The Movie Waffler Interview - THE TENT Writer/Director Kyle Couch | The Movie Waffler

Interview - THE TENT Writer/Director Kyle Couch

the tent movie
"Our imagination can conjure up scarier images than what I can physically produce," says filmmaker Kyle Couch, writer-director of The Tent.

Now available On Demand in the US (UK/ROI release TBA), and coming soon to DVD, The Tent is the latest film from award-winning filmmaker Kyle Couch.

Winner of multiple awards, and featuring an applauded turn from actor Tim Kaiser, the end-of-days thriller fixes on an apocalyptic event that leaves a man isolated and alone on the edge of the wilderness. Soon enough, another survivor emerges who disrupts the fragile balance of power.

kyle couch

How are you holding up through all this madness of late?

I am holding up good. My wife and I just celebrated our daughter's first birthday in June and while it was minimal, it’s those special moments that can really keep us hopeful and keep us from losing hope in such a intense cultural and worldly climate.

How have you been keeping busy?

I work for a non-profit in Michigan doing video production so I never really stopped, just had to take precautions that were in line with the CDC recommendations.

Has the pandemic affected your work?

It has, where I would work with a bigger crew, I now have to work independently, but it’s been a great time to sharpen my skills and really learn how to be creative, which I am always looking to do.

I have to ask about the film’s themes. There are some very relatable real world issues here, fused with sci-fi. Can you talk about that?

Yes, it was an opportunity for me to tackle some very real world issues in an abstract way, very similar to some of my favourite, recent movies like It Follows and Get Out. Those two movies fused relatable issues with an abstract concept and never lost what their message was. With The Tent, it was important to follow in those footsteps but also offer a chance to play in the realm of horror and sci-fi.

Is it hard to ground a sci-fi movie?

It can be for sure. For me, my favourites put character first, not concept. The best ones usually use the creature or entity to draw out the layers of the main characters. I certainly attempted to do that here. Everyone looks at Jaws like a shark movie, and since then we’ve seen a million killer shark movies, but what that film really did was a tell a story about three men who each had a goal and an inner conflict to deal with; the shark simply drew it out of them.

Did you play with different version of the finale?

I initially had a more, simple finale in mind but then Tim (David in the film) challenged me to up the ante. At first it drew reluctance on my part but once I laid into it, I couldn’t stop writing and it became my favourite part of the script.

Like Jaws, you don’t see a lot of the ‘threat’ here. Can you discuss?

Yes, I’ve heard it said before that our imagination can conjure up scarier images than what I can physically produce and so because of that, I decided to let each viewer imagine their own version of “Those That Walk In Darkness,” with slight glimpses instead of a full on display of the creature.

Is there a type of horror film you personally enjoy more?

You know sticking to the theme of creatures heard and referenced but not seen, I remember a film my Dad showed me as a kid, The Legend of Boggy Creek. It was a documentary style film about a bigfoot type creature with fake interviews and everything. That movie scared the living daylights out of me and still to this day, never leaves my mind. I’ve always been intrigued by being scared; it’s really cathartic in some ways.

What have been some of your favourite horror films in recent times?

One of my favourites of late was Willow Creek. It was masterful in building atmosphere and intrigue in the smallest of details. I can really appreciate films like that, films that do a lot with a little. I also love movies like It Follows and Get Out because, as I had mentioned, they are so rich in their symbolism, they deserve multiple viewings. That takes a lot of thought and dedication and they are just flat out fun films to watch.

the tent movie poster