Hoffine's visual storytelling skills stem in part from a childhood spent devouring classic horror films. "My mom took us [Hoffine and his sisters] to Poltergeist
, and it blew our minds," he says. "We would play Poltergeist
like it was a game - my little sister would get sucked into the fan, and we had to go in and get her from the other side. When I did get into horror as an adult, it made me feel like a kid again."
To celebrate Hoffine's Black Lullaby
, which doubles as the conclusion of his photo series After Dark, My Sweet
, the Screenland Armour is showing the hometown artist's movie at 8:30 tonight,
just before a Night of the Living Dead
: How did you create
After Dark, My Sweet?
: I started making the photographs 10 years ago. I made a dozen photographs that dealt with childhood fears. I kept thinking that a movie could allow me to go even bigger with this basic horror idea. To prove that I could do a movie, I started thinking about doing a short film.
I got the footage with my daughter when she was still young, in 2005. I didn't know how to finish the film. I had it all photographed, but I didn't know any film or makeup people, and I had everything finished but the last shot. It sat unfinished for a long time as I started making more photographs dealing with other subjects. Now, though, I have more opportunities to make a movie, so I thought, I better finish this
. I did a Kickstarter campaign, got my special-effects man to make the monster for me, and then I knew enough people that I could finish the sound, and everything else. I finally have it done.
Joshua Hoffine knows what creeps you out because it's essentially what makes anybody's skin crawl. But what he does with fundamental childhood fears is masterful. His photographs are, simply put, captivating. And now, he's about to debut his first short film.