Ben Steiner’s Matriarch is now available on Hulu and we got to talk with the writer/director, along with co-stars Kate Dickie and Jemima Rooper, all about this creepy folk horror film!
Kate Dickie, known for her memorable mothering performances in ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Witch,’ stars as the titular “Matriarch” in a rural British body horror family drama, the second in a slate of nine feature-length films developed and expanded from 20th Digital Studio’s short film collection “Bite Size Halloween.” The Hulu Original film will hold its world premiere screening at the 2022 Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, Calif., on October 11 – opening night – before premiering on the streamer for Huluween on October 21. Check out the full Screamfest lineup here.
UK filmmaker Ben Steiner (“Monsterland 2”) wrote and directed the film, led by Jemima Rooper (“The Girlfriend Experience,” “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin”). At a breaking point after a near-fatal overdose, a woman (Rooper) returns to her childhood home to confront her mother (Dickie) and her personal demons, but instead discovers a real one. “Matriarch” was shot in Bristol, England and features supporting cast members Sarah Paul (“EastEnders”), Franc Ashman (“I May Destroy You”), and Keith David Bartlett.
Steiner’s short film “Urn” was a part of the 2018 “Huluween Film Fest,” in which all shorts were produced by 20th (then Fox) Digital Studio. A spiritual successor to “Urn,” “Matriarch” also deals with a toxic mother-daughter relationship and both films incorporate Steiner’s visual style.
“Matriarch” was developed by 20th Digital Studio with David Worthen Brooks, Arbi Pedrossian, and Jenna Cavelle serving as executive producers. Production services were carried out by Sharp House producers Ian Sharp and Eoin O-Faolain, and co-producer Alexa Waugh.
“Matriarch” is part of the previously announced nine-film slate of Hulu Original horror features from 20th Digital based primarily on their “Bite Size Halloween” series of short films from emerging filmmakers including the upcoming “Clock” from Alexis Jacknow, and “Appendage” from Anna Zlokovic, among others. “Grimcutty” from writer/director John William Ross will premiere on October 10 and season three of “Bite Size Halloween” is available on Hulu on October 1 with 20 new horror and sci-fi shorts from emerging filmmakers.
Note: The video interview touches upon light spoilers in the third act, so if you want to go in knowing nothing, it may be worth watching this after you check out the film.