Eoin Macken Talks Creating Complicated Horror Characters In Shudder’s Creepy Haunted House Movie
Earlier this month, director Brendan Muldowney The cave bumped into Shudder. Expanding on a short film directed by Muldowney about a young girl who vanishes into the ether while descending the basement stairs of an old house, the film stars Eoin Macken and Elisha Cuthbert as the parents of said daughter, who must struggle with the seemingly haunted house they live in and try to find a way to get their daughter back. It’s a haunting film, and a lot of it hinges on whether Macken’s Brian and Cuthbert’s Keira are sympathetic as they deal with challenges in their lives and relationships.
On paper, Brian shouldn’t be likeable. The couple both work in advertising, which is usually shorthand in fiction for “I’m a career-obsessed jerk,” and Brian can’t quite come to terms with his wife’s instant understanding that the family is haunted.
“The reason I was interested in that is that I think Brendan is a really smart writer, and I really liked the interpersonal relationships he created, and that connection – or lack thereof – between Brian and Kiera,” Macken told ComicBook. . “We also shot internationally, and we spent about two weeks in quarantined cottages next to each other, so we had that great time to properly fit into the character work.”
This skepticism about haunting is a key part of what makes Brian believable, but Macken also thinks it helps that Kiera is assertive and confident, while Brian is a bit at sea casting common gender roles in movies. horror for a loop.
“It was really important to me that Brian felt real, but also that he had these real reactions where… I didn’t think he wouldn’t. believe her, but he goes through these different waves of whether he thinks she’s crazy, or what he thinks should be, and he reacts in his human way,” Macken explained. “I thought that it was important rather than advancing some movie trope where the male protagonist tries to figure everything out. He was just trying to keep it all together, and he didn’t understand what was going on.”
In terms of publicity work, it wasn’t something that felt anchored in the main plot, but Macken thinks it helps add dimension to how the characters view the world.
“It’s been an interesting choice of work that Brendan has given them in terms of what it reflects in today’s society, and also kind of how they themselves alter the narratives in terms of dictate how people see things through the making, or a lie in a way,” Macken mentioned. “We wanted to be very careful not to fall into the tropes of not making them likable just because they work in advertising.”
You can see The cave on Shudder now.