I am a 90s child who lost her mother at a very young age. It is a very important fact for my artist statement, because it plays a big role in my work. I grew up reading book compilations of ghost stories and the Goosebumps series. When asked what my favorite movies were when I was young, I would have replied “The Nightmare Before
Christmas and The Fifth Element“. I kept to myself growing up, preferring to spend my lunch breaks embarking on adventures in my head and spending my evenings watching cartoons. I was running away from the grief and impact that the death of a parent had on me and ended up running right into the means for me to overcome that grief, as well as all the hard times that came afterwards.
I grew up in a little suburb town of Brossard. Halloween was a big event celebrated by everyone in the area. Many books and movies came out in that time period and a lot of these types of stories often had strong messages about friendship, family and bravery. I wanted to mix this with the animation I loved so much in hopes that through my journey in animation, what I created will help and entertain future generations and adults alike.
The film is created as a “Children’s Horror” I use this term very loosely. It doesn’t represent exactly what I mean, but it is the closest I have found. This term includes the 90s Halloween culture. I also find children to be wonderful characters. They see the world so openly, with amazement, unfiltered, and with no judgment. They love completely with no ifs or buts. The friendship between the living girl, Brianne, and the ghost girl, Genevieve, appears to happen so quickly. Brianne accepts what she sees and reaches out to Genevieve. Kids tend to do this. They know the moment they meet someone if they want to be friends or not.
This child-like curiosity and bravery is also important in the story telling. Brianne carries those qualities but she never truly encountered real danger and fear before. It was all a romanticized view of it from reading her books. If an adult were put in her place, the storyline would have been very different.
For ‘The Attic’, I wanted to create a multi-layered story with underlying metaphors and themes, which would also be enjoyed by children; still keeping the anxiety that drives people to watch horror films. It can be watched for what it is on the surface or dissected for everything it represents: escapism, friendship, family, bravery, growth, and fear.
I leave it up to the viewers to take the journey they desire because, in the end, the viewer is the one that will make the movie what it is. I hope to encourage them to overcome hardship happening in their life. Perhaps by being scared or by making them smile with hidden pop culture references.