Life and Love of the Nightmare, a story by ‘The Friendship Game’ Director Scooter Corkle

The Friendship Game is now playing in theaters and is available on digital and on demand.

The Friendship Game follows a group of teens as they come across a strange object that tests their loyalties to each other and has increasingly destructive consequences the deeper into the game they go.

Where would I be without that first fearful experience, at too young an age, watching Jaws? In the ocean more, I’ll tell you that. That may sound like a joke but I’ve been an avid swimmer for most of my just-shy-of-40-years, and to this day dark water terrifies me. Like a visceral, uncontrollable, panic-even-though-I-know-it-attracts-the-sharks fear. It’s ridiculous. It’s unconscious. And it’s really fucking cool. 

I love nightmares, I’m obsessed with them. Isn’t it fascinating that our unconscious brain can manifest such vivid fear, that when we wake and still have all our teeth in our mouth, or all of our limbs still attached and not inside the belly of a shark, we experience an almost cathartic wave of relief? I suspect that if you’re reading Horrorville, the answer to that question is likely yes. Like me, genre fascinates you to your core.

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I remember watching multiple Nightmare on Elm Street’s when I was also way too impressionably young - staying with my brother in the big city - and they freaked me right out! So much so that I have a memory of sleeping on a water bed at his place, fearfully bouncing and bobbing wide awake all night, but my brother was a student and most certainly could not afford a water bed. My mind had made that part up, and has solidified it as a memory. Obviously I was sleeping on a couch or a blow up mattress, more awake by the sounds of the big city than the wet dreams Freddy promised me, but here I am with a memory that doesn’t exist. Tell me that isn’t fascinating! Tell me that storytelling isn’t powerful! You couldn’t (not that you were looking to).

I was quite young when I decided I wanted to work in movies, coming from a tiny mountain town, and these early years were quite formative for that. I gobbled up everything I could on VHS or late night tube. Basically anything in the 80/90’s starring Sam Niell was destined to give that brain melting experience - Possession, In The Mouth of Madness, Event Horizon! Snuck the big hits from friends’ older siblings collections, being completely staggered by The Thing and Scanners, devouring any Slasher, Creature Feature, or Body Horror flick I could get my hands on. And then a few years later in film school I was introduced to a whole slew of Japanese and Korean horror films that really turned the tide for me, witnessing and falling in deep love with Audition, then holy shit The Ring, and the mind bend of A Tale Of Two Sisters - all when my hunger for genre was really peaking. The nightmares became more complex, more fun and freaky, and soon I thought I should share them with others. 

Now so many moons later I’m still in love with being scared, and thrilled that I have the opportunity to share that love. The Friendship Game is a teenage cosmic horror, aimed at those young and impressionable audience members who crave the same discoveries I did, who will hopefully be spooked enough to think long and hard before buying any creepy looking game from a flea market. I mean, I thought long and hard about the Ouija board after watching 1986’s Witchboard, but mostly about how I could get my hands on one!

Scooter Corkle is a writer/director from Vancouver Canada, having worked in film for over 15 years in various departments including grip, lighting and camera before stepping into the director’s chair. His two-award winning short films-Pour Retourner, and Chloe and Attie-screened at festivals allover the world including Tribeca, Palm Springs, Telluride, Cannes, Atlantic Film Fest, and Clermont-Ferrand to name a few.

The Friendship Game is his second feature, starring Peyton List (Cobra Kai, Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Brendan Meyer (The OA, Color Out Of Space), and is his first foray into the Cosmic Horror pantheon. Scooter is represented at CAA and Play Management respectively.

You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter, or visit for more information.