In the years since Chappie arrived in 2015, District 9 filmmaker Neill Blomkamp has been hard at work on Oats Studios – his experimental short film project. But after six years, he’s heading back to the big screen with Demonic, a film he cooked up in lockdown, from idea all the way through to fruition. While he’s primarily worked in the sci-fi genre, Blomkamp’s films have always had something fleshy and visceral about them – just think about the body-horror aspects of Wikus’ transformation in District 9. But while this one has some sci-fi trappings, it finds the director heading into all-out scare territory.

“I was always a huge fan of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity,” he tells Empire of his genre reference points in the upcoming new issue. “I was also a fan of the way that those filmmakers just went out and shot something in their backyard.” Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes image of a masked-up Blomkamp on set.

Demonic – BTS exclusive

For Blomkamp, making a proper horror flick was a welcome change of gears. “One of the things that was fun about doing the film was working in a different subgenre to what I’m normally in,” he says. “A sense of dread brewing under the surface was something I wanted to try to capture.”

Empire – July 2021 covers – British New Wave issue

Read Empire’s full Demonic story in The British New Wave issue, on newsstands Thursday 10 June and available to pre-order online here. Demonic comes to cinemas and digital from 27 August.

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