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Attack Of The Demons: An Animated Horror

Late October is here, which means Halloween is just around the corner and many people's thoughts turn to all things spooky. That includes independent animator Eric Power, the filmmaker behind animated feature Path Of Blood, Life On Paper and numerous music videos. Attack Of The Demons is an animated horror film concept that Power hopes to bring to life, alongside writing partner Andreas Peterson.

"Attack of the Demons is an animated horror feature based off our love of the horror films we grew up on.  These were the films that frightened a younger me and ignited a lifelong love affair with genre cinema." Power tells AFA. "The story revolves around a small Colorado town which, during their annual Halloween Festival, gets overrun by an ancient evil from deep within the mountains.  Three unsuspecting young adults become swept up in the struggle to resist the spread of a demon apocalypse."




So far a proof-of-concept trailer has been released online, alongside a number of fake commercials, designed to introduce audiences to the world and tone of the film."The proof of concept is our way of showcasing the unique approach we will bring to the film and excite audience who may have never experienced what an animated horror film can bring to the table." Eric explains. " Our plan is to, firstly, make people aware of the project.  Secondly, hopefully, attract the interest of people who believe in the project enough to help us make it.  We are attempting to make the film as cost-effectively as possible while maintaining a high level of quality.  This takes funding, of course, so with luck we will be able to round out our modest budget and make some scares happen!"

Path Of Blood was an action/samurai film, so Attack Of The Demons is a new direction for Power- but it's one he's long wanted to head in.  As he told us," I am a huge horror fan.  It's my favourite genre of cinema". This love for the genre led him and Peterson to pay homage to the films that had the biggest influence on them. " Our influences for Attack of the Demons range from the Giallos of the 70's (notably Lamberto Bava's Demons), the gory fare of the 80's such as Carpenter's The Thing and the 88' Blob remake, and a healthy dose of anime influence with films like Akira, Demon City Shinjuku, and Vampire Hunter D.".



"For me, I took a lot of inspiration from a certain brand of horror films you'd find in the mid 80's to early 90's," Peterson adds. "These movies would have a wicked sense of humour, and be absolutely drenched in blood and/or slime. I was heavily influenced by movies like Re-Animator, The Stuff, Frankenhooker, Street Trash, and Ernest Scared Stupid. While Attack of the Demons in first and foremost a horror movie, it was important to me that the movie was fun as well."

The film also taps into a reach seam of nostalgia for all things 80's and 90's. This is a big thing in mainstream horror right now, leading to the success of Stranger Things and the new adaptation of Stephen King's It.  This nostalgia can perhaps be most keenly felt in the previously mentioned fake in-universe commercials.

"One of the main characters in our story is a film enthusiast.  He often watches and records late night movie marathons on a program called "Movie Tron" (our world's equivalent to a show like Monster Vision).  The commercials we made exist as a "found footage" of a VHS recording made during a time leading up to the events in our film. "





"The film is set in an alternate universe 1994, so it's allowed us to have fun with recreating the look and feel of ads during the time period.  Our hope is to "uncover" more of this footage as production continues on Attack of the Demons.  Each new piece of video will shed light on the world of the film and maybe offer some clues as to what went down that fateful night!"





Perhaps the biggest hurdle the film faces is getting audiences to accept horror as a legitimate genre for animation to tackle. However, the director thinks that working in animation has many advantages for telling such stories. "One of the coolest things about animation is we can achieve moments in the film that would be near impossible to attempt if we were shooting live action.  There's some seriously crazy stuff that goes down in the final act of the film that would put our budget way out of reach if we tried to tackle it outside of my medium".




"The beauty of many horror films, and especially the type of horror we are making,  is they are allowed to embrace the fantastic.  To fully enjoy a horror film requires a suspension of disbelief.  You may not believe in ghosts, yet still get a thrill from watching a well-crafted ghost story play out.  I've always felt that if you tell a good story, the audience will come along for the ride." But the question remains- can this horror animation scare an audience? "That's a good question.  I actually feel like we will get scares from our film.  It'll be a combination of good drama, well-crafted visuals, and the incredible musical score we are cooking up that will raise people's hair.  Most importantly, it will entertain."

"I also think that handmade animation and horror pair nicely together," Andreas adds. "As horror fans, we want to see the love and passion on the screen. There's a reason that horror fans seem to be the ones who wax the most poetic about the good old days of practical movie magic. I think Eric's particular style of animation translates that love and passion into a whole different entity, but with the exact same heart. I think you can feel the terror because what you are looking at is real, in a sense. Each frame was lovingly created, positioned, and composited with human hands, and I think people to get that. Some of the scariest things I have ever seen in my life were the animated works of the Brothers Quay or the Mermaid Saga adaptations from the 90s."




So you've watched the videos and heard the pitch. But what can you do if you want to help make sure Eric and Andreas get to bring their vision to life?  "One of the best ways to help us out is to share our trailer around and join us on social media." Eric says. " I am hoping to make this film "publicly", which means I will be posting a ton of behind the scenes stuff on Instagram, making videos, interacting with people, and just being around to chat horror.  I really want to invite people into the process and just have fun with it.  We are also looking for help raising funds, so if anyone is digging what they see and is in a position to get involved financially, I would love to open a dialogue."

Andreas added "If people are interested in seeing a movie like this, let the world know, and share the trailer with like-minded fans. If there's an audience out there for the film, someone will recognize that and help get it made."

Here at AFA, we definitely want to see that happen.. and we hope you do too! For more visit Eric Power's website, and Youtube channel and follow him on twitter.
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