Everett De Roche, Australia's leading genre scriptwriter (with credits ranging from 1979’s PATRICK to 2003’s VISITORS), gave Fango some early details about the latest film with his name on it, STORM WARNING. The chiller, about a couple lost in swampland, has just been given the green light to be helmed by director Jamie (URBAN LEGEND) Blanks next spring, and De Roche sounds more than a little bemused that a script he penned 15 years ago is finally going before the cameras. “I’ve sold several options on it over the years,” he says, “but this actually happened very quickly after I ran into a guy from [production/distribution company] Arclight at the Screen Producers Of Australia conference in 2004.”
De Roche likens STORM WARNING to a horrific variation on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: “A young Melbourne couple go out boating on Westernport Bay for the day,” he explains, “and they get lost in the upper region of mangrove swamps around French Island. They set off on foot looking for a phone, and find an isolated farmhouse. They get inside and kind of help themselves; then the three owners come home from the pub, and they’re not happy. The bulk of the movie takes place during one night where they’re under siege trying to get out.”
The level of brutality, according to De Roche, can be compared to WOLF CREEK, a similar Aussie shocker whose success he credits with instigating interest in his own project. The screenwriter is especially proud of his lead female character, and specifically how her profession contributes to the action. “The husband has both his legs broken, so it falls upon the wife to take over and protect him,” De Roche notes. “She’s a sculptor who makes things out of steel, which comes in pretty handy. They’ve been locked in the barn overnight, so she rummages through it and finds various things she can use and builds a series of very nasty man traps. So I suppose you could say it’s fairly violent,” he laughs.
Shooting is currently scheduled to start in April; stay tuned for further STORM WARNING bulletins.