“There isn’t enough British sci-fi or horror in cinemas,” says Noel Clarke

Storage 24 writer and star Noel Clarke talks sci-fi and horror movies in the UK, and whether he prefers writing, directing or acting. What do you think about the state of British genre cinema?

Noel Clarke Storage 24 Laura Haddock
Noel Clarke Storage 24 Laura Haddock
Noel Clarke and Laura Haddock in Storage 24, in cinemas now.

How do you feel about the state of British filmmaking, particularly when it comes to genre films? 

I think it’s difficult, which is why genre films generally aren’t getting made. We kind of make “British films” and I’ve kind of been mocking it recently, but I think that we’re starting to expand our repertoire.

I’m a genre fan, and it’s not that I want to see mindless genre movies that take away from the artistic integrity of some of the great British films that we have done and consistently do, but I feel like it’s a business and you need to have things in the cinema that people want to go and watch. And there are genre fans and horror fans and sci-fi fans that don’t get enough stuff for them.

So hopefully this is something that horror fans, sci-fi fans, and people that generally want to see cooler films can all come together and watch.

You’ve done so many different things – you write, and you direct, and you act – what’s your main interest, would you say?

All of it, I can’t separate it! I love directing – I’ve done two films, obviously Adulthood and 4.3.2.1 – and I want to do more, but I want to do the right thing. I want it to be something completely different.

At one stage I was gonna do this, and then I thought, as a production company – you know, I have a production company, there’s only three of us, but – as a company, actually, if I give this to someone else and give [The Knot] to someone else, we could actually get two films done a year instead of me directing something where we do one film.

So that was a conscious decision that we made, that I would step back and do that. In the wedding film, I’m not even the lead: there’s Matthew McNulty and Talulah Riley, and then Mena Suvari and myself playing smaller parts. The idea is to hopefully have a company that is self-sustaining and has a bit of longevity. And sometimes I’ll direct, and sometimes I’ll play the lead, and sometimes we’ll do films that I’m not in at all and that I haven’t even written.

What do you think about the state of British genre cinema?