Alex Turner on The Stone House

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“It’s not a prequel/sequel.”

Shock caught up to writer-director Alex Turner (pictured) to inquire further about his latest, The Stone House, a project reported elsewhere this week as a prequel and a pseudo-sequel (?!) to the filmmaker’s 2004 moody, underrated, Lovecraftian Civil War horror picture Dead Birds, starring Henry Thomas, the vocal Isaiah Washington and Patrick Fugit. The director’s excitement to get back behind the lens is palpable and infectious as he describes the next chapter in what he and writer Simon Barrett set out to accomplish when “Birds” took flight.

“Simon and I had talked about doing three movies that explore the idea of war and horror,” Turner says. “‘Dead Birds’ would be the first, ‘The Stone House is the second and we’re working on an idea for a third film.” But he wants to clarify that The Stone House “is not a prequel to ‘Dead Birds’ and it’s not ‘Dead Birds 2.’ It’s a companion piece than a direct prequel or sequel.” Similar to how Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth are sisters in cinema? “That’s a good comparison. And I’m a fan of both of those films. They’re not connected but you can put them on a shelf together.”

“The style of this film is a 180-degree turn from ‘Dead Birds,'” he continues. “That film was designed to be an elegant, old-school horror picture and ‘House’ is more in-your-face and has more action.” We ask if this change of pace is a response to the criticism that “Birds” was labeled by the ADD-afflicted as a “slow” film. “I don’t think it’s a direct response,” Turner laughs. “Because this story dictates the style, but if I hear one more person say ‘Dead Birds’ was slow… Nobody will be able to say that about ‘The Stone House,’ that’s for sure.” You practically see Turner grinning on the other end of the phone line.

He’s sticks to his guns and remains mum about the plot of the film, but he reveals the film takes place in tumultuous environs of Afghanistan and is set in 2003 during the early years of the U.S. invasion. Turner plans to shoot the film predominantly elsewhere, but some of the photography will take place in Afghanistan. “It’s much larger in scope,” he explains. “In a lot of ways we’re shooting this run-and-gun. The way I plan on shooting this is documentary style – a small crew. It has a lot more in common with my shorts [‘Disposal,’ ‘Chuck’]. We’re just starting to cast and we have 80% of our locations are set.”

Turner, who’s also acting as a producer on “House,” begins shooting later this summer.

Source: Ryan Rotten