Q&A: Director Luis Prieto and his new thriller, “Shattered”

From filming during a pandemic to 'roller coasters of emotions', the director of the new erotic thriller shows us behind the scenes
Director Luis Prieto (right) behind the scenes of the thriller “Shattered,” a Lionsgate release. Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Arturo Hilario
El Observador

Director Luis Prieto recently took the time to talk with us about his new thriller, “Shattered,” a lonely millionaire (played by Cameron Monaghan) who falls into a whirlwind of romance with a girl (played by Lilly Krug) and who leads to a web of mystery, suspense and violence.

“Shattered” stars John Malkovich, Lilly Krug, Cameron Monaghan, Frank Grillo and Sasha Luss, and is now available on streaming and in theaters.

Well, thanks for taking the time to talk about your movie Shattered. To start off, I wanted to know how you got involved in this project and what brings you to the project.

Well, the truth is that I read the script 5 years ago and I found it fascinating. It’s one of these scripts that you start reading and as you turn the pages, you don’t stop for a second, not even to drink water or anything. It’s very, very good.

And as sometimes happens in Hollywood, for five years, nothing moves. I even said that I was interested and so. But well, things sometimes take time and then all of a sudden a year ago in February I got a call from the producers telling me that they had gotten the financing, the green light for the film and asked me if I wanted to do it. So I jumped in, took a leap and a week later I was in Montana preparing the film.

How can you summarize the story of “Shattered”, what was the intention of bringing this story to the screens?

“Shattered” is a film that talks about a man who is about to divorce his wife, who has built a castle, so to speak, to protect himself and his family but suddenly they find themselves in a situation where their house, which would be his castle – is not a castle, I’m speaking metaphorically. This fantastic house that has been built on the side of a mountain, turns a bit into his jail, his prison, when he suddenly becomes the target of some scammers.

It´s a project that appeared very interesting to me from the first moment I read it, because it has a very strong claustrophobic element and at the same time it is a roller coaster of emotions, of fear, of shocks, of violence, of cruelty. So all of these, I think, are fundamental elements for a good thriller.

Can you describe what it was like to film during the pandemic in Montana and also with this cast that includes John Malkovich, Lilly Krug, and Frank Grillo?

Well, let’s say this was the nice thing, right?, being able to have a cast of such wonderful actors as Frank Grillo, John Malkovich, Cameron Monaghan, Sasha Luss and Lilly Krug, our female protagonist. And we have a movie like this, which due to the features of itself there are relatively few locations and not many actors.

But suddenly it became a very easy movie to shoot, easy quote unquote, but a film that could be shot even if though we were in a pandemic. And so that’s why we all jumped, so to speak, into the pool, because we thought we could finish it, that we could make it and obviously make a good quality movie.

So it was very interesting to have this wonderful cast of actors, but at the same time shooting in a moment like the one we are in.

Thank you and after all, what would be your takeaway after this experience with “Shattered”?

I would say that “Shattered” is a film for a viewer who is eager to have the desire to experience firsthand what a thriller is, in other words, a film where his emotions are going to be at the limit, where he is going to be glued to his chair or seat.

It is a roller coaster where the viewer gets to see what happens to another person, but because of how the movie is shot, it gives the impression that the viewer is the one who is going, the one who is having that hellish trip to the guts of hell, so to speak. So, furthermore, I think it’s a film with a lot of humor, with a great sense of humor, which has many levels.

So, if you just want to have a good time watching the movie, you are going to get scared, you are going to have fun, you are going to get excited, you are going to jump in fear, some moments are going to shock your eyes because they are too violent or too cruel.

And at the same time it has its moments of reflection, let´s say, a bit of a reflection on our lives, not on the meaning of our lives in the sense that sometimes we´re not conscious of what we have. We are rich and we don´t know it, and then that is what happened to its protagonist, he has a wonderful life that he is not using and some gentlemen come and try to steal it from him. And it is something, I think, we can now all relate to this moment in some way, because it is what has happened to us.

Before the pandemic, we all had a marvelous life and now, with the pandemic, our lives aren´t just as marvelous as they were before. Let´s hope they will be again very soon, but this is what I think this film has that somehow the viewer can understand it very well because they know what it is talking about.

Thank you very much, Luis. Any other statements that you wanted to make to the audience?

If you want to have a good time watching a thriller that some call erotic, I don’t know if it’s erotic, I think it’s a thriller, sometimes also very exciting, with many scares, with violence, but also with a great sense of humor. If you want to have a good time, then go for it and watch it in the movie theater or on television.