Johannes Roberts, who exactly is he? I think the majority of people who know his most recent film Storage 24 probably watched the film for the leading role Noel Clark rather than it actually being a Johannes Roberts film.
Roberts is a British director from Cambridge, after studying film at university he has gone on to to create four B movies that have been featured on Zone Horror such as Forest of the damned, none of which particularly showed any spectacular talent or creativity in filmmaking but finally had a small breakthrough in 2010 with F his first feature film and returned in 2012 with Storage 24 the sci-fi horror featuring Noel Clark known for his role in BBC’s Doctor Who and his roles in the worldwide successful filmsKidulthood and Adulthood. Storage 24 was another badly reviewed film of Roberts which was critised for being an Alien knock off by various critics such as Frank Scheck and Nigel Floyd. When meeting Roberts there was honesty in his words when he went straight into admitting that Storage 24 ‘bombed’ and theres no doubt that the majority of critics would agree with negative reviews from Slant Magazine, Daily Telegraph, Hollywood Reporter and the majority of the general public who use IMDB comment boards.
Roberts focusses on creating his films following the horror genre, and described how he used the element of having a classically beautiful leading female role for F and had turned down an upcoming actress as she didn’t follow this expectation of her role. While Storage 24 has extremely noticeable influences from the sci-fi classic Alien, Roberts himself claimed to be a heavy fan of John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing, The Fog) and expressed that horror has become a lot tamer in recent years unlike the classics such as The Exorcist which he described as “f-ing mental!” Roberts went on to say that current horror films are targeted at teenage girls, and then continued to say he was unsure what the target audience of F was, I could only think to myself ‘how can you make a film expecting people to watch it, if you’re unsure of who you want to watch it’. Following this when looking at the promotional movie posters for F and Storage 24 neither of them scream horror. Perhaps Thriller for F, along with Storage 24 looking more like an action or Sci-Fi poster. Whether Roberts himself had input on the posters, it all feels slightly discombobulated from what he actually claims the films are. Storage 24 has a typical story-lines with recognisable classic horror elements, the characters and character development and the overall look of Storage 24 is plain and weak and rather dull to watch despite the film having a short run time of 86 minutes. Theres no complexity to Storage 24 or even F and whilst films like Paranormal Activity can get away with this as well as a low budget, Roberts doesn’t pull it off even with the 1.5 million pound budget he had for Storage 24 with Universal Pictures supporting the film.
Roberts stated his dislike for French horror films such as Martyrsalong with American hits such as Hostel and Saw for being too gory and visual and said ‘I just don’t get them’. When speaking about his influences Roberts said he’s a huge fan of both The Lord of the Rings and the author Stephen King along with the adaptation of the book to film Pet Cemetery. Roberts also stated that he would consider making a film that doesn’t conform to the horror genre and adores the films Mean Girls and The Breakfast Club which seemed quite surprising. However he did continue to speak about his upcoming project which is possibly of a Shark Film, which the idea of the story started out as a joke which was actually agreed upon. While Roberts came across as a casual laid back guy, he seemed to have more personality than his films. He admitted to not storyboarding which he probably should begin to do so judging from his lifeless films, however with his ambition and a better script it’s possible he’ll have a break in the future.