Last Tuesday, Screamfest Horror Film Festival had their 21st opening night and featured the Black Carpet premiere of The Retaliators.
The Retaliators is a riveting story an upstanding pastor who gets pulled into a world of revenge as he searches for the ones responsible behind his daughter’s murder. While he hopes to find light in the answers, the search only brings more and more darkness, slowly consuming him.
The film features a heavy rock original soundtrack, even including cameos from the band members themselves. For those that enjoy grungy horror films, this is one that you shouldn’t miss; the cameos alone are worth it.
Also in attendance was Samuel Gonzalez Jr., who along with Bridget Smith co-directed an intense ride that really does hit some deep fears that many of us might have.
We got to talk to Co-Director Samuel Gonzales, Jr. to talk about his upcoming horror film. Check out the interview below.
The Knockturnal: Congrats on the film. First I wanted to ask: what’s your favorite part about directing horror movies?
Samuel Gonzalez Jr.: The ultimate thrill. Directing a horror film, it like connects us to our deepest fears. It shines light in dark places, it takes people in dark corners. My job as the director is to shine my camera in that dark and that’s what’s most fun. I want my audience to experience what I see through the lens.
The Knockturnal: Were there any movies that you had in mind that helped inspire the movie or had any that had similar themes that you looked to?
Samuel Gonzalez Jr.: These themes are so unique, it’s like revenge and redemption but all wrapped up in this bloody presence. And I never saw anything like that and that’s what attracted me to the script, attracted me to the story. I love all the different themes, I’ve seen them in different films but I’ve never seen them collide like that in a movie. So, I guess I was inspired by lots of other films but nothing like this.
The Knockturnal: How different was the original concept from the final product?
Samuel Gonzalez Jr.: Very, it was very different. The original element was a lot more drama, it was darker. I mean it wasn’t darker in terms of visually, it was darker in terms of the themes, of what the characters were going through — what their journey was. But it wasn’t layered with a bloody chaos, and that was my job, they brought me on to do that.
The Knockturnal: Finally, what do you want the viewer to take a way after watching your film?
Samuel Gonzalez Jr.: I just want them to know there is dark in all of us. Don’t be afraid of that darkness, but don’t shelter it either because you never know what it could be. You never know what it could become. Embrace the darkness inside, this is coming from a horror guy. But embrace the darkness because if you shelter it or keep it in, that’s when it could destroy you. But if you let it out, something beautiful could come from it so at the end of this film you’ll understand why. There is a redemption.
For more information about dates and tickets, visit https://screamfestla.com.