The Downside To Only Making Films In One Genre by Josephina Sykes

Film Courage: What are common myths about horror films?

Josephina Sykes, Filmmaker: I think there are too many movies that are probably done in the same way or done in a way that is following a recipe or certain concept because there are so many subgenres in horror movies.

You have “slashers” and “zombies.” People tend to do the same kind of thing over and over again. I think that’s kind of boring.

At the same time there are people who are reinventing the genre and that’s something I am more interested in exploring, other avenues and ways of doing things.

Also, probably people think the horror genre is kind of dumb, stupid or kill, kill, kill and that’s all it is. But there are so many interesting movies out there and nowadays people use the genre to express more things and I think it’s getting interesting.

Film Courage: Like HEREDITARY didn’t seem like a full horror film at times. It was very fascinating showing a family and a still, eeriness. Then at other times it was horrific. I really enjoyed it as someone who is not a total consumer of horror.

Josephina: Right. I think people should try to do different types of horror movies either based on personal experiences or they are things they find horrific. I don’t think there are limits and I think people should try to do more interesting things than come back again and again with the same recipes.

For us it’s boring to do the same thing over and over again because we make mostly horror movies so you don’t want to make the same movie over and over again. It’s boring. You want to explore other things like this year I’m making a horror movie but next year I’m making a zombie movie…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Born in Bucharest, Romania, Josephina fell in love with film from a young age, encouraged by her uncle, a Director of Photography for the National Television channel. Spending her childhood on soundstages and screening rooms created a passion for storytelling that led her to attend the National Film School in 1995. While there, she organized international film festivals, worked as a copywriter, and wrote several 35mm shorts. She also spent a semester at La FEMIS film school in Paris, France in 1998 after being awarded a scholarship by the French Foreign Ministry. After graduating with a major in screenwriting, she worked for the country’s two largest film studios, Castel Film and Media Pro Pictures. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2001, Josephina continued to work in film, both as a screenwriter and in production on indie features including BACK BY MIDNIGHT, LORD OF THE VAMPIRES, THE HALFWAY HOUSE and GRAND JUNCTION. In 2004, together with her husband, writer/director Brad Sykes, founded Nightfall Pictures, a full-service development and production company. She has since produced four feature films, thriller WITHIN THE WOODS, drama COLD ONES (starring C. Thomas Howell and Geoffrey Lewis) and the sci-fi actioner MUTATION. 


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