Joston Theney is the director and writer of the new horror film Axeman as well as the thriller, Adam K, which is currently in production. A native of Atlanta, he became a fan of horror when he discovered a relative’s collection of 80s horror flicks.
In this interview, novelist Sidney Williams and Joston talk about the chance meeting that led to Axeman, the process of creating a homage to 80s slashers, and why axes are so terrifying.
SW: Joston, from the trailer at least, it looks as if you’ve crafted a slasher film with just a little bit more to the story. Can you give us just a brief synopsis of what the tale is about?
JT: Sure, sure, sure. … Axeman—you’re right there’s just a little bit more to it than just being a straightforward slasher. It’s number one an homage to 80s slashers. In and of itself it has all of the prerequisite stereotypes that are typically found in 80s slasher films, but what we tried to do also is make all of those stereotypes very, very human and very familiar, not just in a sense of things you’ve seen on the surface but make it more familiar to you in terms of making the characters more real and more grounded and giving them more gravitas.
We also have the prerequisite group of friends who show up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. They sit around and they discuss these urban legends, and one of them turns out to be very, very true, which is the tale of the Axeman of Cutter’s Creek, which is part of the folklore of the Big Bear community. We also have a group of bank robbers who’ve descended on the cabin as their getaway from the heat of the cops as well as people they double crossed to steal the money. We use that money as a backdrop to talk about humanity and how money changes people and it changes people’s motivations. And so you have all of that swirling together as people are being hacked to pieces. Continue reading