It's seven years ago now that I first came across the work of New Zealand director Jason Stutter. The occasion was Careful With That Axe! - the first in what would become a trilogy of hilarious 'cautionary' short films that would eventually include Careful With That Power Tool and Careful With That Crossbow. I became a raving fan, with those shorts demonstrating that not only was Stutter one hell of entertaining director but that he had an uncommon grasp of the power that comes from simply establishing a clear premise and then delivering what that premise promises to the utmost degree.
All of which bodes rather well for The Dead Room.
When a terrified family flees a desolate southern New Zealand farmhouse, two cynical scientists and a young psychic are sent to investigate their claims of a haunting. There they encounter a powerful spirit that will protect the house's secrets at all cost.
The Dead Room is inspired by the chilling urban legend surrounding a farmhouse in Central Otago, New Zealand. In the early 1970s, two science tutors went to debunk claims a rural house was haunted and uncovered an incredibly disturbing mystery.
So, yes, it's a haunted house story and one delivered without a shred of irony. I've had the chance to see the film already [Full disclosure: XYZ Films snapped up the North American sales rights all of five minutes after I saw it] and it plays very much to all of Stutter's strengths and should - I think - prove to be a great big screen experience. You want your first taste? With the film hitting New Zealand screens for Halloween the first teaser has just arrived and while it's just a taste, it's a good one. Check it out below.