FrightFest Interview: Erik Bloomquist for FOUNDERS DAY
Judge, jury… executioner
The Bloomquist brothers take another stab at the slasher, this time using the iconography of their founding fathers. Founders Day director, Erik Bloomquist, shares what to expect from their horror movie…
Aside from classic whodunnits/slashers, what filmmakers and their movies have inspired you as a director?
Besides many classic and modern horror auteurs, we have a lot of admiration for various coming-of-age films — from the likes of Richard Linklater for instance — that work their way into and enrich our genre films. This can help drive story and character, and it also helps retain something fun and scary when we turn these earnest setups on their heads.
What is it about the ‘holidays’ and slashers that connect so much with horror fans?
There’s a heightened context and something specifically thrilling about the urgency of the genre when amplified by holiday imagery and conventions.
In recent years — especially with the contrast between the Obama years and Trump — it would seem that America is far more self-conscious, especially within the horror genre. How far do you lean into all of this?
We dive right into the deep end, using the political framework of the movie inspired by our current world to explore some deeper social themes that have less explicitly to do with politics.
How much do you play into (if any) modern mythology and the iconography? The latter synonymous with most slashers. I’m interested in how you grew the idea from the familiar historical imagery of the American Revolution.
We want this to be a real ‘American slasher’ for the world we are living in right now. The villain in this film personifies historical roots intermingled with modern culture in both design and behaviour, amplified by patriotic and autumnal imagery and traditions.
There is already Uncle Sam (1996). What does Founders Day do differently and offer to the genre that other slashers don’t? More specifically: the masked killer.
I think, first and foremost, we’re not supernatural. And while there is some dark humour, the
movie isn’t a comedy. Our masked killer isn’t an interpretation of a preexisting figure but
something original to (and crafted) for our movie.
Founders Day has its international premiere at FrightFest on Monday 28th August. Book your tickets now.