Writer Yasmin Bakhtiari explains how her film Evil Little Things came together and why she generally gravitates towards horror and sci-fi.
Tell us how you started out, Yasmin? What was the first thing you wrote?
I always wanted to be a writer, so I became a writer. Then when I wrote some science fiction and horror, I wanted to see what I had written on the big screen. Evil Little Things was not the first thing I’ve written, but it was the first script that I wrote along with Nancy Knight and also Matt Green, the director.
What type of story, or genre, did you gravitate towards?
I like all kinds of stories, but for this movie, Matt Green read three published short stories I wrote. He read them, and we decided on two evil doll stories and structured the movie around the original stories.
Where do you get your ideas?
That’s the most fun. I could talk about this all day, but I won’t. To make it short, I was always afraid of dolls because I watched Twilight Zone as a five year old child and was particularly terrified of the episode ‘Living Doll’, a story where an evil doll can’t be destroyed and kept coming back to the mean stepfather who is trying to get rid of the doll and ultimately kills her. As a five year old child, I was then terrified of my own doll, Patti-burp, but I was too afraid to get rid of it because I knew if I did, the doll would come back again and again. That stupid doll stayed in my closet until I was 15 years old, until one day as I sat outside on our back patio innocently singing a song and the doll’s head came sailing through the air, landed on the ground and rolled towards me. It was one of my sisters who somehow knew I was scared of the doll. To this day, decades later, if we talk about this she almost wets herself laughing. I don’t know where Patti-burp is but I pray I never find her dismembered head outside my front door. The other story, the one with the leprechaun is another tale I will share another time. By the way, in the second doll story, the doll’s name is Patti. Ahhhh, the memories.
And do you feel you’ve become a better writer with each story you write?
Absolutely yes. When I look back at stories I wrote years ago, I cringe. It’s like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get. Still, I wish I could write like my favorites: Stephen King, Ann Rice, Ken Follet, to name a few.
How does Evil Little Things compare to earlier scripts?
This was the first.
Were you on set a lot?
Yes, I was on the set for every moment of the movie, from beginning to end every day. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and Matt Green, the director was very accommodating.
And do you see a franchise spawning from Evil Little Things?
A franchise could definitely spawn from Evil Little Things, after all, watch the movie, where did Patrick O’ Malley and the evil spirit of Patti go?
Evil Little Things arrives on DVD and Digital May 12 from Uncork’d Entertainment