The award-winning horror short ‘Chain’, starring Caolan McClafferty and Kevin James, was filmed in 2019 and produced by EQ Films and Paul Desira.
In this eerie horror, Caolan plays the role of The Monster, who chases the protagonist, played by Kevin James, around terrifying labyrinths and traps. The role took months of characterisation and method acting and Caolan studied many animals and creatures to perfect it. The Monster was an extremely difficult role, as the creature mainly moves on his hands and knees throughout the movie. During the shoot Caolan spent over six hours a day running on all fours.
Caolan’s movement was further restricted as his costume consisted of a giant brain containing metal spikes strapped to his back, severely limiting his field of vision, so he was working with only a fraction of his sight. He spent over eight hours hours a day getting into the extremely tight latex suit (designed by SFX artist Dave Darko) and a straitjacket (designed by Gini Newton).
On the second-to-last day of filming, McClafferty twisted his ankle on set and the team urged him to go to hospital to get it checked out. But Caolan refused to stop filming as he was eager to complete the movie, so he signed a second contract to state that he was willing to film on a twisted ankle.
His commitment to the role is clear, and director and writer Christopher Reith was sure that Caolan was the right actor for the part. He had seen many actors audition to be The Monster but he told Caolan his audition tape was so memorable it stood out a mile above the competition.
‘Chain’ is a visually arresting spectacle: Christopher put a lot of his own artwork into the project and each and every scene was constructed by a human design team and used virtually no digital special effects.
The film has won multiple awards, including Best Short, Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Scare. Caolan won an award for Best Monster and the film also won Best Special Effects at the Independent Horror Movie Awards, in which it premiered at London’s Leicester Square.
The film then travelled the globe and bagged a total of 21 awards and 10 nominations in a multitude of festivals including the British Horror Film Festival, Creepy Tree Film Festival, Queen Palm International Film Festival, Vegas Movie Awards, Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival, The Monthly Film Festival, Barcelona Planet Film Festival and many more. ‘Chain’ has since been published on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and USA and is available to rent or buy now.
Caolan, an Irish former model, has had great success in his journey to stardom, including his 2018 release ‘The Line’, which he wrote, produced and starred in with YouTube horror narrator Mr. Black Pasta. The feature-length audio horror movie was an internet sensation upon its release and caught the attention of ‘Hostel’ creator Eli Roth. Caolan wrote ‘The Line’ to help him deal with his past and realised that many of the movie’s fans had dealt with similar problems and were also able to “kill off their demons”. Caolan played two characters in the movie and it kick-started his voice artist career.
Caolan is set for even bigger things with the upcoming release of the feature-length psychological fantasy horror ‘Witch’, in which he plays the role of Silas Weever, once a farmer in the mythical village of Swynford, tainted by black magic. The film is set to premier in London’s Leicester Square, at a date to be announced.
Featured photo credit: Zainea Alexandru