An Interview With Tyler Christensen Writer-Director Of House Of Purgatory

October 13, 2016

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]

Today, I had a conversation with Tyler Christensen. We talked about a lot of things including the state of horror, his new film ‘House of Purgatory‘, and the future of film. Honestly, it was the best conversation about horror I’ve had in a long time.

 

tyler-1

 

Christensen’s background is in reality TV, but his true love is the horror genre. He has produced several series that you may have seen, ‘Billy the Exterminator’, ‘Wild West Alaska’ and more. He was much more eager to talk about his first film, ‘House of Purgatory’, which will be released on October 21st.

 

purgatory 1

 

Horror Fuel: You have produced several reality series. What made you decide to switch to writing horror?

TC: I’ve always wanted to. But reality is what has payed the bills. I’m in LA and I thought it was time, so I took six months off to write the script for House of Purgatory. The one thing I got from college was how to write a script.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Your first film, House of Purgatory, which you both wrote and directed, will soon see release. Can you tell us about it?”

TC: “I’m from Green Bay. There was this popular urban legend when I was in high school about a haunted attraction that pops up on Halloween. We all knew someone, who knew someone, whose cousin went and never returned. It popped up again while I was in college. It’s always stuck with me. So, I decided t make a film about it.”

 

 

Our conversation trailed off onto the subjects of dogs for a few minutes after one of mine barked. This is when we Tyler, a true dog lover, told me a cool piece of trivia about the opening scene of ‘House of Purgatory’. In the scene you see three young women carving pumpkins. If you look at refrigerator you will notice two photos, one of his nephew, and one of his beloved rescue dog Lambeau (like the Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field). After a while we got back on the subject of his film.

 

Horror Fuel: “What made you choose those four secrets that come out in the film?”

TC: “I think every teenager has a fear of disappointing their parents. Some people think that I’m trying to make a statement with the secrets. I’m not. And the characters are not paying for their sins. It’s about the ugliest skeleton you can imagine in your closet. I drew inspiration from people I know and their skeletons. We all have them.”

 

tyler-2

 

Horror Fuel: “Who is the man with the skeleton face?”

TC: “The Skeleton, that is Brian Krause. Brian appeared for several seasons on Charmed as Leo, the angel. Get a well known actor and cover his face so no one knows who he is, PR and studios love that. He plays the director of the Carnival, taking souls. In my head he is a past victim of the house, serving out his own purgatory. You can see the pain on his face in the final scene while he’s talking.”

 

purgatory-2

 

Horror Fuel: “I loved the pumpkin scene in the woods.”

TC: “Thank you. I had this vision in my head. I had artwork done and showed it to my mother and she suggested turning them upside down.  They represent the moment in the woods when the character’s lives are truly turned upside down.”

 

tyler-3

 

Horror Fuel: ” Where was the movie filmed?”

TC: “That’s a funny story. Two days before were set to start filming at this haunted house in Green Bay, they backed out. So, I broke out the phone book hoping to find another place we could start filming, this was on November 2nd of last year. Luckily, I called another haunted house and a guy answered. I told him what was going on. He loved the script and we started filming the next day at Green Bay Fear. The attraction was already set up so we had to make a few script adjustments, but we got it done. We shot the movie in a total of 12 days.”

 

Horror Fuel: “So Tyler, what is your favorite horror film?”

TC: “I think I have to say Jaws. It’s the only movie that pops into my mind. I’ll go to the beach and when I get deep enough where I can’t stand up I suddenly think of Jaws…dunna dunna dunna… and I’m like, “Never mind. I’ll just be on the beach making sandcastles.’ Scream is another one, the way they balance both comedy and horror in one film. And The Exorcist. I loved Blair Witch and the advertising was genius. IT still stands up today. I’m really looking forward to the reboot, if you can call it that, it was a mini series and we’ve come along way with what we can do.  And of course Halloween.”

 

Our conversation trailed off again after Tyler asked me if I had seen any good films lately. We got on the subject of the found footage sub-genre and how it has become over used. Then I asked…

 

Horror Fuel: “Are you going to a haunted attraction for Halloween?”

TC: “We have already been to Universal’s Halloween Horror Night and to Knotts. We may do a haunted hay ride or go to the Queen Mary. There’s a brewery I’ll probably go to.”

Horror Fuel: “In costume?”

TC: “Every year, well we started last year, we go as a horror villain and a victim. Last year I went as Jason. I’m 6′ 4″ and over 200 lbs. I make a decent Jason.”

 

‘House of Purgatory’ will be released on October 21st. Laura Coover, Marika Engelhardt, Brad Fry, and Aaron Galvin co-star in this new twist on the haunted attraction sub genre. It’s one that we haven’t seen before and it is definitely worth seeing. You can pre-order it now on iTunes. Follow the film on Twitter and Facebook for updates, behind the scene photos and more.

 

You May Also Like…