I wanted to do a thriller in the Hitchcock vein but with gay characters at the centre, making wrong choices and getting terrified out of their wits.
I love Hitchcock and all manner of suspense thrillers and I set out to make a thriller where there's a lightness of touch but shocking intensity where you need it. If you're on the edge of your seat the whole time it's too exhausting, you've got to know when to allow a laugh. Good suspense is inextricably linked to humour - the thriller experience should be full of enjoyment of the conceit, not dread that you're going to be harrowed out of your mind. Hitchcock called Psycho a black comedy. It's possible to do both.
The suspense genre stands or falls on identification and the building block of that grammar is the point-of-view shot. The camera has to be put exactly where the characters are. That's the most emotionally arresting technique for making the audience go through the same experience. Limiting the point of view is great for increasing suspense by rationing information. What you don't show is what they don't know and that's where the fun comes in.
Any environment becomes energized by who's looking at what. B&B has a lot of argument and bickering but it's juxtaposed with the male gaze. I love it when dialogue is used as background. Once there's something interesting to look at, the dialogue falls away and visual storytelling takes over.
B&B is a black comedy thriller about two guys who take a holiday for a joke, which goes terribly wrong. As the stakes amplify, the last thing they lose is their sense of humour. Imagine the couple from ‘Withnail and I’ checked into the Bates Motel.
Watch the "Behind the scenes" video below.