Skip to main content

5 Horrific Questions with 'Terror Trips' Jeff Seemann

Terror Trips' Hannah Fierman holds the clapboard

Blame it on The Blair Witch Project.

Back in 1999, Canton native and filmmaker Jeff Seemann found himself in front of Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s low-budget horror movie, part of the zeitgeist at the time because of its found footage storytelling. He was mesmerized by the filmmakers creativity and knew, right then, he wanted to tell stories on film.

“Everything about that film gave me chills,” Seemann says, “and made me want to make my own.”

More than 20 years later, The Blair Witch Project resurfaced in Seemann’s life, providing him with the inspiration to write Terror Trips, a chilling tale about six friends who launch a business guiding tourists through the shooting locations of America’s scariest films.

“Business is booming,” Seemanns says, “until they find the one location where the horror is real. It’s a classic ‘people who wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time’ plot.”

From left, Aria Brice (grip), Ashton Rogers (Ludwig), Jeff Seeman (director), Shaunn Baker (First AD), and Chance Madison (Director Of Photography)

Seemann was in Burkittsville, Md., where The Blair Witch Project was made, visiting shooting locations.

“It started thinking, ‘What if the Blair Witch legends were actually true? And I just spent the night in her woods?’ I had an outline for the film written in my head before I made it home from the trip - and started writing the script the next day.”

Seemann even traveled to the real Camp Crystal Lake from Friday the 13th

“It exists, and it stills looks the same,” Seemann says. “I was inspired to add a few plot points to my script based on how I felt being near that lake after dark.”

With Terror Trips wrapped, Seemann is now the second assistant director on a boxing film shooting in Cincinnati, Ohio, starring Tim Blake Nelson. According to Murphy's Multiverse, the film, Bang Bang, centers on former featherweight boxer Bernard 'Bang Bang' Rozyski, played by Nelson, as he attempts to settle a score with his old rival Darnell Washington, played by Glenn Plummer.

“After this, I’m likely off for the rest of 2022,” Seemann says. “I’m hoping to direct my next script in 2023. It’s a monster film called Centerville.”

Catch Terror Trips for free on Tubi or via rental on AppleTV, Amazon Prime YouTube and Vudu.

Jason Ervin, left, applies blood to actor Chaney Morrow for his death scene

5 horrific questions with Jeff Seeman

MM: What makes a movie scary?

JS: That’s a difficult question, because it really depends on the viewer. For some, it’s a jump scare that will get you. For others, it’s the blood and gore.

For me personally, the scariest movies are the ones that could really happen. A good example is The Strangers. The villains in that film were killing people simply because they were home. The antagonists had no special powers, nothing supernatural about them – they just were there to kill people, and the reasons why are vague at best. That’s terrifying to me – not knowing WHY you’re being stalked and murdered.

The Jaws franchise used that fear in campaigns for Part 2 – “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water” was the tagline. They KNEW that the original film had a dramatic effect on people swimming in the ocean, and they exploited it to make the sequel scarier. That’s what makes a film scary – knowing it could happen to you and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

MM: What movie frightens you the most?

JS: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – that scene in the dining room was pure fear. Sally was in the middle of madness, tied to a chair, and witnessing some horrific things. That helplessness that she showcased … pure gold for a horror fan. And it’s the stuff that nightmares are made of.

MM: Who is your horror inspiration?

JS: George Romero. He created an entirely new sub-genre of horror when he made Night Of The Living Dead. Without him, there is no Walking Dead.

And his movies were never about zombies (or ghouls, as he called them).

  • Night Of The Living Dead was about the world changing and how the younger generation rose up during the Vietnam conflict to force a new era of thinking.
  • Dawn Of The Dead was about capitalism and the easy ability to get lost in consumerism.
  • Days Of The Dead was about the military complex and the struggle for power between a police state and civilization.

And he also happened to be the nicest man you could ever meet. I miss him terribly.

MM: Why do we like to be scared?

JS: For the same reason we love roller coasters and thrill rides. We know that we are mostly safe when we are taking part in an amusement ride or watching a movie, and we can let ourselves go while working under the guise of that safety. Real fear is far too damaging to the human brain, but manufactured fear gives us a thrill, a sense of indestructibility.

Plus, it’s just fun.

A scene from 'Logan's Run'

MM
: What movie or book would you turn into a horror movie? 

Logan’s Run. It had some horror elements to it, but it was a sci-fi movie about a dystopian future. I always felt that if a filmmaker could expose how this society created Carousel and what was happening behind the scenes to force the population to live in a controlled environment … that would be pretty damn terrifying.

If you’ve seen the original film from the '70s, you know about the plastic surgery scene with the legendary Farrah Fawcett – I think that scene (and especially the lasers) could have been much more graphic.

Give me six months to write a script for it, and then give me Oscar Isaac and Sara Paxton, and I’ll make the a great Logan’s Run remake.

Comments

Popular Posts

Everything we know about ‘Superman’ filming in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely's Superman from DC's All-Star Superman Superman , under the guise of Genesis , was among the films awarded 2024 film tax incentives by the Ohio Department of Development. The Warner Bros. movie was one of 23 film, television, and theater projects awarded incentives through the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit Program. Superman, formally titled  Superman: Legacy , kicks off writer/director James Gunn’s DC Universe . Here’s everything we know about the production. Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, caricatured by Shuster Superman  will film on location in Cleveland and Cincinnati Superman  will film in Cleveland and Cincinnati, according to OhioData . On-location work in Cleveland is expected to start June 17 and last through July 16, according to an April 23 casting call from Angela Boehm Casting. Neither Warner Bros. , the Greater Cleveland Film Commission  (GCFC), nor Film Cincinnati have issued an official announceme

Two Disney films - 'Ella McCay,' 'Eenie Meanie' - and M. Night Shyamalan feature ‘Trap’ among Ohio Film Credit award recipients

Samara Weaving will star in 'Eenie Meanie,' shooting in Cleveland > > > Two Disney films, Ella McCa y and Eenie Meanie , and M. Night Shyamalan’s next feature film, Trap , were among eight recipients of Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program, announced at the end of July. Projects selected by Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit program receive a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages, as well as other in-state expenditures. The eligibility criteria encompass a wide spectrum of creative endeavors, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games, and music videos. Four other projects, encompassing an array of genres and narratives, were awarded production tax credits, as well. The program’s goal is to act as a powerful catalyst, encouraging both in-state and out-of-state filmmakers to choose Ohio as the canvas for their artistic endeavors. All eight awardees include: Samara Weaving in 'Ready or

5 Horrific Questions with 'Fetish of Flesh's' Freddie Meade

A test scene from the upcoming 'Fetish of Flesh' by Demented Media >>> Newark, Ohio’s, own Freddie Meade was 11 years old when he became a horror movie fan and we all have Andrew Copp to thank for it. Copp was an ultra-low-budget indie filmmaker from Dayton, Ohio, known for The Mutilation Man and Church of the Eyes . Copp died in 2013. “I met Andrew Copp and Tom 'Woodstock' Lee [Copp’s colleague], and I thought it was incredible that I actually got to meet someone who did that,” Meade says. That chance encounter set him on his filmmaking path. Meade's latest project, A Fetish of Flesh , is a spine-tingling endeavor that blurs the line between reality and fiction. Drawing inspiration from their own experiences, Meade and his friends ventured into the woods to create their first movie. However, what transpires in A Fetish of Flesh is a chilling tale of a group of students embarking on a thesis project, stumbling upon a modern-day Manson family reminiscen