In a few words, what’s the film about?
The Ice Cream Truck is a horror/ psychological thriller about a woman who’s in a limbo period in her life. Her youth is far behind her but she’s not quite middle aged. She moves back to her hometown, into a new house prior to her family’s arrival. So she’s alone for several days for the first time in a long time. She’s thrust into a strange new environment with nosey neighbours, predatory men and a strange Ice Cream Man. The combination of boredom, the need for some excitement and wanting to reclaim her youth, leads her to a whole host of bad decisions.
Although this film has some slasher elements, it is a psychological thriller above all and a character piece. I don’t think films should have to be put into any kind of box. Even within the horror genre.
Always been a fan of the genre?
I love the horror genre and I have since I was very young. However, I don’t like super gory films or films that are too disturbing. I like suspense and the horror films that take their time. To me, suspense is often more effective than the reveal.
Have you discovered any unlikely fans or segments that you didn’t count on?
I would say the response to this film has far exceeded my expectations. Most of the reviews have been glowing. I think those fans who want nothing but blood and gore in their horror films will likely not enjoy this film. The horror fans that can appreciate that horror comes in all shapes and sizes, and those that like to be challenged, will love this film. The people who get it seem to REALLY get it. The people who have not liked the film, I think maybe they were just looking at it at face value.
How important are reviews to you?
Reviews are very important to me. I appreciate all reviews. This being my second film, I am no stranger to this process. The only reviews I don’t like are ones that bash films. I think reviewers should be educated in film and try to speak objectively about what they liked and didn’t like. I don’t think reviewers should sound similar to internet trolls, or else how will we be able to distinguish between the two?
At the end of the day, art is subjective and everyone has the right to their own opinion. I would rather have a polarizing film, than a forgettable one.
Besides what it’ll do for your career, are there any standouts involved in the film that you believe will see a real career boost from being involved in it?
People have really loved the score for this film. It has been a showcase in the film. And of course Deanna Russo is incredible. I think she really shines and she carries the whole movie, which is no easy task. Emil Johnsen is equally excellent and his part was a very difficult part to execute the right way. He is equally menacing and tongue-in-cheek.
Have doors opened for you as a result of it?
I think it will open doors, yes. I am just proud that the film has been such a stand-out to most of the reviewers. People for the most part really like that we have given a different voice in a genre that is so dominated by men. There aren’t that many female-centric stories that aren’t littered with clichés. This is a very real and relatable story, about a woman who happens to be in age range that is often forgotten by the film industry.
Would you compare the storyline to anything we’ve seen in earlier films? Anything you can say is an intentional homage?
There are no homages at all. But I am a big fan of horror from the 60s and 70s, so I’m sure that comes through. I love Roman Polanski, Hitchcock, Dario Argento, Carpenter and David Lynch. Those are the types of filmmakers whose work compels me. They are masters of composition. They are fully invested in every aspect of a film. It shows in their artistry.
Insert the blank. If you loved ….. you’ll love my movie.
I would never say that. But the film is being compared to Halloween a lot. Mostly in terms of style.
Has it all gone according to plan for you? Anything you’ll do differently next time around?
Things are never exactly how you plan, but I would say this film has exceeded my expectations. The reaction to the film has been really strong. It seems to remind people of what it was like to be young in the suburbs in the summer, when you were free of responsibility and trouble was in the air. I guess you would respond more if that was your experience growing up.
What’s ahead for you?
My next film is called Hunting Season. It’s more of a straight horror/thriller about trophy hunters. I hope to shoot it next year. It’s kind of like Get Out meets Psycho.