By ED SALVAS
About 250 people filled a theater at the Clearview Cinema in the Middlebrook Plaza, Ocean Township recently for a screening of a new horror film, “Demon Hunters – Fear the Silence.” The audience was mostly members of the cast and crew and their families and friends anxious to see themselves, or someone they know, on the big screen.
They weren’t disappointed. As the 90-minute film played on the screen, audience members clapped their approval of the film, directed by Debra Higgins of Allenhurst and produced by Bill Wilusz, who also wrote the screenplay.
Bringing an indie film to the theater is not for someone hoping to fill theaters across the country and then walk the Red Carpet on Oscar night. For Higgins and Wilusz, it was a three-year effort to cast, shoot and edit the film. Neither would discuss financing, but Wilusz said the “Demon Hunters” project was self-financed. Higgins said they spent about 650 hours on editing.
The plot of “Demon Hunters – Fear the Silence,” centers on a group of commuters who are chased into an office building by a mysterious hooded attacker. Once trapped inside, they realize they are not alone, the building is infested with zombies and their attacker is a demon who plans to add them to his Zombie Army. Their only hope for survival lies with a team of highly-trained men known as the “Demon Hunters.”
Wilusz said the movie began as short film and turned into a feature-length project as the script was written. Outdoor scenes were filmed in Allenhurst and Lakewood and also in Fairfield where the majority of the action takes place at an office complex. Their next step is entering the movie in film festivals and at the “Monster Mania Con” exhibition of horror films, and finding a distributor for release in theaters. It’s already available on DVD.
The producers believe their timing is good because of the current popularity of zombies including the TV show, “The Walking Dead” and horror films in general.
“People love horror, especially when things are left to the imagination and not acted out on screen,” Wilusz said.
Cameraman/Editor Jeffrey Gould of Long Brach, whose day job is making corporate videos, said working on “Demon Hunters” was an education.
“I learned about storytelling. It’s a whole new world,” he said.
More about the cast and crew of “Demon Hunters, Fear the Silence,” including pictures and comments, is on Facebook at Demon Hunters Movie.