At Little Terrors Short Horror Film Showcase, I got a second chance to chat with Jeffrey Gross, writer and producer of The Remnant!
(Dir. Navin Ramaswaran) (16:45 mins)
A team of con artists posing as paranormal investigators steal from the home of an affluent elderly woman, only to find themselves unleashing a dormant malevolent spirit.
MY TAKE: Creepy cool meets the art world, once again! There's a larger story here, and I hope someday the filmmakers see fit to expand this story line.
And now, the interview:
I also interviewed the director, Navin Ramaswaran (who also edited the movie with Mike Donis), by email:
Please give me a summary of The Remnant.
The Remnant is a horror short, disguised as a heist flick. The movie follows our protagonists - a team of con artists posing as innocent paranormal investigators who get into a bit of a pickle when their newest con turns out to be more than they bargained for.
How did this project come about for you?
This is Jeff Gross’ baby. He came up with the idea and wrote it and I was immediately drawn to the project upon reading it. The blend of heist and horror is absolutely riveting to me.
I love that it involves fraudulent paranormal investigators that use this cover to steal valuable artwork/objects from the well-heeled who may or may not be experiencing supernatural phenomena. What are your thoughts and feelings regarding the current crop of paranormal investigation television series?
It’s very much “in vogue” just like true crime docs and podcasts, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I definitely fall into the category of people who cannot get enough of these shows. They’re certainly entertaining at the least. Granted, the world of Paranormal reinactment series is a very mixed bag, and more of a guilty pleasure like reality shows but there are so many of them that if one doesn’t suit your fancy, there’s always 10 other options!
Tell me a little bit about working with the cast and crew.
This was my first time working with almost everyone on our cast and crew and it was a wonderful experience. We were so fortunate to work with a fantastic group of actors who gave life and a burst of energy to Jeff’s screenplay. One of our Producer’s on the movie, Michael James Regan (who also plays Dylan in the movie) ultimately got us this amazing cast and seeing them on screen was such a pleasure.
Do you envision a longer version of The Remnant at some point down the road?
Yes! In fact, The Remnant is a proof of concept for a feature that Jeff also wrote called The Collectors. We’re using this proof of concept to pitch and raise funds for the feature. Even though the short stands alone and will continue to have its own life, the feature version tells a much richer story. It’s a cool project and I’m really excited for it!
Now, a couple of questions I focus on in my author blog — what is your favourite B-movie and why?
Ahhh - good question! I have several so I’ll narrow it down to 2 that have influenced my work in some way:
1. Evil Dead Trilogy: I watched these movies when I was a teenager discovering the wonderful world of horror by perusing video store shelves. All three films lived up to it’s uber cool posters in terms of gore mania and impact to the horror genre. At the time, I was making my own little no-budget horror flicks by getting my unsuspecting friends and cobbling together some corn syrup and red dye, so what Sam Raimi and team were doing with these movies (especially the first one) really resonated with me.
2. Re-Animator: Another B gore fest that I adore - a masterclass in efficient writing and editing without sacrificing substance and entertainment value. The extended version undoes the sense of urgency the theatrical version does which makes the Unrated Theatrical version my preferred cut of the movie.
How about your favourite horror-comedy?
See above, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Re-Animator. It’s smart construction that fits within the expectations of a B-movie but is elevated by the tight script and amazingly maniacal performance. As preposterous as the subject matter is, you’re always in for the ride because of the great concept and excellent execution.
Thank you, Navin!
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