Over the past fifteen years, filmmaker Deon Taylor has become one of the most prolific independent filmmakers in Hollywood. Though he's not really based in Hollywood; Taylor's Hidden Empire Film Group is based in Sacramento. Maybe that distance helps keep the filmmaker's indie spirit alive even as his movies push closer to the mainstream.
After dedicating much of his life to basketball, Taylor moved into filmmaking. He began with horror movies. Now, after making thrillers like BLACK & BLUE and FATALE, and a horror/comedy, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR: MEET THE BLACKS 2, Taylor's new movie is a return to pure horror. FEAR was conceived and filmed while most of the film world was on lockdown during the pandemic. Check out the trailer for the new limited release and learn how FEAR came to be.
Watch the New Fear Trailer
This trailer is a dense catalog of terrifying movie concepts. The clear takeaway is: Never tell anyone what you're scared of. It will come back to haunt you!
Here's the story: A group of friends gathers in the remote Tahoe Mountains to spend a weekend at the Historic Strawberry Lodge. What was meant as a much-needed getaway quickly turns into a waking nightmare. As the truth about the historic lodge is slowly revealed to them, this group of friends will be pushed to the brink of survival.
Born Out of the Pandemic
FEAR takes place during the pandemic lockdown and, in fact, the idea and production were put into motion during the uncertain months of 2020.
"The original idea was to go to a cabin and have three people in the cabin and do something very small and indie," Taylor told Variety. Then Taylor's wife Roxanne Avent Taylor — who is also his producer — "started to show me all these locations and we found one giant lodge. We drove from Sacramento to Tahoe and that’s where it all began. I had no script — just this idea in mind."
Even with strict safety protocols in place, the team shot FEAR in only 17 days. The down-and-dirty approach to making a horror movie pays off in the final footage, which has a vibe reminiscent of some great '70s and '80s horror movies.
The Cast of Fear
Joseph Sikora was the first actor to sign on to FEAR, even before Taylor had a script. He was ultimately joined by Andrew Bachelor, Annie Ilonzeh, Ruby Modine, Iddo Goldberg, Terrence Jenkins, Jessica Allain, and Tip "T.I." Harris.
FEAR opens on January 27.
All images courtesy of Hidden Empire Releasing.