The Night Market: What Lies in the Dark Corners and Hallways Deep Below in “The Hoarder”

By: Jay Kay / HorrorHappens.com

One of my favorite releases on DVD this year is “The Hoarder”. The film brings together so many horror tropes and fears into one claustrophobic story. Using smart versatile camera work, a stellar cast and a location that connections to the viewer’s deepest fears, “The Hoarder” takes on journey into a haunted house world of mad science. We welcome and thank director Matt Winn for taking the time out to enter “The Night Market” on “Tom Holland’s Terror Time”!

The Hoarder

Terror Time/ JK: Your latest film “The Hoarder” offers the viewer a sense of claustrophobia wrapped with in multiple horror sub-genres including haunted house, slasher, dark psychological and the mad science! This is all brought together by the labyrinth storage unit and the different underground levels of hell. Talk first about the authentic aspects of the location and how difficult it was to shoot the film in such a confined space? What was the storyboarding and planning like to show so much in the same area?

Matt Winn: I first got the idea for the film of “The Hoarder” from spending time in my own storage unit. When I was writing it, me and my co-writer, Chris Denne, visited some very interestingly designed and claustrophobic storage facilities, but it became apparent very quickly that we couldn’t shoot in a real one for reasons of safety and also just because we couldn’t get our equipment into such a confined area. Therefore, we had to build it. Even though it feels (hopefully) very confined, we took over the largest studio in Three Mills Studio to build it and created several different templates before settling on a large X pattern. At the same time myself, the cinematographer and production designer were very conscious that we needed to make small changes all the time to the environment or else it could get visually boring for the viewer, so we created a set that we could move the walls all the time, creating different patterns of doors, entrances and exits, and different combinations of junctions. So basically once we’d used the set once, which was pretty early on, we were constantly reconfiguring it and create new shapes. Always the same but different. I storyboarded key sequences, but I had camera plans for each individual shot. We really needed this so that the logic didn’t break down.

THE HOARDER

TT: The story of “The Hoarder” has a red herring to it. This man, creature… well not sure what to call it, stalks in the shadows, emerges from the storage units and chases down victims within the hallways throughout most of the film. What was the planning and practical FX/makeup to develop this character including the very impactful visually that we see on the cover art for the film?

MW: Myself and Chris Denne early on decided we wanted a protagonist / victim. Our twist is the guy you think is doing all this stuff is just another victim himself. So then we set about thinking about ‘storage’ as a concept and it initially came out of the idea of the way people have a sometimes strangely obsessive relationship with their pets. People desperately want a relationship with an animal, many people prefer their animals to their husband or wife, and this is because they are always totally loving and never answer back. Human relationships are never that simple.

So given the problem that human beings always answer back, the logical thing for our guy to do was to staple everyone’s lips shut. He loves his victims and we always thought that he had a very benign relationship with them. They’re his ‘pets’ and he’s kidnapping them to keep them safe from the outside world. Having to staple their lips shut is just one of those unfortunate things that comes out of loving them too much. It goes with the territory, so to speak. In terms of physical FX, I sat down early on with Paul Hyett, our VFX supervisor and he loved the concept. More importantly, he’d never seen it before and he’s done physical FX on a ton of horror films. He set about designing the look. It took about three hours to apply to the cast.

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