Writer-director Tommy Stovall‘s (Hate Crime, Aaron’s Blood, Sedona) new film Room For Rent, starring horror icon Lin Shaye, will soon be released. Ahead of its arrival, I sat down with Stovall to discuss the horror thriller, his previous work, and what he’s doing now.
Room for Rent centers on a lonely widow Joyce (Shaye) who rents out a room to make ends meet. She meets mysterious drifter Bob and takes him in as a tenant, but soon becomes obsessed with her much younger guest, making him the object of her deepest romantic fantasies. When a friend’s betrayal derails Joyce’s fantasy world, she seizes control of her own destiny with a deadly mission.
Horror Fuel: “Your award-winning film Aaron’s Blood is a unique twist on the vampire genre, how did that idea come to you?”
Tommy: “Well, the idea actually, my son played the child vampire in the film. When he was a lot younger, maybe five years old or so, I was joking around with him and asked if could play any part in a movie what would it be? For some reason, he said a vampire. I didn’t really think much about it then. Later I was thinking about something that I could do with him and the idea just came up again. Then I just got the idea of a father-son relationship, which is what the movie is really about. It grew from there.”
Horror Fuel: “It’s fantastic that you two can share that as father and son. Has he been in any more of your films?”
Tommy: “Yeah, he has actually been in all of them, some small roles and some larger. He was in Sedona and he has a very small part in Room for Rent.”
Horror Fuel: I imagine it’s awesome to have him in your films.”
Tommy: “Yeah, it’s fun.”
Horror Fuel: “I want to hear, from your perspective, about Room for Rent.”
Tommy: “I found the Room for Rent script online, the writer’s name is Stuart Flack, and I really liked the character of Joyce. The first person I thought of was Lin Shaye. I floated the idea to the writer and he loved it, so I sent the script out to Lin and asked if she was interested. Luckily, she was.”
Horror Fuel: “Lin is fantastic. I’m a fan of her work. She was great in Room for Rent, her character is a little psychotic, but a little sad.”
Tommy: “She was incredible.”
Horror Fuel: “What was it like to work with Lin?”
Tommy: “She’s great to work with and a lot of fun to be around. She’s such a down to earth person. She loves acting and she really puts everything she has into it. With this picture, she started working on the character a few months before we started shooting. She really tried to give this character a lot of depth and I think she did. You can see such a transformation in the character.”
Horror Fuel: “When can our readers see in the movie?”
Tommy: “The movie comes out May seventh. It will be out on Digital and DVD. Just before that, if anyone is going to be in Los Angeles, we’re going to play for a week in the theaters in LA at the Cinelounge starting May third. May seventh it comes out everywhere, all the platforms, iTunes, Amazon.”
Horror Fuel: “Awesome. I really enjoyed it. I think our readers will too. It feels like you have to pity Lin’s character but at the same time fear her.
Tommy: “I thought that was what was so interesting. I’m glad you said that. You do empathize with her at the beginning of the movie. I think that’s important. It’s a complex character.”
Horror Fuel: “I agree. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you film?”
Tommy: “Oh, thank you. We filmed in Sedona, Arizona. That’s where I live. We found a great house here to film in and we shot in and around Sedona.”
Horror Fuel: “Is it correct that you have another film that is currently in development?”
Tommy: “I do. It’s called Condition of Return. We are trying to get that off the ground. Hopefully, we’ll be able to shoot it sometime soon. It’s a really interesting project. It’s about a woman who sells her soul to the devil, but then she wants it back. I think it’s a cool concept. It a supernatural suspense type movie with some very interesting characters.”
Horror Fuel: “It sounds like it. Is there anything else that you are working on?”
Tommy: “I don’t have any scripts but I do have some ideas. I will tell you that we take one project at a time and we’ll see what happens.”
Horror Fuel: “You wear a lot of hats, producer, writer, director, How do you balance it all, especially when you have to do all three?”
Tommy: “I kind of see it all as part of the overall process. I like to be independent. The last couple of films we’ve done, we haven’t had a lot of crew, we kept it pretty small. You get to be creative. I enjoy all that. When you are making a film you try to do everything you can. You try to do everything as efficiently as you can.”
Horror Fuel: “Which of those roles do you find more challenging?”
Tommy: “I think it is probably producing. Directing is the most creative for me. Producing is making sure everything is going right, people are where they need to be, and have the right location, and all that stuff. You’re hoping all along that nothing goes wrong. You’re constantly fixing problems. It’s the most challenging.”
Be sure to check out Tommy Stovall’s Room for Rent starring Lin Shaye. For behind the scene images, sneak peeks, and to learn more please visit the Room for Rent’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages as well as the film’s official website.