INTERVIEW: Subverting Horror Expectations and Rattlesnake with Writer-Director Zak Hilditch

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Zak Hilditch Rattlesnake

Netflix Original Rattlesnake is closing out the month of October for the platform with solid psychological horror uses the supernatural and morality in the best ways. At the Austin Film Festival, I got a chance to speak with the film’s writer-director Zak Hilditch about storytelling, subverting expectations, and how the spirit of Stephen King horror runs through the character driven film, Rattlesnake

If you haven’t watched it yet, Rattlesnake is the last in the Netflix and Chills Halloween line-up, a psychological thriller, single-mother Katrina is forced to decide what she would do save who she loves most in the world when her daughter is bitten by the titular rattlesnake. Pulled into the middle of a curse that has plagued the small town in Texas where Katrina has found herself, she’s forced to decide what souls mean more than others all before sundown.

The film, which debuted at the Austin Film Festival was a blast to watch and from a storytelling perspective, Hilditch gives and in depth explanation about what exactly goes into making a film where audiences will be trying to guess the ending. For Zak Hilditch, audiences like to be detectives, they like to call out the ending and in Rattlesnake it was his job to make sure he was throwing them off at every turn. Additionally, it was important that the horror in the film came from an emotional place, from the moral struggle that Katrina is put through. While the story’s supernatural elements crafted a lore and world well beyond what we could imagine.

About the Director

Zak Hilditch is an Australian director and screenwriter known for 1922 (2017), an adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novella of the same name, also a Netflix original, and These Final Hours (2013) which is an Australian apocalyptic thriller that was screened as part of the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

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