Superhost director Brandon Christensen: Chasing the high of a good idea

Barbara Crampton as Vera-Superhost_Photo Credit: Shudder
Barbara Crampton as Vera-Superhost_Photo Credit: Shudder /
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Sara Canning as Claire-Superhost_Photo Credit: Shudder /

1428 Elm: Well, I am a longtime horror geek, so I definitely love old-school horror. But, I really, really love finding exciting new horror. So a lot of the things I find on Shudder I love, for example. I like your films. I like Host, Anything for Jackson, movies like that. What are some of the newer horror films that you admire and recommend to people?

Brandon: That’s a tough one. I mean, it depends on how new you’re talking about. It’s been pretty light the past couple of years because I’ve been working, and it’s hard to keep up. The Rental came out last year, and I had just finished the script. So when I heard it was Airbnb horror, I was like, “No, you’re kidding me!” So, I didn’t watch it, and I still haven’t watched it. I have no idea what it’s about beyond the logline.

So, that becomes a thing when you’re making something. You don’t want to poison the well and accidentally be influenced too much by something. But, when I saw the first Don’t Breathe, I loved that. It’s a house movie, which I’m very familiar with, just his command of the camera and everything. It’s just so overwhelmingly good. It’s amazing how varied the look of that place is, considering it’s so small.

I love The Gift with Jason Bateman. I thought that was an awesome film. And pretty much anything Mike Flanagan does, I’m a pretty big fan of.

1428 Elm: Do you have any upcoming projects we can look forward to seeing anytime soon? I mean that you’re allowed to talk about? I know how that all of that goes.

Brandon: I’ve got a few things that are percolating. I’m writing some stuff with my brother, and there’s a chance I’ll be shooting something before the end of the year. I’m hoping it happens. It’s going through negotiating and financing, so it’s just kind of up in the air. But, it looks like it’s going to happen, and I’m excited to do something different.

It’ll be yet another part of the horror genre. It won’t be a mother, and it won’t be a slasher. It will be something else.

1428 Elm: Well, horror is my favorite genre, so it always makes me happy to hear that people want to continue working in it. I think for a long time, people didn’t want to be associated with it, and that’s changed over the years; I think that’s a very good chance.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s interesting. I think a lot of people used to get their start from it, like Jennifer Aniston famously with Leprechaun, and then they kind of move on to serious genres. But now you have people like Jordan Peele and Ari Aster making films that are serious but horror. And I think it’s pretty cool to see that a lot of people are breaking out now in horror. I think horror is such a broad genre that you can do so much with.

The emotional horror alone, that’s something that appeals to me a lot, is just putting depth and scares together. It’s really kind of fun to tackle that.

1428 Elm: Well, thank you so much for talking to me today. I hope Superhost is very successful for you.

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