Director Andy Edwards Discusses New Horror Anthology ‘Midnight Peepshow’ [FrightFest 2022 Exclusive Interview]

midnight peepshow 568x319 - Director Andy Edwards Discusses New Horror Anthology 'Midnight Peepshow' [FrightFest 2022 Exclusive Interview]

The new horror anthology film Midnight Peepshow had its world premiere at FrightFest this year, and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview segment director Andy Edwards after the screening. Andy wrote and directed the segment known as ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’, and you really cannot go wrong with a title like that. You can read our full interview with him below, where Andy discusses his involvement with Midnight Peepshow and his upcoming projects.

Airell Anthony Hayles, Ludovica Musumeci, and Doghouse’s Jake West also directed segments featured in Midnight Peepshow. Derek Nelson, Ocean M Harris, Ryan Oliva, Jamie Bacon, Miki Davis, Richard Cotton, Sarah Diamond, and Gremlins actor Zach Galligan star in the film.

Dread Central: Can you let us know what Midnight Peepshow is about?

Andy Edwards: Midnight Peepshow is a psychosexual threesome, a descent into the dark heart of desire. Or, to put it another way, Midnight Peepshow is an anthology film featuring three stories and one wraparound, each by a different director. I take one story, with Jake West (Doghouse) and Airell Anthony Hayles (They’re Outside) bringing us the other two. And last but by no means least, Ludovica Musumeci directs the wraparound story which links our three tales together.

That wraparound story sees a down-on-his-luck businessman (Richard Cotton) stumble across an old-fashioned peepshow in Soho. When he enters the establishment, he encounters the mysterious Madame (played by Chiara D’Anna), who tells him how the peepshow works. But when he pays his money and puts his eye to the slot, instead of being shown his desires, he is instead treated to a new story of sexual fantasies that take a dark turn.

It’s very much a cautionary tale, in the classic tradition of British anthologies of old, but dealing with modern themes such as the Dark Web and online voyeurism.

DC: How did you get involved in the film?

AE: Airell Anthony Hayles and Jake West had been working on the concept for a while, had written most of the script, and just needed a middle section to complete the film. They’d both seen an early screening of Graphic Desires (the erotic thriller I’d directed), and I’d been working with Airell on another film he was producing (The Unloved Ones, an up-coming home invasion thriller starring Jaime Winston). So they thought I might be a good fit for the film, and asked me to pitch them some potential ideas.

The rest of the script was fairly dark, so I knew it needed something a bit more blackly-comic in the middle, to serve as a palate cleanser, and the idea they liked best was ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’. Once I wrote the script it was then a case of integrating it into the wider world that Airell & Jake had come up with.

A lot of modern anthologies are a collection of shorts made across the world with very little connecting tissue, but all the sections of Midnight Peepshow interlink to form a cohesive film. And they were shot consecutively with the same crew, just tag-teaming each director in when it was their turn, again helping with the consistency.

DC: Can you tell us a bit more about your section in particular?

AE: My section is titled “Fuck, Marry, Kill”, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. A young woman (played by super talented newcomer Miki Davis) has to choose between three men – or they all die. It’s essentially a rom-com dilemma presented in the style of Saw. And we have Gremlins legend Zach Galligan playing the voice of the mysterious Gamesmaster who has placed them all in this perilous situation.

DC: You mention that the film deals with sexual fantasies? 

AE: Midnight Peepshow was made to be a movie for grown-ups, so we didn’t want to shy away from the sexual content. Sex is something that has started to disappear from our movie screens (albeit increasing on TV) as Hollywood continues to infantilize its audience.  Coupled with #MeToo and censorious streamers/regimes, I think this has definitely led filmmakers to be cautious about making films that feature this kind of story.

Whilst working on my erotic-thriller Graphic Desires last year, I wanted to show that it was possible to make a movie in that genre, but make it for a modern audience, and most importantly make it ethically – even on a low budget. And so we used an intimacy coordinator for all sex scenes, ensuring all cast and crew felt safe, and that no boundaries were crossed. As a result, I feel we made a film far more erotic than we could have done otherwise – with that safety net comes a freedom for the cast to express themselves.

I then brought the best practice I’d learned onto Midnight Peepshow with me, and recommended the use of my intimacy coordinator (Jamila Winget) to my fellow directors. This is a film that explicitly draws a link between sex and horror, with the protagonist peeping through the peepshow slot hoping to see the erotic, and instead viewing the horrific.

DC: Were you excited to premiere at FrightFest?

AE: Myself and the other directors are all huge fans of the genre, so regardless of whether we have a film showing or not, we’d be at FrightFest every year. So for it to premiere on the main screen, at (almost) midnight, just minutes from Soho where the film was shot – was the perfect way to do it.

DC: If people missed it at FrightFest where can they see it?

AE: It’s playing at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in the first week of September, and Paracinema in Derby. We’re waiting to hear back on a bunch of other festivals so hopefully, people will get a chance to see it soon.

DC: What’s next for you? 

AE: I’ve been pretty busy recently: My aforementioned erotic thriller Graphic Desires is currently out now in the UK on-demand, with a US release coming soon. And The Ghosts of Monday, which I co-wrote, also premiered at FrightFest this year. That’s coming out in the UK in early September.

Apart from that, I’m in post on Punch, a seaside-set slasher movie that we shot on location in Hastings and Clacton-on-Sea. The film stars a bunch of talented newcomers alongside Kierston Wareing (Fishtank), Jamie Lomas (Hollyoaks), and Daniel Fathers (The Void). We’re pitching it as Mike Leigh’s Halloween—a US-style slasher killer, but in iconic British seaside locations. We shot on piers, in amusement arcades, in chip shops, etc. The UK doesn’t have its own Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers. Until now, with the infamous Mr. Punch.

This is the second film produced by my own production company, Paranoid Android Films, and we’re in development on a bunch more. It’s early days but the dream is that we can start working with upcoming writers and directors, particularly ones from underrepresented groups, and become a place that champions new talent in genre-filmmaking.

midnight peepshow poster2 scaled - Director Andy Edwards Discusses New Horror Anthology 'Midnight Peepshow' [FrightFest 2022 Exclusive Interview]
Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter