The Break In (2015)

“Charlie don’t!” ~ Kristy

Plot Summary: Kristy is trying to have a quiet romantic night with her boyfriend Nate alone but unbeknownst to them, they are anything but alone. Someone is outside the house, watching, waiting and now…he has just broken in.

Starring Victoria Grace, Erich Rausch and Paul Sheehan

Produced by Elizabeth Piper S., Shawn Tracy, and Marcus SlabineWritten and Directed by Marcus Slabine

Awards and Film Festivals: THE BREAK IN premiered at the LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO and was an official selection. Pictured from Right to Left Mark Ismael, Christopher North (Composer), Elizabeth Piper S. (SFX and Producer) Marcus Slabine (Director, Writer, Producer) Paul Sheehan (Nate, Stunts), and Erich Karoly Rausch (Charlie) on the red carpet for the premiere of THE BREAK IN.

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The character of CHARLIE, the killer in THE BREAK IN will be immortalized in a comic book series in issue #4 entitled WE KILL THE DEAD created and written by John Lepper. It has the highest number of licensed horror villains to cross over in a single comic book with names including Victor Crowley (Hatchet series) Leslie Vernon (Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon) Stitches (Stitches) and many more.

My Experience: The Break In is the first part of a 4 part series which I wrote in my early 20’s. Never had the ability to shoot it properly until almost 10 years later. I have been a huge fan and heavily inspired by the work of John Carpenter (Halloween, Christine), Dario Argento (Suspiria) Bob Clark (Black Christmas), Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho) and many more and this was my homage to them. I hid several little homages to all of those great films plus many more in there and this being the first part of the series I really wanted to capture what I loved about the 60’s and 70’s in terms of horror. SUSPENSE and CHARACTERS. To me, the best horror films explored the characters and made us fall in love with them before chopping them to pieces and knew how to create suspense and let a moment breath. BREAK IN is what you would deem a slow burn and I adore it for being that way.

We shot this on Long Island in 2013 as a friend of a friend’s house who allowed us to shoot there, to me this was a very special project and not just because of how long in the making it was. It was also the connection of the crew to my personal life. I had brought crew, friends, and family in from all walks of my life. People I met recently in the film industry, friends I had met through film school, and people who I grew up with from my home town and they all came together to help make this film a reality. The days were somewhat long and we had many obstacles in our way especially with how precise and intense certain moments needed to be. However you learn very quickly you are as strong as your crew is and having a great team of people on my side, we were able to accomplish so much.

There are SEVERAL stunt sequences as well as heavy usage of practical special effects, which is always something I strive to utilize. There is just something about having an actual created special effect prosthetic which makes you go how did they do it and brings a sense of realism. Elizabeth Piper S went above and beyond the call of duty especially with the effects in the film. One in particular while shooting made the DP sick to his stomach and needed to get air for a few minutes. Watching the final footage and the film with an audience, the gore shots never cease to achieve the reactions I intended. The stunt sequences were very intense as well and having Paul Sheehan as the actor as well as our stuntman really helped out since there was already a strong bond with the rest of the cast. There were 2 huge fight sequences that needed ALOT of choreography to make them SAFE. Safety is always the priority whenever I direct any scene with stunts; there is no excuse for unsafe sets especially when you are doing stunts. The sequences took a while to shoot but came out better than I imagined.

I try to use the same crews and cast because there is a bond already established with them, you get each other. I would tell my friend and DP Geoff Lerer a shot I wanted and he would show me that as well as another shot I didn’t even think of. We gelled together and it made the experience and the end result so much better. My favorite shots of the film were definitely the most difficult to achieve which makes them all the more worth it when you finally see them on the big screen. The final shot of the film is an extremely long and choreographed one shot done on steady cam. I have always been drawn to these types of shots especially when watching a Brian DePalma film and this was a shot I had in my mind since I originally wrote the script in 2003.

Currently THE BREAK IN is in its festival run and will be released soon. We are hard at work prepping for PART’s 2, 3, and 4 to shoot sometime in the next year or so. Once the series is complete, it is one entire feature film.

Stills from the Film: 

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Behind the scenes

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