David Mun Interview, House of Good and Evil

House of Good and Evil
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Out in April from Phase 4 films, House of Good and Evil tells of a couple, Chris and Maggie Conley who, after a family tragedy in the chaotic city, purchase an isolated home in the deepest woods, to which they quickly discover evil has a key. We spoke to the film’s director David Mun about the movie.

House of Good and EvilHow did you end up aboard House of Good and Evil? You pitch them? They pitch you? Craiglist ad? Friend of a friend referred you?

About 8 or 9 years ago, I was originally attached to work on House of Good and Evil as the cameraman for the film.  An actor friend of mine asked me to shoot it and after reading the script I was hooked.  Like any independent movie, you have funding and then you lose it all in a quick second.  Over the years it has gone though many hands and rewrites and come full circle, it ends up in my lap, but this time as a director.

The film’s title suggests an Amityville-esque horror movie, but it’s much more isn’t it? Would you go so far to say it’s almost a psychological thriller or drama?

We follow our lead character Maggie (played by Rachel Marie Lewis) and her downward spiral into madness.  Therefore, I would consider it more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie.

There aren’t any of those moments that would make you jump.  I call those kinds of movies like roller coaster rides, you build up and then drop, only to do it again and again.  This ride is more like a slow climb before the oh S**T moment.

What was it about Blu’s script that grabbed you? And did it change much before going before the cameras?

From years back the script really struck me as something that would be fun to shoot.  Different directors have been attached in the past and I’m sure they had their own visions of how they wanted to make the movie.   As it was finally up to me, Blu was done making changes, but I convinced him to add some things in for me.   Overall, the latest version of the script I had, is the one on screen.

House of Good and EvilAny differences of opinion with Blu over the film?

Yes we had differences and made compromises and if not in the script stage, it was in the editing room after the movie was shot.  There were moments where I’d want to cut a line out and he wanted it in saying that line is important.  Of course he would say that, it’s his words on the page.  Then I’d have to argue my point stating that if one part is cut it will affect another part of the movie so that would have to be cut as well.  This would happen back and forth but it was very healthy, as it should.  It’s a collaborative process and arguing can help or hurt the movie overall.  I think we were able to listen to each other and from there make the right choices for the movie.

Did the film require you to relocate for a few months? How was that?

We shot in Floyd Virginia for most of the shoot except for one day in Baltimore Maryland.  I was gone for about 5 or 6 weeks.  Normally it isn’t hard to work on location, but at the time, I just had a baby boy and that was harder to not be around.

What was the film shot on – because it looks absolutely beautiful!

We shot the movie on the Red MX camera.  It may be an older camera compared to the Epic or Dragon, but it still holds its own and you can still make pretty pictures.

It’s funny, if you were to look at the original footage, you can see Virginia has some rich and vibrant greens in the area and I needed the movie to feel like it was dying.   I took the film to my colorist and said, make it ugly and dead and as the movie progresses, suck the life out of it some more.  He did just that but very tastefully and gave it a unique look.

In your opinion, is there potential here for a sequel?

No.  Unless you want it to be a musical.  Just kidding!

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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