A woman answers a room-for-rent advertisement and quickly becomes friends with the homeowner. But after moving in she begins to have terrifying visions and chilling close encounters. Are they the only occupants? How long will the new tenant endure these horrors?
This film was written in four hours and, except for two quick scenes, shot in one weekend. We wanted to do something easy after shooting our last film, Screaming Hell, which took eleven shoot days spread out over four months and required 10 months of editing.
The story is a simple haunting. We created plenty of back story but would have needed to double or triple the runtime to get it all in and we weren't looking for a big production. It was never planned to be a major festival submission, although shorter versions did end up in two festivals. It was designed to help us work on our technical production skills. But more than that, it's not an overly original concept. The goal was improve our techniques and have some quick fun.
The story goes like this...
Traci sits on a park bench looking for a room to rent. She is getting discouraged, but makes one more call and finds an availability. She meets with the owner and moves in shortly after.
While Traci is unpacking, the home owner, Kelly, comes in to talk. Traci tells her that she isn't sure how much to unpack because she's not sure how long she'll be staying. Kelly assures Traci she will love it there and they are going to become good friends. They then head out to a bar to celebrate their new friendship.
Over the next few days, Traci begins to experience unsettling events, such as seeing things in mirrors and hearing strange noises. Kelly says this is just Traci's mind playing tricks on her as she is getting used to a different house. Everything should settle down soon.
But things don’t. They continue to get worse and Traci’s dreams become vivid and disturbing. She doesn’t sleep well and her days start blurring together. She eventually confesses her anxieties to her roommate, but Kelly has no answer. Kelly has not experienced these things and doesn’t know how to help.
On the final night, Traci is finally confronted by the evil stalking her and she barely escapes the house. Traci and Kelly travel to a friend’s house, where they begin to settle in for the night. The last shot is of the evil entity reaching out to choke Traci in her sleep. Traci realizes too late that it wasn't the house that was cursed, but her.
This film allowed us to work on building tension and creating special effects, neither of which we had focused on before. Although we didn't put a lot of time into pre-production, we took care during the shoot to set up the right angles for composite shots.
This film had a number of effects that we think we pulled off quite well, such as falling down the stairs, stacked/split-focus shots, and multiple scenes where the Kirsten, the lead actor, appears in multiple places in the same shot. We even borrowed a trick from 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' where a portal opens in the living room and an evil entity pops out...just to see if we could. We can.
So even though the film will not be seen by many, we are happy with the results and hope all had a good time filming. There are a few effects that we are really proud of and plan to incorporate into future films.
On to the next film!