Filmmaker Richard Rowntree took part in a show on the BBC to find the next great horror director late last year. The Fear screened short films from independent directors to a cinema audience, who were monitored via secret camera to record their every jump or scream. From over 500 entries, Rowntree’s film DOGGED finished joint-fifth. As well as success on The Fear, DOGGED is currently being considered for several film festivals.
The film was made in a day, for a budget of £300. It focuses on Sam and his girlfriend Lola, victims of a masked peeping tom, who become caught up in a spiral of paranoia and cult murder. Richard told us that when developing the feature, he aims to have higher production values, flesh out the film’s characters, and a much more detailed story. In order to fund the feature adaptation, he will be turning to the horror community of Kickstarter for support.
The Kickstarter campaign will aim to raise £15,000 for the budget, with downloads of the film available for anyone who donates more than £25. Signed script cover pages, credits on the film, the opportunity to be an extra or a runner for a day, and tickets to both the wrap party and the cast & crew screening event will also be available when the campaign launches.
I had the opportunity to check out the short film, and it’s definitely something I’d like to see developed. It’s symbolism is subtle, but integrally linked to it’s fairy tale inspiration. There’s a great deal of action in the short, and it’s well-done, succinct and builds fear and tension seamlessly. It blends distorted visuals and music to create an unsettling, jarring experience that will set viewers on edge – as a good horror film should. Importantly, it reminds that scares can be made without a massive budget.
The filmmaker told us to expect “Little Red Riding Hood” meets The Wicker Man crossed with The Hills Have Eyes. That’s a pretty accurate description, and they blend together amazingly well. Keep up with the latest updates on the film and follow Richard on Twitter.