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  • Writer's pictureAfter Hour Film Festival

Denise Dowdell Stent Gets Candid With Us For Her Ambitious Project, Foretold.

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

The poster of Foretold, directed by Denise Dowdell Stent and Dion Johnson

We found both the poster and the film interesting and we wanted to reach out to the people who created it. We wrote to the email address provided to us and after few days, Denise got in touch with us.

We had a candid chat with her about the film, her experiences and her perspective on horror genre as a woman filmmaker.

After Hour : What does make a good horror movie?

Denise : Suspense, timing, jump scares, a creepy soundtrack - but above all - an excellent script and talented actors!

After Hour : What made you choose Horror as your film's subject?

Denise : I have always been drawn to the horror and fantasy genres, as I find they allow the biggest scope for my imagination to run riot - creating new worlds, strong - yet believable characters. My stories and films are a fusion of fantasy and horror, with mythology, science fiction, romance and magic added to the blend! Why should we be confined by a narrow genre stereotype? We can incorporate a multidimensional approach to filmmaking, creating a wider appeal to our audience, and encompassing a much larger demographic!

After Hour : How do you think background score makes or breaks a horror movie?

Denise : The film score is paramount to its success! Sound is such a powerful medium, but it must be used with care! Oftentimes in the horror genre, incidental sound/music, is overused, which really dilutes its impact. Try watching a movie without the sound, and notice how different it feels! The perfect score and use of incidental music, can absolutely make a film - this is especially true in horror, where it can be used to titillate and terrify its audience.

A still from the film, Foretold

After Hour : What were the challenges of making a Horror short? 

Denise : Firstly, condensing the plot for my novel into a film trailer that gave a proper cinematic and narrative experience, without giving too much away. Other than that - some of the actors were ridiculously unpleasant to work with - unfortunately, it is a profession that truly draws out the narcissists and divas out there! Saying that, some of my young actors were consummate professionals who delivered a really powerful, emotive, performance.

After Hour : Any special memory from the film set?

Denise : Getting to collaborate with my amazing close friend, Dion - he truly shares my creative vision and was a dream to work with! Likewise, his wife (also a close friend), my son, and husband, all contributed - the former behind the scenes - and the latter two - in front of the camera. 

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