By Timothy Gillis
A local moviemaker began shooting a new film Thursday at several familiar locations: the Congress Bar and Grille, The Inn at Park Spring, and then on Route 1 in Falmouth at a guest house. This Sunday, however, is when things will get weird.
Director Corey Norman plans to move the film crew to an “actual, haunted Maine farmhouse,” he said this past week.
The exact location cannot be shared with the public, according to a non-disclosure agreement with the owners of the farmhouse, but it is located in “Oxford County, in the mountains of western Maine,” Norman said. “It’s an old farmhouse built in 1883. It’s gone through a lot of owners. It was initially built by an army general who left for the Civil War. His family line never carried on.”
Sometime after that, according to Norman, unexplainable phenomena started to startle the subsequent owners.
“Occurrences happened with the former and current tenants,” Norman said. The former tenants moved out in 1988, but not before (or perhaps because) the older son hada girlfriend over. “They were shooken awake by an older man standing over them.”
Norman said the former owners also witnessed floating balls of different colors, “energy just floating over the people.”
The current tenants (who have lived there for the last ten years or so) also claim to have seen bizarre things. “One of their sons has seen a little blond-haired boy on several occurrences,” Norman said, adding that other visitors havealso seen the boy, “who is pretty friendly, but it’s still unnerving.”
“They had this framed glass painting hanging in thestairwell, which the son had done in a second grade art class. Someone has taken the picture off the wall and moved it more than 50 different times,” Norman claims. “They finally changed the painting and now it has never happened again.”
Norman is the department chair of Communications and New Media Department at Southern Maine Community College, where he has been for five years. He started teaching when he was 26, having spent seven years before that working for Lone Wolf Documentary Group in South Portland.
“The nice thing about becoming a teacher is that it gives me that stable job so I can explore my passions as a narrative filmmaker,” he said.
He heard about the haunted house from the current homeowners, who are the parents of the friend of a friend.
“It was a chance coincidence,” he said. “I had written thescript but was holding off because I didn’t think I would find a house. I mentioned it to a friend and next day he showed up with the floor plans of his friend’s parents’house.”
The film, called “The Hanover House,” is about a character named Robert Foster, who is returning from his father’s funeral. He hits a young girl with his car and, in a desperate attempt to save her life, heand his wife seek help at a nearby farmhouse. Of course, this is where things begin to go oh-so wrong.
“Little does Robert know that the house has been waiting for him his entire life,” according to a press release on the film. “Once inside its walls, Robert must overcome his own personal demons in an attempt to save both his wife and himself. But there’s a problem, only one may leave The Hanover House alive.”
“This is very much about a man struggling with personal demons,” Norman said. “His father dies, so he returns to the small town he’s from. Going back, he unleashes a lot of his sordid, troubled past. Leaving the town abruptly, they hit a little girl in the middle of the road. They seek help at afarmhouse where his dead father answers the door.”
The authentic setting is not the only unique aspect to this modern scare-flick, though another element is a return to the past rather than a trip to the future.
Norman and his crew are trying to structure the film like1970’s-era films.
“Polanski was a big influence,” Norman said. “We useFreud’s metaphors as well as objects that represent stages of grieving in each room of the house.”
This film will be shot on the RED Epic camera, a high-end digital camera that has been used on such films as “The Hobbit,” and “The Amazing Spiderman,” a press release said.
The film project has attracted some national talent, including actress Anne Bobby who played in Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July,” and the 1980’s brat-pack classic “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
Norman first saw her more than 20 years ago in Clive Barker’s “Night Breed.”
“She’s my absolute favorite actress from horror films,” Norman said of the star, who was scheduled to fly into Portland Thursday evening. The movie will be a chance for Bobby to return to the genre that launched her career, though she may have to relearn that patented scream. She hasn’t made a horror film since the Craven flick.
“The Hanover House” will shoot for 11 days in December,2012, and January, 2013, with a final completion date of July, 2013.
Visit www.thehanoverhousefilm.com for more information.