Brea Grant Discusses Her Country Music Horror Movie Torn Hearts

We chat with the director about her one-of-a-kind nation music horror movie and the way it exposes an nervousness surrounding a slowly evolving inventive business.


By Brad Gullickson · Published on June twelfth, 2022

Check the Gate is a recurring column the place we go one-on-one with administrators in an effort to uncover the reasoning behind their inventive choices. Why that topic? Why that shot? In this version, we chat with Brea Grant about Torn Hearts, the one-of-a-kind nation music horror flick.

Humans are at their deadliest once they’re both trapped or on the verge of success. We’ll do just about something to outlive, and we’ll completely do something after we’re inches away from reaching a childhood dream. When the fantasy feels years away, we’re cool and decided. When the fantasy seems minutes from manifesting right into a actuality, we’re twitchy, vicious little beasts.

Torn Hearts is a nasty, heated, and trustworthy horror set throughout the Nashville music scene. Alexxis Lemire and Abby Quinn play a rustic duo struggling to make their mark in town. Each gig will get them nearer, however their current victories rapidly crumble into failures. When they find Katey Sagal, an icon on many fronts, the duo hopes to soak up her mojo and use it to solidify their profession.

After directing two options she’d additionally scripted (Best Friends Forever, 12 Hour Shift), Brea Grant latched onto Torn Hearts. Written by Rachel Koller Croft, the movie digs into quite a few inventive insecurities, utilizing these squishy feelings to propel its characters and viewers right into a savage confrontation. Three girls are locked in a home, each carrying a secret, each carrying a want. Torn Hearts is brutally entertaining, relying closely on its all-too-capable performers, and permits Grant to exorcise a number of demons.

“It was less about the competition,” says Grant, “and more about the way these industries pit us against each other, whether or not we mean to fall into that trap. I fall into that trap all the time. I have very successful friends. I’ve dated very successful people who are doing far better than me. And yeah, there’s definitely a part of me that starts to feel jealousy, but also a part of me that finds motivation in that, that pushes me along a little bit.”

Brea responded passionately to Croft’s script, appreciating how the narrative steered away from judgment and offered empathy for the way every character landed of their roles. There is a system that hangs over Torn Hearts‘ horrors, an antagonistic power that smashes these three girls into violent battle. Grant by no means wished to lose sight of the enemy.

“When I was reading the script,” she continues, “it was more about these three women, who were coming at it from three different points of view. They’d all been taught something different – that would get them to be able to become the artist they wanted to be. For me, it was about showing the way in which some of them had bought into the system, how some were trying to go around the system, and how they were trying to figure it out. But at the end of the day, they’re all screwed because it’s not a nice system.”

Grant delighted in immersing herself in Croft’s screenplay. Jumping away from one thing that didn’t originate from her pen proved no totally different than some other venture. She merely fell into her earlier day job.

“What’s interesting about my career,” says Grant, “is that I started as an actor. So, I’m really used to taking other people’s material and interpreting it and making it my own. I think that’s one of my strongest skillsets because I acted for so many years. That’s all you do as an actor; you take other people’s words, try to make them believable, or try to sell them and get across the point that they’re trying to make.”

Every film is a team-up. They’re not novels. They’re not comedian books. Hundreds of palms come collectively on a set, and the movie is the results of that entangled gathering.

“It was about reading Rachel’s script,” continues Grant, “thinking about what she was trying to do and thinking about how I could make it personal for myself and do some things that I was really looking forward to doing. I think it’s just about collaboration. I’ve gotten really fortunate in the last couple of years.”

Grant didn’t have lots of prep time on Torn Hearts. By the time she pitched her take to Blumhouse and signed onto the film, the director obtained lower than 4 weeks to assemble and strengthen her perspective.

“I found the easiest way was to make a big document with all of my influences,” says Grant. “It had all my inspirations, what I felt like the themes were and how we could express that in the visual language. Whether it was through costumes, whether it’s through little things, or knickknacks you see around the house. It was great because the system that they have going for these movies is that it’s the same crew, but they trade out the director and the DP every time. This crew had already done four of these movies, but I handed them this thing, and I was like, ‘This is my movie. This is what this movie will look like.’ They were super on board for that and brought their own thing to it.”

Torn Hearts instructions its viewers to open their eyes and prick up their ears. As tensions rise and violence inserts itself as a potential answer for these throughout the nation icon’s mansion, we needs to be totally conscious of the invisible hand guiding the occasions. From the very starting, inside Grant’s totemic lookbook, a priority emerges.

“The commodification of the female body is a theme,” says Grant. “It’s just something you think about when you think about putting women on stage, putting women on screen. And so, I thought, one of the ways we could express that was not only through these body parts, that were already in the script – spoiler – there’s some loose body parts in this household, which Rachel wrote in, but also by putting the female form within the house. There are a lot of mannequins. There’s a lot of jewelry. There’s a loose tiara as well as just pictures of women all over the household. I felt they would express this idea of the female body throughout the film, so you never were not thinking about showing women in an ideal way.”

Brea Gant expresses hesitation relating to an viewers’s willingness to affix her with Torn Hearts. The system has barely widened its path, permitting new voices to pop via. There’s pleasure within the potentialities and the starvation for authentic views,however a weariness. The path can shut a complete lot faster than it opened.

“It’s such an interesting time to be a woman making art right now in these various industries,” says Grant. “There are women who have had to come up through the industry when it was a place where we were not even acknowledging that women should have a voice, and now we’re pushing female voices.”

Depending on the 12 months a creator entered the sphere, their perspective is radically totally different. Each girl crafting Torn Hearts introduced a novel philosophy and interpretation to the screenplay. The movie is a results of their communion.

“It’s fascinating to see the different ways in which three years or five years can make a difference on how you see the industry,” she continues. “People who are five years younger than me look at it completely differently than the way women look at it who are five years older than me. That ten-year gap is such a huge one. I think about women like [Katey Segal’s] Harper and the things they had to do to fucking stay in the industry, the abuse they had to put up with, the things that were normalized. People ten years younger, fifteen years younger than her would never have to – well, they’re still dealing with it but wouldn’t have to deal with it in the same way. They’ve basically said this is not normal. And we’ve really done that in the last five years, which is horrifying.”

The trilogy of characters who sq. off in opposition to one another in Torn Heartsare doing so fueled by their director’s nervousness. Their battle cuts into an impossibly tumultuous inventive business. Percolating beneath Torn Hearts’three-way confrontation rests such great hope, concern, pleasure, and chance. The three protagonists are on the verge of reaching one thing new, and that potential stirs desperation and anger.

“These generations of women have experienced sexism within the industry,” says Grant. “Watching it change and the way they interpret that for themselves and how they are supposed to be involved with it at this point, I think it’s so murky. And I think it’s hard. I wanted to push these gray areas.”

Torn Hearts provides little solutions. We have to seek out these for ourselves. Brea Grant, nonetheless, captures the unease that comes with a cultural shift which will or could not occur. Through her exploration, we are able to navigate our personal.

Oh, and Torn Hearts can also be only a gnarly smash, satisfying these grotesque style needs horror hounds exude, wrapped in a rustic music panorama. Something you’ve in all probability by no means seen earlier than.

Torn Hearts is now available on Digital/VOD.

Related Topics: Check the Gate, administrators

Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about motion pictures right here, he is rambling about comics because the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)


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