“The Beast Beneath Lake Bullaren” directed by Jonas Wolcher and produced by Helen Brunestal, is an action packed, riveting and compelling horror “creature feature” film filled with drama, folk lore, and the beautiful scenery of the northern part of Bohuslän in Sweden. A modern-day Scandinavian Jaws, the movie stars Swedish actress Āsa Älmeby Thorne and actor Pär “Pelle” Karlsson, and of course the Beast.
The film is a product of #Ranrikestudios and only practical effects were used in making the movie. The old school film uses real planes, real cars, real speedboats, and real explosives. The film is meant to bring back the days of films such as Jaws and Lake Placid.
Jonas and Helen are the dynamic duo complementing each other in being creative, administrative and persevering. Jonas Wolcher is a cult figure among Swedish genres cinema and has been active since the early 2000s. He directs and is also one of the producers of the movie. He has produced several movies on both Swedish and Ugandan productions. Helen is a former Bee-keeper who was thrust into the movie industry and is enjoying every moment.
I spoke to both Jonas and Helen regarding the film. I met Jonas because I am proud to announce he is using my new book, “Waiting For Adam” as a prop in the film…..
What inspired you to make the film?
Jonas: We saw an ad, a short notice on a tourist brochure. It told about the legend of Lake Bullaren. The beast was explained in detail. It was written in 1746. Both Helen and I when we saw this decided to make a corona safe movie as one of the concept movies that Ranrikestudios will present. We sent a note to the Facebook page, which is called The Legends of Lake Bullaren, and suddenly people were asking questions. The bank liked the idea and began asking questions and researching the Beast. They received a hundred messages regarding the fact that the legend was for real.
Have anyone of you on the set seen the beast?
Jonas: No not yet. My prop man actually hired a diver to find the creature. It’s about 20 feet beneath the water. It’s quite deep. It’s nearly impossible to see this creature lying on the bottom of the lake so we haven’t found it yet. We really want to make this movie while engaging the community and the tourism.
Have you directed any horror movies in the past?
Jonas: Yes. The difference is that I decided two years ago to step away from extreme low budget into a modest budget and the acting and lighting and the crew should be top notch. Helen the producer went from beekeeping into producing.
What would you say to inspire people to come see this movie?
Jonas: If do you want to see action, adventure, love as well as a very good drama, this is it. It is definitely a driving movie.
Right now with the world situation the new trend is drive-in theaters. Do you hope to have that with your movie?
Jonas: Exactly. We have some very interesting vehicles in Sweden. From the ages of 15 to 18 you aren’t allowed to drive a real car in Sweden, but you can drive a car that goes 15 km an hour. That is very very slow. The kids sit on these machines, they are big machines, and they decorate those vehicles with lights, with a led screen underneath that changes color and has a scent. I had to drive one and it’s really hard to see because they have letters on the window that say, “I’m the cool driver”, or some other saying.
Will the film be released in the US?
Jonas: I hope so. Yes. This is our ambition, but we need some distribution which is what we are looking for right now. We think this movie is so different. It’s like Jaws. It’s a very interesting story itself because we decided to make it into a love story between a boy and a girl and two brothers. One of the brothers is like Captain Ahab. His goal is to catch this fish. We decided to make the movie without digital effects. So, we are making everything from scratch. We have real explosions, we have a real monster of miniatures. We are on the water as well, not in a tank, not in a studio. We are in the freaking lake!
Helen, what made you decide to produce this film?
Helen: We stopped another project because of corona so we had to have something else to do. It was a good first movie for our studio that we want to build. It will set the foundation for our future work here.
So, Helen, you went from beekeeping to producing movies.
Helen: Yes, they are in a hive from the summertime. There are 90 thousand bees.
What do you like best regarding the movie?
Helen: It’s very exciting. It’s so interesting to be new in the business and watching everyone come together, doing their parts, and making everything just happen. It’s really great. It’s a lot of work in between the takes. There’s a lot of planning in between the filming, pulling strings and making things happen around everything so that it comes together and makes a movie in the end.
Do the two of you have a next project in mind?
Helen: Yes. We have a lot of projects.
Who wrote the script?
Jonas: Our cinematographer. I had this idea, I sent him notes, and asked him to give me a script. He’s doing very well. This is the first time I have seen a script without any plot holes. Otherwise you always see a plot hole in a script. This one didn’t have any. When we began shooting, he already had the scenes ready in the edit as well. He really knew what every shot would look like.
When will the movie be released do you think?
Jonas: My ambition is to have it finished by “Fright Fest” in London or maybe “Chainsaw” in Canada. Our ambition is to go for the horror film festivals and the horror conventions. However, I think this movie is not entirely a horror movie. It is also a love drama and action/adventure movie.
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