||Rose: A Love Story is a romantic horror film starring Sophie Rundle and Matt Stokoe, who also penned the script, set in a wilderness of trees where a man obsessively looks after his wife, who suffers an unusual affliction that will be familiar to fright fans. But this is no ordinary vampire movie, it's something a little different, recommended to those who like to stray from the beaten path when it comes to horror. The project's producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley were kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
TSI: Were you always film fans? What were your particular favourites growing up?
A&S: Oh, for sure!! They allow you to escape for a couple of hours, to take you out and give you a respite from your own reality. We always thought about how incredible it was to make films that impact people in this way. Film is also a superb tool to give you an insight into many cultures and topics which you might not have had access to when you're younger. Our joint favourite film is Thelma and Louise. April will always say that Miss Congeniality is her favourite silly film and The Hours is her favourite serious film.
TSI: What attracted you to the script that you felt you could bring out in it as producers?
A&S: It's such an interesting take on the world of vampires. Of course, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the queen, but we felt Rose: A Love Story balanced this fascinating line of a fantastical character very much ground in a painfully, relatable world and relationship.
TSI: What was the location shooting like - any surprises? Looked cold!
A&S: The biggest surprise was the snow! In fact, we ended up being snowed in for a few days. We were very fortunate to find a location which had everything we needed, including 200 acres of forest. With that and the snow it made for a beautiful aesthetic on camera.
TSI: How do you think Rose: A Love Story fits in with the newish trend of "elevated horror", that arthouse style of chiller?
A&S: It's the combination of horror and drama which also was what drew us to the piece. It is a love story, we are invested in this couple, rooting for them until the very end. This newish trend is all about giving heart to the horror. We hope that audiences leave the film with wide eyes from the horror element and a heart wrenching exhale for the love story.
TSI: Presumably you did not foresee the pandemic when you were making this, but how do you see the film commenting on the current global crisis? There are some weird, timely parallels!
A&S: We actually shot the film in January 2019, little did we know at the time we were going to somewhat predict the future. When we watched it again at the premiere we were really taken aback by the parallels, not only because she's wearing a mask but also the avoidance of a stranger threatening your 'bubble'. It gave a whole new take on the film we had created, which is never a bad thing!
Many thanks to April and Sara for their replies, and Rose: A Love Story is well worth seeing as one of the better examples of the current wave of classy British horror, so check it out when you get the chance, readers.