EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Horror films are a great way to celebrate Halloween and a local filmmaker knows that feeling firsthand. He’s directed several of them and one was just released on Monday that was shot in Nepa.
Bringing a little bit of Hollywood, and scares, to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Turn out the lights, enjoy a good horror movie. I think there’s a lot of good scares,” said Stephen Cognetti.
Clarks Summit native and filmmaker Stephen Cognetti’s horror movie “Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor,” hit streaming services on the eve of Halloween and it’s not a coincidence that some of the locations will look eerily familiar.
“It means a lot to me, this town means a lot to me. Everything about this area means so much to me so I was so excited to be able to do that,” Cognetti stated.
The fourth movie in the Hell House franchise needed the perfect haunted mansion to tell its story.
When Cognetti laid eyes on the historic Fern Hall Estate in Clifford Township, he knew it was the perfect spot.
“We finally landed on this place and it was perfect because it just has a spooky vibe to it. Something that’s old, has history because that’s what’s spooky. Something more modern, obviously isn’t going to work,” Cognetti added.
But the script called for more than just the manor and Dickson City’s circle drive-in stepped in as an eerie extra.
Not only was this area made for the big screen, but the location was a huge bonus.
“It’s a good hub. The bus station is very reliable, we’re ferrying actors in and out of New York City, and also the airport as well. We had some people flying in from LA, we were able to utilize that,” Cognetti continued.
Cognetti believes the movie couldn’t have been made without the talented people who make up Nepa.
“And that’s the thing about this area is that we have a lot of people on both ends of the camera that are very talented, in front and behind the camera that did a lot of work on this film,” Cognetti explained.
As for Cognetti? He’s not done delivering scares and screams to our homes just yet.
“I live here, we’re from here now. My family, we moved back here, we want to stick here, and I’d just love to continue making films here,” Cognetti stated.
Cognetti says he is not sure what’s next for the hell house franchise, but hopes to figure out the next steps come winter.
“Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor” is now streaming on Shudder and AMC+