The Sublet (2105) is a psychological thriller about Joanna, a new mom coping with her baby alone in an odd sublet apartment. As her husband neglects her, Joanna questions her sanity and suspects that the building may be haunted.
The Sublet was my feature directorial debut and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than my amazingly committed and talented lead actress Tianna Nori who won Best Actress at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival for her performance. Her unwavering dedication is what every director dreams of in a collaborator.
The script began with Alyson Richards and I building a simple low budget horror. Things never stay simple though and we added a baby. Thankfully I met Janet Porter, an amazing actress and mother to Porter who proved at the age of one to be capable of stealing scenes.
Production Designer Vincent Moskewec worked his magic and created a set from nothing. Director of Photography Greg Biskup, who won a Best Cinematography award at BITS and I did a lot of prep and on set we were always on the same page. He was able to bring what I had in my head to the screen and use his natural eye for framing to enhance it. With the help of our gaffer Spencer Johnston, Greg was always ahead of the game which allowed me the freedom to work the scenes with the cast.
Editor Jordan Crute and I spent many sleepless nights in a poorly ventilated edit suite building the rhythm and like most of my work, the film is elevated by the uber talented Jeff Morrow’s haunting score.
The unsung hero was our grip Greg Baldin who took on double duty as “Hazemeister” a thankless task that involves pushing a button on a machine that invariably creates too much haze or does nothing. Greg spent most of the day being yelled at for too much or too little haze and like a true crew he took it all with a smile. The look of this film would not have been possible without his singular dedication to the atmosphere construction and mastering the pushing of that unresponsive button.
Catch it on the best place to stream all your horror needs – Shudder.
Starring Tianna Nori & Mark Matechuk
Written & Directed by John Ainslie
Cinematographer Greg Biskup
Production Designer Vincent Moskewec
Editor Jordan Crute
Composer Jeff Morrow
Produced by Chad Archibald, Cody Callahan, Christopher Giroux