Frightfest Interview: Red Christmas director Craig Anderson Emily Stockham August 10, 2016 Editor's Choice, Film4 Frightfest, Interviews, London, London Interviews 2110 With festive slasher â€˜Red Christmasâ€™ debuting for European audiences at Horror Channelâ€™s Frightfest later this month, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with director Craig Anderson and quiz him on his unusual theme, seasonal films and his next projectâ€¦ Q. Why did you focus on abortion / family ties?Â I originally set out to write the stupidest idea I could think of (an avengingÂ foetus surviving its own abortion). But on my second draft I freaked out at how anti-abortionÂ the script was. I did some research and realised that inÂ personifyingÂ the foetus the movie would always be making aÂ ‘pro-life’ statement. I then spent another year adding other themes to do with reproductive rights and looked to the way tragedies from Ancient Greece dealt with colliding character journeys as opposed to traditional good-v-evil morality plots.Â Q. Were you worried that people would think you are Pro-life even if itâ€™s not your personal standpoint on the issue? To be honest, I’m real worried about the pro-life thing. I’m not pro-life myself and am not a fan of religion, so after writing the first draft I freaked out.Â I kind of liked the idea of making a strong ‘right-leaning’ statement in film as they so often push a left-leaning agenda (which I like). But when I read my first draft I freaked out because I just imagined people using the film as a pro-life statement. But then a whole bunch of friends pointed out that it was a pro-life slasher which is already an ironic statement. So I then started talking watching a lot of documentaries on the subject and met with mid-wives, I also paid for some workshops with women I knew to discuss the subject and the construction of the narrative. In the end I’ve tried to sit in the middle and let the viewer see what they want. I wrote Dee’s character to be a woman who chose to have an abortion, because she knew it was the right thing to do to protect her family. But the abortion is interrupted by the religious right who turn the foetus into a person and then raise it to believe what they believe (which is what happens often with real life abortion survivors). The foetus returns and follows through with what Diane always believed would happen if it existed- it destroys her family. Q. The film not only looks at abortion, but disability too â€“ were you worried about broaching these sensitive subjects in a horror film?Â Hell yeah, especially abortion. But then I watched Tony Kaye’sÂ Lake of FireÂ (2006) and realised that the ‘debate’Â isn’t so binary and thatÂ there are loads of issues aroundÂ reproductiveÂ rights leftÂ to explore. I had no fear around disability, I’ve worked a lot with people who identify as having a disability, so it was second nature. I was always planning to have a more inclusive cast and when the two subjects intersected I decided to go with it.Â Q. Why did you choose a Christmas setting?Â I’m a big fan of Christmas and Christmas films. I love the way Christmas iconography has shifted fromÂ religiousÂ to commercial and all the symbols exist in a weird emotional, glitzy bauble.Â Â Q. What was your favourite kill scene to shoot?Â I’ve never thought about this. Hmm, Maybe the kitchen blender death, because it was like an eighties horror moment, or the umbrella through the eye death, because it’s straight from Clown College 101. Q. What are you working on next?Â I’d love to make a fairly unrelatedÂ sequel to this film.Â Red Christmas 2: Coffin Birth, set twenty years after this film. Five young women atÂ college find themselves dealing withÂ misogyny, as a hooded killer is mutilating men on campus.Â Â Q. What’s your favourite festive horror? I love the stupidity ofÂ Silent Night, Deadly Night, the childhood memories ofÂ Gremlins, but without a doubt it would be the awesome proto-slasherÂ Black Christmas, because it’s one of the handful ofÂ horror films to deal with abortion.