Roberto Jabor's Anima Sola Will Give You The Feels & Chills
What should a good horror/thriller feature film have to keep its audience hooked to the screen? All we know is, Anima Sola, directed by the Brazilian stalwart, Roberto Jabor has it all. We loved the film and talked to Roberto about it.
After Hour : Do you believe horror films have evolved over the years? If yes, can you please tell us how have they evolved? If no, can you please tell us why they haven't evolved?
Roberto : Yes, if we go follow the history of American horror movies since early last century we will find the first version of “Frankenstein” as short film in 2010, produced by Thomas A. Edison. Later, in 1931, we have the first feature film ever made based in Mary Shelley’s novel, “Frankenstein” with Boris Karloff who became famous by his performance as “The Monster”.
From this early adaptation of “Frankenstein” to nowadays we have innumerous versions of this novel to the big screen, and we can follow those films, as example how making horror films has evolved during the years and how American horror movies became a the first one in this genre worldwide.
Between 40s e 50s we have less horror movies made in Hollywood, but in 1957 another version of “Frankenstein” has been made by the director Terence Fisher with Christopher Lee as “The Creature”, ”The Curse of Frankenstein”, distributed by Warner Brothers. By this time, horror films have been again up to large audiences and having more and more productions. Alfred Hitchcock’s films mixing thriller and horror, being “Psycho” the best example, already in the 60s.
During the 60s and 70s we will find many horror movies, from the classics based in Dracula’s novel, to old stars of Hollywood as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?”. The beginning of cold war, bring up many films about “the end of the world” and “Monsters” and “Out of Space”, etc. Roger Corman became the famous name of low-budget horror gory films.
In the 80s e 90s, we still have different versions of Frankenstein and Dracula, but more with violence and blood. Stephen King is the master and Kubrick’s “The Shinning” based on King’s novel is a masterpiece of horror, aside with gory films like “The Texas Chain Massacre”. A lot of films and remakes of “Friday the 13th”, “The Nightmare on Elm Street”,”Panic” and many other films.
From the 2010 to nowadays we continuous seeing remakes and other version of 80’s success like “Pet Sematary”, “Jason”,”It”,and many more.
In my opinion the “age of gold” of American horror movies was during the 80’s and I am trying to bring back this atmosphere to my films, being not too gory, working more with thriller.
After Hour : You are into serious horror film-making with a clear focus on the script, acting and art direction. While working on a project, how do you decide on what stories you would like to tell or how you would like to tell them? Here, what we are trying to understand is your creative process as a horror film-maker.
Roberto : I am always inspired in horror movies I’ve seen and adore. The best way to tell a story is to have a great script. I am trying now to work in Urban Legends or Christian Legends l. All the stories about legends are great as you have a reference point to start. The ones of the Gospels have made great movies such as the masterpiece “ The Exorcist” and already classic horror movies as “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Constantine”.
My inspiration comes from what I’ve seen and how I want to tell this specific story to the audience. Having my theme, I’ll develop according with my budget, cast and crew. The most important thing besides a very good script, very good actors and crew is to create the right atmosphere with the location, photography, art and music. It’s a package to deliver to the audience, telling what they want to see and feel.
After Hour : What was the creative drive behind becoming a horror film-maker?
Roberto : I guess reading classic and new thriller/horror novels and books, I started out with Edgar Allan Poe, and watching American horror movies, no doubt the best horror films ever made in this genre are Americans. I always feel attracted to the unknown, supernatural, mystic, out of space, and being raised as catholic and studied in a catholic school, the gospels were always in my imagination, the saints, angels and the demons.
After Hour : Please tell us a bit about your early life.
Roberto : I came from a catholic family and raised in Ipanema a beach district in Rio de Janeiro. Since, very young I was crazy about TV, loving watch old films and at that time 99% of the films and TV shows where from the United State. At 11 years old I watched “What Ever Happened With Baby Jane?”, “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” and of course Frankenstein, Dracula, and monster. I read Frankenstein very young than I started reading Edgar Allan Poe. TV shows like “The Twilight Zone” and Roger Corman’s films. It was in the late 60 early 70. My first short film was “The Heirs of The House of The Usher” based on Edgar Allan Poe and its aesthetic was a horror Hollywood movie from the late 40. I made this movie in 1988 with only 24 years old.
After Hour : Please tell us a bit about your upcoming film House of Santeria.
Roberto : The script is from the American actor, writer and producer Beau Yotty, who just made “Desert Wolf” (2019), where he directed, wrote and work as an actor. I meet him in 2016 in Miami Beach. We have this idea to write about “Santeria”, very common in some of Latin countries, but in a different way, not to be a stereotype.
“House of Santeria” will bring back the old horror/thriller style from Robert Wise’s “Audrey Rose” (1977), John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness” (1987) and Ian Softley’s “The Skeleton Key” (2005), with a touch of many films made recently about Ouija/voodoo. The film will focus less on special effects, and more on story, acting, lighting, and art direction, being a genuine American style of horror/thriller/mystery feature films.