by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Don't Go Trespassing Along 335 Twelve Pole

Wayne County has a house. It's along Twelve Pole. 335. Looks like a fixer upper. 

335 has a history. 

Years past a tenant's wife appeared to be a witch --- or at least very possessed by the dark arts. He hung her on a sprawling tree, but after checking her dirty toe for a pulse, he grabbed a sharp object. He inflicted what we will call a bad sore throat upon himself. And, you'll be reminded of this murder/suicide over and over, every time you see a barren tree. 

A team of freshmen filmmakers have assembled this seriously chilling tribute to the paranormal supernatural slasher genre. After viewing "Twelve Pole," you'll be a little hesitant biting into your next saucy sausage pizza. 

Sam Hodge has writer/director/cinematography credits for the indie film shot in Wayne, Ft. Gay and Dunlow, WV. It will have a local premiere on Thursday, April 26 at Marquee Pullman Square; it then goes to streaming and DVD.

First time filmmaker Hodge has absolutely no prior experience whether in front or behind the camera; he's merely a critical viewer. 

"The only experience I have with film and editing is a horror review channel on YouTube I’ve had for a few years," he said during an interview. 

Numerous directors have influenced him, but he narrowed it to three stand outs for "Twelve Pole" --- 

Tobe  (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Funhouse, Poltergeist) Hooper, for "gritty unapologetic style;" John (Halloween, Escape from New York , They Live) Carpenter for "must of the way [Twelve Pole] was filmed;" and  Dario (Suspiria, Terror at the Opera, Bird with Crystal Plumage)  Argento for "lighting set up, emotions and time."

Carpenter should receive a thumbs up too for a twinkling score (by Hodge) and lots of well executed stereoscopic bumps in the night. 

Unlike the one camera POV perspectives of "Paranormal" and successors, Hodge prefers a wide shot lingering camera behaving like a curious stalker that goes for the gut when switching to a close up. For instance, after a group of dudes reluctantly purchase 335 for upgrading, a couple roast marshmallows  in the back lot. The camera starts wide establishing the isolation, then slowly zooms to their discussion. Similarly , a "nightmare" awakening works in reverse --- from relatively close to a jittery widening of the shot. 

Credit Argento for planting stealthy decoys and intentional possession ambiguities. His "Suspiria" remains one visit to the other side that still sends shivers down my spine and brings leg quivers. 

 "The house is definitely problematic in real life in the sense that something isn’t right and you can feel it as soon as you go in," Hodge explained. But editing and camera continually ask 'how many somethings?"

For the levels of fright (and hard R special effects) you would not suspect "this was the first film for all of us. We spent eight months shooting and four moths in post production," the admittedly "self taught student of horror films" said. 

True, some dialogue betrays their first time acting, but their  eyes, lips, faces have ashen glares when necessary. 

Yea, they all made a mistake purchasing this structure, but "Twelve Pole" avoids many of the standard cliches through cleverness. Their modest budget nearly equates them with "B" grade wide horror  releases, not fan made beginners.

A no spoiler pledge included the credits, so stay, and READ.