Director Brad Peyton on supernatural horror ‘Incarnate’
Director Brad Peyton has some big projects lined up including Rampage and Malignant Man. Currently, he’s promoting the newly released horror film, Incarnate, starring Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones), and David Mazouz (Gotham). The movie follows an exorcist who has the technology to enter the subconscious of a possessed person.
“It’s so unpredictable. At the exact same time, I had an animated TV show going in production in Canada, I was a week away from shooting Incarnate, and then I got the job on San Andreas,” Peyton explained to Nerd Reactor on why the movie’s coming out now. “I was suddenly slammed like more than I have ever been slammed in my entire life. Obviously, I couldn’t say no to any of it because it’s a rain or shine industry. You just never know when you’re going to be working next.”
“San Andreas was such a beast of a movie, I couldn’t really get back to it,” he continued. “I just had to hit pause on it. I felt really bad for the cast and producers. They all supported me in doing it because, obviously, I wanted to give it my full attention. It was a little odd, but it’s kind of like champagne problems. Like how can you complain that you got San Andreas and Incarnate? We just had to wait. A movie like San Andreas that had a release date, was so big, and there were so many people working on it. That’s like a gigantic machine that’s just going to go no matter what you do. Incarnate was so small. We can kind of hit paused, left it for a minute and jumped back into it. It’s like having kids. They’re all your babies, and you want to give your full attention to all of them.”
Horror movies are known to be released during the Halloween season. That’s not the case with Incarnate.
“It really came down to the fact that there was basically an opening in the programming where there wasn’t a film like this for a while,” said the director. “There hasn’t been a horror film three or four weeks, and there won’t be another one for a couple of weeks. For fans of horror, it’s perfect because they can go get their fix.”
“When I first read the script and sat down with Jason [Blum] and talked to him about doing something, he was all about like, ‘This isn’t your average horror film.’ This idea that it is kind of an exorcism movie but it doesn’t fall into the normal, faith-based catholic/exorcist storyline. It’s more of a scientific, almost Inception-y idea about a guy who has developed a technology to put himself asleep and to enter the subconscious of the possessed person in order to get the demon out.”
Fans of Gotham will surely recognize David Mazouz, who plays young Bruce Wayne. In Incarnate, he is the victim of a demon possession.
“We got him right before he became Bruce Wayne,” said Peyton about Mazouz’s casting. “It’s always scary to a filmmaker to get a kid actor because you’re not sure what you’re going to get. But he was so good. Honestly, he really surprised everybody. Even the very first time we rolled film on him, I remember Aaron and I looked at each other like, ‘Oh my god. This kid is brilliant.’ He’s super talented. That’s one of the things about the movie I’m really proud of. The cast is really, really good. Obviously, Aaron is a very high-level actor, but then everyone in it – Carice, Catalina [Sandino Moreno], Breanne [Hill], David, Matt [Nable] – they, all from top to bottom, brought it in this movie. It’s nice to be able to combine good dramatic acting with a genre movie.”
“Filmmaking, there’s so many facets of it. I’m definitely inspired to kind of try new things all the time,” said Peyton about his different projects. “For me with the movie, beyond the big concept, it’s the characters that drew me to it. In San Andreas and in this movie, the similarity is the fact that there’s a slightly damaged character at the core. In this movie, Ember’s (Eckhart) family has died at the hands of a demon. His wife and his young son died. He’s not been able to move on from that trauma. That trauma has completely crafted his life. It has put him in a wheelchair, made him a borderline alcoholic, and driven him to become an incarnate to hunt down demons and develop this technology and this ability. I’m drawn to that kind of anti-hero or flawed character. I think you can see a correlation between that and Dwayne’s character in San Andreas.”
Incarnate is now in theaters.
Check out our interview with Peyton on his dream superhero movie.