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Exclusive photos and comments, plus trailer and poster for haunted-house chiller “THE DEAD HALF”

Friday, July 2, 2021 | Exclusives, News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

A legendary spooky locale doesn’t take kindly to being filmed in the new independent fright film.

Now available on Amazon Prime, THE DEAD HALF was scripted and directed by David Van Hooser, from a story concept by Craig Anderson, and the two produced the movie with Robert Cooper and Tom Terry. The cast is headed by Jessica Awh, Elijah Wallace, Johnna McCarthy, Connor Weaver, McKenna Harrington, Megan Kasselberg and Larry Underwood, a.k.a. horror host Dr. Gangrene of the longtime Southern scare showcase CHILLER CINEMA. The synopsis: “This is a haunted-house suspense-thriller movie about four young filmmakers making a haunted-house suspense-thriller movie. Aaron Anderson [Wallace], a committed filmmaker, figures the horror genre is his best bet in making a name for himself. And the legendary ‘haunted house’ in his hometown is the perfect location for that purpose. To ensure cinematic success, Aaron isn’t above embellishing the scares with dramatic acting and whatever sleight-of-hand is necessary. The downside is that Aaron and his three supportive friends will discover that the house has something entirely different in mind.”

“All of us involved with THE DEAD HALF have really loved and admired horror, suspense and thriller movies over the years,” Van Hooser tells RUE MORGUE. “In working on THE DEAD HALF, what we intended to do–and I believe we did–was to find all of those elements that make those movies memorable and suspenseful, like a sense of isolation, a sense of things getting out of control, a little bit of the supernatural maybe, a little bit of insanity and mental instability, and bring them all together in a way that is different and unique.”

“One twist we talked about,” says Terry, “was, what if some guys making their little found-footage movie, like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, etc., discover that there really is a true horror behind this fake, fabricated film they set out to create? Basically, it’s ‘What’s the real horror movie behind the fictional horror movie?’ ” And when it comes to the terror tactics the movie employs, Anderson adds, “There’s nothing wrong with jump scares and blood. But the effects of tension, suspense, unease and a twisted, ominous atmosphere last much longer.”

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.