’s important to look everywhere: other films, of course, but also all kind of visual creations, books, and of course real life. Intrusion actually takes its roots in several press articles I came across.
I also tend to write while listening to music, and that music always taints my work slightly. That’s why I try to go over my work several times with a different type of music in the background… it’s surprisingly inspiring.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Call the cops before everything goes down. I would ruin the movie, though…
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
I think I’d like a squad with a clear goal and clear flaws. When movie villains are too powerful and just “mean”, it usually stops making sense. Like that creepy white ghost in The Grudge that can literally appear anywhere at any time…
So, if you’re reasonably powerful and have a nicely defined project, apply to my villain squad!
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, the whole nightmare thing is a very fun concept.
Stephen King, a lot of things to overlook (pun intended), but a good starting point if you want to learn about horror.
Practical when it comes to wounds and blood, CGI if you need giant monsters. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you need exactly, never discard one or the other.
Pre Apocalypse, I always feel closer to situations I know.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
Many things scare me, and I always thought that making horror movies was maybe a way to face those fears, to make scary things interesting, entertaining and to share them. It’s a nice way to examinate the dark corners of your own mind.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
So many great movies to talk about… I’ll stick with those two classics: The Babadook for a perfectly executed slow burn madness, and Scream for the best example of how entertaining and smart the slasher genre can be.