Come readers, take my hand and let me lead you to hell as we at Horror Facts prepare to immerse you in the macabre mind and world of Andrew de Burgh, the writer/director behind the sinister new film, The Seductress from Hell.
Drawing inspiration for his new film from a plethora of iconic horror classics such as The Omen, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween, de Burgh details how he meticulously wove a tapestry of terror that pays homage to the genre’s timeless gems while forging a path of originality.
With a keen eye on the dark underbelly of Hollywood, the film also serves as a commentary on the narcissism and ego that permeate the entertainment industry, providing a haunting reflection of the industry’s darker side. From immersing himself in horror soundtracks to forcing himself to go to dark places, de Burgh shares the intricate process it took to craft his tale, offering a glimpse into the sinister and psychological depths of The Seductress from Hell.
Join us as we unravel the secrets behind the creation of this twisted narrative and explore the chilling visions that have brought this cinematic nightmare to life.
Horror Facts: Thank you for speaking with Horror Facts about your new film The Seductress from Hell.
Andrew de Burgh: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it as well.
HF: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind The Seductress from Hell?
ADB: I’m a huge horror fan, so I drew inspiration from some of my favorite horror films when making The Seductress from Hell. One film that particularly influenced The Seductress from Hell was Halloween, a film that left a lasting impression on me. The Halloween franchise as a whole played a role in shaping my vision. Other inspirations included classics like The Omen, Hellraiser 1 & 2, Maniac Cop, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the first three Child’s Play films. I also found inspiration in two phenomenal Korean horror films, The Wailing and I Saw the Devil, which added another layer to the creative process. Ultimately, I tried to blend elements from these influential horror films to create something that pays homage to the classics while still feeling fresh and original.
HF: With the film drawing inspiration from a wide range of horror classics, were there any specific scenes or elements that you paid homage to or reimagined for your movie?
ADB: I took a lot of inspiration from the core themes of those films, for example in the film The Wailing, the devil is one of the main characters, which inspired the inclusion of the satanic elements in my own story. Halloween and Child’s Play influenced me because I knew I wanted to incorporate a slasher element to the film, alongside the film’s thriller and psychological thriller aspects. From A Nightmare on Elm Street, I tapped into the concept of having Zara, the film’s main character appear in dream sequences as this she-devil, who haunts people’s dreams, much like Freddy Krueger. Maniac Cop served as inspiration for Zara’s journey in the film, like the titular character in Maniac Cop she starts as this good person, but unfortunately, trauma and tragedy befall her which ultimately triggers her transformation into a villain. Throughout the writing, directing, and even in the post-production process, I’ve continued to tap into, explore, and be influenced by these influential horror films while creating something fresh for horror fans.
HF: The story centers around a struggling Hollywood actress. Is there a commentary on the entertainment industry that you’re aiming to convey through this narrative?
ADB: Yes, there actually is. So, I have been in the entertainment business for almost eleven years now and there’s this dark side of Hollywood that I tapped into with this film, the narcissism, the ego, there’s definitely a commentary on LA and Hollywood.
HF: What drew you to cast Rocio Scotto, Jason Faunt, and James Hyde in the film?
ADB: For the role of Zara, we initially got 2000 submissions and saw dozens of self-tapes, which resulted in us having about 12 callbacks. In the end, Rocio Scotto stood out because she has this darkness to her when she acts which I thought could be cool for this film. We knew we wanted Jason Faunt for the role of Robert because he has this charisma on screen that I thought would lend itself well to the character, as Robert is a character that comes across as a good guy, but he’s actually this really bad guy, and I thought that Jason’s charism would play well on screen. Then with James Hyde who plays Jeffrey, he’s this psychopathic film producer who’s trying to seduce young actresses and we kind of thought that James has this menacing persona to him on camera that would play well for that role.
HF: Rocio Scotto is a newcomer taking on the title role. What convinced you that she was perfect for the role of Zara even though she is virtually unknown?
ADB: That’s a good question. One of the biggest things I consider when working with people is their passion and effort level, so even before casting her, I had in-depth conversations with her about how she was going to approach the role because I wanted to assess how much effort she was going to put into the role. I also explained that this was a huge opportunity for her and that she was going to have to put everything into it, and she didn’t disappoint.
HF: With such a dark and intense storyline, what challenges did you face as the writer and director?
ADB: I’ll start with writing. When I was writing The Seductress from Hell, to get into the mindset of this story I listened to a lot of horror soundtracks like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, and Candyman, to help me get into a dark place. So, that was challenging having to separate real life from writing the script but I was pretty pleased with it. Then when directing it, it was a challenge to shoot, as all shoots tend to be. I think because it was such a dark story and there are so many dark themes and scenes in the film, I did my best to try and create a very welcoming set for the cast and crew where people could feel comfortable, and there were no egos, it was kind of like a family. I tried to make people feel comfortable and with Rocio being an up-and-coming actress, and this being her first lead in a feature film, I knew I had to make it a very comfortable experience for her and we did everything we could to strive for that.
