The Welsh director who lives in Indonesia talks V/H/S 2 , The Raid 2 and why he’s too violent for a superhero movie…
SFX: How did you feel when you were first asked to get involved with V/H/S 2 ?
Gareth Evans: I was interested in it but a little bit apprehensive – I'd put little elements of horror into The Raid but I'd never done flat-out horror. I was like “I don't know if I want to do this alone, I want to have someone else who can support me.” Me and Timo [Tjahjhanto] have been friends in Indonesia for about six years now. We watch the same movies together and hang out together all the time so we were looking for something to collaborate on and I was like “I got offered this thing on V/H/S 2 ” and he was like “no way, so did I!” so it just snowballed from there.
Where did the idea for your segment “Safe Haven” come from?
Timo had the whole story mapped out in his head. He wanted to do something about this Jonestown massacre style cult. These journalists could be investigating that and then what if it's on the day of their mass suicide? I was intrigued straight away because it's such a great concept.
Were you given a subgenre to work within like the directors of the first V/H/S ?
No, we were all given creative freedom to come up with what we wanted to. Once we pitched our ideas the guys overseeing the whole thing could see a framework where it would fit. It just fell into place that we all stumbled on to this slightly similar thing that was a sense of impending apocalypse. So you’ve got a zombie epidemic, you’ve got an alien invasion, you’ve got the opening of hell. But that was just a fluke.
What’s the home-grown horror scene like in Indonesia?
It’s patchy. There’s a few people who are making really interesting movies like Joko Anwar who made The Forbidden Door and Modus Anomali and obviously the Mo brothers [Timo Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel] are really pushing it forward. But the studio stuff – there’s a reason why it doesn’t travel. It’s often very cheap sex comedy horror, it’s not sexy, it’s not funny and it’s not scary so it just fails on all fronts.
But next up, The Raid 2 [Ed's note – the first film wasn’t SFX territory, but it was AWESOME]. What can we expect?
What we’re doing with this one is expanding the story more. There’s a lot more drama to this one. Some of the criticisms made of the first one is that it was “fight, fight, fight, fight fight”. Which is fair enough because that’s what we designed it as, it was like an experiment. But with this one we’ve expanded the universe more, added a lot more character stuff, so I’m hoping people will be a bit more willing to go with it. That doesn’t mean we skimp on the action but we’ve just put a bit more drama in there.
Ever fancied doing a superhero movie?
I enjoy watching superhero movies. I don’t know if I could make one myself right now. I just don’t know how to make a PG-13 movie. There are some dark characters I’ve always been a fan of. I’ve always loved the Punisher, some from Japanese comics too, I’ve always loved Golgo 13, they’re edgier characters I might be interested in at some point but outside of that I have to learn how to make a nice movie that’s got action but not so much violence!
The V/H/S 2 UK release date is 14 October 2013.