Quick Q&A Interview – Director’s Spotlight Part II: Our Favorite Shorts From Hulu’s Bite Size Halloween

Halloween is coming and October is not over yet! Stay in the spirit with Hulu’s Bite Size Halloween which highlights 30 unique horror shorts from a bevy of up-and-coming horror filmmakers whose soul desire is to scare you and anyone else in your pod. So stop doom-scrolling and dive into some fun sized entertainment!

Yesterday, we put together a Quick Q&A with three filmmakers and put a spotlight on their standout entries. Today, we have a couple more mini interviews with Aislinn Clarke (The Devil’s Doorway) talking about her short Eye Exam about a spaced out visit to the optometrist, and Alexis Jacknow’s tokophobic baby horror short, The Clock.

Ideally, we’d interview every filmmaker involved in Bite Size Halloween. They all contributed something worthwhile to the genre and the season. You can watch the entire collection on Hulu as well as Freeform and FX.

Synopsis: Bite Size Halloween ranges from horror comedy to psychological thrillers and everything in between. Created by up-and-coming filmmakers, these films will screen across digital and broadcast platforms Freeform, FX, and Hulu’s Huluween platform hub and YouTube channel.

Aislinn Clarke Quick Q&A for Eye Exam

Eye Exam by Aislinn Clarke
Dread Central: Combining the fear of going to the doctor and a B-movie sci-fi sensibility with the cyclops creatures really stood out. Are you a fan of 50s sci-fi in general?

Aislinn Clarke: I am. The script wasn’t written as a period piece but it just screamed 1950’s Outer Limits to me, so that’s how I visualized it from the beginning. 

DC: I noticed the quote “These are not the eyes you are looking for.” Please confirm that is, in fact, a Star Wars reference.

AC: I will have to ask Jack [Tarling]! I didn’t write that line so I’m not sure. 

DC: I reviewed Devil’s Doorway when it came out and I remember you were championed as the first Irish woman to write and direct a horror feature. Are you seeing a bigger film community in Ireland, especially after the infrastructure put in place by Game of Thrones? Boys From County Hell has been a standout for Northern Ireland horror specifically.

AC: Yes. Northern Ireland had a civil war for 30 years. It was not a wealthy or peaceful place to be, and that atmosphere doesn’t lend itself to great filmmaking. We did have some really standout documentaries in that time and Irish people have always been great storytellers, so it was just about a lack of access to infrastructure and opportunity. GoT really helped establish a world class filmmaking infrastructure here, which absolutely helped nurture home grown grass roots talent. 
A different kind of eye chart in Eye Exam

Alexis Jacknow Quick Q&A for Clock

Clock by Alexis Jacknow

Dread Central: What were some of the challenges with filming with a baby? 

Alexis Jacknow: Everyone always cautions you against filming with a baby, but Dylan (the baby) herself was actually a dream to work with and so were her parents.  The biggest challenges were our time constraints. Legally, we could only have her on set for a couple hours and we couldn’t keep her past a certain time, so we had to thread the needle between the sun going down, getting complete dark in the garage, and her wrap time.  And of course, everyone was in a mask and face shield and standing far away when we had an infant on set who could not herself wear a mask. So, just being heard through those barriers while filming in a garage right off several noisy freeways was no small feat!

DC: Do you feel like you’re really tapping into a deep-seeded fear that a lot of women have?

AJ: Absolutely. It’s personally my biggest fear and I know I’m not alone. 

DC: Does horror allow us to talk a little more freely about that fear? 

AJ: Oh, yeah. Horror is entertaining. It makes people sit up and pay attention. I love couching social issues in genre for that very reason. It’s my mission as a filmmaker to create empathy and my hope for this piece is to generate understanding for those of us with a biological clock and the pressures we face. I think a lot of women experience the dilemma of “having it all” and the more we talk about it and show it, the sooner we’ll get to a better place when it comes to maternity leave, job security, and re-defining gender roles.  

DC: The Bite Size Hulu Shorts seem like the perfect place for Clock because couples are watching and laughing but, maybe, those harder conversations will be a little easier to have after watching.

Watch the entire Bite Size Halloween collection on Hulu and Happy Halloween!



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter