Evil and Witchcraft at ‘Harlow’s Haunt’ [Indie Spotlight Solo]
In one of my last Indie Spotlights, I mentioned a flick being made in America’s southern boot-shaped state, Florida. It was brimming with love for the state’s history with carnivals, of which it has plenty, coupled with a Beast appropriately inspired by an old sideshow attraction and maybe even legends from its sister state to the left, the Louisiana legend of the Rougarou (think a “werewolf” with some Cajun flair).
Carnivals and wolf-men aren’t the only threads in the tapestry of Florida’s curious history, as I’m coming to learn throughout my indie–horror–related endeavors. As told to me by director Terry Jarnell, there’s a good amount of “local legend and lore from the backwoods and swamps of Central Florida”. Themes that Jarrell plans to explore in his upcoming film of “evil” and “witchcraft”: Harlow’s Haunt!
Of the narrative, Jarrell says:
“Harlow Greer is a shady character who is up to no good in these backwoods in 1926. He will deal with anybody for a dollar: bootleggers, charlatans, gypsies, witches, you name it… he does something even low for his standards which results in furthering the curse on the land he is sitting on. This brings us to the present day where an independent haunt attraction now sits on the same property. There are rumors about strange things happening there but most people write it off as a stage pitch for the haunt to sell tickets. Only thing is… there could be some truth to it… Our present day characters are childhood friends, now in their mid 20s, trying to reconnect on a night out after experiencing some collective tragedy of their own. But, they all have something about their own past to confront as the two eras finally collide.”
Harlow’s Haunt was filmed in such locations as Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail in Plant City, FL and Old Town in Kissimmee, FL. Jarrell and his crew aim to have Central Florida be just as much a character in the flick as any of the actors, letting it breathe and perform amongst its fellow cast.
“We are showcasing these venues, as well as other local areas… This will be fun for the Harlow’s Haunt audience to recognize familiar places in case they have ever visited in the past, or give them an idea of the cool and fun things that are here.”
The film’s story takes place over two time periods: the 1920s and the present day. Though occurring a century apart, the dual narratives will be very closely intertwined, one giving more light to the other’s transpiring events and vice versa.
“Without giving spoilers away, the journey through these years proves the timelessness of evil and the horrific outcomes of indifference… Story is very important to Harlow’s Haunt and the characters are all engaging and natural. There is a strong emotional aspect to the story overall ranging from the heights of blissful happiness to the deepest, darkest bottom of despair and loss.”
Portraying said characters, we have John Dugan of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre fame (he’s the older-looking guy), Crystal Lynn Gorski (Die Cheerleader Die), Heather Fraley (Come in We’re Open), David Velez (Dead Ringer), Johnathan Montes (The Lannister Tapes), Aimee Rolfson (Functioning Dysfunction), and Dylan Intriago (The Beast Comes at Midnight). Lots of new blood in there that I can’t wait to see splattered on the screen! Another aspect of the film worth noting is sound, with a musical score composed by South Florida local Carlos Crespo, along with numerous featured songs by local Central Florida musicians and “notable globally recognized performers”.
The film is still being shot and is set to be released “sometime around Halloween”. Also, The Indie Escape Network is going to do a whole show on the flick, and there’s going to be a panel on it at Fantasm Orlando. So if you’re in the area, be sure to check it out! As soon as I know more, you will, too.
With that, I’ll let Jarrell have the last word:
“As indie filmmakers in this area, we are hoping to also shine a spotlight on the incredible talent we have on both sides of the camera to help encourage more filmmakers to shoot here.”
Until next time…