Dismayed by the fact that many inaccurate portrayals of mental illness in film and television have lead away from a true understanding of these disorders, actress/writer/director Castille Landon (After We Fell, After Ever Happy) felt driven to turn the aforementioned tropes on their head. Shirking timeworn stereotypes in which people with serious mental ailments are “deemed as ‘dangerous villains’ and people unworthy of love,” Landon devised ‘Fear of Rain,’ a harrowing and heartfelt feature based almost entirely on first-person accounts of people living with schizophrenia.
The film highlights teenager Rain Burroughs’ (Madison Iseman) daily suffering as she tries to fathom out what’s real, and what is the result of her illness, all in an attempt to determine whether there might actually be real horror hiding right next door. But when Rain insists against her parents’ (Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick, Jr.) advice that the shadows and cries from her neighbour’s attic are hiding a dark secret, she enlists help from Caleb (Israel Broussard), the charmingly awkward new boy at school – although she also has her doubts as to whether or not even he exists.
‘Fear of Rain’ will be available on Digital, On Demand and limited theatrical release this February 12 and SCREAM sat down with Landon to discuss the genesis behind constructing such an intimate portrayal of schizophrenia and how she hopes the film will help demystify the stigma attached to mental illness.
Words: Howard Gorman