Radio Silence: The Funny Guys
What you know them from: V/H/S, Ready or Not
Who they are: When Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, and Chad Villella -- the men who would ultimately become the directing team known as Radio Silence -- were starting out, they posted a video to YouTube titled "Roommate Alien Prank Goes Bad," a short film they actually titled "Chad Hates Aliens." ("Back in the day to get more clicks on YouTube you had to have the most poorly written title," Gillett notes. Bettinelli-Olpin contends that it was actually the YouTube or MySpace algorithm that gave it the lamer name.) "It was a comedy that had scares," Bettinelli-Olpin says. "And it just worked for us. It was literally one of the first things we ever made, and we were like, 'Oh, this is really fun. We have real people in a real situation that are doing things that we find very funny, and then we are scaring them in the audience. This is a wonderful place to play.' And then, it's honestly just grown from that, and it's something we've been doing ever since." The trio, who alternate as directors, producers, and sometimes stars in their work, have toyed in various subsections of the genre. They made a found-footage short for the anthology V/H/S before their feature-length debut, Devil's Due, a Satanic baby story. They turned to creepy creatures for another anthology Southbound. But their biggest critical success so far has been this year's Ready or Not, a horror comedy about a bunch of rich assholes trying to murder a bride on her wedding night. "Sometimes we go more into the horror, sometimes we go more into the comedy, which is why Ready or Not was one of those, 'Oh my god. Holy grail.' This is both, and everything," Bettinelli-Olpin said. The notion that horror is somehow having some sort of revival gets under the trio's skin: "Every few years, there's this thing of 'whoa, horror is back,'" Bettinelli-Olpin says. "Is it? Just because you didn't pay attention for a few years? What the fuck are you talking about?" But they are thrilled by the "humongous tent" that exists in the space right now where their film and Ari Aster's Midsommar can come out in the same summer.
"Eureka moment" movies: For Gillett, it's Killer Clowns from Outer Space. "It's silly and stupid and fun, but it's designed beautifully," he says. "The clowns are insane." Villella picks George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Bettinelli-Olpin chooses Aliens, Lost Boys, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, the last of which he says he watched, bizarrely, in a fifth-grade class.
What's next: Working on the script for an adaptation of Bryce Moore's The Memory Thief for Shawn Levy's production company, 21 Laps Entertainment