Director Ti West has had a patchy time of it since his breakout critical hit The House Of The Devil in 2009. He butted heads with Lionsgate over Cabin Fever 2, and pulled out of The Haunting In Georgia when he foresaw similar problems. His The Innkeepers premiered at the South By Southwest festival last spring, but has only just limped to VOD. But thankfully West has still managed to claw together the funding for his next film, The Side Effect: a sci-fi tale about "pharmaceutical testing and paranoia."
"I’ve cast the lead and I’ve got most of it together," West tells The Playlist, "but it’s a science fiction movie, so we need to build spaceships, so it’s one of those things I can’t really rush into and I can’t do it for less than we need for it, because we have to build things."
Used to working independently and on the cheap, West says that the budget for The Side Effect is more than he generally needs, but less than his profligate studio funds for Cabin Fever 2. "The smallest amount of money to do what I do is what I want," he enthuses. "I don’t want a dime more, but I don’t want a dime less either. Like I don’t want to go, 'We’ve run out of money to put that extra thing on the spaceship,' but I don’t want to have money for no reason. So I think it’s going to happen. It’s a great producer, I think it’s a good script, and it’s a great cast.”
In the meantime, West also has a hand in two anthology movies. He's directing one of the 26 segments of The ABCs Of Horror, and he's got a "couple-on-a-road-trip" chapter in V/H/S: his concession to the found-footage genre. "That’s all anyone wants to do anymore,” he laments. “When I say, 'We need three and a half, four million dollars to make this movie,' people are like, 'How about you just make a found-footage movie for fifty grand? We can give you that.' It’s a weird time for indie movies."
V/H/S premieres at Sundance next week, and West hopes to start preparing for The Side Effect in February.