Brace yourselves for the first ever feature-length horror film to be shot entirely on an iPhone.HOOKED UP is out now on DVD from Signature Entertainment.
Following in the dark and twisted footsteps of found-footage classics like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, the horrors of HOOKED UP are delivered through the iPhones of Tonio (Jonah Ehrenreich) and Peter (Stephen Ohl), two young Americans who travel to Barcelona to party and meet women. When Tonio and Peter befriend the flirtatious Noemi and Katia on their first night out partying, they escort them back to the house where things take an unexpected turn. The boys become trapped in the house and soon realise that the girls have a very different kind of party in mind – one the guests don’t get to leave…
Director Pablo Larcuen turns the found footage genre on its head in much the same way as distant cousin VHS did. Destined to become a cult favourite and arriving on a huge wave of anticipation among genre and tech fans, HOOKED UP brings an age-old tale of terror firmly and horrifyingly into the present.
PABLO LARCUEN INTERVIEW
CofC: Congratulations on making the 1st horror film shot using an iPhone.
Pablo: Thank you. It doesn’t sound as innovative today because everyone is doing things with iPhone but we made the film back in 2012 with an iPhone 4.
CofC: What were the technical difficulties while shooting ?
Pablo: So many. Back then, the iPhone was not prepared at all to be used as a professional shooting device. In fact, we faced many challenges when faced many obstacles when we were on pre production, that we were about to change the format several times.
The main problem is that, in order to be able to edit the footage professionally, you need to have stable clips and the iPhone 4 was not very good at it. For instance, the frame rate would variate as the battery level descended. Also, if you were trying to make a very long video (and most of our takes were longer than 15 minutes) the phone would sometimes create corrupt files because no one had done it before, it wasn’t as simple as to Google the questions that we had so we ended up having an Apple technician advising us.
CofC: Were there no camera set ups at all ?
Pablo: No, it’s all iPhone.
CofC: How did you meet Jaume Collet-Serra and what attracted him to Hooked Up?
Pablo: I reached to him by email when I was developing the script and he was very open to help us because he was a fan of our short films. At first he was just advising us but, when we ran out of money, he partnered with us to help us finish the film. We are very thankful to him.
CofC: Hooked Up is a great story with elements of REC, Paranormal Activity among many others .
Pablo: Thank you. This two films were definitely ground breaking in a way and defined a style that many others have copied afterwards. While we didn’t had any of this films in mind or intended to copy them, it’s inevitable to have some similar moments when you are working with such a limited narrative style.
CofC: Where did the idea to shoot on an iphone come from and what are your favourite types of horror film?
Pablo: It came from the budget. We had no money at all to do this film and, of course, we couldn’t afford to rent any of the equipment that we had been using up to that point. The iPhone looked like an interesting and challenging tool and, out of all the cameras that we could get for 0 euros, it was the one that offered the best texture in low lights as it almost resembles 16mm sometimes.
I’m not a big horror fan. I like films in general no matter what genre, style or nationality they have. Of course, I like many horror films such as “The Shining” and “The Changeling” but I wouldn’t define horror as my favorite genre. When I was a teenager I was a lot into gore films but specially the ones that mixed the bloody stuff with comedy like “Braindead”, “Basket Case” and “Brain Damage”.
CofC: Do you plan to stay in the horror genre ?
Not at all. All my other films, except for “Hooked Up” could be defined as comedic dramas. Doing a horror film was just a way to get out of my comfort zone and try to learn something new.