INTERVIEW: Director Padraig Reynolds on Atmospheric Slasher ‘Open 24 Hours’

Open 24 Hours will be playing at Frightfest London 2018.

The screening will take place on Monday 27th August at 10.45am and 11.15am at Leicester Square Cineworld.

Tickets are available here!

Horror has a habit of creeping up on us in isolated, out-of-the-way locations, as much as we may like to believe that we’ve left it in our pasts. Such is the case in Padraig Reynolds‘ new movie, Open 24 Hours, in which ex-mental patient, Mary (Vanessa Grasse), finds herself at the mercy of a serial murderer who only strikes in the rain.

We caught up with Padraig to discuss his latest film.

Tom: What is it about a 24-hour gas station that struck you as being the perfect location for a horror film?

Padraig: When I was shooting my first film, Rites of Spring, we had this killer gas station that was in the middle of nowhere. While hanging out there at night, I thought I would write a whole movie around this great location. So I went back to my hotel and started drafting it up. I love isolated horror flicks whether they take place in a hotel, house or creepy-ass gas station.

Tom: Where there any challenges that came with centring your film around a small location?

Padraig: I got lucky in that I had a lot of rooms to explore inside and out. I made sure that I gave each room its own unique feature. My biggest fear was that the audience would get bored staring at a girl at a counter for 90 minutes. But we were able to do some pretty cool stuff to break things up.

Tom: You’ve previously cited High Tension as an influence on Open 24 Hours. Can you point to any other filmic influence that had an impact on the film?

Padraig: I also mentioned John Carpenter‘s Body Bags episode The Gas Station. I was really surprised that there aren’t many gas station related horror flicks. I can only think of two that completely revolve around a gas station. My other influences were Rider On The Rain with Charles Bronson. But the biggest influence was the gas station itself. It’s in Mississippi and the people that own it are super sweet guys.

Tom: What role does ambiguity play in the film and how important was it for you to keep the audience guessing?

Padraig: I think mind-game movies are a blast. And they give you the freedom to do crazy shit. Mary suffers from hallucinations, so that gave us tons of stuff to try and really push the ‘what’s real and what’s not’ button.

Tom: Do any sequences stand out in your memory as having been particularly challenging to shoot?

Padraig: The first night with a rain machine. Holy crap, that was a nightmare. It was freezing outside and we had a rain machine, but the power kept going out just as I would yell “Action”. And our actor would be in the rain and then have to go inside ’cause the power would go out. It was awful. We found out that a coffee maker was making the power go out. How crazy was that?

Tom: You originally had the idea for Open 24 Hours whilst shooting Rites of Spring. Were there any lessons that you learned on your previous films that you were able to employ on your latest project?

Padraig: Just keep making movies. I found out after my first feature that you really can’t control things. You just have to shoot it, edit it and release it and hope that people dig it.

Tom: Are there any parallels between Open 24 Hours and your previous work or is it something of a departure?

Padraig: So I shot Open 24 Hours in Serbia at a gas station we modelled after one we had in Mississippi. While I was shooting, I kept thinking, “This is good ’cause it won’t feel or look like my last 2 movies”. But it does. I’m a huge fan of the rural America look. All three movies look like they are in the same world. I don’t think that is a bad thing. I think it’s my style, which is fine with me.

Tom: Lastly, do you have any other projects that you would like to talk about?

Padraig: Yes… I’m in Georgia, Russia right now, shooting my 4th feature called Dark Light  It’s a sci-fi horror movie and it should be coming out in 2019.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Padraig Reynolds for speaking with us! You can keep up to date with him and his projects on Twitter.


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