I love Hitchcock and all manner of suspense thrillers but I’ve barely seen any where gay characters are the heroes. I also wanted to do a thriller where there’s a lightness of touch but shocking intensity where you need it. Films which reconciled those wildly variant tones include Blood Simple and Shallow Grave. They were edge of the seat but knew 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 film thrives on argument and bickering, juxtaposed with the male gaze. I love it when dialogue is used as background. Once we find something interesting to look at, the dialogue falls away to chatter. None of the key situations are resolved with a kind word. Closure requires something more cinematic – like a knife.
I see this as a black comedy thriller about two guys who take a holiday for a joke which goes badly, seriously, 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.