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A MODERN TWIST ON THE GHOST STORY?


A modern twist on the ghost story, this is what THE FORGOTTEN has been described as, haunting, chilling, horror at its most intense too. It also been described as "kitchen sink realism meets supernatural horror", we bloody love that quote, don't tell anyone but we're going to pinch it from time to time, shush though.


Now here, at Haunted Magazine, we love all things spooky and ghostly, suffice to say that we love nothing better than a good British Ghost Story. Is THE FORGOTTEN one of these, you bet your life it is.

What's also great about it is that this is the directional debut of Oliver Frampton, we caught up with the man behind THE FORGOTTEN.

Oh, and there's 3 DVDs of THE FORGOTTEN on offer too.

Kitchen sink realism meets supernatural horror, that would've made a great tagline, can you describe what that means?
Well, James (co-writer) and Jennifer (producer) and I felt passionately that the best way to scare people with THE FORGOTTEN was to craft the experience that felt as real as possible. Our logic was - the more real it felt, the scarier it would be. By which I mean, the more it will "get under your skin", as opposed to the more it will "make you jump". This approach dictated everything from the script onwards, pacing, the kinds of scares you play, and so on. Everything is grounded. Fundamentally it means real characters, talking in the way real people do, responding to events in the way real people respond. One of my favourite moments is when young Tommy sleeps on a bench outside rather than going back to his creepy flat.

You've done a lot of crime and cop shows, this did help with The Forgotten?
I've worked on lots of TV shows. Period dramas, relationship dramas, and - yes - cop shows. I actually really love investigative storytelling. It's hard to argue with "Silence of the Lambs"! But I guess where both James and I having experience working on cop shows really helped was that (even in its most alternative form) horror tends to centre around some kind of mystery. It may unravel organically, or it may unravel because a character's tugging at the thread. But it has to unravel somewhere. We're really proud of how THE FORGOTTEN slowly sheds its layers and that they're not just plot, they're emotional layers, so you're inexorably drawn closer and closer to a painful truth. Ultimately we wanted to make a really scary film that also had something to say.

This is your first stab at being a director and your first foray into film, was it an easy transition from scripting to directing and TV to film, are there many differences?
I suppose it didn't really feel like my first foray. I've directed loads of shorts before and I've spent lots of time on sets for the various shows I've worked on, speaking with directors, actors and technicians. Plus - like a lot people - just been slightly obsessive about the craft of film-making. Where I enjoyed the process most (and I suppose retrospectively where I was least experienced) was in really immersing myself in the heads of the actors. I loved how in talking with, and encouraging, and pushing, and restraining the individual actors, these characters on the page suddenly took on life. That was the joy. 

Are you a lover of horror and the supernatural, if so, what’s your favourite films?
I am indeed a lover of horror. And there are too many great movies to mention. I suppose if we're talking about influences on THE FORGOTTEN, I'd have to say Clayton's "The Innocents", Robert Wise's "The Haunting", a whiff of J-Horror with Nakata's "Dark Water".
We've also never made any secret of the fact that with this film we wanted to bring the model of the Victorian literary ghost-story into the present. These are stories that build slowly, with sometimes fairly passive lead characters. But they relentlessly build tension to a sharp climax. We just set ours on an abandoned council estate... 

Is British Horror alive and kicking arse, is it up there with the best do you think?
I think the tradition of the ghost story is synonymous with the UK. Think of the amazing work of MR James, Henry James, Mary Shelley. Britain is in the DNA of horror, and how it's evolved. And went you chart through the eras from Hammer classics, to "The Haunting", to "Don't Look Now", to "28 Days Later" and more recently... It can be easy to forget that we still consistently contribute seminal horror films. I loved my producer Jenn's film "The Borderlands" (2013)! I just hope THE FORGOTTEN contributes to horror ongoing evolution.

Going back to The Bill, I loved that show, we regularly have the repeats on in the office, is there any chance it will ever come back?
I loved The Bill. You'd have to ask new Director of Television for ITV, Kevin Lygo - and new Head of Drama, Polly Hill!

The Forgotten has a cast full of British talent, lots of recognisable faces, do you think that’s important when casting a film?
I'm so, so happy with the cast in this film. We were really fortunate on THE FORGOTTEN, because we were entirely independent, to be able to cast exactly who we wanted without outside pressures. We auditioned for Tommys and Carmens and made offers to Shaun Dingwall and Lyndsey Marshal. But crucially we could just cast who was best for the character. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to play the film at festivals and afterwards hear people talking about the characters by name, as if they're alive.
Casting Director Daniel Edwards put together an amazing ensemble for us - with just no weak links. Elarica Johnson knew her 'Carmen' character inside out, and I think related to her strength and vulnerability. She gave us hackles just from her audition reading. Clem Tibber really encapsulated 'Tommys' introverted heroism. And Shaun Dingwall brought such a quiet, troubled volatility to his 'Mark' - I think he secretly enjoyed playing his nightmare version of a dad.

What are your plans for the future?

James Hall and I are currently working with another production company, writing a bigger-budget supernatural horror film about 50 Berkeley Square - London's most haunted house. It's set in the blackout during the blitz and follows a lone 'fire-watcher', who's locked into the house every night, all on his own, to sits on the top floor and watch for falling incendiary devices. So definitely watch this space!

 Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Oliver!!

**COMPETITION TIME**
To bag yourself a copy of THE FORGOTTEN couldn't be easier, all you got to do is to email theforgotten@deadgoodpublishing.com and your entry will be saved, there will also be chances to win on our social media pages. The best of British luck, competition closes 31st of May, winners will be picked at random blah blah blah and all that, you know the small print!!







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