The other night, trying to get ourselves into the Halloween mindset, my wife and I put on The Slumber Party Massacre. It's a fairly standard slasher film, with twists that you can see coming a mile away, but it was still a super fun watch, something I'd chalk up to its humor, its independent DIY spirit and a shoestring budget that forced the filmmakers to get creative with their scares.
I couldn't help but fantasize about horror movies I'd like to make, ones that would be set right here in Sarasota, and my imagination coughed up five pretty good ideas. Scroll down... if you dare!!
When a famously acerbic art critic turns up dead, the police department suspects it's the work of a local artist whose paintings the critic just panned. But after the Ringling museum's David statue goes missing one night, Eliza, a plucky young curator, discovers an ancient manuscript that hints at the terrible truth: Sarasota’s public art is coming alive after dark and killing unsuspecting locals. Can Eliza convince the city’s skeptical Public Art Committee to take action before the Unconditional Surrender couple awakens and destroys everything in their path?
The Siesta Key Strangler
The Siesta Key drum circle may seem like a peaceful get-together for aging hippies and young New Age folks, but beneath the pounding of the djembes, something more sinister is afoot. Chaz, a disturbed former circus clown, is picking off drum circle attendees one by one, sacrificing them in a macabre ritual intended to ensure that the key’s quartz sand retains its vibrational healing powers. When Chakra, an island medium, learns about Chaz's dastardly plans, she sharpens her healing crystals into lethal blades, and the hunter becomes the hunted. But can Chakra find Chaz before the sun sets on another innocent victim?
Welcome to Para-Die-Se
Fitness influencers Codie and Jeanine just got married, and how better to celebrate their nuptials than with a weeklong honeymoon at Tiki Towers, the glamorous new resort on Longboat Key? But when a surprise storm destroys the bridges to and from the island and the power and water go out and all the ice and rum are used up, the guests begin to turn on one another in a manic, drunken frenzy. Does the young couple have the core strength to make it across Sarasota Bay on a stolen standup paddleboard, or will “till death do us part” happen sooner than they ever imagined?
Hammock of Horror
While swimming in Myakka River State Park, New College archaeology student Tommy discovers a mysterious chest half-buried in the muck at the bottom of the lake. Willie, a one-eyed swamp denizen, warns him not to open it, but Tommy can't suppress his curiosity, and when he cracks the seal on the chest, it unleashes a spell that turns all of the creatures in the park into murderous demons. Now Tommy must fend off bloodthirsty gators, roseate spoonbills and feral hogs—plus park rangers made deranged by the supernatural curse. Will Tommy make it back to campus to warn his friends, or will the canopy walkway run red with his blood?
Code of Silence
Forrest recently moved from urban Philadelphia to a sleepy, well-manicured Sarasota suburb, and when he parks his truck on the street instead of in his garage, he doesn’t think twice about it. That night, however, he’s kidnapped and drugged and when he wakes up, he finds himself shackled to the wall of a soundproof shed, where he hears bizarre, threatening messages from a mysterious stranger. As Forrest struggles to break free, he realizes his tormenter is his next-door neighbor Bill, the psychotic president of the neighborhood’s homeowner association, who threatens to kill Forrest's whole family unless he can memorize and recite the HOA rulebook from start to finish. Can Forrest outwit Bill, or will he be buried alive for neglecting to bring in his trash cans promptly enough?