It seems like almost every great horror film has an eerie story around production: The Exorcist, The Omen and Three Men and a Baby have all spawned their own creepy lore and, thanks to a recent blog post, it looks like Adam Green’s Frozen might be joining those ranks…
Green updated his MySpace Blog with a spooky anecdote:
We scouted many, many mountains in and around Salt Lake and Park City, Utah as I tried to find the perfect chair lift. It had to be old and rickety like the chairlifts I was used to riding at the East Coast dives that I grew up skiing on. It had to be in an area that had the same type of greens and trees found in New England. It had to be on a trail that we would be able to negotiate shutting down to shoot on during the height of ski season. And most of all… it had to be a chairlift that reached a point where it was so high off of the ground that there was simply no safe way down.
One day I found myself on a particular chairlift that really seemed to be fitting all of the requirements. I was riding with one of the film’s Producers (Cory Neal) and a representative from the mountain. Sure enough, at one point we cleared a group of trees and found ourselves dangling high above a huge divot in the mountain that had to be well over FIFTY FEET below us. Now for some strange reason I blurted out “This is where they die!”
And the fucking chair stopped.
Now, before I get into how weird it is that the chair just so happened to stop right there, what’s really disturbing is that (without spoiling the movie for everyone) what I SHOULD have said and what I MEANT to say is “This is where they stop!” But some awful feeling came over me and I used the word “die”. The mountain representative called down to the base of the lift using her walkie-talkie (haters take note: real mountain, real ski lift, no fucking cell phone reception.) and they assured us that the lift would start up again momentarily. “Just some high winds up at the peak. Nothing to worry about.” It felt like twenty minutes but in reality we were probably only stuck for about five. Those five minutes were enough to prove to me just what an awfully terrifying situation this would be to get trapped in. Obviously when I wrote it I was dwelling on my own (and most every skier and snowboarder’s) ultimate fear when riding a chairlift, but sitting up there, that high up, waiting for these supposed “winds” to stop… was just plain creepy.
Eventually we made it back down to the bottom and got back into the safety of our car. We turned on the radio- and there on the local FM station… was Twisted Sister. Now if you don’t yet know why that is at all relevant or important, watch the special features for HATCHET UNRATED sometime. Point is, I had every sign I needed to know that I had found my mountain.
So cut ahead about two months later. We’re in the last night or two of shooting, happily in the home stretch of what has NOT been an easy production when Kane Hodder (FROZEN’s stunt coordinator and the man also known as “Victor Crowley”) taps me on the shoulder and says: “You’re even sicker than I thought.”
“What?” I replied.
“Oh, come on. You didn’t know?” Kane said.
Before I could say anything, the crew was taking a break and I was on my way with Kane to speak to the mountain maintenance guys.
“OK, tell Adam what you just told me.” Kane said.
The technician looked at me and said, “Well, we just thought it was kind of eerie that you’re shooting this movie in that spot.”
“Why is that?” I asked.
Now I don’t remember the exact words he used, so I won’t put it in quotes, but essentially what the man told me is that just a year before… a guy who either worked for the mountain (or whom was somehow involved with someone who worked for the mountain) had climbed up lift pole ladder # 5, worked his way out to chair #42, and shot himself dead. The next morning when the mountain crew came in, they noticed someone sitting out on one of the lifts. When they brought the chair around to the bottom, they found a dead body frozen to the seat. The bullet hole is still in the back of chair #42. They showed me. And so, um, yeah- you see where I’m going with this… the guy killed himself in the spot where I decided to shoot FROZEN.
The spot where I strangely blurted out “this is where they die.”
The spot where the chair came to an abrupt stop all on it’s own.
Creepy, right? Needless to say as soon as we got into editing I let my editor know what was up and told him to keep an eye out for any strange aberrations on the film or voices on the audio, but alas… nothing. All I can say is it’s a good thing that my cast didn’t find out about this until they were done shooting up there. They had enough things to freak them out and lose sleep over already.
What really got me personally excited, though, is Green’s standpoint on the return of Victor Crowley:
Though a sequel was always in the cards (the first one was shot and especially “ended” in a way that was conducive to making a sequel) I needed to go do other things before I would be able to go back that way and let Victor Crowley loose again. As cliché as it may sound, the first HATCHET was a selfish film. I thought of it and invented Victor Crowley when I was only eight years old, so twenty or so years later when I got the chance to shoot it, I merely made the type of movie I wanted to see on the big screen again. But after all of the battles I fought along the way (some were won, many were lost) it was the community of horror fans that carried HATCHET over the finished line. A literal “army” of friends, brothers, and sisters that I never knew I had that rallied behind it and (even without the proper financial support in marketing from it’s distributor) turned HATCHET into one of the biggest successes worldwide of the last decade. I’ve done conventions and film festivals everywhere and seen firsthand the love that the fans have for what we did. I’ve sat through theatrical screenings of HATCHET with sold out auditoriums of kids and adults that can say every line along with the cast. And while creatively I am chomping at the bit to get back to Honey Island Swamp and finish what we started, this time around it’s not just about me anymore, it’s about YOU. It gives me great joy to say that HATCHET 2 is for fans of HATCHET 1 and those fans only. It’s going to be everything you want the sequel to be. Didn’t like the first film? Excellent. Skip this one then, you’re not invited to our party. Liked the first one? You’ll love this. Surprises, plot twists, and swamp boat loads full of gore await you next Fall!
Awesome. I know that targeting your fans and your fans ONLY isn’t necessarily the best financial move – but I love hearing a director say it. I really enjoyed Hatchet despite the fact that it got a bit too silly with the comedy towards the end when it should’ve been scary, but the fun was still there.
I’m glad to hear the sequel will be aimed squarely at those who loved the original. Too much modern horror is made with the mall crowd in mind. Not this one. That’s why I’m fucking pumped.
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