Playing in the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival’s Midnighters section is Mickey Keating’s hotly anticipated Pod (trailer), which will World Premiere March 16th at the fest in Austin, Texas.
In Pod, starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Dean Cates, Brian Morvant, Larry Fessenden and John Weselcouch, a family intervention goes horrifically awry within the snowy confines of an isolated lake house.
Bloody Disgusting had a chance to speak with the enthusiastic young filmmaker who is taking the indie film community by storm.
Speaking to the his inspirations, Keating reveals that Pod comes out of his love for classic “The Twilight Zone” episodes.
“I think that at its core, POD grew from my love of the works of Rod Serling and Richard Matheson – THE LAST MAN ON EARTH starring Vincent Price actually plays on a television throughout the movie,” he tells Bloody Disgusting in an exclusive interview. “I’m obsessed with the concept of fear as a contagious entity and so I definitely wanted to build similar tension found in ‘Twilight Zone’ episodes THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET, WILL THE REAL MARTIAN PLEASE STAND UP?, and NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET.
“But there are heavy nods to the paranoid thrillers of the 60’s and 70’s like THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and THE NINTH CONFIGURATION,” he adds. “And then of course to contained, dialogue dramas like TAPE, BUG, and THE MIST. Obviously, because of the title, people are going to assume this film will be like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and there is a hint of that (all the wardrobe is a direct nod to the characters’ outfits in Kaufman’s version), but don’t head into the film assuming you’re gonna see POD people!”
Speaking to the film’s plot and inspirations, Keating acknowledges that it’s a claustrophobic horror film, joking that, “A lot of the movie takes place in a cramped, filthy, totally ransacked cabin, but that’s nothing compared to the basement in the finale!”
Pod is a tension builder that Keating hopes will ride on the shoulders of Brian Morvant’s “absolutely batshit insane character.”
“For me it was important to build tension that, for some part, exists almost totally separate from the horror in the rest of the film, until everything kind of crashes together,” he explains. “My hope is that, even if there was no third act, the audience would still be satisfied by Brian Morvant’s absolutely batshit insane character and the conspiracy theories he’s created. But once the horror kicks in, it doesn’t relent until the credits. We also spent a lot of time in post, experimenting with some pretty different editing techniques and sound design, so there’s never a point in time where the audience will be able to guess what’s next.”
Speaking to what sub genre Pod is, Keating explains:
“I wanted to approach this film with a greater sense of realism than what we’ve been getting in genre lately, so I’d say it’s mostly in line with the kind of horror from the mid-2000s. As far as gore goes, I definitely made sure to take the film to some pretty dark places, so hopefully it quenches everybody’s midnight thirst for blood.”
“I just hope that it’s a different experience for people,” Keating adds of what he wants his audience to take away from Pod. “Too many horror films these days bend over backwards to try to fit into a certain box or riff on the hottest trend and that’s just not very interesting to me. I don’t really see a point in making a film independently if not to try to push boundaries creatively.”
Pod will World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas on March 16th!