The Devil’s Tree on Facebook
Here at Dread Central we’re always on the lookout for frightfully cool stuff to add to your horror-loving radar, and this latest film from director Joshua Petrino looks to fit that bill nicely. Read on for the skinny!
The film, which is being produced by Howard Smith along with assistant director Pat Ryan and executive producers Mark Riccadonna, Mike Saga, and Doug Tubach, is based upon a New Jersey urban legend of the same name.
“I know I wanted the killer in this to be supernatural; it’s not going to be a fair fight at all,” says Petrino of the project. “I also didn’t want a lot of running and hiding throughout. They are in a house with something not of this world that wants to kill them, and they are locked in. There is no safety zone. It’s not a matter of if they will be killed for most of these characters; it’s a matter of when. So in my head I sorted through all the normal stuff, car doesn’t start, the bridge is out, Kathy Bates breaks all their ankles, etc., etc. Then I thought, ‘Why not make it so they just can’t leave?’ They can’t explain why, there is nothing physically wrong with them, and they have the will; but they just can’t bring themselves to do it.”
Petrino continues, “I also looked it up, and it’s a real condition called Apraxia.” [Editor’s Note: “Apraxia is a disorder of the brain and nervous system in which a person is unable to perform tasks or movements when asked, even though: The request or command is understood. They are willing to perform the task. The muscles needed to perform the task work properly. The task may have already been learned.”]. “So now to seem smart when I explain it, I say, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if we made the characters come down with a form of Apraxia and they just couldn’t open the doors?!’ When coming up with the killer, I wanted to do something familiar but different. I love creature features; there aren’t enough of them. I also love slashers, but I feel there is an abundance. I wanted to combine the two. This thing wants to kill them, it has the upper hand, and it wants to have a lot of fun while doing it. It’s sadistic, evil, and charismatic all in one package.”
Check out some early artwork below, and look for more soon!
After visiting a landmark tree rumored to be a gateway to hell, a group of friends hold a small house party where, without explanation, they realize they mentally can’t bring themselves to leave. Shortly after this revelation, torment and slaughter begin at the hands of a supernatural killer with a warped, sadistic sense of humor.
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