HF: The film boasts an impressive crew, with sound design by Steve Campagna and production design by Fabio Del Percio. How did their experience on major productions enhance the technical aspects of your film?
ADB: Fabio is insanely talented. His effort in coordinating the painting of the whole house before we started filming really brought the vision for the film to life. His contribution to the storyboards and the paintings we used in the shoot showcased his vast experience, which tremendously helped the film. I think viewers will be especially impressed with the production design because it’s incredibly detailed. Before coming on board, he wrote an analysis and presented it to me, highlighting different influences, including Suspiria. Being Italian, he’s very influenced by Dario Argento, so that was amazing. His wife, the film’s art director, also contributed significantly to our impressive set design. As for Steve Campagna, who has worked on major productions like Star Wars and Stranger Things, I had the opportunity to work with him last year on a TV show called The Twisted Doll, which is coming out next year. He’s going to mix our film in 5.1 surround sound, and he always has so many creative ideas for sound design. Though we haven’t started with him on this project yet, he’ll begin next month once we picture lock. Having worked with him in the past, I know his big-budget experience will bring a level of sound design to our film that you typically see in major films.
HF: Special effects makeup is often a crucial element in horror films. Can you discuss the work of Brittany Jamison-Lackey and how her expertise contributed to the horror elements of The Seductress from Hell?
ADB: Brittany Jamison-Lackey played an incredible role on our team. In pre-production, she was heavily involved in creating the special effects makeup. For instance, there’s a scene where a character’s arm is bitten off, and Brittany had to craft a realistic prosthetic arm at the studio. She didn’t stop there; she created various body parts—fingers, ears, arms—that look so real, especially in close-up shots, that they could be mistaken for actual flesh. Her expertise brought an authentic horror element to the film, elevating it beyond basic props and makeup. The quality of her work really adds to the film’s horror experience.
HF: Of all the scenes in The Seductress from Hell, which one in particular are you the proudest of?
ADB: That’s a great question. I would have to say one scene I’m particularly proud of is the dream sequence where Zara appears as a she-devil. Everything comes together seamlessly in that scene, from the stunning set design to the captivating cinematography. Monique, our talented makeup designer and department head, deserves credit for creating the satanic look for Zara. I love this scene because it showcases Zara at her most evil, and both Jason Faunt and Raj Jawa, who portrays Derek, deliver outstanding performances. So, that scene is definitely a highlight for me, but honestly, I have quite a few favorite scenes in the film.
HF: What do you hope audiences will take away from The Seductress from Hell?
ADB: There are a few things I would like to mention. I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fan, he’s been a big inspiration of mine for many years as a filmmaker and what I love about his movies is that they make you think at the end of watching them, they don’t necessarily hand everything to the audience, you have to think about the themes and what you’ve just seen on screen. So, for The Seductress from Hell, I hope people will take away a thought-provoking experience. We aim to depict Zara as a normal actress whose life is transformed by trauma and tragedy. This serves as a reflection of our society’s need for more empathy, where people treat each other with kindness, so we can prevent the creation of such monsters. Additionally, I hope audiences enjoy the music in the film. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Elezeid, a long-time partner, with whom I’ve been working with since 2015. I believe people will truly appreciate the music in this film as well. Ultimately, my main hope is that people simply enjoy the film.
HF: What do you think will make The Seductress from Hell stand out in the horror genre?
ADB: This film is more about the horror that people are capable of inflicting on one another. It’s how society has this ability to corrupt and turn people evil. That’s also why I was inspired by, I Saw the Devil, because in that film it showcases how this once-good guy becomes a kind of monster after tragedy befalls him. I wanted to tap into and illustrate the dark side of human nature and even Hollywood, there’s a lot of themes and social commentary on the entertainment industry and how it has this unnatural ability to change and corrupt people.
HF: Is The Seductress from Hell intended to be the start of a franchise? And if so, can you share your vision for the future of this series?
ADB: Yes, I hope for this film to be the start of a franchise since I grew up loving series like Child’s Play, Hellraiser, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The first film establishes Zara’s origin story with slasher and action elements. Potential sequels would focus more on those horror/action aspects, with Zara randomly terrorizing and killing people like Michael Myers. But I also want to tap into the psychological, dreamlike style of Freddy Krueger, with Zara’s two personas. So future films would blend slasher, action, and cerebral horror themes.
HF: When is the film set to be released?
ADB: We are targeting a 2024 festival circuit release.
As our unsettling conversation draws to a chilling climax, I’m left with the disturbing revelation that The Seductress From Hell aims to peel back the skin of civility to expose humanity’s gnarled soul. This is no mere carnival ride, but a hall of mirrors reflecting back the perversions ordinary people are capable of…if one dares gaze into the abyss.
As de Burgh prepares to unveil his love letter to horror onto the 2024 festival circuit ahead of a Halloween delivery, he invites audiences to peer behind the curtain of humanity…if you think your psyche can handle it. Because sometimes the most twisted monsters are the ones lurking in our communities, our own homes, or our very own heads. Will you dare lock eyes with the darkness?
You can follow The Seductress from Hell and stay up to date on her wicked ways by checking out the film’s social media links below.