Director Jozsef Gallai talks indie horror Spirits in the Dark

We recently showed the teaser for indie horror Director Jozsef Gallai’s latest film Spirits in the Dark and we got the chance to quiz him about the project.

What is Spirits in the Dark about?
The story centers around a lonely widower named Gil Spencer, who finds a mysterious video on his computer that leads him to an abandoned town occupied by an ominous entity.

What have the inspirations been regarding this film?
During pre-production, I played with some horror games and the most effective one was a free experimental game titled Slender: The Eight Pages. The atmosphere of the game stayed with me for a long time and right after that I started writing the first draft of the script. My plan has always been to present a mixture of traditional horror films, point-of-view films, survival games and experimental films and this is what Spirits in the Dark is.

What was it like filming in this ominous ghost town?
I was extremely lucky since many abandoned houses, villages and even towns are located near the city I live in. Months before shooting began, I had checked these locations with a smart phone or a handycam in my pocket. I wanted to make sure I got the right locations. Filming there was like nothing we have ever done, we actually shot 80% of the movie here. It has its power when one stays here at night to film.

What can you tell us about the concept of the movie?
I would say my approach is pretty unusual in every sense. For example due to its special cinematic approach, we all have very limited screen time. Despite being credited first, I have around 13 minutes of screen presence. The protagonist of the film is not me, but the atmosphere and these wonderful, yet frightening locations. It’s funny since the initial concept featured only two characters namely a man and a ghost, but however had I tried, I had to realize it wouldn’t work as a feature film.

How would you describe the shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
As there are only a few characters in this film, the complete cast and crew was pretty small. Filming took only 14 days altogether. In spite of working with a skeleton crew, we tried out many things – the shoot ended up being a neverending experiment. I can say we all had a great time and a lot of laughs.

When and where will Spirits in the Dark be released?
We complete it very soon and we’ll probably sell the movie. It is supposed to be released in 2019. I’m pretty sure it will be available to people, but I don’t know if it’s going to get a big release or a smaller one, but I’m pretty optimistic.

Any future projects you are working on?
Next spring I’ll shoot a found footage feature titled The Surreal Project, written by Bálint Szántó, a great friend of mine. I’m looking forward to working on it!

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