The clock is ticking down to the new year, and a regional filmmaking duo is ringing it in with a new horror comedy.
“New Fears Eve,” co-produced and co-directed by Eric Huskisson and P.J. Starks of Owensboro, Kentucky’s Blood Moon Pictures, tells the story of three friends who begrudgingly attend their company’s New Year’s Eve party. Unbeknownst to them, the trio is being followed by a serial killer called The Doctor, also known as the surgeon of death. The partygoers are trapped with the killer in an inescapable building, and it becomes a party to die for.
This is Starks’ and Huskinsson’s fourth feature film together, including 2021’s “13 Slays Till Xmas.” While the rest have been anthologies with different characters, “New Fears Eve” is their first narrative feature film. It was filmed on weekends from January to July around downtown Owensboro.
Starks, who also wrote the script, says this is the biggest project Blood Moon Pictures has ever done, with the largest budget — $80,000 — it ever has operated with. This gave the filmmakers the opportunity to employ national talent, including actors Dave Sheridan of “Scary Movie” and “Horrible Bosses,” Felissa Rose of 1983’s “Sleepaway Camp,” and Jeffrey Reddick, who created the “Final Destination” film series. Otherwise, the cast and crew were almost entirely made up of western Kentucky and Evansville-area residents, including Princeton, Indiana, resident Jay Woolston and Hot Topics lead singer Cody Webb.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to do, even though we’re based in Owensboro, is to try and work with as many regional artists as possible,” Starks says. “From Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and beyond, there’s a lot of incredible talent in the region, hungry to work on interesting and creative projects. That’s who we’re excited to work with.”
Composer Frank Dormani just finished an original score for the 90-minute movie, which is in post-production. Next year, the team plans to send “New Fears Eve” to film festivals and conventions. Blood Moon Pictures has had multiple discussions with film distributors, and filmmakers anticipate releasing it toward the end of 2024 for the holiday season.
“It’s an exciting, scary, but good problem to have about what distributor is going to have it and when it’s coming out,” Starks says. “Our hope is that the purchase of New Fears Eve is large enough that we can start working on the next film in the meantime.”