Andrew Rutter talks horror short ‘The Front Door’

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‘The Front Door’ had its premiere at Arrow Video Frightfest a couple of days ago and we got the chance to quiz creator Andrew Rutter all about it.

Tell us where the idea came from for The Front Door?

The Front Door was a fast moving process overall, usually I have ideas that take their time and grow organically but everything fell in to place pretty quickly with this concept. Last year I hadn’t really made anything, so as a filmmaker who often gets frustrated when I’m not making something, this year I set out to tackle 4 films on no budget and made completely with friends.

I wanted to utilize what I have access to and the talents of people around me so I specifically set out to make a film in my house which is where the Front Door was filmed. I live with my girlfriend Jo, who not only produced the film but also had 3 acting roles in the film! Having the limitations helped me get creative with certain elements and so the plot was formed purposely around my house to save money.

I don’t live in a really bad area but I lock my door at night, and the simple notion of not locking the front door before going to bed seemed to creep in to my mind and stay there.

What does it offer horror fans?

The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it plays on very real fears of everyday life. All of the films I’m working on at the moment have a similar theme which is social fears and the anxiety behind certain situations that are then massively exaggerated with absurd results.

I think horror fans will have a lot of fun with The Front Door for this reason, because it’s oddly relatable to a certain degree.

What was your reaction to be selected to screen at Frightfest?

Whilst making The Front Door I had only one festival in mind that I wanted it to premiere at and that was FrightFest. However, I knew the standard was extremely high and here I was making a little film in my living room with mates for barely any money.

I just about got the film to a stage that was presentable but not finished, and the deadline had arrived so I submitted it regardless. I was over the moon to find out it had got in! 

What films did you use for inspiration for The Front Door?

I’ve always been drawn to dark comedy, but through most of my filmmaking life so far I’ve been making more surreal drama based stuff. It was only this year that I really wanted to tap in to the things that made me laugh and share them with other people!

Growing up I really loved The Comic Strip Presents, which had all sorts of weird & wonderful short films and then the darker stuff like Chris Morris’s ‘Jam’. I think during high school there was a great wave of David Firth animations that really struck a chord with me, and also the mysterious early viral stuff from Chris Cunningham.

What’s your next project on the horizon?

My next project will be film number 3 (out of 4) for my loose anthology web series ‘The Vivid Kingdom’ which is a collection of dark comedy/absurdist short films. The Vivid Kingdom came about more out of creative frustration really, having made very little the previous year I knew I couldn’t sit around any longer and had to just start doing it.

I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself on what The Vivid Kingdom was, I just knew it was a good excuse to start creating and have a banner to host these stranger ideas.

I think as a filmmaker it’s very easy to get caught up in daydreams and the pressures of making something, but I knew I had to set myself a pretty crazy task in order to push myself and throw myself out at the deep end. The Vivid Kingdom is a result of that!

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