Winner BEST FEATURE Film – 2021 Season
A SAVANNAH HAUNTING, 103min,. USA, Horror/Thriller
Directed by William Mark McCullough
A SAVANNAH HAUNTING is a film based on real supernatural phenomena the writer/director and his family experienced in their home in Savannah for decades. The film was shot on location at the actual haunted house. The filmmakers attempted to capture the subtle, creepy fear that afflicted the real residents of the home.
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A SAVANNAH HAUNTING is a dread-filled, slow burn horror film about a mother grappling with her guilt stemming from the tragic drowning of her youngest daughter. A family moves to Savannah, Georgia to try to distance themselves from the brutal memories of their daughter’s death at their Californian home. Once in their new home the mother slowly grows to believe she is being haunted by her dead daughter. The film ties in Savannah’s brutal slave history and its long connection with Voodoo.
With strong Southern themes, diverse characters including a heroic African-American family and a young lesbian couple, as well filming in the real haunted house that inspired the script, A SAVANNAH HAUNTING takes a fresh approach to the classic haunted house film.
Although Savannah is considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the country, no haunted house movie had ever been filmed in the city. A SAVANNAH HAUNTING changes this by making full use of the Gothic city’s foreboding oak trees draped in Spanish moss, its centuries old cemeteries and gorgeous city squares to craft its tale of dark magic and Civil War era hatred.
With the sexy undertones of AMERICAN HORROR STORY; the creeping dread of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE and the slow descent into madness of THE SHINING, A SAVANNAH HAUNTING will resonate with audiences who enjoy a thoughtful supernatural thriller.
In addition to the narrative film, the filmmakers shot a documentary detailing the history of the haunting, its possible causes and the struggles they faced trying to film in an active haunted house. The documentary features interviews with former residents of the home, mediums, historians, a Voodoo priestess, and a paranormal investigation team. Faced with a terrified cast and crew threatening to quit the project during pre-production, the filmmakers are forced to take extreme measures to try cleanse the house so they can finish their film.