Episode 35: Christine Makepeace on ‘Population 436’

March 17th, 2021 | By Matthew Monagle

Population 436

There was a time not so long ago when Jeremy Sisto was the James Badge Dale of the horror industry. In the early 2000s, Sisto starred in a wide range of indie classics, including titles like Matthew Leutwyler‘s Dead & Breakfast and Lucky McKee‘s May. But it was Population 436—the Shirley Jackson-esque thriller from future Breaking Bad luminary Michelle MacLaren—that stuck in the mind of today’s podcast guest.

In this week’s episode, the Matts are joined by Christine Makepeace, freelance horror critic and contributing editor to Certified Forgotten. During her conversation, Christine shares the history behind Paracinema Magazine—the long-running genre publication that launched the careers of several horror writers—and explains how Population 436 made a young Christine rethink everything she knows about Fred Durst.

03:59 – Christine explains her interest—or lack thereof—in the horror genre growing up.
08:10 – Christine shares the inspiration behind Paracinema Magazine and the community that kept it running behind-the-scenes.
18:37 – Christine explains her love of editing and what drew her to work with Certified Forgotten.
29:54 – Introduction to Population 436 and the choice behind this week’s film selection.
37:27 – Conversation about Jeremy Sisto and the rise of early 2000s direct-to-video horror.
46:12 – Conversation about Michelle MacLaren’s contributions to making Population 436 a dynamic direc-to-video title.
49:58 – Comparing Population 436 to Ari Aster‘s Midsommar and the set pieces we can’t forget.
64:03 – The Big Question: How does Population 436 find its audience in 2021 and beyond?

Want to learn more about Christine’s work as a horror journalist? Follow her on Twitter at @Xtine_makepeace. You can also find her article on Todd Strauss-Schulson‘s Final Girls on the Certified Forgotten website.

Population 436 is now available to stream with limited commercial interruptions on Tubi. You can also check out the rest of our podcast episodes on our Podcasts page.

Matthew Monagle

Matthew is an Austin-based film critic. You can find his work as sites like Film School Rejects, The Playlist, SlashFilm, and the Austin Chronicle. He is also a member of the Austin Film Critics Association. Matt spends most of his free time doting on his dog and losing games of Slay the Spire.

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