FEATURED FEARMAKER: Liam Banks
A small fern grows on the forest floor. An alien hand, with two fingers protruding, reaches out for the fern. The alien groans. A rabbit turns and listens. The fingers dig up the plant as the rabbit watches. The alien then carefully uproots the plant. A small wayward alien walks alone among the gigantic redwood trees. He’s dwarfed by the huge trees.The creature stands alone on a hilltop as he stares down at the city lights below. Suddenly he lets out a moan of fright. A truck, with headlights glaring, pulls up next to him.. -E.T.
Sitting in a dark room, a young child watched a seemingly family friendly film. Little did he know that the scenes about to unfold before him would change his life forever. Liam Banks was just a young boy when he first saw E.T. Right around when Elliott anxiously wandered into the cornfields, Liam first felt the rush of adrenaline as he suddenly sunk in his seat and watched. He was scared. Just like Elliott first gazing his eyes on the hideous monster lurking in the fields, he was both terrified and intrigued. This would spiral young Liam into a world of horror. One he would make his home.
“I really owe my love of films to [my grandmother]. In some sort of thank you for showing me that films were another way to tell stories.” – Liam Banks
Liam Banks grew up watching horror films in Nottingham, England. As a kid, his view of horror wasn’t blood and mayhem, but rather the seemingly PG films from giants like Steven Speilberg and Joe Dante. Films like E.T. and Gremlins, while marketed as family films, withheld a dark interior which both terrified and captivated him. Liam related all of his knowledge of film to his grandmother, who would sit on the sofa alongside him, watching films that would leave him shaking. “I really owe my love of films to her. In some sort of thank you for showing me that films were another way to tell stories.”
As a child of the 90’s, Liam Banks also grew up reading Goosebumps books. Between his large collection of books and the regularly airing TV show, there was little that could take him away from hiding under a blanket with a light and finding how another teenager avoided peril.
Liam has been working towards being a filmmaker since he was 16 years old. After school he and his friends decided to make a film. It was, no doubt, a horror film. While being terrible (as is most people’s first film ever), Liam realizes his passion lies in directing and storytelling. He never looked back. He studied film at the University of Derby, graduating with a first class degree in Film Production.
In 2009, Liam Banks started his own production company, Superfreak Media, that specializes in short horror/sci-fi tales with a quirky nostalgic twist. His films have been lucky enough to screen around the world, including the famous TCL Chinese Theaters in Los Angeles. in 2015, Liam’s short film Mr. Creak placed fifth nationally out of over 850 entries on a televised competition called The Fear on the BBC.
When it comes to inspirators, Liam looks to the giants, but not necessarily for the same reasons the rest of us do. Carpenter and Raimi are two names that stick out to Banks “They really proved that with very little money and a killer concept you could revitalize the genre and keep an audience entertained. There work has stood the test of time and still terrifies audiences today.” Along with Brian DePalma, whose films have achieved worldwide notoriety,including an Oscar.
There’s no end in sight for Liam Bank, as the success of Mr. Creak has left him in a whirlwind of work. After reaching worldwide attention, he now turns his attention to his first feature film. We can’t wait to see what is in store for this talented, motivated, and passionate FearMaker.