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5 Questions: Entering the Scarehouse with Gavin Michael Booth and Sarah Booth

Gavin Michael Booth and Sarah Booth are not as scary in person as expected. He is a blast to be around, as this Trey Stone look and sound-alike is the producer, director and writer of The Scarehouse, a refreshing take on the horror movie. She is the lead actress, associate producer and decised the story for the film, and seems far less scary when discussing J’ai tué ma mère in a French accent. After a meaningful discussion of Lenny Kravitz’s career arc, as well as a treatise on theories about Toy Story 3, we asked them all about The Scarehouse

What is your elevator pitch?

Gavin: “Mean Girls meets Saw, or Jawbreaker meets Hostel. Two very disgruntled girls enter a funhouse on Devil’s Night, luring their former friends, who think that they’re heading for their annual Halloween party, quickly flip it upside down by taking them hostage, with some good old-fashoned revenge. Part of the plot is figuring out the motive, as much as enjoying the revenge. There’s a bit of mystery to it”.

What was the most enjoyable aspect?

Gavin: “This is the fastest that a production has ever happened for me. There were long gestation periods of writing, and even longer stretches of pitching, and finally getting someone to say “yes”. This film, polar opposite. Started in…March?

Sarah: May!

Gavin: Sarah and I bounced the story back and forth over the next week or so. Turned in a first draft another couple of weeks later, we’re making a movie, can we shoot in August? We’re off to the races: go make the movie! The most important thing for me is that it got made, and fairly painlessly. I think that is why we had so many horror stories on set.

Sarah: Karma! My most enjoyable part of the film would be to be on set, every day. Also, I was able to produce it as well. I had never been able to do a project from start to finish. So I was there when Gavin pitched it. I was there when he wrote it. I was there for pre-production shooting and for post, which was the most difficult part for me, sitting through the edits.

Gavin: I edited in our home, so just to have to listen to it.

Sarah: ALL DAY! I learned how much you can shape an actor’s performance in the editing room, which is insane.

Did it help bring you closer together?

Sarah: (immediately) YES. Yes. Gavin hesitates…

Gavin: When we got married, we hadn’t worked together. Maybe before this, we should make a short, so we made one that went to horror festivals called To Hell with Love, which went to film festivals, including Fantasia Fest…with all the stress and turmoil of that, we ended up not disliking each other.

Sarah: I think we loved each other even more. (laughing).

Gavin: That was part of it: we can’t come out of The Scarehouse divorced.

We don’t learn about the motives behind the characters until later, and I had just assumed that they were psychopaths.

Sarah: From the reviews that we’ve read, some people really like the aspect of that, in so many horror films you get the entire plot spoon-fed to you in a manner of minutes. It’s like ‘here’s what is happening…kill, kill, kill, kill, kill. It’s a lot more entertaining, because you’re not just sitting there watching people kill each other, instead, you’re thinking, ‘why are they doing this?’

Gavin: In some ways, I’ve been calling it a ‘girl Dexter’, the evolution of a serial killer, especially two girls, where, you know at one point they used to be pretty nice.

Sarah: Well, I’m sure every psychopath was nice, once.

If there is going to be a Scarehouse 2, where are we going to take it?

Gavin: Spring Break…on Halloween! Maybe if someone, somewhere, knows what she did, maybe they get revenge on her.

The Scarehouse is now available in Canada on iTunes, VOD services (Rogers, Bell, Telus, Cogeco) and YouTube rentals