DANIEL RANDS IS AN AWARD-WINNING WRITER & DIRECTOR BASED IN LONDON.
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a personal level?
I’m drawn to characters with complexities and tragedy, so Daniel Robitaille, the Candyman himself, has always spoken to me on a personal level, as well as being a style icon. I’m also a bit of a mummy’s boy though, so maybe Norman Bates?
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?
When I was a teenager I made a post-apocalyptic short with my friends that makes me cringe every time I think about it. I was trying to be really poetic about loneliness and it takes itself way, way too seriously. I think it’s still on YouTube, on a channel we’ve forgotten the password to. Don’t search for it. I’ve forgotten most of my bad ideas, thankfully, but you definitely have to make bad stuff to get better. These days, I know it’s a good one when I can’t get it out of my head, and the only way to exorcise it is to make it.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Definitely. I love the genre and my inner circle is full of horror heads. We watch every horror film we can at the cinema, even the really bad ones, and I’m peeking through my fingers the whole time like an absolute coward. I also love going to horror fests, like Frightfest, where we were lucky enough to premiere Peaking. The genre has a great and very supportive community.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I always start with the reality and truth of it, the real meat and bones, and then build the world from those foundations. Once I know what I’m trying to say, I go to movies I know and love to reference and really find the flesh of it.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Never put on a pair of headphones again.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Carrie White, Damien Thorn, Hannibal Lecter, Michael Myers. I think together they could be some unstoppable, twisted version of the A-Team.
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, for the jokes. Lovecraft, for the atmosphere & lore. Practical over CGI. Pre apocalypse, it’s always scarier the closer it is to home.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
I’ve never been a fan of masks and dolls, and I think there’s something in the uncanny imitation of life that is deeply unsettling. I’ve always been most scared of horror that reflects the darker elements of humanity, our blackest desires and fears. Because of this, I try to ground my horror in very real & relatable themes, as I think the more we understand something, the more power it has to truly terrify us.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
Tough one, and I don’t want him to think I’m a suck-up, but it’s probably Scream. I grew up on 90s/00s teen horror movies and that’s the one that set the standard.