Without giving it away, what IS “The Catalyst?”
Alan Fine, the writer and director explains his vision:
My reason for writing and directing “The Catalyst” was to breathe new life into the classic ghost story. The “look” and “feel” will flow from the realistic dramas of Sidney Lumet, to the grounded thrillers by Roman Polanski (“Rosemary’s Baby”) and William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”).
A good thriller needs to create “transference.” Does an audience take the film home? Transference is what happened to us when we saw “Psycho” and then took a shower.
“To err is human.” Okay, but what if normal accidents (dropping things, bumping into each other) trigger increasingly horrifying hauntings in common everyday places? The idea proposes that every place is haunted, and we are just waiting to find out what accident will unleash the terror. Hopefully that idea will release a Zeitgeist of fear and cause a lot of people to look over their shoulders anywhere and anyplace.
In the first installment, a family unknowingly sets off a catalyst in their house that awakens an evil presence. As the entity gains power and learns to be a poltergeist, the family becomes increasingly afraid to do anything in their own home.
“Heart” has been sorely missing in horror films (unless it has been ripped out, beating and bloody). I believe for a thriller to work, we have to care about the characters; their realistic and affecting stories should just happen to be interrupted by the paranormal. (In the feature film script of “The Catalyst,” a couple who lost a child when she was five are now overprotective as their second daughter has reached that age.)
Through the use of camera, we will visually juxtapose the human drama of these stories with that of evil spirits as they awake, learn, and finally understand how to wreak havoc. To do this, our camera people will be cast no differently than actors, because our camera will need to express — without words and through carefully choreographed movement — the growth and development of unseen entities.
To put it another way, here’s the crass elevator pitch:
Think “Poltergeist” meets “Paranormal Activity” or “Jaws” in a haunted house.