Director of new horror with near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score explains why it's important to support "arthouse" and "unusual" scary movies

(Image credit: IFC Films)

It seems the most popular horror movies at the moment are all remakes, sequels, and prequels, or focus on themes we have seen before. Enter Stopmotion, the kind of "unusual, out there" film we don't see every day – and just the kind of movie genre fans should be supporting, says its director. 

"It's very important," Robert Morgan tells GamesRadar+ in response to being asked what he thinks of movies like his being celebrated in the community. "If you think about making films like this, it's an unusual genre of film, it's kind of, it's out there."

Starring Aisling Franciosi (The Last Demeter, Speak No Evil), Stopmotion follows a young stop-motion animator named Ella Blake who, after spending her life in the shadow of her talented, late mother, finally finds artistic freedom and embarks on her own project. But things take a sinister turn when the bloody puppets from her film start to haunt her everyday life.

The movie has been a big hit with critics, earning an impressive 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it "exhilaratingly" and "inventive." Viewers, on the other hand, are divided, which is reflected in its 48% audience score. Morgan thinks this is down to the movie not sitting "within the normal rhythms of a normal horror movie," and being "weird" and "introspective," falling in the "arthouse" category. "I know a lot of horror fans don't like that kind of thing," says Morgan. "But I think the people that really like it, really love it. I think when it speaks to people it really speaks to people."

But Stopmotion isn't the first experimental horror flick of recent times to get a mixed reception, as last year's Skinamarink received the same comments as well as Longlegs director Osgood Perkins' fantasy horror flick Gretel & Hansel. 

Morgan says he was keen to make the movie, despite not being sure people would like it, and believes it is important to create films for smaller demographics to relate to, including stop motion artists. "I always felt like the process of stop motion animation could be really interesting to depict in a film. I've never seen that depicted in a movie," says the director. "I'm amazed that no one's done it, so I was very eager to do it."

Stopmotion will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital on July 1. Can't wait? The movie is available to stream right now on Shudder. For more, check out our list of the best horror movies on Shudder, or keep up with upcoming horror movies heading your way soon.   

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.