Exclusive Interview: Darren Bousman Returns To Horror With Spiral And Death Of Me

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Director Darren Lynn Bousman helped change the face of modern Halloween for years. As the director of Saw 2, Saw 3, and Saw 4, he orchestrated bloody, tortuous scares that filled the big screen each Halloween season from 2005 through 2007. This continued the tradition set by the very first Saw film, directed by fellow horror master James Wan, which launched the franchise on October 29 in 2004.

After many years absence, Bousman recently returned to the world of Saw with the next horrifying installment Spiral, which stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson. It, too, was supposed to land in October this year and continue the Halloween domination tradition, but COVID caused a postponement until next May.

Darren Bousman Speaks On Death Of Me

 Director Darren Bousman Previews Saw Sequel ‘Spiral’ and New Film ‘Death of Me’

But that doesn’t mean Halloween will be without a Bousman film this year. The director’s latest horror movie, Death of Me, opened October 2 in theaters and VOD. It’s already scaring up fans with its eerie premise and splatter-ific payoffs. Although the film is set on the beautiful tropic beaches of Thailand, Bousman promises some signature gore.

Listen, it’s a Darren Bousman film. There’s violence, there’s guts that get ripped out, there’s people’s eyes that are pierced—it’s got that in there. I think the older I’ve gotten, and now that I’ve had kids, gore has stopped being a gimmick to me—which it used to be. It used to be a gimmick, where I would use it and be like, can I just do the grossest thing. Now I think the violence serves a purpose in the story. There’s still that violence, but I think it’s a little more refined and a little more tasteful, but it’s still f—ing gross. We do rip body parts out in this movie. It is a horror film. It’s got bad, disgusting images, and there’s a lot of blood in it. So yeah, it does have all that.

Just What Is Death Of Me About?

The film has been described as a horror version of the classic 2009 comedy The Hangover. A vacationing couple—played by Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth—wake up from an apparent night of partying to discover a troubling video that shows the husband violently killing and burying the wife. They have no memory of this ever happening, only pounding hangovers.

As they try to flee the island in the face of an oncoming typhoon, they find themselves trapped. They’re embroiled in a horrifying mystery that threatens to destroy them if they can’t figure it out. With echoes of The Wicker Man and Rosemary’s Baby, Bousman’s latest addition to the horror genre delivers in all the ways his fans have come to expect—mystery, confusion, grisly gore and horrifying images.

A Completely Different Take On Horror, That Feels Similar

But, according to Bousman, making Death of Me was completely different than making the Saw films. “They’re completely different, every aspect of them,” he insists. “When you do a movie like Spiral, you have an abundance of time… with Spiral I think there was a 7-week prep and a 45-day shoot. What that allows you to do is to think and to process and to change. But that also allows there to be a lot of voices….sometimes an idea gets changed or more watered down because of the time you have because there’s more of a committee.”

But what you do get on a movie like Spiral is that you have time to do those dynamic shots, the transitions, the swooping crane movements. In a movie like Death of Me it’s the opposite. It’s run-n-gun, it’s guerilla. But what’s great about that is that there are not a lot of voices—you just have to run, gun, shoot, hope you got it, and move on.

Death of Me is out now in theaters (check your local listings) and on VOD. To see our full interview with Darren Bousman, watch DON’T FEAR THE REAPER on That Hashtag Show’s Youtube Channel on Tuesday, October 6. Bousman doesn’t hold back, and talks about almost getting arrested in Thailand for joking about watching Porn; his favorite scenes in Death of Me and why he thinks daylight is creepy; being inspired by Pulp Fiction; the things that scare him; working with Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson on next year’s Spiral; and so much more. Don’t miss it!

So, if you’re in the need for more horror content, make sure to check out THS Fright-A-Thon.

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