Two days deep into the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, and what a wild ride it’s been. Already six feature films and ten short films in the books, with a whole lot more left on the docket. Dreams has been quite the experience, able to draw 30 filmmakers from all over to come and show their art and run Q&A’s. There has yet to be a single film you could label as “bad” this entire festival, but the standout to this point has to be the electrifying Tonight She Comes. A throwback possession horror, that draws inspiration from 80’s slasher greats, director Matt Stuertz delivers an insane experience. We had a chance to sit down with Matt for a few quick questions before he had to run out to continue his tour of festivals, promoting his film.
Q) I was able to catch the Q&A last night, so I know more about the movie, but wanted to know a little more about you as a filmmaker. Where are you From?
I’m from St. Louis, and we made the movie, sort of in St. Louis in a small town about hour away.
Q) Making films isn’t something most people decide to do on a whim, what made you want to pursue it as a career?
I guess just being a huge fan of movies in general. It was probably 10-15 years ago that I just picked up a little handy cam and started making stupid little short films, and then just kept going and going, working with friends and then eventually bringing in more and more professionals. But yea it all just comes from a love of movies.
Q) The Movie (Tonight She Comes), whether indirectly or directly has a lot of classic horror flavor.
Yea, this is totally inspired by a lot of the 70’s and 80’s horror, all the classics.
Q) So what or who are your biggest influences as a filmmaker?
Definitely a lot of the greats like John Carpenter and Wes Craven. In terms of newer filmmakers-definitely Ti West, House of The Devil is one of my favorite movies of all time. So there are a few little influences from that (House of The Devil) even though the two really couldn’t be more different. A lot of the movies that I love are really more serious and psychological slow burn, not necessarily totally insane, and then I filter them into my style which is that-crazy, things flying all over the place.
Q) The film doesn’t really rely on heavy exposition to tell the story, which sort of creates a unique experience for each viewer, was that the goal?
Oh definitely yes. I’ve found so far that it seems that people that like the stuff I do, really, really like it, and others that don’t, really hate it-but I’m totally cool with that, I kind of love it. Some people want a lot of exposition, and they probably won’t like my stuff.. I know it, it’s in my mind, but it’s boring to me, it’s not the interesting part of the story.
Q) So what’s next for the movie in terms of festivals and distribution, what’s the plan to get this film to a wider audience?
There are a couple more festivals coming up. Actually headed to Leeds over in the UK next week and I’m going over to Finland to show the Movie, which should be a ton of fun, then a couple more festivals after that as well. I’m going over to the film market in LA in a few hours today, and going to talk to a bunch of different companies and see if they’re interested, which hopefully they will be. This seems like something I think people will like.
Q) This is something for hardcore fans it seems. I can’t imagine it not finding audience.
That’s totally the audience I was going for. If you’re someone just looking for a mainstream horror, then this may not be for them, but if you’re looking for buckets of blood and just craziness, but really fun characters too. I was all about making or trying to make really interesting characters.
Q) So what’s next for you as a filmmaker/writer/director?
I have a script written that’s just a pretty insane thing, but totally different from this (Tonight She Comes) tonally. I wanted to go darker this time, it’s not quite as funny, it is still funny, but it’s a little more terrifying and going for more horror in terms of being scary. I also have another film, this one’s a little higher budget. If you’ve seen the movie Rubber, it’s sort of like that, only a body horror film. It’s like the insanity of Tonight She Comes, times a hundred. It’s way out there, but that’s like practical effects every minute, so it’s something that’s going to need a fairly massive budget, but i really wanna make that as well.
Q) I try to ask every filmmaker this, If you were stranded on a desert island and only had access to one filmmakers catalog, not your own, for the rest of your life — which director would you pick and why?
That’s tough, I was gonna say John Carpenter, but I think he’s my number two. I’m going to go with Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Starship Troopers), just because, his movies all feel like Verhoeven movies, but you get more variety. You get the totally insane balls to the wall action films, then you get the weird dramas and some more sexy stuff. Depending on how I feel I can find something that fits the mood.
The Bro Knows review for Tonight She Comes is below, and has been up on all of our social media. Matt Stuertz is a filmmaker to keep a close eye one. He has a vision, and an innate ability to tell a story that evokes visceral reactions. Tonight She Comes is just his second feature film. For more on Matt’s upcoming projects, visit his website HERE, and follow him on all his social media platforms.
‘Tonight She Comes’ is an electrifying homage to classic slasher horror. With shades of early Craven and Sam Raimi, this is one insane gore fest complete with some the best practical effects you will likely see in any horror movie this decade. This is a masochists dream film, compete with buckets of blood, boatloads of nudity and one shocking twist after the next. Deciding not to muddy the waters with derivative exposition, filmmaker Matt Stuertz leaves some of the story to the audiences imagination, which creates an atmosphere where each viewer has their own unique experience. This is classic horror at it’s finest, and should skyrocket to cult status.
4.25/5 EPIC BRO