Scare Tactics interview with Gregory Blair

by Christine Caprilozzi

SCARE TACTICS tells of horror film writer Grafton Torn for whom hypnotherapy and nightmares reveal memories that might or might not be real…and that might or might not be deadly. A valentine to the horror and psychological thriller genres, SCARE TACTICS has everything a creepy movie should have. And then some!

Recently Horror News Network’s Christine Caprilozzi caught up with director, Gregory Blair, to talk about Scare Tactics.

Horror News Network: The film “Scare Tactics” revolves around a horror writer, Grafton Torn. Are there any autobiographical moments in there for you?

Gregory Blair: Well, I’d love to say I wrote “Scare Tactics” in a remote, creaky cabin at night with nothing but a bottle of Jack and a black cat yowling in the distance, but I live in urban Los Angeles and write totally sober with a brown-eyed, warm-fuzzy of a rescue dog by my side. The dead bodies are only in my scripts. So far.


Horror News Network: Give us an overview, without giving too much away, of Torn’s journey through the story / film?

Gregory Blair: Well, it’s really about awakening. He literally awakens from a coma at the beginning and, through the rest of the film, he awakens to elements of his life that he either forgot about through the passage of time or as a result of the injury. One of my favorite scenes is where he watches an old interview of himself because, not only is it a physical manifestation of self-reflection (like his ghostly image in the windows at night), but it also shows how our perspective changes—in bits and pieces—over time. At first, as the younger Grafton in the interview waxes philosophical, the Grafton in the present just burps as commentary. But then as the younger Grafton continues, the Grafton in the present hears another meaning to what’s begin said—a connotation the younger Grafton could not possibly have had in mind. Life’s like that, sometimes, I think; hindsight can occasionally kick us in head.


Horror News Network: The trailer looks super creepy-the old school toy doll always bothers me-how would describe the film? Thriller, or more gore horror?

Gregory Blair: I see it as a fairly even split between the horror and the thriller genres. As for the horror element, though, rather than “gore” horror, think more along the lines of “Psycho” or the original “Halloween”: even though there are brutal murders in those films, you never really see any guts or heavy gore; it’s all done in a very scary, but very clean fashion. Add up all the classic elements of the genre (butcher knives, hatchets, guns, possessed dolls, hooded figures, murders–and a healthy dollop of blood) and it’s hard not to call “Scare Tactics” a horror film. But if the trappings are all classic horror, the plot of “Scare Tactics” operates to a large degree like a psychological thriller: the main character is trying to solve a mystery—the mystery of his own past. His journey from ignorance to comprehension has tons of twists and turns—not only for himself, but for the audience as well: we take the journey with Grafton and have trouble figuring out what’s real and what isn’t as the puzzle keeps changing, but we also take an additional journey of our own as we try to figure out if Grafton’s a reliable narrator or we’re seeing the confusing nightmares of a man sinking into madness.


Horror News Network: How did Bill Oberst become involved in the project?

Gregory Blair: Bill and I met about a year ago and clicked right away. Our backgrounds are at once disparate and similar, but the similarities are what make us bond: we both grew up as different varieties of social misfits; we both are passionate about acting, film and theater and we both play bad guys a lot. (I’m in front of the camera when I’m not behind it.) Bill and I had wanted to work together for a while and discussed different projects, but “Scare Tactics” stood out as the one to run with: it gives Bill a starring role that allows him to really show off his range in a way that I think people are going to stand up and take notice. He’s such a nice guy in person and his screen presence can be so terrifying and disturbing: “Scare Tactics” gets to make use of both of those elements in a way that no film before it has ever done.


Horror News Network: What is your target wrap or release date for the film?

Gregory Blair: We are finalizing our shooting schedule in the coming weeks, but the target is late August/early September. I’d love to say we’ll have the film done in time for Halloween, just because that’s so perfect and cool for a horror film, but it’s more likely we’ll be looking at a 2013 release date.


Horror News Network: Where can the HNN audience learn more about the film “Scare Tactics”?

Gregory Blair: There are lots of places to keep tabs on the film. First off, there’s our IndieGoGo campaign page which we’ve set up to allow folks to join us in the fun and be a part of the film by donating money in exchange for immortality in the film credits and all sorts of other cool perks. The more money we raise, the better the film is going to turn out. Folks can also check out our official website, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!/ScareTactics1 We’d love everyone to be a part of the “Scare Tactics” team.

Scare Tactics horror movie

Scare Tactics horror movie

Scare Tactics horror movie

Scare Tactics horror movie

Horror News Network: Thank you for your time, Gregory. Best of luck with the Scare Tactics movie!

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