Daughter: Director Corey Deshon On Sound Design, Film Vs. Digital & Ethical Inspiration 

Daughter director Corey Deshon discusses sound, ethics and the use of film in the new thriller.

Daughter is a new thriller movie from writer/director Corey Deshon. This unsettling, inspired story is explained further by the creator in an exclusive interview with The Illuminerdi. 

Corey Deshon has several credits as a screenwriter, but Daughter marks his directorial debut. It tells the story of a Vietnamese woman who is kidnapped by a man known only as “Father.” She is forced to fill the role of “Daughter” and live in this false family. Daughter is played by Vivian Ngo, and Father is played by Casper Van Dien. They are joined by Ian Alexander as “Brother” and Elyse Dinh as “Mother.” 

Filmmaker Corey Deshon explained the special inspiration that helped bring this shocking, expressive film to life. 


(L-R) Casper Van Dien as Father and Ian Alexander as Brother in the thriller film, DAUGHTER, a Dark Star Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Dark Star Pictures.

“I was interested in finding something that could be a unique and creative way to keep an audience entertained by characters locked in a house together. What is the excuse that could get us in there? And I think that really comes down to actor performances and what the relationships between the characters would be. 

And just out of pure coincidence, I read [Simone De Beauvoir’s] Ethics Of Ambiguity a few months before starting to develop the film. The angle that I started with was the writing on the duality that exists between people as subjects and objects. To say that every person is their own subjectivity experiencing the world, but they are simultaneously an object in the subjectivity of others. And the tension that causes in a  person, I thought that was an interesting foundation for how the characters could relate to each other in a film like this. 

I thought “What if I could push that to the extreme and say that each character within their subjectivity is also living in their own unique reality? And what’s true for one character might not necessarily be true for another character. What kind of conflict could that impose when those people are stuffed in a  room together and made to react, made to interact?”. As I was building out the personalities for the other characters I based “Father”, “Mother” and “Brother” on those definitions of a serious man, subman and child to a certain extent, and just played around with that as an interesting premise.” -Corey Deshon

On paper, the premise of Daughter is relatively simple. Four people, trapped in a house together, forced into a family unit that they don’t belong in. Father makes the rules and deals out punishment, and the others fight for survival and happiness in their twisted environment. Through immersive audio design, nostalgic filming techniques, and timeless mise-en-scene, this indie thriller goes a step further than the competition. Daughter has a timeless, ethereal quality to it.


Corey Deshon created a movie that is familiar yet refreshingly new in so many ways. Through the inspiration of philosophical works like SImone De Beaviour’s Ethics Of Ambiguity, we discover a new, complex layer that enriches the story even further. 

Corey Deshon suggests that viewers of Daughter watch the movie with the most immersive audio system accessible. The filmmaker explains the importance of audio to storytelling in this medium below. 

For more info on why audio is so important in Daughter, continue to page 2:


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Corbin Shanklin

CJ Shanklin is a journalist. They have been writing & reporting in the entertainment industry for four years, but their best work is still ahead of them. Stay tuned for more stories for the fans, penned by a fan.