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.
Preston Barta // Editor
There’s a new horror flick available for you to watch in the comfort of your own home, and it’s called COME BACK TO ME.
The story concerns Sarah (Katie Walder) whose neighbor (Nathan Keyes) harbors a dark supernatural power. You can view the trailer at the bottom.
Fresh Fiction had the opportunity to speak with the film’s star, Katie Walder. We talked about the fascinating concept, her greatest fears, and the toll that the film took on her.
This is such a neat concept that hasn’t been done before. And while this may be a pedestrian question, I’m genuinely curious, how did this movie come about for you? What sets it apart from other films of the genre?
Katie Walder: “I got an email from one of the producers who said that he wanted me to come in to meet the director. I read the script and was floored by it because it’s not just blood and guts – it really gets in your head. It’s so creepy but so smart and unexpected. I was really fascinated by the idea. So I went in the next day and met the director. And I found out the next day that I got it.”
Do you have the capacity to be scared of your own film even though you were a part of making it?
Walder: “[Laughs] That’s a good question. No, I wasn’t so much scared because I knew what was going to happen. I think I was more scared to watch myself, my performance and make sure I was happy with that. That was the scariest part for me.”
I’m trying to imagine myself doing the things that you do in this film and it seems so intense. How do you walkaway from that? How do you let go?
Walder: “I don’t. It’s actually really hard for me to let go. I have to be honest, from the moment we started the film until after we finished shooting – I guess I’m a bit of a method actress because it really stuck with me. It was really hard to take myself out of it because I was so immersed in it. I didn’t sleep as well as I normally do – on top of it being a lot to do in a short amount of time. We shot it in 17 days. We were doing something like 26 scenes a day. But I really didn’t let go. It was really hard to be in my normal life. I had to shake it off, and it took about a month after.
I was really scared shooting it, but after watching it a few years later, I was able to be much more removed. Had I seen it a few months later, I probably would have still been scared.”
Was there a particular scene that was really hard to shake?
Walder: “Yeah! The hardest scene for me – well, there were two, actually – is what you see in night vision, when you see what’s actually happening. When we filmed that, it was really scary for me. We didn’t take a break. You know, I trusted Nathan [Keyes] a lot. He’s really a lovely person, but I didn’t really know him that well. Here he is doing all this stuff to me. We went through the motions, you know, even stuff you couldn’t see. That really freaked me out.
The other was at the very end. It involves going into spoilers, but I will say that involves shooting someone. The whole intensity of the end got me.”
That’s crazy. So you didn’t know Nathan at all? I was going to ask how your relationship was with the guy who was doing all these things to you.
Walder: “Yeah, it’s funny. We didn’t know each other at all. I think he came in on the fifth day of shooting. We didn’t know each other and he was in his own little world. We stayed very separate for good reasons. We shot all those intense scenes within the first few days, so we just didn’t talk outside of those scenes. After about the second day of shooting those scenes, we started talking and got along great. We became good friends. He was the person I became closest with on-set.”
Alfred Hitchcock said that the best way to get over your fears is to make movies about them. If we were to make a movie about your greatest fears, what would that movie be about?
Walder: “My greatest fear – there are two. Being killed in my sleep is one – someone coming into my house in the middle of the night and killing me in my sleep. This is a big reason why I chose to do the film. That’s why it was extra intense for me through the shooting process.
The other one is hitting my head, which I actually did on set for this film. I was fine, but I was like, “Oh my God!” [Laughs] Yeah, those are my two greatest fears, and they both happened and I’m fine. But that is so true; that’s the only way to get over stuff – is to go through it.”
And if you could teach a college course, what would you teach?
Walder: “That’s an interesting question. It would be a class about – along the lines of what we were just talking about – your fears and taking risks in your life. It would be an inspirational class on letting go and realizing that you only have one-time around. You really have to make the most of it. That’s what the course would be: letting go of fears.”
COME BACK TO ME is on Netflix now.