Horror fans rejoice! ‘Tis the spooky season to celebrate… the dead?! In a truly morbid musical you never asked for – but I secretly hoped for – Gustav Egerstedt’s Live Forever will fill your hearts with dread! A tale that honors those who will never make it to the sequel, Egerstedt pays homage to all the horror classics and their infamous deaths with the kind of not-so-catchy musical that will sink its claws in your undead brain and make you think twice about those who fell victim to the monsters.
“I wanted to give it as a treat to my fellow horror film lovers”
A good death is a great death and it certainly makes for an even better story. The premise of Live Forever is therefore in the title, in that while we all die, a gruesome way to go will live forever in infamy. “I wanted to make a tribute to the unsung heroes of horror films; the victims that get to pay the ultimate price” Egerstedt explains. Writing the song about a year before filming the project, while it’s certainly not a beautifully sung ballad – that possessed girl’s voice was a bit rough – it’s a horror anthem for the dead! “I wanted to give it as a treat to my fellow horror film lovers”, the filmmaker adds…well, he nailed it!
We don’t usually feature music videos on Short of the Week, so when we do, you know they’ve got to be pretty epic. This isn’t a traditional story, and yet each horror movie kill vignette tells a tale of darkly comedic nonchalance in the face of terror. Honoring the works of classic horror with incredible aesthetic accuracy, each sketch feels iconic and familiar. The retro death in the woods is like a ’70s cabin horror movie shot on film, the zombie flick is captured in high contrast blue tones, the found-footage section is an obvious homage to The Blair Witch, while the fitting nod to The Exorcist feels gritty and green (it helps that the little girl looks like Regan MacNeil from the original film).
Through Egerstedt’s direction, cinematographer Kenneth Ishii knocks the visual out of the park, with a lot of help from the amazing makeup by Soley Astudottir. Shot during two “messy days” outside of Stockholm, the Swedish filmmakers wanted to get as much of the special effects in camera as possible – “old school film tricks”, as the director calls them. Shot on a very low budget, Egerstedt explains that “since it’s kind of a music video and lip synced, we really had to stick meticulously to the storyboard”. Add in some hair-raising and very disgusting sound design by Olle Ljungman and Mikael Lindblad and despite those financial restraints Live Forever looks far from low budget and credit for that really has to go to the incredible team behind the project.
An official selection of both the Fantasia International Film Festival and Sitges, Live Forever won the Audience Award at Terror Molina, Hard Line, and New York City Horror Film Festival, where it also picked up Best Horror Comedy Short. Hopefully, this song and this film will live in your head throughout all of Halloween season…and much longer!