Horror Channel TV Interview – Paul Hyett (Howl)

As many of us know here in the UK are privately run Rail services are nothing but expensive and a daily nightmare. Talking of nightmares, Paul Hyett‘s Howl will make think twice getting the last train home.

On the eve of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of Howl, director Paul Hyett talks about the decision to quit RADA, taking werewolves seriously and what the future holds.

Horror Channel are delighted to be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of HOWL. Are you a fan of the channel?

I’m so thrilled that Horror Channel are showing HOWL. I’m a big fan of the channel, and avidly watch it, some fantastic gems are shown. They’re a great supporter of horror and you can tell it’s a channel made for horror fans by horror fans.

The film is based on an event that happened in co-writer Mark Huckerby’s life. Can you explain?

Yes, Mark was on a late night train, full of the usual stereotypes,. It was hellish, noisy, smelly, a pure journey from hell. And then the train stopped, no reason, no explanation. Everyone was just sat there, in the dark, in the countryside. And then Mark thought, what else could go wrong, ‘ping’ an idea was born. What if, on top of everything else, imagine if werewolves attacked. A fitting end to an awful journey.

Jon (GRABBERS) Wright was the original director. Did you worry about taking over someone else’s project?

Yes, I was originally due to do the werewolf effects with Jon directing and that’s where I first met Ed King and Martin Gentles, the producers of HOWL. Jon left the project at exactly the same time Ed and Martin watched my first film THE SEASONING HOUSE at its premiere at FrightFest and they thought I would be a good fit for HOWL, so they got me in for a chat and offered me the film.

What changes did you make when you came on board?

First, I changed the creature straight away, Jon wanted more rat-like feral skinny creatures, I’d always wanted to do big, muscly, massive, fuck-ugly werewolves. Second, I wanted to strip out the comedy and ground it more in reality. Originally it was more of a comedy horror, lots of comedy gags and I wanted to take it away from that. I still wanted to have a dark humour to the film, but comedy horrors are hard to get right and I felt to make it a bit more serious was the right way to go.

How did you convince Ed Speelers to star?

Ed liked the script and we met and discussed in detail. It was important to him that the film wasn’t a hokey B movie, cheesy werewolves and girls screaming not wearing much etc. He liked that the film was grounded more in reality, his character a broken down normal bloke, his ambition lost, not knowing where he is in life, and suddenly he’s thrown into this situation. It’s a real ordinary man in an extraordinary situation tale and that appealed to Ed.

The highly talented Rosie Day is in every single one of your movies so far, including the forthcoming HERETIKS, Can we expect to see her in future films? And has HERETIKS now completed post-production?

Rosie and I love collaborating on films and we hang out and are great friends. And she’s so versatile as an actress. I’ve been able to use her on all my movies, including PERIPHERAL, my newest film. She’s going all the way to the top, soon I’ll not be able to afford her! HERETIKS is in its last part of post-production and we’re deep in the VFX, Sound and Music, but we’re not far off.

Finally, what projects are you currently working on?

I’m full on in post on both HERETIKS and PERIPHERAL. Both films are heavy in VFX, especially PERIPHERAL, which is set in the dark world of technology. Also I’m developing a few new horrors. Hopefully, we’ll be announcing the next one soon!

Read Our review of Howl here.

Howl is broadcast on Saturday 24 February, 10.55pm, Horror Channel.