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Writer-Director, Pann MuruJaiyan’s Latest Horror Film ‘The Keys’ is a Tribute to Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock

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Written by ~ Melissa Salinas

Set in a black and white landscape, an ideal atmosphere for an eerie, scary trip to the 1949s, the 2022 hit horror film drama The Keys tells a compelling story of confronting the demons within. The individuals' most important, challenging battles stem from their introspection and realization of their biological, psychological, and physiological tendency toward their vicious selves. The film serves as a cathartic experience for many and a fun watch for others; it is not for the faint of heart as it absolutely butchers the one-directional thought on life and brings forward the duality of human nature. With another masterpiece on board, Pann MuruJaiyan is leading the charts of independent filmmaking.

Pann is a familiar entrant to the independent filmmaking scene; he prefers to take up challenging scripts that demand the director stretch his source of the scope by taking the risk of going for something that has never been previously experimented with. With The Keys, for which he served as the writer, he had the rare privilege of going as per what he believed should look like on screen as it read on the paper. The aficionado of attention-to-detail shots, intricate planning, and execution to perfection are the distinguishing factors of the filmmaker.

'I want to be known for my honesty and loyalty to my profession. I may end up with a few projects to my name but haven't we all grown up to accept that quality always sits way above quantity?' shared Pann at a recent promotional event for the film.


Throughout the film, there are instances where diehard fans of horror cinema will reminisce about the work of critically acclaimed horror filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The filmmaker has incorporated subtle cues and allusions to pay homage to the legendary, whom he particularly draws inspiration from. 'I wanted to add an extra layer of mystery, fun, and complexity to the film. It enhances the audience's overall experience,' responded the filmmaker over the question of adding snippets of Alfred Hitchcock productions. The names of the actors in the lead roles are Annika Goessens, Steven Sheeran, Luisa Tascone, John Jennings, and Tara Macdonald.

Recalling the challenge of shooting, he shared about the first sequence, which had to be shot in nearly four minutes of single continuous take. He, in particular, appreciates the sheer brilliance of his whole team, which cooperated effortlessly to deliver nothing short of an absolute banger. 'With focused determination and the collaborative efforts of the entire team, we successfully captured the desired effect, immersing the audience in an uninterrupted narrative experience,' shared Pann.

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Another significant challenge was looking for locations to create Los Angeles in the 1940s in the fast-paced city of Melbourne, Australia. It was a strenuous search. 'We scouted and identified two distinct locations that created the illusion of the required house and location,' shared Pann. The footage from both locations was blended into each other using state-of-the-art editing techniques, which independent filmmakers rarely use. The creative and editing teams overcame the obstacle and achieved the desired visual representation of 1940s Los Angeles in Melbourne. 'These challenges served as opportunities for us to push the boundaries of our creativity and problem-solving skills. With determination, collaboration, and innovative thinking, we successfully navigated these hurdles and brought our vision to life on the screen,' the filmmaker added.

The emerging filmmaker whose path as a feature film director is still unfolding believes that aspiring filmmakers can carve their path in this industry with dedication, humility, and a sincere love for storytelling. 'Practice, learning, unlearning, learning, and consistency are the mantras that will set you apart from anyone else in a similar line of work; appreciate your partners and everyone who is part of the process,' added the filmmaker. Pann believes a good film is only possible with a professional crew and a talented cast. He previously delivered Imperfect Quadrant and The Chase, which were well received by the audience.

Pann MuruJaiyan is currently working on his next three films: an action drama film, John Drako, The Distance, which revolves around the story of a female boxer, and Specter's Pawn, another horror action for the viewers! With an interesting line of projects to follow, Pann is set for a blockbuster end in 2023.


For more details, please visit Pann MuruJaiyan - IMDb. Connect with him on Facebook to stay updated about the release of his next projects.


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