Director Nick Hunt Talks ‘Safe Place’ & ‘The Dark Heart Of Jason Voorhees’

December 30, 2017

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

Filmmaker Nick Hunt has several projects on his plate, including his film Safe Place, his anthology film Wander Tales, and his documentary ‘The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees: The Making Of the Final Friday‘. He was willing to tell us about them during our interview.
Horror Fuel: “You’ve been busy. You’re getting ready to shoot one Feature film, and prepping to shoot a feature-length documentary, a short film and a Feature length Anthology can you tell us about it?”
Nick Hunt: “Safe Place’ is about six students who attend a party to celebrate their friend’s successful art show opening. Their presence triggers a memory in the host’s past. He resolves to positively influence the course of their lives by ending them.”

Horror Fuel: “Is it true that Bill Oberst Jr. has signed on to co-star?”
Nick Hunt: “Yes, yes. Oberst is great. He will have a role and we are completely honored to have the Emmy-winner on board. His character is named Sheriff Bracket. It is sort of our ode to the character in John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. But I can’t really tell you too much more without giving the movie away.”
Horror Fuel: “We understand. What about the rest of the cast?”
Nick Hunt: “Absolutely. We have Ashley Mary Nunes, who is from ‘All through the house’. We have Alyss Winkler from ‘Space Babes from Outer Space’, Lara Jean Mummert, Gregory Blair, Genovera Rossi who is in ‘Death House’, Jordan  Phipps (Close Calls), John Gettier and Gabrielle Ann Henry (Blood Widow). We have a huge, massive cast of indie all-stars.”
Horror Fuel: “The cast sounds great!”
Horror Fuel: “You’ve got your anthology film ‘Wander tales’ coming out soon as well. Fill us in?”
Nick Hunt: “Oh, man. ‘Wander Tales’ is this massive anthology horror film that is a horror-fantasy. Essentially, it has to do with fairytales and pieces of folklore from all around the world. The filmmakers are Javier Attridge, Billy Pon, Todd Nunes, Sophia Cacciola and Stu Jopia produced by myself and Johnny Macabre producing alongside Adam Marcus the original film’s director and his partners and production company Skeleton Crew Productions.”
Horror Fuel: “Can you maybe give us a hint of some of the legends that might be covered?”
Nick Hunt: “I can give you a hint at what mine is about. I can not speak as to what the other filmmakers are doing because one of the cool and unique things I’m doing is I’m giving each filmmaker the express artistic freedom to pretty do much whatever they want as long as it fits within the folklore. I am based primarily here in Florida and a lot of people don’t know that we happen to have our own legend that is similar to Bigfoot, known as the “Skunk Ape”. So that is what my segment is going to be about.”
Horror Fuel: “I know about the Skunk Ape. I’m from Georgia and not all that far from you.”
Nick Hunt: “Oh, okay. It’s a big thing for me and just like ‘Safe Place’, 200% practical effects. You get a really good looking practical Skunk Ape in my segment.”
Horror Fuel: “That’s great. I’m a big fan of practical effects. I fear it’s becoming a lost art.”
Nick Hunt: “Oh, yeah. You get movies like ‘The Void’ that come out and use practical effects. It just comes out beautifully.”
Horror Fuel: “Let’s talk about ‘The Dark Heart of Jason’.”
Nick Hunt: “The Dark Hear of Jason Vorhees: The Making of the Last Friday’. Truth be told I’ve been talking to Adam Marcus for the better part of a year and a half. Him being the original director of the ’93 film, I always wanted something we could do together. Through interesting circumstances, I found out that next year, 2018, is the twenty-fifth anniversary of ‘Jason Goes to Hell’. I felt since no one else was doing it, I should figure out something to do for it, so I jumped at it. I started getting some fan feedback of if they would want to see a documentary and the response was tremendous. I started talking to some people and then I started to talk to some of the cast and crew. Then the opportunity arose. We haven’t stopped since. We have Johnny Macabre who is also helping produce ‘Safe Place’ and ‘Wander Tales’.

