Joshua Graves is Raising the Bloody Bar With ‘Late Checkout’ (Interview)

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Joshua Graves Late Checkout Interview

Late Checkout Horror Movie Interview

The horror movie genre is filled with hardcore fans who always want to get in on the action. So many fans of the genre get their filmmaking start by making movies themselves. But for people like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson it becomes more than a weekend of corn syrup blood, it becomes a lifelong passion that kickstarts their directing careers. That’s why we were excited to talk with director Joshua Graves about his latest horror picture Late Checkout.

So many movies never leave the idea stage but for people like Joshua, he’s putting his passion and directing know-how to the test. We talked with Joshua about his latest gorefest, getting into filmmaking, and how he assembled a killer team of actors in Late Checkout. Enjoy.

Tell us how a dude from Greensboro, NC gets into horror films and the film industry itself.

From a very young age I was always attracted to film. Sitting with my dad and watching hammer films, Abbott and Costello films, I was enamored by them. My dad had a VHS collection and I would sneak and watch the hardcore stuff like Evil Dead 2. And I remember I would act out the scenes as I was watching them and I knew that somehow I wanted to be a part of film. 

So when I was in high school I had the chance to join our theater class and I took it. I loved acting but I always felt half full. So I had a chance to direct a Peter Pan play and that is when I fell in love with directing.

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The cover art for Late Checkout is incredible and heavily influenced by 80’s slasher movies. Tell us how the concept was curated and who is behind the artwork?

To me it starts with the artwork. In most cases I have the artwork before the script. It’s incredibly important to me to have great looking artwork, it’s the first thing you see. If you have a bad cover people will look it over. It was that way in the video stores. So I always make sure to grab people’s attention with the art. Austin at creepycarvesdesign did our amazing poster.

I’d have to agree with the quote on the Indiegogo page, 2000’s horror is overlooked and underrated, in my opinion. What made you go with the industrial, green tinted, jump scare era?

I love all decades of horror. But I have always thought that the 2000s got a bad rap and was dubbed the decade of remakes and the smaller films went unheard of. Don’t get me wrong a lot of good remakes came out of the 2000s, but there were a ton of smaller films that just didn’t get the attention. So this is my way of paying respect to those films. 

But with that being said we are still going modern in terms of story. I don’t want to change what the decade did. Just highlight what made it special, the deep greens and blues, the soundtrack. And completely do something different in the process.

Late Checkout Cover

There are sneak peeks of practical effects on the IndieGogo site. Will you keep it true to early 2000’s horror and slip some nice CG effects in the film?

I think CG is a great tool, if it is used correctly. But with that being said, if i can’t do it practically, then I’d rather hide the kill off screen or figure it out later than adding a CGI effect and it not look good. For the kills we are going 80s, so it will be done practical and look great.

How surprised were you to see the finish line in arms reach so quickly with the awesome backers of Late Checkout?

I am extremely lucky to have such an incredible fan base and people who support projects like this. I knew we would do well but I never imagined the response and support we have received in a few days. It’s been incredible. And I’m forever grateful. Campaigns like this require a lot of time and science. There is a science to this. I always like to take a month or two and just promote as much as I can, that is what I have come to find helps the most is promoting before the film and spending a lot of time setting up the page.

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There are some amazing cast members from Felissa Rose and Hannah Feirman to L.C. Holt and Chaney Morrow. Let us in on how they became part of the film.

In the indie horror scene, we all kinda know each other, or have heard about one another. The horror scene is truly a tight family. LC had reached out to me after hearing about my previous film “The House That Eats Flesh”. And at the time I had posted I was working on my second film. And he had reached out to me and we started talking about the project. And then Chaney and I were friends on Facebook and we had small interactions with each other and I was a huge fan of HAUNT and loved his Character in that.

So we talked and he joined. And from there it was like friends of friends, recommendations and stuff like that. But some of the cast that is in this film i worked with previously on house decided to want to work with me again. So I guess they enjoyed it ha ha!

What do you want your viewers to expect when the press play on Late Checkout and if they compared the film to any other film, what do you think that’d be?

My goal is to make it incomparable. I know the cabin in the woods setting can be compared to a ton of films but story wise it’s different from most things I have seen. I have even kept some of the secrets from the cast because I want genuine reactions from them. 

In its roots it’s a simple slasher film. My main goal is for people to watch it and have fun. If they think it’s fun then that’s all that matters to me. Because filmmaking is fun to me and I want the audience to experience the same. I don’t want it to be a boring movie that they have to struggle to get through. So here is a spoiler. The opening of the movie will be about 10 minutes long. And it will showcase what the film has in store. It’s a fun gore fest.

As far as a release date we don’t have one yet. We will film in May. And as soon as it is done filming we will immediately start editing. If you would like to back the film please visit Indiegogo the campaign ends on Monday February 7th 2022.

Special thanks again to Late Checkout‘s Joshua Graves for speaking with us. Be sure to follow Late Checkout on Facebook and support their campaign on Indiegogo.

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