Maine is scary. Stephen King knows it. Anyone who wakes up to the first blizzard of the year with a broken snowblower knows this. And filmmakers know it – even though Maine’s bewildering refusal to pass film inducements means that most “Maine” horror movies and TV shows are shot for less elsewhere. But how scary can Maine be? Well, here are some picks for the most inviting real-world locations in Maine for a brave film crew to bring to cinematic life. Or death. All story ideas are freely given – here is Maine finally getting the in-person horror film legacy it deserves. (Also, I’m up for a “story by” credit and some background dots.)
Malaga island (off Phippsburg)
Suggested title: “Malaga” has the correct pronoun (bad = “bad”) and sounds disturbingly correct
The pitch: A small island in Maine with an ugly history hosts a story of buried secrets, where the past is never as dead as some would like to claim.
Maine Horror: The history of the island of Malaga is one of Maine’s most powerful true stories about epic injustice. The eviction and displacement of Métis residents from the island in the early 20th century by the government of Maine involved the white supremacy of the thugs, the questionable involvement of the residents in an infamously cruel mental institution, and even the exhumation of the graves of the islanders. Modern-day horror has come a long way in the genre’s ability to tackle real-world racial issues in a way that goes beyond using real-world horrors for exploitative facades. A black filmmaker like Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Nia DaCosta (the remake of “Candyman”), Barry Jenkins (“The Underground Railroad”) or Misha Green of “Lovecraft Country” might find the right nuanced supernatural version of one of Maine’s most horrific legacies of racial injustice – and how it is bleeding in 21st century America.
Evergreen Ski Resort (Stoneham)
Proposed title: “The Pining” (because of the woods of Maine – you get it)
The pitch: A company’s plan to reopen a long-abandoned ski resort deep in the White Mountain National Forest inadvertently awakens – something – left behind in the decades following the trap’s disastrous collapse to tourists in the throes of scandal.
The horror of Maine: an abandoned seaside resort? In the middle of nowhere (technically on the lonely Maine / New Hampshire border)? Does anyone else have the combined “The Shining” and “Friday The 13th” tingling tingles right now? Maine’s history of expanding and then retreating from some of our most remote and beautiful stretches has left many crumbling structures that the unwary can trip over, should they ever stray from the road. . In a slasher / supernatural thriller, a creepy and evocative location (with lodge interiors frozen in time from the 1970s) is half the battle. Plus, a place like this would have a lot of rusty, forgotten tools lying around.
Pocomoonshine Lake (Princeton)
Suggested Title: If you’re not going to be rushing to see a monster movie named “Pocomoonshine Lake,” you and I are very different people.
The pitch: A science team sent to investigate the worth of centuries of stories about a giant snake-like monster in this Washington County lake finds something far, far worse.
Maine Horror: listen, if Scotland can have Nessie and Vermont can have Champ, then Maine can have Poco, that’s what I decide is the only name for this mythical (where is it?) Monster of Maine. One of the things that the refusal of various Maine governments to grant tax incentives for film production in the state misses is the chance to really show how amazingly glorious Maine can be on screen, and a Partly aquatic horror-adventure monster movie set in the big, dark north is exactly the sort of thing that could put Maine on the map, cinematically speaking.
Flagstaff (near Eustis)
The title: From the singer-songwriter of Maine Song of Slaid Cleaves about the location, “Below” is spellbinding. (The song itself is a bit casual for our purposes, but maybe it could play on the end credits.)
The Land: A team of illegal divers looking for a secret swamped with the entire city of Flagstaff, Maine discovers that something else was waiting for them.
Maine Horror: Flagstaff, Maine’s Wikipedia page begins with the phrase “a ghost town and an ancient town in Somerset County,” and that’s a good start. Flagstaff’s truth is even better / scarier because the old one The active town of Maine was intentionally flooded to make way for the construction of dams on the Dead River (also a good name) in 1950, leaving what remains of the place to hide deep in what is now Flagstaff Lake . Oh, and the place was originally founded by a possible infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold, so maybe we’re working with some shady ghosts from the Revolutionary War as well.
All around you
Proposed title: “The Disturbed”.
The pitch: After a company grabs the land opens a formerly protected forest for development, construction crews begin to experience a growing series of frightening events – marked by very large footprints.
Maine Horror: As Told All Over Maine International Cryptozoology Museum to the book “Bigfoot in Maine»By Portlander and Main Verte Bookstore owner Michelle Souliere, the Pacific Northwest cannot monopolize all of Sasquatch’s sightings. And while the whole of the Bigfoot horror genre has been pretty ugly overall (Bobcat Goldthwait is disturbing, “Blair Witch” -esque “Willow Creek” being the exception), the idea of the possibly mythical anything only becomes a threat once it is pristine and the isolated habitat is disturbed (see title) introduces a lot of thematic weight. Logging, deforestation, man-made extinctions and greed harvesting a giant, furry comeuppance all have the telltale signs of a modern Maine horror classic.
Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.
Author John Grisham to speak at Kennebunkport Library Fundraiser