The haunts crawl out as night falls over the Kingseat psychiatric hospital: blood spewing zombies, corpse brides, and chainsaw wielding clowns. Kingseat has been closed for years, but the locals claim it's haunted. When operational, from 1932 to 1999, it housed over 800 patients in Spartan conditions. In no small irony, a haunted house opened there when the institution formally closed. Florian Habicht's (Love Story, Pulp) Spookers were supposed to document the backstage of the haunted house, but turned into something more complex. It became a multi-storied structure in which nightmares take center stage, but aren't necessarily entertaining. Cartoon ghosts get laughs, but the dreams of staff who wade in artificial, but blood nonetheless, are not amusing in the same straightforward way, and the experiences of former patients are blood curdling. As is his way, Habicht mixes up expectations, bets on improvisation, questions, engages and turns up the tension. Visually, he's in his element: a Goth macabre and grunge horror from the age of the Evil Dead. Keen viewers will have little problems noticing nods to the "worst director in the world." "I even wore a pair of women's underwear when we shot the film's opening title sequence," admits the director, in an homage to Ed Wood.
Florian Habicht is a director and visual artist who was born in Berlin in 1975, but grew up in New Zealand. After graduating from the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, he made one of the most original films from New Zealand of the last decade, Woodenhead - a musical inspired by the Brothers Grimm tales, the multi-award-winning Kaikohe Demolition, and film experiments suspended between fiction and documentary: Rubbings from a Live Man and Land of the Long White Cloud.
2004 Kaikohe Demolition
2008 Rubbings from a Live Man
2009 Land of the Long White Cloud
2011 Love Story
2014 Pulp: film o życiu, śmierci i supermarketach / Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets
2017 Straszydła / Spookers