There’s a rich history behind the Historic Hannah House Mansion. Located in Indianapolis, the 24 room behemoth of a house was built in 1858 and has a rumored past of being a stop on the Underground Railroad, a place that saw the deaths of numerous ex-slaves that were quickly buried beneath the cellar floor.
This is all just hearsay, of course, a story that’s been passed down from generation to generation but has never been proven. It makes for a spooky and scary background when talking about the unusual things that happen there and provides an interesting site for the paranormal groups that flock there hoping to see some of these strange occurrences.
It also provides the perfect backdrop for a horror film. The newest flick from Bobby Easley, HP Lovecraft’s Witch House, co-written by Easley and Ken Wallace as part of Easley’s independent production company, Horror Wasteland Pictures International, is based on Lovecraft’s The Dreams in the Witch House. The story takes advantage of this ghastly setting by filming on location and making the house a central character all its own.
In HP Lovecraft’s Witch House, Alice Gilman (Portia Chellelynn, formerly known as Michelle Morris), a young graduate student fleeing an abusive and violent relationship and still reeling from a miscarriage, seeks refuge with a friend. Feeling that it’s time for her to move out on her own, Alice rents an attic room in the Historic Hannah House Mansion. Desperate for independence but still needing safety, Alice doesn’t really care about the weird and eclectic characters that also live there. She quickly befriends Tommi, played by indie favorite Julie Anne Prescott, who is also the niece of the surly and disinterested landlord. Tommi has spent most of her life there, and she lets Alice in on the disturbing and ominous history of the house. While kids around town are disappearing, Alice finds something shocking hidden beneath the floorboards of her bedroom that disrupts her world, trapping her between real life and another dimension… one that’s filled with witchcraft and secrets that she never knew existed. Plagued by nightmares as strange things start to happen to her and unsure who she can trust or what’s even real, Alice must figure out how to make it all stop and gain back her life.
HP Lovecraft’s Witch House is terrifying. Its shocking ending punches you in the face. My jaw was on the floor the whole time. It’s a solid horror film with great music and insanely impressive practical effects. Portia Chellelynn shines as the traumatized Alice, and I know I will be seeking out more of her work. Julie Anne Prescott reminds us why she’s a popular pick in the indie community with her performance as Tommi. And while this is not Bobby Easley’s first endeavor, it is my first time seeing any of his work, and I am now super excited to see what he has coming up for us. I also have to give a shout out to my pal, Izzy Morrison (child in attic), and her rats, Lydia and Bowie, who all make cameos in the film.
HP Lovecraft’s Witch House is currently on its worldwide festival run, but keep an eye out for more information about its release coming soon.