Independent director Jordan Pacheco returns with his fourth feature film and it sure sounds scary. Out of Fall River, Massachusetts, a recurring nightmare has haunted Pacheco and now he intends to combine that vision with an ancient mythos to create an original and frightening looking film with Abyzou: Taker of Children
Originally from Greek folklore, Abyzou, is a female demon blamed for miscarriages and infant mortality who is motivated by shear jealously. This envious entity is often referred to in other cultures as Lilith in hebrew mythology, Alabasandria from Egypt, and in ancient Byzantine as Gylou. Throughout time many name have been given to this same creature of evil. Described as having fish or serpent like attributes this demon dates back as early as the 1st century AD.
The synopsis of Abyzou: Taker of Children which is currently in production and aiming for a wrap over the summer is as follows:
Hailee and her boyfriend, Dylan, return from a romantic trip to Israel to learn they are expecting a child. Their celebration quickly descends to terror when Hailee becomes a surrogate to the demon Abyzou. Unable to give birth to a child of her own, this ancient evil will stop at nothing to spawn her infernal offspring. The young mother-to-be must draw on the strength of her loved ones to protect her unborn child.
The team created a proof of concept trailer to showcase the style of the film. Check it out right below.
Abyzou: Taker of Children have created a proof of concept trailer for their film and it is everything you want from a trailer. It is atmospheric, moody, and scary as hell. With an aim towards the scares of classic supernatural thrillers like The Exorcist and modern classic Insidious we are sure in for a treat. The team behind Abyzou are inspired by The Evil Dead and A Nightmare on Elm Street, therefore doing the correct thing and using practical effects for the look.
We Are Indie Horror spoke with Jordan Pacheco about his upcoming film.
WAIH: The mythos created for Abyzou came from a dream mixed with Hebrew Folklore? Please elaborate on this scary nightmare for us.
JP: As long as I can remember, I have had the same nightmare where I’m in my bed, it’s very dark, and this terrifying old woman comes into view. She reaches out towards me and quickly hovers at me. She is letting out a terrible wail. It gets very hard to breathe, and I try to scream but no sound comes out. Meanwhile, I scream bloody murder in the real world while sleeping. In folklore, Abyzou doesn’t rest at night and she targets children and pregnant women, so I thought the two would make a good merger.
WAIH: How has the film evolved from proof of concept to your current state?
JP: We are trying to stay true to the concept trailer as much as possible as far as style and lighting go. I really love the trailer, and the feature is looking just as good if not better. The script has gone through heavy revisions; originally we had a lot of the “possessed” dialogue very offensive and raunchy, but [producer] Alex DiVincenzo and I went through and made the insults more personal towards the other characters. There is actually little to no vulgarity at all now, which I’m happy about. I hate being in a theater where my film is screening, and there are families with their kids, and every time an F-bomb drops the parents roll their eyes or flinch. A lot of indie films use excessive vulgarity, and I think it really hurts the films.
WAIH: Tell us about some challenges faced while in production and how you overcame them.
JP: We joke around that Abyzou is messing with us. It started with two of our key lights blowing through all our back up bulbs in one weekend and small things like clamps disappearing. Luckily, our DP Neil Guliano has an amazing light called an Ice Light, and we were able to recreate all the set ups needed. I’ll definitely be buying one or two more for our next film. But the biggest challenge, aside from a limited budget, is that we are filming 90% of the film in my house, with my three dogs, cat and pregnant fiancee, Jamie. She has been a huge help in keeping the dogs quite while filming, but sometimes we have to enlist our producer Jon Robidoux as a dog wrangler.
WAIH: Can you tell us about how you assembled your key crew?
JP: This won’t take long! We have a very small but dedicated crew. Our DP Neil and I had worked with on a 100-hour film race and decided to try him out DPing a short drama, Spilled Cereal. We got along great and were able to work very well together. One of his strengths is being able to deliver my vision within the limitations of gear and time with out sacrificing quality. If something won’t work, he tells me why and we figure out the best solution with staying true to my vision.
WAIH: What will set Abyzou apart from all the other demonic possession films being released now a days?
JP: I believe we are offering more gore than your average possession film, but I really think our story and characters are unique in comparison. It’s a love story, and all the characters are very likable; you even almost feel sympathetic for the demon. She just wants to have a child. Most demons in possession films don’t really have an endgame beside collecting souls and causing pain in their host, whereas Abyzou has a very clear objective and fights to accomplish that. Also the swearing, it’s almost nonexistent.
WAIH: What advice do you have for any up and coming horror artists?
JP: The only way to become a director is to direct, so do it as often as you can. Short films, music videos or features – it doesn’t matter, just get the experience. You will learn from every single shoot, I promise. It’s not easy; you’re gonna get knocked down over and over again. Whether it’s budgets, locations, lack of crew or talent, the fact is film making is 90% problem solving. Just keep your head up and surround yourself with reliable people to help solve those problems. If at all possible, expand your shooting schedule. You’re going to get a much better end product if you shoot a feature in 20 days compared to 10 days.
Abyzou: Taker of Children is currently on Kickstarter to help supplement the funds needed to create the feature. Filmmaking is not cheap, but they are not asking for much. They are very close to their goal and need your help. If a contribution is made, you are pre-ordering the film and certain merchandise. They offer the limited edition Blu-rays or DVDs which are exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign. Screen used props are being offered along with credits such as Executive Producer or Associate Producer. But any amount, even the smallest possible donation, gets exclusive access to updates and a first look at behind-the-scenes content.
Check out the link below and remember if you cannot contribute, shares always help. This is We Are Indie Horror’s Blood Bank Where Every Drop Counts!