"Milk Teeth" by Felipe Vargas

An orphanage spirals into mayhem when a boy discovers a shadowy creature who comes to collect more than just the children's teeth...

"Milk Teeth" by Felipe Vargas

Check out a Q&A with the filmmaker below:

Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Yes! Having shared my film Milk Teeth in various genre festivals, I feel like I am a part of the Fantasia, Sitges, Fantastic, and Horrible Imaginings families. I also read Dread Central and Fangoria religiously, which have their own communities.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
We strived to create a timeless, fairy-tale-like world with Milk Teeth, grounded in the hardships of the orphanage. I was inspired by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. We looked at orphanages in the 1920s, and visited museums on medieval monsters and Spanish architecture. The department heads and I watched Del Toro’s films The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, as well as Cuaron’s A Little Princess and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for inspiration.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I would be devastated – an orphanage run by nuns in the 1920s is not an ideal place to be, much less with a demonic monster roaming in its basement...

Lightning round: Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI?
I can’t choose! I’m a massive Stephen King and HP Lovecraft fan, for different reasons – King’s stories are direct and visceral, Lovecraft’s are poetic and epic. I adore crafting practical effects, but blending them with invisible CGI.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
This film had hundreds of individual objects in the set dressing – we gave each background orphan actor a backstory, personality, and aesthetic, which defined what was on their nightstands and what they’d wear. The sets were mostly constructed out of scratch on a stage. The art team poured their heart into creating this original, fairy-tale-like world.
Felipe Vargas Milk Teeth

What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
Losing one’s teeth can be a scary process as a kid! It inspired the writer of this film. Violently losing a part of yourself to leave space for adult teeth to grow in felt like the perfect fit for a twisted coming-of-age tale.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’ My favorites of all time are Rosemary’s Baby, Alien, and Eyes Without a Face.