Meeting a real life monster while filming a horror film in Latvia. This is a story which is brought to us by director Tommy Bertelsen. To get his story out Bertelsen has created this podcast and narrates it. It is his version, which he clearly states at the beginning of the first episode, of what happened to him. What he tells us is scarier than any horror film out there. Scarier because it actually happened.
Over the course of the episode, Bertelsen recounts the story of how he was drugged and held captive in Latvia. A case of crazy but true. Being that he is a storyteller himself it is not surprising that Bertelsen gives us plenty of backstory here to really flesh it all out.
It all starts at the wedding of Troian Bellisario from television’s Pretty Little Liars and Patrick Adams from the television series Suits. Tommy and Troian were very close friends. The wedding took place just before Bertelsen was set to move to Latvia as he was directing a horror film there. At the time, Bertelsen was fairly newly sober and his attempts to remain so changed on one fateful night in Latvia. The wedding is also significant to the story as there is a revelation revealed here.
In the winter of 2017 the move happened. The shoot took six months. On the night of the wrap party is when something horrifying and almost unbelievable happened to the director and the film’s production designer.
As I said earlier, Bertelsen acknowledges that this is probably not the whole story, but is how he remembers things happening. That others will have different memories of what happened. Also, certain people’s names have been changed to keep their privacy.
Demons of all types make their appearances in many a horror film. The one described here is human and that makes it all the more scarier. What we are capable of. In episode one we meet the “monster”. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It has such a chilling nature to it and the way Bertelsen sets it up totally draws you in. You have to know what happens next.
Besides being part of this year’s Tribeca festival you can also listen to Monster on Audible, Apple and other platforms where you can listen to podcasts.