Talented writer and director Craig Anderson just recently made his first full feature film called Red Christmas. This is a holiday horror film unlike any other, so we were stoked to pick his brain about this unique story and why he chose such a controversial topic. Learn more about the film, the characters, and what he has planned next!
PopHorror – Nice to meet you and talk with you, Craig. So, what inspired you to work in the film industry?
Craig Anderson – I love movies and television and wanted to be involved ever since I was a kid. I studied theater in college and then started making short films back in Australia. From there, I moved into TV.
PopHorror – It’s always neat to hear about someone’s passion beginning at a young age. What was the first film you ever directed?
Craig Anderson – Well, Red Christmas is the first feature film I’ve directed. I’ve done a lot of comedy TV and short films, but this is my first film.
PopHorror – Why did you want to make Red Christmas?
Craig Anderson – I grew up a big horror nerd, but when I was a teenager, books and magazines were the only ways you could find out about horror stuff. Also, Australia doesn’t have a huge horror film industry, but they do have a fairly stable TV comedy industry, so I moved into that. I think in my decade of directing TV, I finally decided that I was ready to try horror, so I saved all my work money and asked my friends to come on and help me out. Fortunately, it was only an 11 day shoot, so they said yes.
PopHorror – Red Christmas is a unique holiday horror film. Can you tell the readers about it?
Craig Anderson – Sure. It’s set on Christmas day and has horror icon Dee Wallace (Cujo, the Howling, E.T.) playing the matriarch of a family dealing with all the dramas of Christmas day. Everything is interrupted when a cloaked stranger arrives and explains that he is the full grown fetus that survived an abortion she had twenty years ago. The family think it’s a joke and kick him. Then the day goes really bad.
PopHorror – I love the concept! Where’d did you come up with the idea for this unique slasher story?
Craig Anderson – I think that horror should deal with taboo subjects in the same way that comedy deals with taboo subjects, In most of the world, abortion and reproductive rights don’t get spoken about enough. So I wrote this story to engage in that discussion.
PopHorror – The film has a great cast – a lot of up and coming Australian actors and the legendary Dee Wallace. How did you go about the casting process?
Craig Anderson – I had worked with the 7 Australian actors before and all but one are comedy actors. The guy with Down Syndrome, Gerard, I had also worked with for 10 years and wrote the role for him. I was able to contact Dee through a friend and she read the script and was hooked.
PopHorror – Gerard was phenomenal and definitely played one of my favorite characters. There were a lot of epic kills throughout the film. Which one was your favorite?
Craig Anderson – Well, without spoiling anything… I love the one involving an umbrella. I think it’s really hard to impress anyone with skills these days, but that one always gets a reaction. There’s also a very unexpected kill in the movie that leaves the audience breathless, but that boils down more to the plot than it does to the gruesomeness of the kill.
PopHorror – I agree and that was a super fun one! Would you ever make a sequel?
Craig Anderson – Hell, yeah! But I’m pretty sure that this film wouldn’t warrant a sequel because it’s not big enough. That’s not to say that I haven’t planned one out. It’s set 20 years in the future and the Final Girl from this film is now at college and dealing with misogyny on campus. It all comes to a head because a cloaked figure is killing men. All the MRAs on campus start blaming women and fighting back with man tears and violence.
PopHorror – Ooooh… fingers crossed! Beyond this film, what is your favorite Christmas horror movie?
Craig Anderson – I love Gremlins and Silent Night, Deadly Night, but hands down the best Christmas horror is Black Christmas. It’s the one that set up all slasher films for the future and it’s one of the only horror films that mentions abortion. When I was writing this movie, I was kind of writing a spiritual sequel to that film.
PopHorror – Hell, yes! All of those are amazing! Any other upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
Craig Anderson – Well, true to form, I’ve written another film that makes light of controversial subjects. This time, it’s an action-comedy set in the middle of a terrorist attack. I’m pretty sure no one is going to want to finance that, so I’ve also been writing a very traditional horror film about the Korean urban myth of The Elevator Game.
PopHorror – I would love to know more about The Elevator Game! It’s like Bloody Mary with elevators. Thanks for talking with PopHorror and we look forward to all your upcoming projects!