The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Halloween Horror close to home

by Joanna on September 28, 2015 in Film

Wellington-made horror film The Dead Room is sure to spook audiences this Halloween.

Based on a true chilling New Zealand story from the 1970s, a psychic and two scientists are sent in to investigate paranormal activity at an Otago farmhouse after its terrified family flees.

Wellington-based actress Laura Petersen, who plays the young psychic Holly Matthews is pressured to stay by the curious scientists, which results in some terrifying scenes.

Check out the trailer and read our interview with Laura below:


Congratulations on the role! How was it working on your first scary film?
It looked amazing and really creepy! I was given some great advice – imagine a scary dog snarling at me just out of reach – that definitely helped!

From the trailer, I can see you get thrown about a lot – that must have been tough!
I was padded up, and on a harnesses. There is a scene where I’m dragged down the hallway, which I thought would be a piece of cake – little did I know that I had to control myself flying down the hallway, and I smashed into the hall – not easy as I thought!

Did anything seriously spooky happen while you were on set?
There was one scene where everyone was concentrating very hard and it was very quiet and there was an earthquake. It felt spooky, and was really interesting seeing our natural reactions on camera.

Are you a believer in the paranormal? Did you get to visit the house in Otago?
I haven’t experienced anything, and I don’t want to, but you can’t rule it out. No I didn’t visit the house, but I would have loved to! Although I don’t think I would have been quite as brave as my character!

So, was the film itself filmed in Wellington?
Yes, at Avalon in Wellington. Also some additional filming in Makara and Central Otago. We were originally going to film in the actual house, but when the crew went there to prep for filming, all sorts of crazy things were happening.  The equipment failed, lighting was a bit dodge…it was bizarre.

What was the best part about being so close to home, what do you love about Wellington?
I love the creativity, but also it’s so small that everything is walking distance. Not to mention the fantastic vibe, our arts culture, coffee & food!

For a Halloween thriller seriously close to home, make sure you check out The Dead Room, in cinemas from 29th October 2015.

Joanna McLeod

Joanna McLeod has started calling herself the Empress of the Internet because she can. As well as wrangling the other site contributors and Getting Shit Done, she likes to eat, drink and write in equal amounts. Yes, she would love to be invited along to your event in order to do those things. Joanna's also the best person to talk to if you're interested in advertising on the site.

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