Interview: ARTIK Writer/Director Tom Botchii & Star Chase Williamson Talk Torture & Breaking Cycles - Dread Central
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Interview: ARTIK Writer/Director Tom Botchii & Star Chase Williamson Talk Torture & Breaking Cycles

ARTIK Keyart BB 183x300 - Interview: ARTIK Writer/Director Tom Botchii & Star Chase Williamson Talk Torture & Breaking Cycles

The latest release from Dread Presents is Artik, the story of a serial killer obsessed with comic books and finding a true hero. A gritty example of Southern Gothic, the film addresses issues of addiction, abuse, and poverty. Those with timid sensibilities be warned: Artik goes to some very dark and violent places.

Dread Central was lucky enough to sit down with the film’s writer/director Tom Botchii and Chase Williamson who plays the film’s protagonist. Read about what it was like to simulate torture as well as the film’s deeper messages below.

Synopsis:
A comic book obsessed serial killer teaches his son how to get away with a series of brutal murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man who threatens to expose everything.


Dread Central: Tom, you have an IMDB Page but no bio. It’s all rather mysterious! Can you just tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into filmmaking?

Tom Botchii: Yeah, I got into filmmaking by making documentaries, It’s a long story so I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes: I did this project on being homeless and I didn’t realize how much emotion can be conveyed through storytelling. Then I got really into film editing and then I just started falling into directing more and more: Music videos and things like that; working in television here and there. And so that’s how I got into filmmaking: Through making documentaries and trying to capture the stories that were happening around me.

DC: Chase, your IMDB bio says you were in a comedy improve group in college, but most you’ve got a ton of horror in your filmography. How did you go from comedy to horror and what do you like about making horror movies?

Chase Williamson: That’s true. I started in comedy and quickly transitioned into horror, but the two genres aren’t as different as they seem. The stakes are so high in both comedy and in horror.

DC: What were your favorite horror movies growing up?

CW: The movie that scared me growing up was Return to Oz, which I think is actually the scariest movie ever made. It started giving me a lot of warped and demented thoughts growing up, long before I ever saw Michael, Freddy, or Jason.

TB: Return to Oz is sick. I saw Friday the 13th Part 5, the one where they’re at the halfway home for wayward boys. I saw that when I was probably 5-years-old and it all spiraled from there!

DC: How would you defend Artik against someone trying to dismiss it as pointless torture porn?

CW: By torturing them for days!

DC: Chase, there are some gnarly torture scenes in Artik. Was any of that difficult to film?

CW: That chair wasn’t especially easy to get in and out of. Most of the time, you know, it was no big deal, but things could definitely get intense.

Chase Williamson Artik 1024x425 - Interview: ARTIK Writer/Director Tom Botchii & Star Chase Williamson Talk Torture & Breaking Cycles

DC: Tom, thematically, Artik seems to be about mental illness, poverty, and cycles of abuse. Can you talk about the film’s bigger messages?

TB: I was just tired of seeing the same horror characters on screen. In terms of bigger message, I think people are living in patters, in cycles repeating the things they’re doing without knowing how to break out. Like Chase’s character: He always gravitated towards chaos.

DC: Anything else you’d like to tell me about Artik before I let you go?

TB: If you’re into serial killers and comic books, then I think it’s the perfect project to check out. We tried to do something different and create a totally unique vibe, so definitely expect something different!

You can pick up your copy of Artik on Blu-ray now, HERE.

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