There’s Someone Inside Your House director Patrick Brice (Creep) and screenwriter Henry Gayden (Shazam!) talked to 1428 Elm about the new Netflix slasher, which Gayden adapted for the screen from Stephanie Perkins’s novel of the same name.
1428 Elm interviews There’s Someone Inside Your House director Patrick Brice and screenwriter Henry Gayden
1428 Elm: I felt like this film was self-aware a little bit, and one of my favorite scenes in the movie was actually the party scene because I’ve never really seen something like that in a slasher. Usually, you see the killer lure them away and in this one, they just charge right in there. What was the genesis of that scene?
Henry Gayden: The genesis of that scene was kind of organic. I came up with this secrets conceit that was hinted at in the book but wasn’t the full M.O. of the killer and then brought it to the foreground, and I wanted a set-piece that wasn’t repeating two people alone in a place, and I thought of the secrets party. I loved it. It just came out organically from wanting a very different shift from what we’d seen previously with the killer. I’m glad you dug it though, it’s fun. I want to go to a secrets party. [Laughs]
Patrick Brice: And thinking about that self-awareness aspect of it, I knew that was sort of a tightrope we were going to be walking with this movie because I think you can definitely go too far with the self-awareness, to the point where you simply don’t believe what’s going on in the movie or you’re not able to get emotionally invested in the movie. I didn’t want to talk down to our audience. I wanted the film to be an invitation as opposed to something that was like it was smarter than everyone else or showing off in any way.
I was really touched by the script and how it was able to be fully self-aware as a slasher movie and have those moments that lean into that, and stylistically I definitely threw some things in there early on that hint at that, like even the way our title card appears is supposed to be a mini joke. I think that making sure we didn’t veer too far in the direction of being self-aware for self-awareness sake, you know? That was something where it felt new and, I don’t know, contemporary, in a good way, to me.
1428 Elm: Another thing that I really liked about this movie was the, well, the fact that it’s in the midwest, and you guys really leaned into that. I loved the use of the cornfields. I feel like a lot of horror movies are afraid to use cornfields because they don’t want to go the Children of the Corn route or whatever, but I think there is so much creepy stuff to be gleaned from using them. I’m curious. Was that a set? Was that an actual field you were shooting at?
Patrick Brice: We shot this film entirely in Vancouver.
1428 Elm: Oh wow, yeah, I never would have guessed that.
Patrick Brice: Right? [Laughs] Part of the challenge of the movie was to make it feel as authentically Nebraskan as we can in south Vancouver, which is actually very flat. There are these glorious mountain ranges in the background that we ended up having to paint out with CGI.
Henry Gayden: You planted a cornfield.
Patrick Brice: We bought a cornfield.
Henry Gayden: You grew it!
Patrick Brice: We grew that corn, too!
Henry Gayden: And then you burned it.
Patrick Brice: And then we burned it all down. [Laughs]
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Henry Gayden: Yeah, that was some real fire in there. Some of it wasn’t, in some other scenes, but for the most part, that was real fire.
Patrick Brice: We were going out in the middle of the night up to set this cornfield on fire every night and stab people in the middle of it. It ended up being, probably, the most difficult part of the shoot, mainly because it rains a lot in Vancouver. So we were having to bounce back and forth between doing stage work with other scenes in the movie and then going back out into the muddy cornfield in the middle of the night. It made for a crazy shoot, but luckily we’d already had enough good times where we’d already established a bond with each other.
Henry Gayden: That’s true. I’m glad we didn’t start there. [Laughs]
This interview has been edited for clarity.
There’s Someone Inside Your House will be released on October 6 exclusively on Netflix.