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Interview: Anthony Altamura – Writer/Director of The Passage

Some of us will be unfortunate enough to encounter genuine evil in our lifetime. Those of use who are fortunate enough never to come across it are still terrified of it. This is something that writer and director Anthony Altamura explores in his new short horror film The Passage (Indiegogo here).

He offers more insight into the film in the following interview:

Dread Central: Have you had the idea for The Passage for a long time?

Anthony Altamura: The passage is a story I came up with about two years ago now. The concept came to me in a dream I had where I was being followed by two masked/cloak-wearing individuals whom I instantly could feel a demonic presence residing in. I then started thinking how I have yet to see a film where you truly meet the devil face-to-face without it being over-the-top to the point where it’s no longer frightening.

The Passage crew 2 1 - Interview: Anthony Altamura - Writer/Director of The Passage

DC: On the Indiegogo page you mention how we are all afraid of “staring evil in its face.” Can you elaborate?

AA: It depends on the person and what they believe in, but the way I look at it is this… A lot of people fear that they will die and go to hell. A lot of people don’t. But no matter how strongly you feel against hell being a place you may end up, in the back of your mind you have to be at least a little afraid that you may be wrong. So we decided that sitting face-to-face with the Devil himself is a solid choice for a horror synopsis.

DC: So the plot follows a man called Michael who encounters the Devil?

AA: Michael is a young man who is in a realm which he can’t quite pinpoint. Is he alive? Is he dead? Is he dreaming? You’ll have to see to find out. Don’t want to give away too much.

DC: Also on Indiegogo we see images which offer glimpses of a horrific creature. Will we be seeing a lot more of said creature in the film?

AA: You will be seeing glimpses of our movie monster throughout the film, until the climactic scene where he is fully revealed. And we think it is going to scare the hell out of you.

The Passage crew 1 - Interview: Anthony Altamura - Writer/Director of The Passage

DC: Are you relying on genuine suspense over gore and shock tactics?

AA: More of a genuine suspense approach for sure. There will be moments where certain things come out of nowhere and startle you, but that’s not the type of thing we rely on to “scare” people. We want to make people think. And we want people to question why every shot is making you feel a certain unsettling vibe. I am a huge Stanley Kubrick fan, and I think I’ll be using his innovative one-point perspective technique to my advantage. I find it brilliant that within symmetry you look for flaw. Which subliminally makes you feel that something has to be wrong.

DC: What kind of runtime are you expecting?

AA: We are expecting a runtime of 15 minutes, mainly because it’s the perfect amount for our eight months of festival entries.

The Passage monster 1 - Interview: Anthony Altamura - Writer/Director of The Passage

DC: Do you find telling a story in the medium of a short film liberating or constraining?

AA: With this story specifically I find it a bit more freeing than anything. I think one of the main issues I have with a lot of the new horror films is that they show too much. They let you accept the monster to the point where you can’t let yourself be afraid of it any longer. When you’re 45 minutes into the film and you’ve seen the creature 15 times, I’d imagine the last few scenes of the film you’d feel like you can kick its ass yourself. With a short film you don’t even have enough time to do so. We are already planning a few more short horror films to release in the future.

DC: What stage of production are you currently in?

AA: The film is still in pre-production, but the gears are constantly turning. We film the first week of November.

DC: Do you have a great crew?

AA: My crew is unbelievably passionate and completely on the same page. It’s amazing to see so many people fall in love with a script you wrote and want to see it on the screen as badly as you do.

For more information visit The Passage’s official website here.

The Passage poster 1 - Interview: Anthony Altamura - Writer/Director of The Passage

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