Wednesday 20 March 2019

Horror to be unleashed at premiere of 'Slab'

Sinead Farrell as Laura in ‘Slab’
Sinead Farrell as Laura in ‘Slab’
Michael Cloke as Alex in ‘Slab’

Pádraig Byrne

The red carpet will be rolled out and hearts are set to be racing at The Presentation Centre next Monday as it hosts the premiere of a film project fronted by locals Michael J and Donna Marie Cloke. While the original idea had been for a straight up horror, 'Slab' has become so much more and also ticks all the boxes of a gripping thriller.

Originally conceived and written by Michael in April of this year, in a relatively short period the film has really taken on a life of its own and he is looking forward to screening it for a audience for the first time.

'The idea is from a thought that came into my mind one day - how far would you go for the ones you love?' Michael explained. As with all good ideas, he ran things by his other half Donna Marie. 'In a way I don't proceed with anything without her approval,' he laughed. 'We work great as a team. She related to it straight away and we decided we would pursue this adventure.'

'Slab' is a gritty tale of kidnapping, butchery and blood all in the name of love. Alex and Laura live in a small shack away from society. Laura becomes gravely ill from the poor living conditions, which leaves Alex no choice but to doctor himself in the desperate hope of saving her life. While Laura pleads to seek help, Alex takes it upon himself to fix what he has done. While he agrees to get her help, it's not in the way she expected and things don't go smoothly and although his mind is in the right place, his mind goes beyond reason.

Operating with a tight budget, the crew faced some major challenges, however, Michael is confident that the finished product speaks for itself.

'One of the main features in this movie was a leg being severed from a body and we found this to be a huge challenge,' Michael said. 'So before we could go into pre-production, we had to figure out how we'd accomplish that scene. With that, Donna dived into prosthetic special effects and after three or four trials with the help of Leanne Byrne from Wexford, they managed to make a prosthetic replica of our lead actor's leg!'

From there, it was more plain sailing and, after two and a half months to get the set ready, the gang shot the film in just four days at the end of July with Michael Benson as Director of Photography.

Being an actor himself, Michael took on the role of Alex, with Ella Marie Carmen as Grace, Sinead Farrell as Laura, Katie Cloke as the younger version of Laura and Aoibhinn Hyland as Jessica.

Michael pulled off a coup for the score of the film. The music was provided by Ana Ortiz Wienken who has scored music for films like 'How to Train Your Dragon' and 'Hugo'.

'Slab' will have its official premiere at The Presentation Centre next Monday at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at €10 on the door or at This event is strictly for over-18s.

Michael wished to thank all of the local sponsors who've shown their support for the premiere as well as everyone who worked tirelessly on the film.

Enniscorthy Guardian