You have got to see this! As I was killing time doing my weekly scroll of Kickstarter (KS) my eyes immediately halted at a project called GEHENNA: Where Death Lives. Maybe it was the eerie image of a decrepit humanoid creature, or the wording used in the opening statements that grabbed my interest, I’m not sure. What was obvious to me from the get-go, is that this is not your ordinary KS project.

Here at the iHorror.com offices, the gang will discuss new crowd-funded projects at length on a daily basis. Mainly due to the fact that horror is a prominent genre within these circles and after all they give us movies like The Babadook. Unfortunately, there are a lot of duds on said communities that never come to fruition. But I believe GEHENNA: Where Death Lives is going to make its mark in the horror world.  The mainstream industry giants who have never before worried about the little man should pay attention to this up-and-coming ensemble of movie makers.

Hiroshi Katagiri with one of his creations

The brains behind it all is Hiroshi Katagiri (image above) and he is a legend in the practical effects world; combining sculpting, makeup, and classic on-screen effects to get a “realer than real” result. Katagiri, having worked as the special effects guy on movies such as The Hunger Games and Cabin in the woods (see image above), and rubbing elbows with legends like Steven Spielberg,  clearly feels it is his time to take to the seat and show his peers how it is done. Check out his IMDb here.

Reading further on into the project info on KS, I was delighted with another little gem. Clearly GEHENNA: Where Death Lives is a horror movie with great practical effects – which means creatures of some sort, and who better to embody the characteristics of such a creature? None other than Doug Jones!  I am a huge fan of Doug’s work and if you don’t know who I am referring to, shame on you, as you sure as hell would have seen a creature he has played. He’s in Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Fantastic Four, Men in Black 2, and the list goes on.

Doug Jones in makeup

(Image above is Mike Elizalde, owner of Spectral Motion, working on Jones as The Creepy Old Man, as Hiroshi looks on. Mike and Spectral Motion are both fully on board with the film.)

Finally, the plot for this film sounds original, not a spin on something we have already seen.  If you look at Hiroshi’s bio pages, he really has a grip on what makes a good movie and just as importantly what makes it scary.  And he is clear on the point that you do NOT need excess gore and vulgarity to scare people, instead, you immerse your audience in the story with uses of traditional techniques; the scares will come from his ability to bring his creatures to life with practical effects, not computer ones.

Personally, after reading the info on the Kickstarter page I am excited to see what is made of this project. With a few hundred backers already I have no doubt it will reach its goal.  If you would like to be part of Hiroshi and the team’s creation, get your ass over to the KS page and back the project.  You might even get a sculpture of your own head done personally by Hiroshi himself.

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