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Hollywood writer-director Andrew de Burgh chats “The Seductress from Hell” starring Jason Faunt before the film festival circuit.



In the enigmatic realm where Hollywood glamour collides with the macabre, filmmaker Andrew de Burgh unveils his latest cinematic endeavour, “The Seductress from Hell.” 

Steeped in the traditions of horror classics like “The Exorcist,” “Hellraiser,” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” this chilling tale transcends the boundaries of fear, drawing inspiration from the dark recesses of both cinematic history and the human psyche. 

With a stellar cast, including Jason Faunt and James Hyde, and a narrative fueled by the shadows that lurk behind the glitzy facade of the entertainment industry, de Burgh promises a descent into a nightmarish world where the line between reality and horror blurs.

He shares more about his latest film with me in a candid chat.


Tony Asankomah: Hi Andrew, nice to be with you today. Having first become aware of your work with the 2018 sci-fi drama feature “The Bestowal” and then the 2020 animated short Christmas film “The Legend of Santa”, I believe you now have a very different project you’re working on! Could you tell me more about it?

Andrew de Burgh: Nice to chat with you as well Tony! I appreciate you having me on and for reviewing my films over the years. So “The Seductress from Hell” is a new horror film that stars legendary Red Power Ranger actor Jason Faunt, James Hyde (“The Young and the Restless”), Andy Lauer (“Iron Man 3”) and introduces Rocio Scotto in the title role, alongside Raj Jawa (“Free Guy”), Kylie Rohrer and Isaac Levi Anthony. It’s inspired by a lot of horror classics like “The Exorcist”, “Hellraiser”, “Child’s Play”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Halloween”. We also hope to start a franchise with it. In addition to a wonderful cast, we had an amazing crew on the film, including production design by Fabio Del Percio (“Game of Thrones”) and special effects makeup by Brittany Jamison-Lackey (“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”). It also features sound design by Steve Campagna (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”) and original music by Elezeid (“Z-Warp”). The film tells the story of a struggling Hollywood actress who undergoes a horrific transformation after being pushed to the edge by her psychopathic husband.


Tony: That sounds like an interesting project with a lot of great people involved. Speaking of those classic films you mentioned and villains in general, I’ve always been fascinated by the psychology behind someone’s descent into evil. Did something start the transformation? Were they always like that? It sounds like you tap into that with the film so I’m very interested in seeing how it all plays out. In terms of the lead character Zara being a Hollywood actress, and being in the entertainment industry yourself, would you say those themes and experiences played a part in the film?

Andrew: Yeah definitely. I’ve been working in Hollywood for over a decade now and I love being a filmmaker but there can be a dark side of ego and narcissism at times in the industry and Los Angeles in general. Those themes fuel this film. It also ties into the idea that you have these people on the surface who appear happy (as that’s how they portray themselves on social media) but deep down they’re very miserable.


Tony: That’s interesting you mention social media because if I recall social media and cellphone addiction were some of the main themes in your first feature “The Bestowal”. Does social commentary on technology feature as much in “The Seductress from Hell”?

Andrew: Not as much in “The Seductress from Hell” but there’s some dialogue on it, especially in scenes with Derek Patel (Raj Jawa) and his girlfriend Maya Valentina (Kylie Rohrer). There’s also an element of satire in those scenes because Maya often complains about people who are addicted to social media even though in the film she is as well. One thing that fascinates me as technology and social media platforms have become such a big part of our lives is that I feel like people almost have two identities these days: their “digital” self and their “real” self. Their digital self for the most part is fabricated to be the happiest and most successful version of themselves that they want to show other people whereas their real self is who they are and emotions such as sadness, frustration, disappointment etc do exist. This theme is something I tap into in the film.


Tony: Very deep! One thing I’ve always found fascinating as a film critic and journalist is when filmmakers put messages in their films that resonate with me as a person. In addition to the ones on social media, do you have other messages in the film?

