One of our pleasant surprises from Frightfest is Triggered – the South African ‘friends wake up in the woods to find themselves strapped into suicide vests’ tension-fest.

Part of the success of the film (amidst the carnage) is the performance of Reine Swart, who plays Rian in the film – a whip-smart graduate with the brains, resourcefulness and toughness to face up to the pretty unique challenge.

So impressed were we in fact, that we reached out to Reine for an interview – and she kindly agreed.

Here goes…

Q. Thanks for your time Reine. Can you tell us how you first got involved with Triggered?

My pleasure and thanks for taking the time to interview me, a privilege. 
I got a private message on Facebook and I “accidentally” saw the message asking if I’d like to audition for Triggered. I’m not the best person to check messages on Social Media, but I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one. Working on Triggered was an incredible experience. I saw Alastair Orr was attached to the project and knew he directed a really cool horror, House on Willow Street, so I was keen from the get go. I sent self tapes, got a call back and was lucky enough to get picked for Rian. 

Q. Your character Rian goes through quite a lot during the course of the film – how would you sum her up as a character?

Haha. Yeah she does right! I would sum Rian up as “Harvard material leader of the pack who would kick ass when required.”

Q. After a campfire opening the film gets pretty physical quickly with lots of running and shouting – I imagine this shoot must have thrown up its own set of problems?

With Alastair, Brendon Barnes, the Cinematographer on Triggered, and the rest of the crew, I believe having such an experienced team on set, helped a lot. Mostly night shoots, so we fell in the dark from time to time. We had bruises, but we were proud of them, so it was all fun. The cast and crew were truly wonderful to work with and handled any obstacle really well. For example, it rained a couple of times, but even though it rained the producers planned in a way that the film still shot within the time frame set out. Maybe Charles Singleton’s (Sound Engineer on set) eardrums took some shots with us screaming a lot… 

Q. The film has quite a bit to say about friendship, loyalty and coping mechanisms. I particularly liked the line ‘Yep, but in horror movies the bad guys are not usually the good guys as well.’ What was your take on the film’s themes?

That is a great line. The one thing that particularly stood out for me, was how friends change when it’s life or death. Going from friends for life to every man (or woman – Amber’s line) for themselves. I guess you really only get to know your true friends when life throws you a curve ball. 

Q. You’ve been part of a number of horror projects in the past – what draws you to the genre? What type of horror appeals to you most?

What draws me to it, is that there is no limit to ones imagination when it comes to horror. Nothing is too big or too small, in horror anything is possible, which adds to the insane creativity of it. I’m a fan of most suspenseful movies, but particularly interested in supernatural horrors. A Stanley Kubrick fan.

Q. Obviously the film is screening at Frightfest among some illustrious company – do you think the genre in general is in a good place at the moment?

 I think so. It’s been a tough year for most people to put it lightly and horror films are the type of films that can help one escape reality. Now is a great time for genre films. The thrill and excitement behind it, makes it really fun to watch… in my opinion 🙂

Q. What can you tell us about Heks, which I believe you’re directing?

Yes, Heks is my Directorial debut, it’s a film about a witch doctor’s curse; when a mother dies, evil is released to haunt her daughter. What an experience, truly grateful. 

Q. Thanks Reine – and good luck with everything…

Thanks again!

Triggered plays at Arrow Video Frightfest Digital on Friday, August 28.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle