When did you first become interested in horror movies?
I’ve loved horror from a terribly young age (probably around 6 or 7-years-old), and my parents really didn’t monitor what I watched whatsoever. Growing up in the 1990s, while even the tamest of horror movies would scare me back then I couldn’t help but want to see more. So, I guess you could say that it’s been a life-long obsession.
What gave you the idea for your channel and getting on YouTube?
Obviously I’m not alone in making retrospective videos, and several other Youtubers definitely inspired and influenced me to start my own channel on the subject, but I’ve also loved behind the scenes documentaries ever since I was a child, which is probably the result of the very nature of VHS, because they would usually stick the bonus content in front of the movie - my parents probably had no idea I was even consuming all this. But, at the core of it, I find the personal experiences from cast and crew, as well as the studio politics aspect endlessly fascinating, and I believe that you can’t truly know the story of how a film was made without exploring these aspects.
I love the behind the scenes information. How do you research?
My research method has definitely evolved over the years, but it always starts the same: Wikipedia. While Wikipedia is somewhat unreliable and usually ends up leaving out a whole lot of context, it’s a great place to start to help structure my video and find the “bones” of the story. As I move through the paragraphs on Wikipedia I independently research each name and subject that is mentioned through deep Google searches, sometimes finding what I’m looking for in the most obscure places (old blogs, chat boards, galleries, etc.). Once I’ve gone through the information on Wikipedia, and have weeded out any misleading or incorrect statements, I jump over to another basic but valuable resource: IMDb. There, I basically perform the same method, including using the Trivia page. Sometimes if there’s a discrepancy between the two resources, then I have to turn to a third resource (like Box Office Mojo or whatever is appropriate) to reconcile the difference. I also come across quite a bit of interesting information while researching clips and pictures to use in the video, so this always ends up adding the final touches to my script. In some cases, I’ve even had to check out a book from the library, but that’s not as common. After all of my online research is completed, I usually turn to the DVD or Blu-Ray. If there’s an audio commentary then I always listen to that first and take notes, otherwise I take notes from the behind the scenes features.
How did you develop an interest in fantasy/horror?
The earliest movies I remember watching in these genres were 1933’s “King Kong” and the original “Jaws”, but I was also into comic books and comic book movies, especially Batman and Superman, so it was likely a combination of all these early influences. However, there was also this T.V. show on Nickelodeon called “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, which was a children’s horror anthology show from Canada, and I watched that religiously every Saturday night in the early 90’s.
Is this a full time job?
Unfortunately not; it’s primarily supplementary income right now. Many of my videos are un-monetized due to copyright claims, and even though my content falls under Fair Use, it’s often not worth it to fight the studios on the matter, although I have before and won. I also have a Patreon account where I receive monthly donations from pledged supporters, which really helps.
Do you have any plans to make films or write fiction yourself?
Yes, definitely. I’ve been writing novels or scripts since I was twelve-years-old and don’t see that changing anytime soon. As far publishing goes, however, I haven’t worked up the courage to do that quite yet (I’m kind of a perfectionist). To no one’s surprise, I mostly enjoy writing in the horror/fantasy genre, but I have dabbled in literary fiction, as well. I’d say I’ve made more attempts at novel writing than screenwriting, but if I ever write a script worth producing I’d rather direct it myself.
Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?
When it comes to horror, everyone likes being scared, and whether they want to admit it or not, everyone has some level of morbid curiosity - we all want a peak behind the curtain of death. Fantasy is raw escapism, like dreaming, and even liberating in some ways. The idea that you can just make up your own world, from top to bottom, and tell a meaningful story within it is far too enticing to ever fall out of popularity. I don’t think either genre, of which there are numerous blends, are going anywhere - they are born from what we are on a primal level and you can’t get rid of that.
What inspires you?
Seeing someone else’s accomplishment and wondering if I could do it too. I think that’s the very foundation of why I became interested in the world filmmaking. It wasn’t just enough for me to see Oz, I had to meet the Wizard.
What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?
American horror, in its most consumable form, is much more action-focused and bombastic in general, usually packaged as some kind of thrill ride. British horror tends to lean more heavily into atmosphere and mystery-building, an element often left undercooked in U.S. horror. To put it musically, American horror is rock n’ roll and British horror is a string quartet.
What are your favorite horror books?
As cliched as it is, Stephen King is at the top of my list in horror fiction - I mean, how can he not be? And I’ll be covering plenty of his adaptations on my channel. That being said, Jonathan Mayberry, Dean Koontz, Victor LaValle, and even King’s son, Joe Hill, are really fun reads, as well. I also enjoy reading the classics, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” being among my all-time favorites, along with the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe.
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Oh boy. Just to name a few off the top of my head:
Let the Right One In
Interview with the Vampire
Hour of the Wolf
The Exorcist III
An American Werewolf in London
Nosferatu (1922 and 1979)
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Halloween (most of them)
Friday the 13th (even the bad ones)
Killer Klowns form Outer Space
Do you have any advice for folks who want to create a YouTube channel?
First and foremost, be yourself. It sounds simple, but if you are true to yourself and you believe in your own voice, then people will want to watch. Don’t follow trends and don’t pander, and always put quality before quantity. And, lastly, don’t worry about making mistakes, that’s how you learn and grow.
Do you have any advice for new writers or filmmakers?
Break the rules.
What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?
It’s a fantastic way for independent authors to have their voices heard and to get a seat at the table. I have no idea how this is effecting the publishing companies, but the more writers getting their work out there the better.
What are your current projects?
As far as videos go, I’m currently working on two: “The Story of Friday the 13th Part II” and, for a change, a martial arts movie, “The Story of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” “Friday the 13th” will probably be out before “Crouching Tiger”. I’ve got so many video ideas and yet so little time.
As far as my writing is concerned, I’m always bouncing back and forth between a million ideas - some take flight and some don’t. Creatively, I just like to go where the wind takes me.
Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work.
Layton Eversaul has been creating Youtube film reviews and analysis’s since 2014, as well as in-depth film retrospectives since 2017. While his channel mostly focuses on horror, he has covered a wide variety of cinematic genres, and hopes to provide both entertaining and educational content for those who match his eclectic movie tastes. Layton’s channel continues to evolve as he strives to make each video to a higher standard than the last, and wants his channel to be a resource for those interested in the process and history of filmmaking.
Check Out Layton's Youtube page at https://www.youtube.com/c/DoctorFilmReviews/
And Layton's Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/LaytonReviews/