DINWIDDIE, Va -- Local independent filmmaker Corbin Rowell finished shooting the 10 ½ page scripted short horror film Sutherland on July 5 in the eerie 200-year-old farmhouse which his grandparents have lived in for approximately 40 years.
The film focuses on a young couple who have just returned to their home after having a pleasant evening. Once they return, they begin to experience paranormal-related activity in the home related to a mysterious and creepy individual stalking them from the outside.
“It feeds into the fear that someone is watching you, that's always been a fear of mine, as it is in most people, the idea that someone is outside your home watching within. I just went with that idea and just went crazy with it,” said Rowell. “'I've always been interested with the whole horror farmhouse aesthetic, it's always been really unsettling to me,”
Not only does the farmhouse fit the visual theme for paranormal activity, its history may give it a true haunting. Built in 1840, the house served as a hospital for the Union Army around the time of the Battle of Sutherland Station meaning many people died gruesome deaths in and around the property.
“A lot of people locally think it's haunted, a lot of people have been to that house and have felt things,” said Rowell. “My producer’s girlfriend visited on the last day of production and said she had a paranormal experience, so there's a high chance it is haunted,”
The release date for Sutherland is yet to be determined. Once finished, Rowell intends to submit the film to film festivals for the possibility a studio would want to invest to turn it into a series or a feature-film.
Rowell has been writing, editing, producing and directing independent films in the Richmond region for approximately three years.
Graduating with a degree in biology in 2017, Rowell decided to pursue his love of filmmaking while he was still young having always been interested in editing videos and writing skits from a young age. In 2018, he began working on music videos and a year later began to work on narrative short films.
Rowell’s first big success as a filmmaker came in October of 2019 when he and his team won many awards at the 48 hour film festival where a crew must write, produce, edit and submit a short film within 2 days. His film won 2nd place for best film and 1st place in editing, sound design, photography and the audience’s choice.
In 2020, he worked with local filmmaker Steve James to make a Batman fan film which is still in production and is set to be released in October on his youtube channel (Corbin Rowell) for free. To receive updates on Sutherland, follow @sutherland_film on Instagram or follow Mad Crab Productions on facebook.