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An Intrusion May Be The Most Metal Film of Next Year


Everyone knows horror is the most metal movie genre. Demons, ghosts, dark forces, blood and gore. What’s not to like? Home invasion movies like An Intrusion take a different route. Here, the horror is subtle, building, and usually committed by human beings instead of hellish ghouls. So how did An Intrusion end up looking like the most metal horror movie of 2021?

Partially, because it comes from the metal scene itself. Star Keir Gilchrist (Sam Gardener on Netflix’s Atypical) sings lead in grindcore ragers Phalanx and Whelm. Director Nick Holland is in Sunlight’s Bane, and the film’s score was written by Weekend Nachos’ Andy Nelson. With actors draped in brutal band merch and songs from Full of Hell and Body of Light, “An Intrusion” is shaping up to be a delight for fans of metal and horror alike.

“There’s a lot of band stuff in the movie, especially with Keir’s character,” Nick said in a recent interview with Metal Injection, “I didn’t want it to be some generic shirt. It’s legit. There’s Dragged Into Sunlight shirts, Red Chord merch. A lot of the crew were people I knew from the music scene….there’s a lot of inside jokes and nods.”

An Intrusion May Be The Most Metal Film of Next Year
Nick Holland (left) on set with producer Sam Logan Khaleghi and star Scout Taylor-Compton. Photo by Monica Drake (Oakland Press)

Seeing any metal band shirt in a movie is rare. But a bunch of extreme powerviolence and grind references is almost unheard of. They even filmed a large scene in Detroit concert venue The Sanctuary. What kind of movie is this?

“It’s a home-invasion stalker-thriller,” says NickIt’s about a family…the husband starts receiving emails and threats from someone who knows he has been having an affair. The person threatens his family if he doesn’t follow directions. It’s about him trying to keep the secret buried, but it keeps getting worse and worse. Where as if he just came clean from the get-go, he could have ended it.”

Nick has been involved in film for years. His first project, Hunger Unholy, which he admits was made with “400 bucks and no ambitions” blew up unexpectedly through websites like BloodyDisgusting, leading to his next movie Wronged getting some attention. Wronged introduced him to the producer and much of the crew that would go on to work on An Intrusion, his first major picture. Nick considers the first two “my demos”. But making horror flicks is only one part of Nick’s life.

“Keir (Gilchrist) and I actually didn’t meet through the movie business. He was a big fan of my band Sunlight’s Bane and we would just shoot the shit about grind and powerviolence and stuff. I was a big fan of what he’s worked on, so I knew I wanted to work with him on something. (An Intrusion) amounted from all these incidences, without really planning it as a ‘metal movie’. Like, I’m good friends with the guys in Full of Hell and there’s one of their songs in the movie. It just kind of worked out.”

Dylan Walker of Full of Hell was initially interested in scoring An Intrusion. But that honor went to Andy Nelson, of the recently disbanded hardcore punks Weekend Nachos. This was Andy’s first soundtrack, and the experience has been interesting. 

An Intrusion May Be The Most Metal Film of Next Year
Weekend Nachos enjoying a quiet night out

“It’s really different from anything I’ve done before,” says Andy, “Because it’s kinda all on me to come up with something. Almost like starting a solo band just for a movie. You have to generate all this material that fits in with the story on screen. I can’t compare it to anything I’ve done before, except when a band in the studio wants a weird noise part or interlude. That’s when I can pull out a synth and become actively creative.”

Andy cites the work he did with thrash band Paralysis as an example. He’s usually a hardcore/grind guy, but An Intrusion helped him step outside his comfort zone. Since Weekend Nachos played their last show in 2017, Andy has been able to dedicate himself fully to Bricktop Recordings in Chicago, where he works as an recording engineer. Nick and Andy first met over 10 years ago when Nick booked Andy’s band Like Rats. Soon after, Andy recorded Sunlight’s Bane. But it was his work on Nick’s gothic synthwave project Love Under Will (named after a Fields of the Nephilim song) that showed Andy was up to the task of scoring An Intrusion.(Nick) got a chance to see how I could conjure stuff on a prompt,” says Andy.

This is Andy’s first soundtrack, and he’s happy to do more. “I would love to,” he says when asked about it, “Nick has indicated that he’s super satisfied and has said he wants to do it again in the future. I would totally be into doing another soundtrack with Nick.”

“Every time I recorded with (Andy), we’d talk about movies,” says Nick, “And he’s a musician I respect greatly.”

With the script and scenes from the finished film to go by, Andy wrote his composition. “He pretty much gave me free reign,” says Andy. He describes the final soundtrack for An Intrusion as “ambient dark”, while Nick says it is “harsh glitch, very degraded”. “Imagine a tape reel corroding, then turning it into a beat.” says Nick, “That’s a really great sound for building tension.” Sounds like metalheads have a new film to check out, when An Intrusion is released.

"I haven't even seen the full movie all the way through," admits Andy, laughing, "I'm anxious to see how it all turned out."

Like everything else on the planet, the Covid-19 pandemic affected the production of this movie. Originally slated for a Halloween release, the new date is some time in 2021. “It’s frustrating,” says Nick, “No one really knows anything.” Fortunately, filming wrapped before the pandemic began, back in December, meaning that the film itself was not affected. It might take a while longer, but it’s definitely coming. Get ready.

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