Interview With Demon Hunter Writer/Director Zoe Kavanagh

On August 15th, Wild Eye Releasing will unleash Demon Hunter from writer/director Zoe Kavanagh. The horror actioner, which is said to be a frenetic slice ‘n’ dice, has taken more than 15 awards, including Best Director at the Fright Fest International Festival.

Demon Hunter Synopsis:

After she is captured by police for questioning in the slaying of a man she claimed was a demon, Taryn Barker, who is half human/half demon, must prove her innocence, and the existence of demons. But when a cult captures the daughter of one of the detectives on the case, the police must trust, and unleash, this warrior on the Satanic group who are intent on bringing an ancient evil force into the world.

Demon Hunter stars Niamh Hogan, Alan Talbot, Kevin O’Malley, Nic Furlong, Sarah Tapes Jenkinson, and Margarita Grillis.

Here’s our interview with Demon Hunter’s writer/director Zoe Kavanagh.

This movie has become quite a phenomenon. Are you surprised by that?
Yeah, to be honest, I am really taken aback by how much it’s blown up! I remember going to the Fright Night Film Fest back in November and sitting at the awards ceremony getting all pessimistic about the world and then suddenly we kept being called up to the stage to take our awards. The horror film festivals really embraced the film. Also an honor to win Best Director at Horrorhound back in march!

This is a small film that I spent years making, working with some of the best artists and film crews in the country. All of the odds were against me in the process, but I persevered and now it’s out there!

What were some of those initial fears – anything you worried about in the lead up to the release?
I was mostly too busy thinking about the marketing strategy for the UK and Irish release. I was working with my publicist for the first time and I was worried about the reaction and response from critics and if it would hurt the film. Turns out, on average, most critics seem to enjoy it, which is great. The film was self-financed and had a long journey through film festivals before it came out to the public. There has never been an Irish action horror film made before, so I knew I was tapping into something new but at the same time was it something that audiences wanted? Either way, it was the story and characters that I wanted to bring to life.


Do you remember the first review you got?
Ha, yeah. The first review I got was by OSW Reviews, the critic on that went to see the film at Horrorthon Dublin back in October. He criticized that fact that the screening was sold out and said that all of the people in the crowd must have been the director’s friends. I laughed, I never knew I carried 300 friends with me wherever I go. He then became distracted that the detective wore jeans and then dismissed the entire film over that.

What about the best one?
There’s been so many strong reviews by real critics who assessed the film fairly, such as RTE Guide, Dublin Enquirer, Nerdly, but Donald Clarke’s review in The Irish Times was certainly my favourite one. The fact that he understood the film, got the style and world building within its core, and had fun with the film overall really put a smile on my face.

Who has been the most supportive segment?
There’s been a lot of support for it and it’s truly amazing, I would have to go back to The Irish Times as the most supportive as Tara Brady is awesome and I really love the fact that she took the time to interview me about the production process of Demon Hunter and how it was a rough ride to make, especially in Ireland where films like this are rarely greenlit.


Do [positive reviews] benefit a filmmaker though? Have you noticed that more doors are opening for you now?
I think they do to an extent, there is an audience that will trust your film more and also the film may hold better in charts due to word of mouth. Though, it’s hard for me to confirm this. I do think it does help a film reach a larger audience.

I have been getting more commercial work and I do have a few features in development here in Ireland thanks to Demon Hunter. However, any companies out there looking to hire me, don’t hesitate to contact me haha!

More from Zoe Kavanagh after the jump…

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