Award-winning director Cat Hostick joins us on Close-Up Culture to talk about directing episodes of the nightmarish anthology series, Urban Legend.
The series showcases classic urban legends as you’ve never seen them before. Featuring lurking psychopaths, murderous mysteries, creepy creatures and twisting tales, these disturbing legends prey on our most deeply embedded fears to shock and terrify. Urban Legend is streaming now on Discovery+.
Hi Cat, welcome to Close-Up Culture. How did this opportunity to work on Urban Legend come about?
I had previously worked on a couple of Eli Roth’s shows, so I was asked to jump on to Urban Legend.
It must have been so exciting to work with Eli Roth. What was your collaboration like?
My favorite horror movie growing up was Hostel – so it’s weird when things come full circle and you end up working with someone who influenced you. Eli is just one of the best people to create with – he’s extremely passionate, present, brilliant and really cares about the work. He’s been super supportive of me as a director. I always look forward to seeing his notes on a cut. When a master of genre is critiquing your work and giving you notes on how to make it better… You really learn a lot.
Can you reveal anything about the episodes you directed and what you wanted to bring to them?
Creep in The Walls is such a terrifying episode – and it’s messed up because this one is actually inspired by a true story. There are newspaper articles to prove it, whereas some other urban legends are based on myths. I wanted the house/the walls of the house that the story was set in to feel like a character – so we found this farm house that naturally felt like it was haunted. Also, fun fact – the “behind the walls” portion of the episode was a set built in the basement of that house we filmed in – it was ONE L- shaped wall if you can believe that. A lot of people were very surprised at that because the way I directed it made it feel like Halle and the creep were running through the walls of the entire house. I wanted to try and bring an emotional element into these episodes, along with always trying to make a terrifying thrill. For Creep In The Walls – it’s the ending with Halle’s sister trying to save her, and the fake out of death, with the embrace at the end between sisters.
Who are some of your biggest horror influences?
Eli Roth, Ari Aster, James Wan, Roman Polanski, M Night Shyamalan.
Can you tell us about your background and what led you into the world of filmmaking?
I was a small girl, grew up in a small town, and had big dreams. I always knew I wanted to be a filmmaker and actress. Always was doing plays, and even made my first horror flick in grade 6. My parents had no idea how to get me into the biz professionally, so I sought it out when I moved to Toronto after graduation. I took the Matt Damon and Ben Affleck route – started making my own films because it felt more fulfilling to do roles I wanted, or direct stories I really wanted to tell.
What type of projects would you love to take on in the future?
It depends on the story. I really love genre and see myself as a genre director. Would love to do a Marvel movie, a sci-fi romance, and of course – plotting my next horror movie!
What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I just want to make really good content that an audience can connect with and keep getting better as a filmmaker.