Strange, Chilling Demon Movie Sator is Also a Lesson in Verite Film

In this episode, Jason chats with Jordan Graham, director of Sator, which comes out from 1091 Pictures on February 9.

Independent film, which Graham largely put together himself, taking on almost every role except cast member, has garnered remarkably good reviews in the press. Dread Central called it simultaneously "heartbreaking and chilling," and variety gave the film a loving write-up calling it "strikingly atmospheric."

Sator poster and Castle Talk Podcast logo used with permission.
Sator poster and Castle Talk Podcast logo used with permission.

Say the producers:

Synopsis: Secluded in a desolate forest home to little more than the decaying remnants of the past, a broken family is further torn apart by a mysterious death. Adam, guided by a pervasive sense of dread, hunts for answers only to learn that they are not alone; an insidious presence by the name of Sator has been observing his family, subtly influencing all of them for years in an attempt to claim them.

The film is written, directed, produced, edited, scored, and lensed by Graham, who took seven years to complete the feature, and stars newcomers Michael Daniel, Aurora Lowe, Gabriel Nicholson, and Rachel Johnson alongside Graham's late grandmother, June Peterson.

Graham's inclusion of his grandmother turned out to change the course of the creation of the film. As the director discusses in the chat, June Peterson believed strongly that she had been in regular contact with a spectral entity called Sator that could communicate with her about the world. The film includes a number of interviews with the director's grandmother that then play into the plot in which the entity itself is the chief villain. The inclusion of these interviews gives the film a remarkable verité feel.

The director also discusses the difficulty of creating any independent film, where the filmmaker needs to (in this case) not only create sets and film on them, but take on such tasks as editing the film, creating the sound, and then figuring out who to contact to get your movie into festivals. It's a huge effort. The conversation delves into how complicated it can be and how strange it can be for the same director to meet with executives who immediately start talking about budgets that would dwarf what the director has just been dealing with.

Sator opens digitally on February 9.

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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the "Castle of Horror Anthology" series. He is the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror series "Surf Mystic," under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, debuted with the novel Night of the Book Man this summer.

About Jason Henderson

Jason Henderson, author of the Young Captain Nemo (Macmillan Children's) and Alex Van Helsing (HarperTeen) series, earned his BA from University of Dallas in 1993 and his JD from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1996. His popular podcasts “Castle Talk” and “Castle of Horror” feature interviews and discussion panels made up of best-selling writers and artists from all genres. Henderson lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters.
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