US Producer Russ Williams Likes Asian Horror Films


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Here is the 3rd part of my interview with Sir Russ Williams, the US Producer & Writer of the International Horror Film 'Darkest Night'.

You're from the western part of the world (USA) and now doing a horror film in an Asian setting. So, what are the differences of Asian horror films from Western horror films?
An unfortunate trend in western horror films has been toward graphic, obvious, and extremely shocking visual horror, bordering on (or reveling in) exploitation. Surprisingly, the British have been able to do this
extremely well. In my opinion, there has not been an outstanding, highquality, truly original horror film out of America in over 20 years. The closest was 'The Blair Witch Project' in 1996, but that was notable more for its premise and method than for any real quality in the finished product. Our film is using a similar premise and method but planned and with a lot more polish ('Blair Witch' was almost all improvised). For another example, a very good horror film 'Let Me In' was recently released in the U.S. with lots of ciritcal acclaim. However, it's almost a frame-by-frame remake of a 2008 Swedish film 'Let the Right One In'.

Russ thought the bestest and most successful American horror films for the past 20 years are the following remakes of Asian horror films:
    'The Ring'
    'The Grudge'
    'The Eye'
    'Dark Water'
    'Pulse'

He added...
With all of these films, the originals were excellent while the remakes were merely pale imit*tions, some fairly good, most awf*l. Again in my opinion, the really best horror films made in the past 20 years have come out of either Asia or Britain (some in other European countries), but my bias is toward the Asian model because truly creative Asians prefer subtlety in all their arts.

For him, Asian horror films are mostly ghost stories rooted in psychological suspense, with only a sprinkling of the graphic. Asian horror stories cringe with extreme terror, often undead, that's obsessed with the unseen, what's “out there” in the dark, lurking and threatening. It's like a projection of the “beast within” onto child-like night terrors, except the child is an adult with often unspeakable guilt and shame over past misdeeds.

These types of films have to rely on character and good story-telling, not blood, body parts and special effects. Such a viewpoint resonates with me much more than the current American mode of “show and tell it all.”

He also thinks that most Asians really do believe in some form of the supernatural and paranormal, like him.

He also shared this...
Having a real love for and belief in your subject matter really does help when it comes to writing a good story.

Read the whole interview
Part 1 Read Here...
Part 2 Read Here...

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