Lilith is a demon that you may have never heard of before, but you might have already met her in one form or another. And now, she’s graced the screen in a shocking new horror film from Director Alex T. Hwang!
Check out our review of “Lilith,” written by LAHorror.com contributor & filmmaker Paul Stephen Edwards, and get some insight into this new film with our exclusive interview with Director Alex T. Hwang! Get ready for this one, Horror Lovers, it’s a twisted flick! Enjoy, Horror Lovers!
“Lilith Review” – written by Paul Stephen Edwards (@infinitejester)
One of the most anticipated independent horror movies of the year, Lilith offers an intriguing twist on horror anthologies. The central character of the film, an ageless vengeful feminine force, can manifest itself in almost any form. Director Alexander T. Hwang wisely chooses some of horror’s most talented actors to inhabit her manifestations.
After a quick bloody introduction to Felissa Rose’s incarnation of Lilith, we meet Detective Ryan Carson (Thomas Haley), a man on a mission to destroy Lilith. The mystery of his vendetta against her is the narrative through line that ties all the segments together.The next segment, Young Love written by Richard Aguirre begins as a sweet high school romantic comedy, but quickly takes a twist into noir horror. Brialynn Massie plays Brooke, a student who has been impregnated by her teacher (Michael Jon Murphy). Lara Jean plays April, Brooke’s friend, who assumes the femme fatale role. Along with a pair of jocks Colin and Tom (Hunter Johnson and Charles Chudabala), she hatches a plan to blackmail the teacher. Of course it goes horribly wrong.
Care Taker, a segment written by Anthony Werley is a tale of regret, bitterness, age, and lies. Vernon Wells plays Phillip, a man at the end of his life who is haunted by his past. He has been expecting Lilith for some time, and when she arrives in the form of Jennifer Nangle, she manages to both meet and subvert his expectations. Nangle and Wells play out a stealthy game of brinksmanship as the characters expose Phillip’s history.
Lust, also written by Anthony Werley, is a straightforward tale of cheating gone wrong shot in a beautifully saturated style. Colton Wheeler’s Darren is sexually frustrated in his relationship with Madison (Emily Coupe). His desire for sexual satisfaction leads him into Lilith’s path.
Serial Killer, written by Paul McFall, Richard Aguirre, and Alex T. Hwang is a neat little subversion of the serial killer genre. Frank (Frank Tryon) is doing his best to make Devanny Pinn one of his trophies. He’s unaware that he is facing an incarnation of Lilith.
What is interesting about the movie’s approach is that we end up with a fascinating composite character of Lilith. Rose’s animalistic fury is completely different than Jenn Nangle’s quiet sadism, but it makes complete sense that they’re the same character. While Devanny Pinn’s intelligently calculated approach vastly differs from Brialynn Massie’s raw emotional rage, but they both feel like they come from the same place. Lilith as the form of female rage against male oppression and indifference works so well due to this approach. In every case, offenders get the vengeance that they deserve. In this respect, Hwang’s film echoes the pre-code comic pulp of Tales from the Crypt.
Cinematographer Cesar Withingham brings a terrific sense of composition and a visual polish that brings terrific value to the film. He switches nimbly between the styles of each segment, assisted by effective editing by Richard Aguirre. Makeup and FX are handled by ChronixFX, who use a number of devices to visually join the Lilith incarnations together.
Hwang has made a huge jump in style, production value, and talent from 2016’s Prey, In Cold Blood. In many ways, his style resembles early Roger Corman. He’s great at turning out effective budget friendly genre films at a quick pace, and offers many emerging artists the opportunities to work with established genre greats. His Tiberius Films is quickly becoming an integral part of the Southern California film industry.
Exclusive Interview with Director Alex T. Hwang
LAHorror: Who is Lilith and why did you decide to make a film about her / it?
Alex T. Hwang: Lilith is a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud (3rd to 5th centuries). Lilith is often envisioned as a dangerous demon of the night, who is sexually wanton, and who steals babies in the darkness. She was actually the first wife of Adam, She demanded to be equal to Adam, but God refused. She was banished by God. She was angry, denounced God and left. But the Bible kept her secret. Originally we, Anthony Werley and I, had a great short script called “Lilith” about a female demon who punishes a husband for his indiscretions against his wife. After shooting the short and after reviewing the footage, Anthony, E.P. Kathleen Hwang and I got together and discussed turning into a feature. So we came up with four more storylines/shorts that connects all the stories together. we also wanted to showcase many talented actresses as the lead. We have five women playing Lilith in the movie, Felissa Rose, Brialynn Massie, Jennifer Nangle, Noel VanBrocklin and Devanny Pinn. Our Lilith has many faces.
LAHorror: Lots of anthology features have different directors for each segment, but not Lilith. Was it a challenge to jump from segment to segment as a director?
Alex T. Hwang: Between each segment, the production team and I had about a month to prepare for the other segment. So we were prepared. But with each storyline, locations were different, actors were all new, except one or two, some crew had schedule issues. But I really wanted each segment to feel different, for example, in one of the segment, I wanted to audience feel like they are watching two people boxing. In other, I wanted to audience to feel dirty and disgusted. I think “Lilith” has achieved that. I also wanted to feel each segment was directed by the different director, like many other anthologies, even though I was directing all the segments.
LAHorror: Which segment is your favorite??
Alex T. Hwang: It’s hard to pick one, I love every segment. Each segment has it’s beautiful moments. Each segment with a great story, awesome performances and it’s own blood and gore :). I can’t pick one.
Lilith has a lot of chilling performances from both established horror vets and newcomers to the scene. Without picking a favorite, which performances do you think will shock audiences the most?
Everyone did an excellent job. Each actor and actress brought their top game. And I’m not being PC here, I believe the audience will have their favorite, but all of them, how small or big the role was, they all hit it out of the park.
LAHorror: Thomas Haley gives a great performance and also acted as the other producer on Lilith as well as some of your other films. Tell us what makes Thomas such a go-to guy for creating indie horror?
Alex T. Hwang: I’m not sure about Thomas being a go-to guy for just indie horror, he’s very versatile in every aspect of filmmaking, from producing, directing, acting and marketing. Whether it’s horror, comedy or an action film, I, myself like to work with him because he helps you grow in your craft, whatever that may be. He and I worked a few shorts and two features now, and what I have learned is that he’s very detail oriented, as I’m more big picture person. When I’m directing he pushes me to be a better director, he lets me be creative, while he’s handling all other aspects of production. It’s fantastic to work with him. Honestly, he’s pain in the ass… Just kidding.
LAHorror: Whats next for you as a producer / director?
Alex T. Hwang: We just completed “Lilith”, so we’re going through festival circuits. And in post-production with “Bryan the RomCom”, a feature, we just shot in March, 2018, starring Sarah French, Felissa Rose, Vernon Wells and Vicent M. Ward. But I’m currently working on scripts for an action film and “Bryan the RomCom 2” and help others produce.
I’m going to direct a few shorts in the mean time, before the feature. That will keep me busy for next few years.
Lilith is now hitting the festival circuit. Be sure to stay up to date by following the film on Facebook.