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Former Pta resident breaking barriers with UK horror film

'The Unfamiliar' is a horror film that will be released nationwide on 28 October 2020. Rekord spoke with the producer, who comes from Pretoria.

If you’re a fan of horror films, you must be ecstatic that we’re in the month of October.

Halloween is around the corner, and Rekord caught up with former Pretorian Llewelynn Greeff, who is now a big time horror movie producer.

The Unfamiliar is a horror film that will be released nationwide on 28 October 2020. It revolves around a British military doctor (Jemima West) who returns from war and suspects she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She later discovers that evil spirits are loose in her house. The life she knew before, drastically changes after this.

Greeff, a dreamer, storyteller and successful movie producer who have worked on numerous successful South African productions like Modder en Bloed and Leading Lady explained why he got involved with this film.

“My sister and I have been horror film fans since I can remember. As a company, my business partner Henk Pretorius and I wanted to explore all genres and understand every part of this challenging industry.

“After extensive research, we realised that horror is a very lucrative genre of filmmaking and comes with its subset of tropes. We also wanted to embark on creating an English language-based film that will have the USA and UK as primary territories to expand our reach from a company and filmmaking perspective,” he explains.

Greeff dreamed big from a young age, acknowledging his potential and his goals of making it big in the UK.

“I have always wanted to live in London when I was a teenager. Geographically it felt like I could go anywhere in the world from there.

“Furthermore, it’s one of the most diverse cities in the world – the kind of place that’s based on a solid meritocracy provided that you work both smart and hard. I’m fortunate that I can spend time in both London and South Africa every year. London is an excellent place for our industry at this point.”

Greeff forms part of a successful production company called Dark Matter Studios. He said that movies are his passion, every movie he makes.

“I believe that you will produce to the best of your ability if you fully support your creative side and know that there is an audience for your film. Also, I’m a huge horror fan which got me even more excited than usual.”

Being a proud South African at heart, Greeff talks about his altered experiences in the industry.

“In London, many people are working in the film industry, which allows for more choice and healthy competition. South Africa may have less depth, but the crew are all trying their best to be the best and always willing to go that extra mile.

“We are happy to work with both, but personally, my favourite is still our Springboks, um, I mean our SA crew,” he laughs.

Like all other industries and businesses, the film world was severely affected by Covid-19. Greeff said The Unfamiliar was affected by losing its theatrical release date for both the US and the UK.

“We became well versed in the digital space of marketing and PR to maximise the reach that we wanted to achieve with The Unfamiliar. But the silver lining was that we still managed to get a theatrical release in Vietnam where the film was released on over 1 000 screens.

“Furthermore, we are set to release theatrically in several other countries in South America. So keep watching this space.”

When Greeff and his business partner Henk Pretorius established Dark Matter Studios in late 2012, they had one goal in mind, “Creating wealth through content”.

“Next year marks our eighth anniversary, and we could not be more proud of what we have accomplished during that time. But now more than ever, we will have to work harder and continuously adapt to how the behaviour of the world is changing. It is a privilege to be in this business.”

Dark Matter Studios has a lot of new projects in the pipeline.

“One of our biggest projects is a work in progress since 2014. If all goes to plan we should be going into production in early 2021. Also, we have just attached an iconic British lead for the role, keep an eye on our social media for further announcements.”

Greeff concludes by inviting the public to see this horror film.

“Whether you’re a horror, mystery or a thriller fan then this is right up your isle. It keeps you guessing with that constant horror theme playing throughout. And if you’re not a fan of the genre it’s a great excuse to cuddle up to a loved one for protection on a date night.”

Take a look at the movie trailer here:



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