Filmmaker Patrick Lussier is a jack-of-all-trade in the movie business. He’s an accomplished director and writer of course but also an editor, producer, production manager, and more. He’s been working in the business since 1990. Lussier has worked with the legendary Wes Craven more than anyone else.
He has directed such films as Dracula 2000, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Drive Angry, and more.
I recently had the chance to speak with Patrick about his latest film he directed and co-wrote, the Halloween horror film, TRICK. The film has the potential of being a Halloween staple that fans pull out to watch each year – it’s that good.
-Thank you for taking the time out of your day to speak with me. I really appreciate it.
Horror Patch: We’re here to talk about your latest film, the Halloween themed horror/thriller, Trick. It is a well-written, well-acted, and well-directed film. I really enjoyed it.
Patrick Lussier: Oh, I’m so glad. I’m glad to hear that, thank you.
HP: I had it all planned out while I was watching the film about halfway through. I was going to ask you about the inevitable questions concerning the comparisons to another classic Halloween horror film BUT after the twist in the final reel, I can’t ask you that because it doesn’t apply.
PL: Yeah, it doesn’t apply, yeah. That was very much by design.
HP: I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending of the film. I had to let it sit with me for a couple of days and finally decided I liked the ending. It was new and different. Something we’ve never seen before.
PL: That was very much the reason Todd Farmer and I wrote that ending and did that. We felt that if we were re-entering the slasher genre and especially a season as specific as Halloween, we needed to do something unexpected.
HP: Yes, you did that. You and Todd Farmer seem to make a good team. How did you two come together and what makes him a good partner that you two keep working together?
PL: Todd and I first met years ago. I was brought in to design and oversee reshoots and a recut of Darkness Falls. Todd at the time was writing a movie called Scarecrow for Revolution Studios at the same time. After finishing Darkness Falls I was asked If I wanted to direct Scarecrow, which I had said I did and Todd and I worked on a couple of drafts. The movie went to turnaround. They decided they didn’t want to make it at that time. The movie ended up being changed. It was rewritten and became a movie called The Messengers with Kristin Stewart.
Todd and I stayed friends and we wrote several things together that didn’t get made. One insanely expensive underwater ghost story that didn’t get off the ground. Then (My Bloody) Valentine happened. I asked Todd to come in and do all the rewriting for that. Todd did all the rewrites for that and really made it his own. Then we wrote Drive Angry together and wrote several other things together that are waiting in the wings. Then we came up with Trick.
Todd and I on the surface are very different but we are close to age and have all the similar pop-culture touchstones. Because of that, we speak a common language between us. Everything from ELO to The Moody Blues to pick your favorite horror film from the 70’s from Jaws to Invasion of the Body Snatchers to whatever.
HP: Right. I think you two make a good team together.
PL: Thank you. I do too.
HP: Were you involved in the casting process to get Tom Atkins to come in on the movie?
PL: Yes. Absolutely. Tom and I first worked together on My Bloody Valentine. He and I became fast friends. We then had him again in Drive Angry. Basically, everything Todd and I write we try and say “is there a part for Tom? Or how do we write for a part for Tom or how do we make sure that Tom is in this movie?” He was the first person we cast and put in the film. We’re always incredibly excited to work with Tom any chance we get. He’s not only a horror icon, he’s a wonderful human.
HP: Yes. Well, I love Tom and I loved his character in Trick. He was such a curmudgeonly guy but kicked ass.
PL: He is. In his eighties running around with a shotgun and very funny and charming. We were thrilled by that.
HP: I have to ask you…You got to work with the late Wes Craven on several films. How was he to work with?
PL: I worked with Wes starting in 91. I think the last job I did for Wes was in 2009 but we stayed friends all through from 91 to Wes’s passing in 2015, which was very sad. Wes was a great mentor and always had such wonderful practical advice. For years I would constantly ask him questions about how did you do this or why did you make that choice and what was this and what was that. He would have sometimes very thoughtful story-driven answers, creative answers. Sometimes he would give practical answers like well, we were running out of time, we were running out of this and this didn’t show up and this is why we did that. I learned a tremendous amount from him and I feel so fortunate to have had his friendship and trust for so many years and miss him dearly.
HP: Holiday films whether they’re Halloween or Christmas have a special place in people’s hearts if they’re made right. No other type of film gets taken out on a yearly basis and replayed year after year. I think Trick has a shot at being one of those films. How do you feel about that?
PL: I would be thrilled to be part of people’s Halloween horror list. We were very lucky to be part of My Blood Valentine’s holiday list as there are not as many Valentine’s horror movies. People often have a certain – but certainly, for Trick, we didn’t make it with that in mind but at the same time, it’s something that would be wonderful to be part of if the audience embraces it the way we hope they do.
HP: That’s awesome because I think I will be bringing it out to watch every Halloween now.
What do you have coming up you would like to talk about besides Trick?
PL: I have just finished directing an episode of The Purge Season 2, which will be on USA on December 2nd. Todd and I have a couple of other things that were working on we hope we will be able to announce in the next couple months.
HP: That’s great. Thank you so much, Patrick, for talking with me. I’ve loved your films, Drive Angry, My Bloody Valentine, Dracula 2000, all those. I’m always up to see what you’re doing next and I’ll be one of the first in line to watch whatever you’re making.
PL: Thank you so much, Michael. I really appreciate it and I hope you feel better.
Watch the trailer for Trick here: