Sean Byrne on the Long Journey from ‘Loved Ones’ to ‘Devil’s Candy’ at TIFF 2015

     September 22, 2015


Six years after The Loved Ones, writer-director Sean Byrne finally made his way back to the Toronto International Film Festival with a follow-up, The Devil’s Candy. The film stars Ethan Embry as Jesse, a struggling painter trying to build a good life for his wife (Shiri Appleby) and daughter (Kiara Glasco). He scores a great deal on what could be a dream home, but soon after moving in, Jesse comes to realize why the house was so affordable. The previous owners were murdered and their hulking, unhinged son Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince) wants to come home.

It still blows my mind that Byrne had a tough time getting a second film off the ground after dishing out such a stellar first feature, but The Devil’s Candy is well worth the wait. After the film’s world premiere screening as part of the TIFF Midnight Madness lineup, I got the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss the challenges of making this movie happen, his unique spin on demonic possession, his incredible cast, and loads more. You can catch it all in the video interview below and, in case you missed it, click here for my review of The Devil’s Candy.

Sean Byrne:

  • 00:04 – How Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” sparked the idea for The Devil’s Candy.
  • 01:55 – Incorporating his own personal experiences into the movie.
  • 02:24 – What happened right after The Loved Ones came out and why he had a tough time getting a second feature off the ground.
  • 04:05 – How his experience moving from The Loved Ones to The Devil’s Candy will affect his process moving forward.
  • 05:26 – What made this the right time for The Devil’s Candy.
  • 07:32 – Byrne on the unique spin he puts on the possession scenario.
  • 08:47 – On working with Snoot Entertainment.
  • 10:00 – How the financing on this one differs from The Loved Ones.
  • 10:18 – Going much bigger in every respect on this one.
  • 11:06 – Casting Ethan Embry as Jesse.
  • 12:42 – Finding Kiara Glasco. (Who’s incredible.)
  • 14:37 – Casting Ray and designing his look.
  • 16:21 – Figuring out how much of Ray’s backstory to reveal.
  • 17:22 – The rules of the haunting; what’s happening to Ray versus what’s happening to Jesse.
  • 19:35 – Byrne’s advice for new filmmakers hitting the festival circuit.


Image via Fantastic Fest

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