Ever since David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out burst onto the scene and earned a feature adaptation a few years back, it felt like the climate for the Horror short changed irrevocably. With a host of imitators hot on its heels, it feels like we need something different to prove that the micro-Horror is more than just the same old formula of build-up + jump scare = change of pants. Step forward Rob Savage, returning to the site after reinventing the Zombie genre with Dawn of the Deaf, the British director is back and now looking to inject a bit of life into a genre in serious need of a little more originality.
Debates have been raging behind the scenes of S/W recently as we’ve had some intense discussions on the state of Horror and the main takeaway from our conversations seemed to be that we expected “a bit more” from the genre. Whilst Salt isn’t claiming to reinvent the genre, it does step away from the aforementioned formula that has become SO popular in the world of the Horror short and we’re truly excited to see a film from this field doing more than just startle.
Setting out to create something that “hasn’t been seen before in the genre”, Savage reveals they (he co-wrote they film with Jed Shepherd) came up with the idea whilst at Sundance and decided to start pitching ideas at one another.
“We both love siege movies and were trying to think of the most intense, contained siege movie we could make”, the director explains. “Somewhere along the way, the idea of a siege movie inside a Salt Circle came up and we thought that was really cool. From there we just kept throwing ideas and images at each other until we had a rough story”.
A film that leaves you with way more questions – Why are the walls covered in notes? Where did the demons come from? Is this an isolated incident or is the whole world affected? – than answers, Salt plays more like one of the Sci-fi proof-of-concepts we’ve seen a plethora of in the world of short film.
Inspired by the “glossy horror films” of James Wan, Savage says they aimed to create a “compressed version of one of his rollercoaster horror movies”. A single set-piece that goes absolutely flat-out for its frantic two-minute run-time, it’s an absolute adrenaline rush of a watch that’s more than worthy of a second, and third viewing.
Having played a number of festivals, including the 62nd BFI London Film Festival, Savage sounds as if he’s been incredibly busy since completing Salt; he’s wrapped production on three episodes of a “dark and bloody” TV show for Amazon and Sky called Britannia, he’s directing a gothic TV mini-series and has a feature adaption of Dawn of the Deaf and a vampire movie called Haven in the works. If he finds time for any breaks in his busy schedule, we’ll try to grab a minute with Rob and update on his many many projects when we can.