December 19, 2018 8:02 pm

After the death of his wife and newborn baby, lonely widower Gil Spencer finds a mysterious video on his computer that leads him to an abandoned town occupied by an ominous entity.


After watching Lady in the Water (2006), József Gallai decided to deal with filmmaking and started writing screenplays and short stories. Between 2009 and 2012 he was mainly involved in amateur films in various genres.

In 2014, he wrote and co-directed Hungary’s first feature length found footage horror Bodom. In this year the movie opened the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby, UK as well as collected numerous nominations on film festivals including 30 Dies Festival in Andorra, Golden Rake Award for Indie Horror and New York Scary Film Awards in the US and Amazon Horror Awards in Brazil.

In 2015 Bodom was in the final competition at the Full Moon Horror & Fantasy Film Festival in Romania, competing with award winning films such as Welp (2014), Horsehead (2014) and Réalité (2014).

In the beginning of 2016 his next horror movie Moth has been called a “thought-provoking and chilling film” by Found Footage Fiction and a “front running for a new horror niche” by Horror Habit. According to Horror Asylum, Moth is “an unusual experience with some moment reminding the author of David Lynch’s Inland Empire (2006)”.

In the end of 2016 Gallai finished his fourth found footage feature A Guidebook to Killing Your Ex, being described as an “enjoyably sinister movie with a delightfully unhinged central performance” by UK Film Review and collecting further positive reviews from Found Footage Critic, Top Found Footage Films and Warped Perspective as well as three nominations (including Best Original Screenplay of a Feature Film) on the International Filmmaker Festival World Cinema in Nice in 2017.


What is Spirits in the Dark about?
The story centers around a lonely widower named Gil Spencer, who finds a mysterious video on his computer that leads him to an abandoned town occupied by an ominous entity.

What have the inspirations been regarding this film?
During pre-production, I played with some horror games and the most effective one was a free experimental game titled Slender: The Eight Pages. The atmosphere of the game stayed with me for a long time and right after that I started writing the first draft of the script. My plan has always been to present a mixture of traditional horror films, point-of-view films, survival games and experimental films and this is what Spirits in the Dark is.

What was it like filming in this ominous ghost town?
I was extremely lucky since many abandoned houses, villages and even towns are located near the city I live in. Months before shooting began, I had checked these locations with a smart phone or a handycam in my pocket. I wanted to make sure I got the right locations. Filming there was like nothing we have ever done, we actually shot 80% of the movie here. It has its power when one stays here at night to film.

What can you tell us about the concept of the movie?
I would say my approach is pretty unusual in every sense. For example due to its special cinematic approach, we all have very limited screen time. Despite being credited first, I have around 13 minutes of screen presence. The protagonist of the film is not me, but the atmosphere and these wonderful, yet frightening locations. It’s funny since the initial concept featured only two characters namely a man and a ghost, but however hard I tried, I had to realize it wouldn’t work as a feature film.

How would you describe the shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
As there are only a few characters in this film, the complete cast and crew was pretty small. Filming took only 14 days altogether. In spite of working with a skeleton crew, we tried out many things – the shoot ended up being a neverending experiment. I can say we all had a great time and a lot of laughs.

When and where will Spirits in the Dark be released?
We complete it very soon and we’ll probably sell the movie. It is supposed to be released in 2019. I’m pretty sure it will be available to people, but I don’t know if it’s going to get a big release or a smaller one, but I’m pretty optimistic.

Any future projects you are working on?
Next spring I’ll shoot a found footage feature titled The Surreal Project, written by Bálint Szántó, a great friend of mine. I’m looking forward to working on it!

The Facebook page of Spirits in the Dark can be reached here:

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This post was written by Nadia Vella