Filmmaker Megan Freels Johnstons Macabre Mind

Horror Filmmaker Megan Freels Johnston Gives Insight into her Movies and the Future of Horror

In a recent interview with Horror filmmaker Megan Freels Johnston, Heaven of Horror delves into the world of her movies and discusses the role of women in horror films. Johnston’s directorial debut, “The Ice Cream Truck,” garnered much praise and excitement, making her a rising force in the genre.

Behind the Creation of “The Ice Cream Truck”

When asked about her decision to direct “The Ice Cream Truck” herself, Johnston revealed that it was always her plan. Having previously written and directed her first feature, “Rebound,” she was eager to get back behind the camera. The film’s inspiration came from the abundance of ice cream trucks in her area, but as she delved into the story, it began to feel deeply personal, fueling her excitement to bring it to life.

Johnston’s favorite part of “The Ice Cream Truck” was the entire experience of making it. She grew as a filmmaker and cherished the bond with her crew and actors, creating a familial atmosphere on set. Actress Deanna Russo delivered a standout performance, and the collaboration between Johnston and Russo was seamless.

“The Ice Cream Truck” boasts a dream-like quality, which Johnston adored. She believes the film turned out great, although like any filmmaker, she wished for more resources. However, she emphasized the importance of doing the best with what one has, highlighting the creativity and resourcefulness that can flourish within limitations.

A Perfect Match: Megan Freels Johnston and Deanna Russo

Strikingly, Johnston and Russo were already friends before working on “The Ice Cream Truck.” Their decade-long friendship laid a strong foundation for their collaboration. Johnston approached Russo with the script, initially framing it as a request for feedback rather than a casting offer. Fortunately, Russo loved the script and expressed her interest, resulting in a seamless partnership. Johnston attributes their compatibility to shared experiences as mothers and being around the same age, which added a natural ease to their collaboration.

The Journey to Filmmaking

The Path to Discovering a Passion for Filmmaking

Johnston always knew she wanted to pursue a creative career but had varied interests in the arts. Originally an artist herself, she also explored acting and fashion design, making it difficult to choose a specific path. However, she eventually moved to Los Angeles and worked her way up in the industry. As she gained experience, she gravitated toward producing but yearned to exercise her own creative voice. Faced with challenges in getting films off the ground, Johnston began writing scripts tailored for low-budget productions. This led to her momentous decision to direct “Rebound,” her first film that proved life-changing.

The Love for Horror

Johnston’s love for horror films extends back to her fascination with the slow-burn horror of the 60s and 70s. She distinctly remembers the awe she felt when watching a Dario Argento film, witnessing how horror could be elevated to the level of art. When asked if she would consider directing a film she didn’t write, Johnston expressed her openness to the idea as her career progresses. While she hopes to stay within the horror genre to some extent, she remains open to new possibilities.

Challenges as a Female Director in Horror

The Struggles of Funding as a Female Horror Filmmaker

Funding is a perennial challenge for filmmakers, regardless of gender. However, Johnston acknowledges the additional difficulties faced by women in the industry. As most stories told by women revolve around female experiences, securing financial support can be challenging when financiers cannot relate to or empathize with the underlying narratives. Johnston believes that if financiers don’t connect with the material, they are unlikely to invest their money in it.

The Intersection of Gender and the Horror Genre

Contrary to the struggle for funding, horror movies themselves have thrived, with a strong and passionate community supporting them. From Johnston’s perspective, it’s not the horror genre itself that presents a hurdle but rather the inherent risk associated with financing films that strive to be original and inventive. While horror movies historically portrayed women as victims or the innocent final girl, Johnston appreciates the evolving representation of women as strong, sexy, and kick-ass final girls. She acknowledges the exciting shift in recent years, where female filmmakers delve into their own perspectives, frustrations with society, and contribute to the genre with extraordinary films like “The Love Witch,” “MFA,” and “Prevenge.”

Upcoming Horror Film: “Hunting Season”

A Sneak Peek at “Hunting Season”

“Hunting Season” explores the theme of predators. The film revolves around two female roommates in their late 30s, where one ventures out of town with her new boyfriend, unknowingly entering a dangerous situation. The other roommate embarks on a quest to find her missing friend, setting the stage for a thrilling and terrifying horror experience. Johnston promises that “Hunting Season” will be far scarier and gorier than “The Ice Cream Truck,” offering audiences an exhilarating feast of terror.

The Future of Megan Freels Johnston in Horror

When asked about her plans for the future, Johnston reveals that she has an arsenal of scripts at her disposal. She envisions directing several films, expressing a particular fondness for horror comedies. Following “Hunting Season,” she aims to dive into this subgenre, merging horror with humor for an exciting cinematic experience.

Empowering Strong and Complex Women in Film

As a filmmaker, Johnston emphasizes the importance of strong and complex women in her movies. Her commitment to empowering women characters shines through in her writing and directing. Audiences can expect female protagonists who defy stereotypes, overcome challenges, and hold multifaceted identities at the core of her future projects.

In Conclusion

Megan Freels Johnston has made significant strides in the horror genre with her compelling directorial debut, “The Ice Cream Truck.” Her vision, dedication, and commitment to telling stories that resonate with modern audiences set her apart as a talented filmmaker. With “Hunting Season” on the horizon and an array of scripts waiting to be brought to life, Johnston’s future in horror looks promising.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I watch Megan Freels Johnston’s movies?

You can find Megan Freels Johnston’s movies, “Rebound” and “The Ice Cream Truck,” on Prime.

2. Will Megan Freels Johnston continue making horror movies in the future?

Yes, Johnston intends to pursue more horror movies in the future and has multiple scripts at her disposal.

3. How does Megan Freels Johnston approach the portrayal of women in her films?

Johnston is committed to creating strong, multifaceted female characters who defy stereotypes and overcome challenges.

4. What can we expect from Johnston’s upcoming horror film, “Hunting Season”?

“Hunting Season” delves into the theme of predators and promises to be a scarier and gorier experience compared to “The Ice Cream Truck.” Audiences can anticipate a thrilling horror ride.

5. Has Megan Freels Johnston worked with Deanna Russo before “The Ice Cream Truck”?

While Johnston and Russo were friends, their collaboration on “The Ice Cream Truck” marked their first project together.