Interviews: Director Billy Lewis Talks About His Horror Film The Terrible Two

It’s a ‘killer’ job being a parent, as Donny Boaz (Dallas, 13 Sins), and Cari Moskow (One Tree Hill, Butchered) discover this March with The Terrible Two

The fearsome frontline is set between Albert and Rose Poe and their two daughters in the supernatural frightfest, premiering on VOD March 6 from Uncork’d Entertainment. 

Albert and Rose Poe bought their dream house seven years ago in Greenfield, NC. They had no idea of the unspeakable horrors that took place in the house before they moved in. If they had known, then their children, Addi and Jade would still be alive. Instead the Poes now find themselves imprisoned in the house they thought was their safe place, and battling their two daughters for survival. 

Co-starring Reid Doyle (Six) and Devin McGee (One Tree Hill, Max Steel), and featuring the stunning topography of Wilmington, North Carolina (The Conjuring), The Terrible Two run amok 3/6 on VOD. 

Billy Lewis, head of Orange St Films, took a break from shooting commercials to shoot a movie. The result, the low-budget horror film The Terrible Two, gets a wide VOD release in March via Uncork’d Entertainment.

TMS: I have to firstly ask, where did the interest come from? Why this particular story? Is it a personal story or maybe something that you’ve heard? 

BL: First off let me say we made this entire Feature Film, PRE TO POST PRODUCTION FOR UNDER $35K!!!!! I mean that is insane. I’ve had 30 second TV Commercial shoots for my production company with way bigger budgets than that. 

The interest came when my wife and I were looking to buy a new house. We came across the house from the movie and I noticed it had a lot of room to move around (equipment and crew and what not) so I told her we’d buy the house on one condition, she let me make a film in there. She laughed at that and didn’t think I was serious. Well fast forward a year and I’m kicking her (not literally) out of our house and we turn it into a movie set for 2 weeks. 

As far as this particular story we already had most of the props because I have little girls, we had the location, I love doing horror, so all those things combined it was an easy decision to make this movie. 

It’s not a personal story and I racked my brain for months trying to come up with an original story we could do, in one location, very cheaply and still be entertaining enough to hold an audience’s attention for an hour and a half. I know this has been done before and I know what we did could have been better but considering the financing and the time frame we made this movie for I’m very proud of what we accomplished. 

TMS: The film is a horror/mystery but it also encompasses some pretty emotional and dramatic moments. Was it important to you to ground the movie with that?

BL: It was important to ground it with emotional and dramatic moments because I didn’t want to depend on blood and gore to carry the movie. We had a cast/crew screening and one open public screening of the entire feature several months back and we had numerous people in the audience crying at certain points in the film because I felt like we did a good job capturing raw emotion of what it’s like to lose a loved one and throw in the fact that it was 2 little children made it that more emotional. 

TMS: Did you do any research into real-life spooky situations like the one in the movie? 

BL: I did not do much research on real life situations like these. Are there real-life situations of kids dying and coming back and terrorizing their parents? If so then I sure haven’t heard of that. A lot of people compare the 2 little girls to the 2 little girls in The Shining but honestly, I never made the connection until way after we had completed The Terrible Two. 

TMS: I imagine it’s hard working on a film with this particularly somber topic? How did you switch off at the end of a day? 

BL: Well we shot the original movie in less than 10 days, so we were working pretty long hours during production. So to be honest I didn’t really have that much time to think about much else while production was going on. It is hard working on such a tough topic like the one we tackled, and I feel like our lead actress Cari Moskow did an amazing job as a grieving/crazy mother who’s lost her 2 daughters. 

TMS: Location wise, where did you find the house? 

BL: As I explained earlier it’s my house. My wife and girls went and stayed at a condo we have while we filmed, so I owe my wife big time for allowing us to tear her house up. It was a great shoot and we had a blast making the movie. 

TMS: And the kids, where were they found? Audition process? 

BL: Funny story on that. We had 2 kids cast to play the 2 girls, but their parents actually went a little bit crazy on our production crew before we rolled one second of tape on their daughters. So, we had to make a decision to fire the first 2 girls we had and hired a couple of local actors who did a phenomenal job for us on such short notice. 

TMS: Did they have a good relationship with their on-screen parents? 

BL: They did. The kids didn’t have that many scenes on camera with their parents apart from them trying to kill them, so they weren’t around the mom and dad characters a lot of the time. 

TMS: What’s your ultimate goal with movie? 

BL: My ultimate goal with this film is for the world to see it. I would hope that any filmmaker who sets out to make a movie would aspire for the same. Look I know it’s not the greatest movie in the world and if I could remake it I’d probably do 100 things differently but at the end of the day it is what is, people and critics can tear it down or cheer it as loudly as they want but either way that’s not going to deter me from making movies. With the amount of money we had, we made a good freaking movie and I hope people can see the film for what it is and not read to much into it.