Andrew: Definitely. The film is also a psychological examination of how a struggling Hollywood actress (Zara Pereira played by Rocio Scotto) can go from a seemingly normal person to a sadistic serial killer. Other messages in the film include how harsh economic situations can also affect people in drastic ways. In the film, Zara’s husband Robert Pereira (played by Jason Faunt) once had dreams of his own but now he’s stuck in a corporate salesman job he despises and takes his frustration out on his wife Zara, which essentially sets off the events in the film. Other messages in the film include the danger of apathy. Derek Patel (Raj Jawa) and his girlfriend Maya Valentina (Kylie Rohrer) are also guilty of Zara’s transformation as they know Robert is abusive to Zara but do nothing about it. 


Tony: Fascinating. I can see the film being very dark in more ways than one.  

Andrew: It’s a very dark film that contains a lot of social commentary as well. It’s also a rallying cry for a more empathetic society as I want to show how a complete lack of empathy in society can change the world for the worse. At the end of the day, cruelty breeds cruelty. We show in the film that the cruel events that befall Zara shape her into being a very cruel person herself. 


Tony: I can’t wait to see it. One thing I have to ask you is your decision to cast a newcomer Rocio Scotto in the lead role. What was behind the decision to do that? How did it work out with giving her what I imagine was a very challenging role?

Andrew: That’s interesting you ask that. Initially, we wanted to cast someone more established in that role as they’re hopefully going to be leading a franchise but for one reason or another, it didn’t work out. For the role of Zara, we received almost 2,000 submissions, saw a few dozen self-tapes and had callbacks for about ten actresses for that role. Rocio stood out to us because I felt like she was willing to go to really dark places to pull off the role and she has a menace to her on camera that we thought would work well. In the end, she didn’t disappoint as she gave a truly wonderful performance that I believe will open a lot of doors for her. 


Tony: It’s interesting how things sometimes work out in life and I’m excited to see how she does in the film. Please tell me a little bit about James Hyde’s role in the film as well.

Andrew: James plays misogynistic film producer Jeffrey Delap who first meets Zara at a restaurant. The two “hit it off” and it descends into something much more twisted quite quickly. James was  easy to work with and did a great job in the role. He has an acting style that I think suits the cinematic medium as he plays Jeffrey in a subdued and highly effective manner that oozes menace on camera.  


Tony: Very cool. So tell me a little about your overall approach to writing, producing and directing this film.

Andrew: When it comes to filmmaking I care so much about what I do and cinema in general that I put a lot of effort, care and love into the work. When I wrote this script, I listened to a lot of horror soundtracks like “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Halloween” and “Child’s Play” to get me in the mood for writing it. When I produced it, I essentially worked with my other producers on finding the best cast and crew possible to pull off the ambitious vision that I had. I’m also very happy that I qualified to have the legendary Producer’s Guild of America mark next to my name in the producing credit of the film. When it came to directing the film, it was essentially a collaboration working months prior with all the department heads on fulfilling my vision. Fabio Del Percio (our production designer) and I worked extensively in pre-production on visually creating the most interesting world we could have the film set in. We also involved our cinematographer Khoi Nguyen (a previous collaborator of mine) in these discussions as the production design plays a huge role in the cinematography. That was essentially how I worked with every department head in pre-production as all aspects shape the vision of the film. In terms of the actors, I also worked a lot with them before the shoot on how I saw their characters from a story point of view as well as their backstories. In post-production, I also work extensively with the team on implementing my vision. 


Tony: Truly amazing; I can’t wait to see the film. When are you anticipating a release date? 

Andrew: We’re hopefully planning on starting a film festival circuit after post-production is finished and seeing where that goes in terms of distribution. 


Tony: How can the audience stay updated on the film and do you have any last words you’d like to leave our readers with?

Andrew: We’re very active on social media so please follow us! In terms of last words, I just want to thank you for granting me this interview, it means a lot and I can’t wait for you to see the film! 


As the curtains draw to a close on our conversation with filmmaker Andrew de Burgh, the anticipation for “The Seductress from Hell” lingers, promising an exploration of societal malaise and psychological unravelling. This harrowing journey from Hollywood dreams to the depths of despair delves into themes of ego, narcissism, and the perilous consequences of apathy. 

With a nuanced approach to storytelling and a commitment to social commentary, de Burgh’s creation stands as not only a cinematic experience but a reflection of the shadows that dance beneath the spotlight of success. 

The film beckons audiences to confront the duality of their digital and real selves, questioning the empathy that shapes the world we inhabit.

Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.

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