|Jimmy Dempster and Isabella Ulrich
“You just gonna stare at this thing all night long?” – Man
Well let’s not spoil things! This is a fairly unsettling horror short that manages to generate quite an eerie mood and maintaining it till the end. It’s got some disturbing imagery (and a nicely timed jump scare) in the beginning but soon it’s laid out pretty straightforwardly what said box really is but the journey to the conclusion is well played out. Cinematography and lighting achieve a claustrophobic feel as the Man comes close to his inescapable destiny and atmospheric black and white flashbacks flesh the story out. It’s not anything ground breaking but it’s a good tale that’s told well with some well appreciated stylistic flourishing that horror buffs will find enjoyable.
Directorial duties are well handled but actor Dempster carries the heavy load. He hardly has any dialogue but his thoughts are conveyed by a voice over and Dempster creates a sympathetic character.
“Box” is worth the watch.
An added bonus !
The leading man in “Box”, Jimmy Dempster, was up for a short Q&A regarding “Box” and some other matters.
How did “Box” come together?
BOX came together out of a conversation my good friends DP Brandt Hackney and Director Lee Thongkham had one day after all of us had just finished work on some other projects including one all of us worked on together. We started talking about what we liked and didn’t like about the industry in particular the Horror genre. The talk brewed into “why don’t we make a film” with little to no budget and using just what we have. We wanted to test ourselves and see if we could make something hopefully interesting combining some of our favorite genres like Noire, Arthouse, Drama, Thriller and Horror without all the fake outs and cheap jumps.
In viewing “Box” some imagery from iconic horror films sprang to mind. Where any visuals directly inspired by other films?
It’s funny because a lot of people have asked that as well and from my recollection when I was filming a scene I didn’t really have anything or any one scene specifically in mind with the exception of the finale where I was heavily in the mind of Jack Nicholson from “The Shining” as well as Richard Brake from “31” at the time. Lee and Brandt may have had some ideas/influences and there have been many people tell me that the film fits right in with Tales from the Crypt, Twilight Zone and Creepshow and I would have to agree and for us to hear that is an honor.
The tale in “Box” is rather sad. Is there any lesson that you and director/writer Lee Thongkham wanted to impart?
One of the cool things about the story is it can be taken so many different ways it can be sad, happy, it all depends on what you want out of it really and That was intentional . But mostly the overall story revolves around tragedy, loss, heartbreak, holding onto ones past and the dangers of trying to repress it.
I would imagine that making a short film and promoting it is easier today than it was pre-YouTube days and social media. For instance; “Box” has 62K views on YouTube. Would you agree? Or is it such a crowded marketplace nowadays because of the ease of which material can be distributed?
While making a film is no easy task distributing it properly is maybe even harder. There is no shortage of platforms these days to get your product and there is even more competition and it helps to have something stand out. I took a risk going with Kings Of Horror Network since from what I’ve seen they have a ton of predominantly straight-up horror, exploitation films and I wasn’t sure if it was the right fit for BOX as it is more of a Horror/Noire and not a straight up slasher type film. But judging from the returns and the comments I couldn’t be happier with the response.
How long did it take filming “Box”?
We shot BOX mostly on weekends and some week days at the end of 2016 in central Florida and some post/pick ups in Atlanta.
Has “Box” opened any doors for you personally as an actor?
Box has opened a few doors. I have met some great people and have been invited to appear at conventions and have done several podcasts. Also since I was able to show a more vulnerable side of myself in the film I have been approached to do some more work based on my performance which always is awesome.
Are you personally a horror and/or cult movie fan? If so; what movies are your favourites?
I am a huge horror fan that and old-school action flicks and many of the roles I get asked to play are sadistic villains including portraying real life killers on a couple tv shows so the chance to flip it around a bit was fun. I have way too long a list but “The Exorcist” is my all time favourite horror-suspense, “Fight Club” is up there as well for all around awesome flicks I can never get bored of watching.
Any directors you’re particularly fond of?
Favorite Filmmakers in no particular order let’s see.. George Romero, John Carpenter, David Fincher, Wes Craven, John Woo, Ari Aster, Brett Mullen , Lee Thongkham, James Wan, William Friedkin, Tobe Hooper, Spielberg 🤘😎
On my blog I advocate the purchasing of physical media; i.e. Blu-ray’s, DVD’s etc. when it comes to classic and/or cult films. Do you share the sentiment or do you prefer streaming only? Or a mix of both?
Some things are great for streaming but I’m an old-school collector so if there’s a special edition of a film/series I really dig with great documentaries and bonus discs then yeah I gotta have it in a physical form haha.
What’s next for Jimmy Dempster?
Well next up for me is a film called “Killer Babes and the Frightening Film Fiasco” co-starring a who’s who of great Genre talent including Tiffany Shepis, Lisa Wilcox, Emma Bellomy, Debbie Rochon, Jenna Kanell, Linnea Quigley and more. Scheduled for a Halloween 2020 release. “Kings Gambit” is a thriller now streaming on demand, coming soon also is “Dark Roads 79 co-starring Bill Moseley and “The Fury” co-starring Lillo Broncatto (from The Sopranos, A Bronx Tale). You can check me out on the new series “Deadly Cults ” premiering on Oxygen Network Sunday May 24th 7pm and “To Catch A Killer” coming soon on ID Network. Of course Box is always available to stream on demand at Kings of Horror Network on YouTube 😎👌 I’m leaving some out and I’m forgetting some I’m sure but yeah you get the idea haha.
Ever visited Iceland?
I have never visited Iceland..but I’m not ruling it out as I have met some amazing people from there as well as done some interviews for magazines so yeah I am definitely open to visiting !!
A big thanks to Mr. Dempster for taking time for this Q&A.