Scott Reynolds

Director, Screenwriter
New Zealand-born writer-director Scott Reynolds made his first short film "The Minute" in 1992 and followed with "A Game With No Rules" (1994), both produced by Jonathan Dowling, the man behind Garth Maxwell's 1993 ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1969 in New Zealand

Filmography

Writer (4)

The Following 2014 (Tv Show)

Writer

Shearer's Breakfast 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Heaven 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Ugly 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (3)

Shearer's Breakfast 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Heaven 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

The Ugly 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

New Zealand-born writer-director Scott Reynolds made his first short film "The Minute" in 1992 and followed with "A Game With No Rules" (1994), both produced by Jonathan Dowling, the man behind Garth Maxwell's 1993 feature "Jack Be Nimble". The latter was purchased by Miramax for theatrical release in America and brought the filmmaker to the attention of the company's head honchos, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who bankrolled his sophomore feature, "Heaven" (1998), but not before Dowling under the auspices of the New Zealand Film Commission presented his feature debut "The Ugly" (1997), a stunningly macabre, disturbing and structurally innovative, post-modern psycho-thriller.

Borrowing from "the ugly duckling" story to tell its tale of a "rehabilitated" serial killer, this "Silence of the Lambs" (1991) meets "Seven" (1995) composite pitted the placid, haunted murderer against the attractive psychologist forcing him to relive his crimes. Reynolds stole from the best prototypes of the horror genre, and his imagination raised the picture above the rank-and-file of the crowded slasher field. Though the predominant color in his stylish palette was blue, he also used red to great effect, but never to represent blood, which was always seen from the killer's point-of-view as a more neutral, inoffensive black.

"Heaven" kicked off in strong fashion, but along the way its dizzyingly convoluted and contrived plot compromised it as a hard-edged thriller. This time "The Crying Game" (1992) collided with "The Usual Suspects" (1995), but the transsexual element seemed tacked-on without much thought, simply to add a little spice to the mix. In place of the serial killer's psychedelic flashbacks of his freshman effort, Reynolds substituted the tormented, violent, precognitive visions of his titular transsexual. Character development across the board left something to be desired, but the helmer still provided an adrenaline-filled ride, eventually tying up all the loose ends in time for the bloody, jolting finale.

Milestones

1998

Helmed second feature "Heaven"

1997

Feature film directorial debut "The Ugly"

1994

Made second short, "A Game With No Rules"; shown as part of Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival

1992

Made first short film "The Minute"

Worked as a projectionist for 10 years at the Hollywood Cinema owned and operated by his parents in Aukland, New Zealand

Bonus Trivia

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Reynolds won Best Director honors at the 1997 Sitges International Catalonian Film Festival for his debut feature "The Ugly".

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"I've had some people go to me, 'Man, I'd really like to meet your mom, Scott.' But, seriously, it's from growing up loving horror films. That's where it all comes from. I had a fine childhood. I didn't ruin any of my animals or anything like that, but I liked horror movies. I'd say right off from seeing 'Psycho', I was probably 11, [it] freaked me out. I loved horror films, so, as a writer, you create things. You don't necessarily have to write from your past. There is this thing called imagination." . . . my favorite film is 'Dawn of the Dead' by George Romero. As a teenager, I loved the splatter, horror, anything like . . . 'Halloween', 'Poltergeist' . . . any of those. It wasn't just the more gory the better; it was the cleverer [sic] ones that I'd say really inspired me, [like] 'Dressed to Kill'. Brian De Palma. Those kind of well-constructed horror films that weren't afraid to go really far." --Scott Reynolds, to Andy Jones of ROUGH CUT (www.roughcut.com), May 25, 1998

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'To sum it up, I love film--plain and simple. I was a film fan before I was a filmmaker. I have sat in audiences where we all shivered and screamed, so the main reason I wanted to make 'The Ugly' is so that I can sit in an audience where I make them respond in that way. I love being scared, I love terrifying sequences and seat-edged suspense . . . "I made 'The Ugly' for the 16-year-old Scott Reynolds who loves horror, switch-blade razors and death. I also made it for the 28-year-old Scott who wants to see a bit more depth in the genre and something cleverer than just plain old hack and slash. I do feel both of those elements run side by side in this weird little psychological thriller-cum-balls to the walls horror flick in which I've taken horror cliches and regenerated them into something different, with a new spin." --Reynolds, quoted in CINEFANTASTIQUE, May 1998

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