For whatever reason, many of us started watching horror movies at a young age, and some of us started at a REALLY young age. Nevertheless; films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Carrie or Scream influenced our formative years to make us into the person we are today, and for Kieran Nolan Jones, that still stands true.
Jones is the producer and director for an upcoming horror documentary, Teen Screams, which explores and dissects teen horror cinema whist explore the cultural influences of the genre and the rocky relationship between the influence of thrills and kills with its teenage audience. When discussing the past, present, and future of this specific sub-genre, Jones sounds calculated and well-thought out in response. He has thoroughly considered the contents of this documentary and wants to deliver a great product that is entertaining, yet educational.
So, naturally I had many inquiries in regard to the history of teen horror. Below you'll find the direct response to following questions.
"What influenced you to create a documentary on teen horror cinema?"
Being a teenager can be the scariest the time in a person’s life. Everything in a teen’s universe is changing both physically and emotionally. Hurtling into teenage years, teens embark on their (first) horrific situations of their life: heartbreak, a changing body, low self-esteem, bullies, loneliness and the worst of them all, the dreaded school dance. Fears forged during this time go on to shape adult lives. It’s these fears which have fascinated me and what sucked me into the genre. Yes, this is a film about the teen horror genre but also what it means to come of age in the most terrifying of circumstances. The teen horror genre can be incredibly deep and even cathartic. Intertwining the comfort blanket of teen movie clichés with something more sinister the genre is captivating. The potent metaphors teen horror films can explore are brilliant examples of how effective horror can be in communicating issues we all been through. After finding myself in a teen horror rabbit hole I began to wonder about the cultural influences and even origins of the genre and that how the film was born.
"For an audience that may not be familiar, what are some tropes of a classic teen horror?"
In overtly broad narrative terms, the teen horror is a twisted coming-of-age story injected with terror. The genre’s scope is massive; from slashers, body horror to supernatural dramas and beyond, there is teen horror film for everyone. Universally, the genre pits unsuspecting and often troublesome teens against a malevolent force which they must overcome to become a better person and/or survive.
"Have teens influenced horror, or has horror influenced teens?"
Horror films are always a product of their time and teen horror is no different. Each generation has their own fears and anxieties whilst growing up, and this is what we aim to manifest on screen throughout the film.
"Can we expect a trailer anytime soon?"
We are currently researching the film and gathering contributors for the project. We hope to start filming certain UK based interviews very soon and then begin our crowdfunding campaign so we can start full production. However, if you follow our social media pages, you may get a surprise in very near future!
"What is the best teen horror?"
For me, the best teen horror films are the ones which explore the dark hearts of the audience and use genre tropes to confront demons which have plagued them subconsciously.
"Where can people find out more in the future? Do you have any other big projects coming up?"
All our news will be shared on our Twitter & Instagram pages. We have a vast slate of horror documentaries and horror fantasy features and shorts in the works. One which has been announced is ‘YULETIDE HORROR’ – a feature documentary exploring the Christmas horror folklore and cinema.