At Horror Channel FrightFest this year, one of the most surprising movies shown was Bad Match by writer/director David Chirchirillo (co-writer of Cheap Thrills).
Described as ‘Fatal Attraction for the Tinder generation’, Bad Match tells the story of playboy Harris (Jack Cutmore-Scott) who fills his days hooking up with women on apps, spending only one night with them. That is until he meets Riley (Lili Simmons), who begins to get a little too serious too quickly and Harris fears she may be obsessed with him.
After the screening of the film, I had a quick chat with Chirchirillo to talk about the movie, discuss his shapeshifting characters, and find out where the chemistry for his lead actors came from.
I saw the film earlier and it was a real surprise.
Thank you. What was surprising about it? That it was good? (laughs)
Not at all. I’d read so much about it being Fatal Attraction for the Tinder generation, that I was wondering what else it was going to offer…
Yes. I mean that was certainly like ‘look that’s the way to sell it’ you know and it was never meant to be that way. That’s sort of like the mask so that when people come in saying ‘oh I know what to expect’ we pull the rabbit out of a hat and then they realise this is not that movie at all.
What really surprised me is the transformation of Harris. I found myself starting to dislike him around the halfway point. Was it your intention to confuse the audience and make your characters shapeshifters?
Absolutely. The idea was that t first you think ‘this dude is cool’ and we tried really hard to make him as likeable as possible in the beginning, even though he’s still got some flaws. We’d tried to make him as likeable as possible so that suddenly when the bricks fall away you realize oh shit this guy is kind of a bad person. Generally the movies that I like to do are the ones where there’s less of a character arc and more where characters change throughout the movie and reveal who they really are. Instead of building an arc you sort of peel away pieces.
There’s a moment in the movie where Harris takes stock of the situation and apologises to Riley. It felt genuine, even though the audience knew he was doing it for his own gain. Did you purposely put that ambiguity in there?
Kind of, yeah. I think what’s interesting is, and I think this is the case a lot especially living in America, you look at life from within all these people and they use rhetoric that is for their own gain that’s against them. They use ‘free speech’ and this and that, and they’re actually calling themselves out in a weird way. I think it’s like some sort of subconscious psychological thing where they’re like ‘oh I know I’m a bad person but I’m going to project my own badness onto you’. That’s what Harris does, he calls out everything that’s actually wrong with him but he’s at that point so emotionally stunted, that he’s using that for his own gain.
The chemistry between Jack and Lili is absolutely electric. What did you do to help foster that chemistry?
They just hit it off. They’re both like super pros which made my life a million times easier. When you have a 15 day shoot, you have to come prepared and be ready. You only get X amount of takes per shot. They just seemed to really work and I think it’s a testament to both their acting abilities.
Bad Match was shown as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Check out our verdict on the movie.