FIRST-time feature film director Luke Shanahan used to shy away from using the term ‘genre’ to describe his film.
Shanahan, who has a background in commercials and short films, has ventured into feature film-making with psychological thriller Rabbit, which is about an identical twin who returns to her hometown after seeing visions of her missing sister.
The movie had its WA premiere at CinefestOz in August and was recently announced as part of the Adelaide film Festival in October.
“People always refer to horror and thriller as ‘genre films’, but it is funny because comedy is a genre, drama is genre,” he said.
“I have been careful to avoid the term genre because in Australia it is kind of a dirty word, but we have found out (Rabbit) is playing at a couple of genre festivals so I am learning to embrace it now.”
Listing Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining and Let The Right One In as inspirations, Shanahan said he was more interested in tension than gore for his first feature.
“My commercials are tinged with humour,” he said.
“If you saw my show reel, a lot of my work is comedy but my scripts are darker with a more David Lynch vibe.
The Lynchian vibe is apparent in Rabbit.
Shanahan, who has a couple of sets of twins as friends, said he was intrigued by the notion that twins sensed each other’s pain.
“I am no scientist; it is based in old wives’ tales, but there is research in Queensland on twins about it,” he said.
“This is not a gore fest. American films show people chopped up; I wanted to allude to it and imply.”
Shanahan said his movie was a “big screen film’ and intended to be seen at the cinema.
“Due to the nature of it, it is an aural assault,’ he said.
“It is not intended to be watched on computers; some laptops have terrible sound.”
Rabbit will be released nationally in February.