Horror short ‘Corvidae’ recently screened at Arrow Video Frightfest, telling the tale of a young girl (Maisie Williams) who forms a strong connection with animals she finds and rescues.
We spoke to Writer/Director Tom de Ville all about the film.
Tell us where the idea came from for Corvidae?
Years ago I read an article on how intelligent crows are, and how they hold grudges. That made me start thinking about what might happen if girl protected a crow from a group of bullies – how the crows might help her back. The idea grew from there and got weirder and darker, which is what usually happens with my ideas.
How much of a coup was it to get Maisie Williams involved?
It was a huge coup. She was our number one choice for the main role, and we were thrilled when she came on board.
What was she like to work with?
She was brilliant and hugely committed to the role. She even put live worms in her mouth for a particular scene in which she’s trying to feed the crow. She reasoned that if her granddad, who was a fisherman could do it then she could too.
Tell us how Corvidae is different from every other horror out there?
Hah! It’s not different from every other horror film, but I guess you could say it fits into the dark fairy tale sub-genre made popular by Guillermo Del Toro. I’ve always felt that horror films are essentially fairy tales for grown-ups. They can be dark and terrifying, but also have a strange wonder and beauty to them. That’s my entry point into a lot of the stories I write.
What has the reaction been like since Frightfest?
The reaction has been amazing. We’ve had some great reviews and a considerable amount of interest in turning the short into a feature.I’m really pleased by how many people have taken the film to heart. Hopefully I can do something else like it soon.
What’s a typical day on set like?
On Corvidae we shot on location in the middle of winter, so it mostly involved a lot of rain and mud and stressing about losing daylight. Hopefully the next time I shoot something it’ll be a lot less stressful.
Are you a fan of horror and if so, tell us some of your favourites?
Yep, I’m a huge fan! So much so that it’s hard to know where to begin. As mentioned above I love Del Toro’s movies, particularly The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. Nightmare on Elm Street was a gateway drug, so that’ll always be high on the list.
I have a soft spot for 60s and 70s British and Italian horror movies, particularly anything that has a folk horror vibe (Blood on Satan’s Claw, Don’t Look Now, Black Sunday, Suspiria,) and 80s creature features (Critters, The Blob, Killer Klowns,The Howling). Oh yeah, and absolutely anything by John Carpenter.
Where can horror fans see the film next?
Next it’s on at the Real Horrorshow of the London Film Festival which is playing at the Prince Charles Cinema on Sunday 14th of October and Rich Mix Cinema on Thursday 18th October. Tickets are available here: