A 1970’s inspired horror film about 3 friends haunted by the past.
Directed by Camila de los Santos Speed
Camila de los Santos Speed was born in San Cristobal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. She holds triple citizenship in the US, Mexico, and the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. She started acting in stage plays when she was seven years old and moved to screen acting at age 11. She studied at the Wilhelmina acting studio in Austin, Texas, where she lived from the age of five to eighteen. She got her BA in Film and Television from UCLA in 2020, and her favorite genre is horror. Since graduating, she has worked on various projects including as an assistant editor on a Sundance produced documentary film and as a digitization specialist and editor on an archival project, while preparing her most recent short film for festivals and developing a script for a limited series. As a Mexican and Native American (Chickasaw) woman, she is committed to contributing to the diversification of the industry and the content it produces. Her goal overall is to write and direct.
I directed this film, Closet Nightmares, as my senior thesis at UCLA. I felt that my thesis was an opportunity to take my influences and make them into one film. I think of this film as a sort of homage to my love of classic, campy horror. I love the way a cult film, such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Evil Dead can have such an impact and create followings that last for years to come. This type of horror genre was part of my inspiration. I have also been fascinated by the way horror is interpreted in other countries. For this film, I drew inspiration from Italian horror cinema, mainly Dario Argento’s Suspiria. I developed an obsession with the style, cinematography, extreme close-up shots, the colors, and the overall look and feel of these types of films. I decided to intermingle these two interests and create something familiar but unique, in its own respect. I started watching horror films at a very young age and quickly became enamored with the feeling these films evoked within me. I feel very fortunate to be able to create films, myself, that might bring forth that feeling for others. As a Native and Latinx filmmaker, I enjoy challenging the assumption that we only make films about Native and Latinx issues. I am highly committed to diversifying the industry and seeing more diverse perspectives on screen. Part of that is getting BIPOC (and particularly Native because we are so heavily underrepresented) perspectives into a wider range of genres, both behind and in front of the camera. I was challenged in this film to cast Native actors since I couldn’t afford a casting company and couldn’t pay my actors. That said, I loved the actors I got. I am overall happy with the way it turned out and I can’t thank my amazing crew enough for their hard work, dedication, determination and raw talent.