Local Filmmaker Doc Zee presents his new psychological thriller film ‘House of Temptation’ at New People Cinema , San Francisco
A 15 year old boy, Johnny films a hundred year old house and his father's affair with the Devil
Directed and produced by Doc Zee, ‘House of Temptation’ shot in San Francisco, Oakland and Bodega Bay where Alfred Hitchcock shot the film, ‘The Birds’ tells the story of a family that strays from its strong virtues through the work of a mysterious force. The story is seen through the family’s most innocent member, Johnnie, as he works to put the pieces back together to save his family. The film is an intriguing journey of a family that falls from grace, and overcomes all challenges to claw back to redemption.
Shot entirely through Johnnie’s camera (which he got as a birthday gift from his father), ‘House of Temptation’ stands out as a must-watch movie due to a Award Winning Cast and crew that has worked hard and tirelessly to give fans a film, they will remember for years to come.
House of Temptation is Zee’s third feature film. His films ‘Night of Henna’ and ‘Bicycle Bride’, were reviewed to critical acclaim and national recognition and got the theatrical release with worldwide distribution.
Interview with the filmmaker
1: House of Temptation is your third feature film, do you feel that it is getting easier to continue creating these projects? Comparing this with your previous two films how is House of Temptation different?
Every film comes with its own set of challenges. I do have to admit that because of my experience in producing and directing two previous films, 'Bicycle Bride' and 'Night of Henna' , my new film 'House of Temptation' was a fast shoot. I completed the film in 15 days of shoot rather than 22 to 24 days on my previous films. In House of Temptation, most of the film was set in a hundred year old haunted house, Cohen Bray House. It had an eerie feeling and the cast and crew were afraid to get inside the house because when we went for location scouting, the neighbors told us that they had heard all kind of scary sounds coming from the house. One time they heard a boy crying out loud and other time they saw a woman peeking from the blinds although nobody had lived there for 50 years. That was my challenge. How could you get a cast and crew into the haunted house and then have them stay 12-14 hours every day to shoot.? We were having all kind of experiences of ghosts and noises from the attic.
2. Was House of Temptation inspired by something you saw, read or heard about? How did it become your next big project?
I am a medium and I go to Golden Gate Spiritual Church which is all about connecting with the loved ones on the other side. I have seen ghosts and people who are deceased . This phenomenon is real and scientifically proven, there are houses in which the ghosts are still residing, because they just love the place too much and they don't want to leave. So I am very much interested in spirit and I wanted to convey it to people that there is nothing to be afraid of when dealing with ghosts. I have read a lot of books and "The Haunting" and "The Sixth Sense"are my favorite films. I wanted to make a film which had ghosts and I wanted to use the found footage genre to tell my story as if it was really happening to these characters in the film.
3. The story seems to be told entirely through Johnnie’s camera, how did you decide that this was the way you wanted the story to be told?
There have been so many films in found footage genre like Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity sequels and I saw no real cinematic story in them. I wanted to make a film which had all the story elements and cinematic elements in it and capture on camera a real life story which could happen to any American family. I wanted to take the found footage genre to next level and I think that I have been very successful with it. Its very hard for people to accept something new in a certain genre. House of Temptation is getting great reviews so I am very proud of it that the film has been accepted by audience. The Film also has some elements which the minorities in USA will relate to it. I am all about empowering and giving voices to the people whose voices are heard to reach to the masses so I think i am making a great contribution to the community in that sense.
4. I'm sure you were excited to have your new film screened Oct 29! Do you see yourself adding anything to this film such as a sequel?
The film is getting tremendous support from audience and festivals. We are getting great reviews so I am really excited about that. If the audience enjoys the film and learn something from it, I will be thrilled to make a sequel.
House of temptation is an important and thought-provoking film that explores the deepest-held fears and terrors that can result from rejecting progressive thought.
5. What's next for you? Are there any future collaborations or projects you'd like to work on?
I went to Portland last week and I was stunned to see the mountains and trees and there was a little town in the middle of nowhere "ZigZag River". I was mesmerized by the trees and moss covering those trees. i walked in the woods for a while and felt the presence of spirits. I felt as if the Zig Zag River was calling me to make a film there. My heart is telling me to shoot a film there. So that is what is in my mind right now.
J.P. THATCHER (SAN FRANCISCO CINEMA COLLECTIVE)
How could a bizarre religious sacrifice relate to a modern God-serving family?
'House of Temptation' is guaranteed to hook you, right from the spine-tingling first scene. Doctor Zee, an up-and-coming filmmaker, takes the found footage genre to a level unlike anything attempted in recent memory. With ‘House of Temptation’, he boldly delivers this fresh take on traditional American horror from the very first minute as he meditates on all things supernatural, and explores the uniquely-disturbing “sins of the flesh”, with a confident air of ultra-gritty realism reminiscent of horror’s all-time directorial greats. It’s an important and thought-provoking film that explores the deepest-held fears and terrors that can result from rejecting progressive thought.
In ‘House of Temptation’, Doctor Zee blends the genres of horror and thriller, utilizing found footage to tell this unique story. It is seen through the eyes of Johnnie, a fifteen-year-old boy, as he systemically witnesses his father’s unexpected carnal temptations towards a woman who sits in the pew of his church…and realizes how sorely they compromise his father's strict lifelong religious beliefs.
Pastor Jeremiah and his wife, Annette, are trying to keep up the appearances of the perfect “God-fearing family”, comfortably living in the small town of Bodega Bay, California. While Pastor Jeremiah’s beliefs lean towards progressive ends, he is admirably willing to bring people of different sexual orientations and ethnicities into his congregation. However, Annette comes to strongly believe that Jeremiah’s actions and choices are disrespectful to church elders, and Christian traditions at large, as a result.
‘House of Temptation’ becomes a searing exploration of modern spirituality and faith, and the horrors lurking behind it, that can be experienced by your average 21st-century American family. When the elders finally, inevitably decide to fire Pastor Jeremiah, it ends up severely jeopardizing his faith, financial security, as well as his entire family…something a great many Americans are not unfamiliar with in a post-recession world.
Maya invites Pastor Jeremiah’s family to live in what turns out to be a highly-bizarre and disturbing house in Bodega Bay. The overgrown vegetation long overtaking the exterior, subtly foreshadows the unchecked spirits and ghouls residing within. The family one-by-one begins to suffer vivid, intense hallucinations which is achieved by practical and compelling visual effects on the part of the filmmakers. Ghosts are also captured on camera in the film using similar practical VFX methods as “Paranormal Activity”.
There is also an undeniably-strange woman walking around the house at unpredictable times while laughing out loud, not unlike “The Shining”…while whispers of various ghosts at other times will make you feel like you’re encapsulated and suffocated in a “cinematic trap” like no other. The ending of this film is designed to make the average viewer cringe, gasp, and gawk in amazement, and it will haunt your deepest thoughts for a long time to come.
'House of Temptation' (a.k.a. ‘A Haunting in Bodega Bay’) has been officially selected for screening at the prestigious San Francisco Indie Film Festival, and it continues a masterful streak of award-winning independent films,'Bicycle Bride' and 'Night of Henna' from Doctor Zee.