Halloween is almost here, and for many of us, that means that it’s time to watch some of our favorite horror movies! This year, you can add one more great horror flick to your list: “House of Purgatory,” set for release THIS Friday, October 21, 2016 on multiple entertainment platforms! (See below for information on where to watch the film.)
“House of Purgatory” is a chillingly awesome film with an exciting plot line, written and directed by Tyler Christensen. The film includes multiple talented actors, several with star names, including Anne Leighton, Laura Coover, Aaron Galvin, and one of my all-time favorite actors, Brian Krause, best known for his role as “Leo Wyatt” on the hit TV series, “Charmed.”
From the moment that the film begins, the viewer is brought into the story of a typical Halloween night that becomes anything but typical. Throughout the course of the film, each character’s journey represents and highlights just how paralyzing fear (in many forms) can be. (Be sure to check out what happens for yourself, reader friends; I can promise that you’ll enjoy it!)
I had the amazing privilege of interviewing writer and director Tyler Christensen, and it’s an honor to feature him here on “Behind the Sign!”
I asked Tyler if he could tell me a little bit about his background and what originally motivated him to pursue a career in entertainment. Tyler explained that ever since he was young, he loved to scare people, which is ultimately what has led him to his career path!
“I grew up in Green Bay Wisconsin, and from a very young age became obsessed with scaring people. My poor younger sister can attest to that, as she took the brunt of it for years. I have always loved telling stories - whether that be writing or making little movies with action figures and dad's old video camera. But it wasn't until high school that it really clicked with me that telling stories in this capacity was a viable (if difficult to obtain) career path.”
Tyler brings up a great point: pursuing a career in entertainment can be difficult. However, it is absolutely possible to achieve success in this industry if you do something every single day toward your goals, and if you do not give up. It requires a lot of effort and self-motivation to make your dream your reality. Tyler elaborated on this when I asked him how his work on his horror film, “House of Purgatory” came to be. He said:
“’House of Purgatory’ came about after I had been living in LA for about five years. I was working regularly in television, but realized that I wasn't truly happy with what I was doing. I had moved away from all my family and friends to pursue this crazy dream, and I felt myself getting stuck in the monotony of reality TV. That wasn't what I wanted to be doing, and nobody was going to hand me my dream job on a silver platter, so I decided to quit my job and make it happen for myself. It was those early days after I had decided to take it all on myself that were some of the most challenging. As anyone who has ever made an independent film will say, it is more work than you even realize you're capable of doing. The other side of that coin, however, is that it is that same work that is the most rewarding.”
Tyler points out that some of his most challenging yet most rewarding experiences occurred after he had stepped out on his own and decided to pursue his passion independently. He goes on to offer the following advice for anyone who is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, which can be very challenging at times:
“I can't even count how many times over the course of this project I said to myself, ‘Well, I don't know how to do that.’ But I never let that be an end-all. There is nothing you can't learn from just doing it or talking to people and putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. You have to be willing to work your ass off and be a problem-solver. I always remind myself that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”
In terms of upcoming projects, Tyler is very busy! Regarding his future projects, Tyler explained:
“There are a couple [of] projects I have written that I am looking to get produced in the near future. I've been lucky to work and make friends with a lot of great people throughout my time in the industry. I feel like you're constantly building this team of like-minded people around you, and eventually all the pieces come together and we will be back in the ring, making more stories on film!” (Tyler, I’d love to be one of those people that you work with on one of your future projects!)
Finally, I asked Tyler where “House of Purgatory” can be seen!
“’House of Purgatory’ is available on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Vimeo, Google Play and YouTube. Later in the year, we will hopefully spread to include Netflix and Redbox and all those platforms. ‘House of Purgatory’ has a Facebook page, and can be found on Twitter @PurgatoryMovie. And for the little ones, I have also written a children's book entitled Bryan the Scarecrow Who's Scared of Everything that is available on Amazon!”
Thank you, Tyler, for your wonderful insight and advice! And congratulations on a wonderful film!
Jesse Daley is an actor and a writer who lives and works in Hollywood, California.