Howlin’ at the ‘BLOOD MOON’ with director Emma Tammi: A discussion of a mother’s love through shapeshifting folklore

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Preston Barta // Features Editor

Like any good film character, mothers are complex. They have their differences, secrets, warmth, and coldness on screen. But if there’s one thing that unites mothers, it’s their deep, unwavering love for their children.

Filmmaker Emma Tammi knows how to explore maternal power through her meditative terrors expertly. Coming off of IFC’s 2014 horror film The Wind (with the subtitle Demons of the Prairie on home release) and “Delivered” (as part of Hulu and Blumhouse Television’s horror movie anthology series Into the Dark), Tammi hatches a new Into the Dark installment for Hulu subscribers to sink their teeth into, titled “Blood Moon.”

From folk horror to a Misery-like thriller, Tammi pivots to a quiet, character-driven mother-son story that’s perhaps plucked from the lycanthropy arena. Through this heartfelt and intense journey, Tammi delves into some startling themes of motherhood, paranoia, and our relationship with the beast we all know lives inside us. 

In “Blood Moon,” Megalyn Echikunwoke stars as Esme (a.k.a. Sarah), a single mother in search of a fresh start with her son, Luna (Yonas Kibreab). We know something is not right from the onset as a flashback showcases the family fleeing a blood-stained bedroom with a shotgun and an animal carrier in hand. And we can gather right away that Esme has every intention of keeping Luna separated from society. She homeschools him and does the classic, good-boy treatment of locking Luna inside a security cage on one circled day each month. Some secrets may be obvious, but others may have more bite.

Fresh Fiction caught up with Emma Tammi via Zoom recently to discuss her caged approach to her thriller, her thematic evolution as a storyteller, and the relationship between sight and sound through her editorial process. Watch our video chat below, and check out Into the Dark’s “Blood Moon” on Hulu today!

Our video interview with ‘Blood Moon’ director Emma Tammi:

You can read our previous conversations with Ms. Tammi for The Wind (here) and “Delivered” (here).

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.