We’re so excited. We’ve had coverage in America, Slovack, Australia, India, Mexico, Chile, it was very odd to have all this coverage in such a short time. ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ is this very debated project that you either love or hate. I am making a point to tell the fans that with this documentary, you can hate the movie or love the movie and still love this documentary. You want to find out why the movie came out the way it did, the limitations the director had. What limitations did the cast and crew have? What the problems on set were on set, what were the problems with the writing? You don’t know it until you hear it out of the horses’ mouth so that’s what I’m doing. I’m creating something that is very personal, so you can get to know these people. You can get to know the real story behind ‘Jason Goes to Hell’.
Horror Fuel: “Is it true that you recently had a major sign on?”
Nick Hunt: “VERY soon we will be announcing five of the cast and crew, ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ alumni.
What I can tell you is recently Kane Hodder has decided to grace us with his presence for this documentary. Obviously, you can’t have a ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ documentary without Jason Voorhees himself.
He’s such a nice guy. We talked for almost an hour when he unexpectedly called me yesterday. We hit it off immediately. He took to the project. He was like, ‘We are going to do this. We’re going to do that.” He has a lot of great ideas for some ways to involve the fans. It should be some really cool, interesting stuff because he has a lot of good ideas. It took a lot to keep my composure on the call because I was on the verge of geeking out.”
Horror Fuel: “Kane is great. I’ve met him a couple of times.”
Horror Fuel: “When do you think fans might see the documentary released?”
Nick Hunt: “We are hoping to start shooting in the second quarter of this year. Hopefully, we will get it out before the end of next year for the 25th anniversary. August 13th is technically the 25th anniversary. I’m going to fight like hell to at least get a rough cut done by then.”
Horror Fuel: “Awesome. We look forward to seeing it.”
Horror Fuel: “Have you always been a ‘Friday the 13th’ fan?”
Nick Hunt: “Oh, yeah. I have Jason tattooed on me. It was one of the first franchises I watched, along with Halloween. I must’ve watched the various Friday entries a hundred times. It never gets old for me. When the chance came to meet some of my idols it was a no-brainer. They are quickly becoming family to me.”
Horror Fuel: “Friday the 13th was the first horror film I ever saw. It kicked off my love of the genre.”
Nick Hunt: “It just grew from there. I even had dreams of doing a ‘Friday the 13th’ movie.”
Nick Hunt: “We are going to be announcing some really cool stuff and the fans are going to be able to be involved in the project. That’s going to be really cool. We’re being donated screen-used props from all over the world, stuff that you wouldn’t believe that we found.”
Horror Fuel: “After you wrap on this project, would you consider doing another horror documentary?”
Nick Hunt: “Oh, yeah. There are actually a couple ideas I’ve played with. When I first announced the documentary that a site, I believe it’s called the Cultured Vultures, wrote an article titled “Whether You Like It Or Not, A Jason Goes To Hell Documentary Is Coming”. It was the most hilarious thing in the world. It actually made me laugh even though it was negative. Someone brought up that it was like making a documentary about ‘Leprechaun in Space’. So, I got to thinking, I would like to explore ‘Leprechaun’ franchise as a whole. Warwick Davis was crushed when they decided to do that knock-off movie with Hornswagle from WWE.
The other one I think would be kind of cool would be ‘Critters’. I think ‘Critters’ is a very underrated franchise. I have actually been on the campaign for a new ‘Critters’ movie. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think it would make a good documentary or another film. Of course, I will still be making feature films.”
There are a ton of other feature films I want to do too.”
Horror Fuel: “Can you tell us about any of them?”
Nick Hunt: “There is a practical effects monster movie that I want to do eventually. I want to film it here in central Florida, probably on Cocoa Beach. Basically, I am describing it as ‘Tremors’ on a beach. Obviously, ‘Safe Place’ is only the first film of a trilogy. Then, most recently I came up with a project that I am teasing as ‘Falling Down’ meets ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’. I might myself to give it a shot, put the holiday horror film will be called ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’.”
Horror Fuel: ‘It’s great that we are seeing more and more holiday horror films coming out.”
Nick Hunt: “It’s one of the most popular things to do now. I would be remised if I didn’t at least give it a shot.
I am also doing a short project that will be filming in California. It’s not in the horror genre, but it is going to tackle the subject of sexual harassment. It will take the view of a couple who one the members has been sexually assaulted. I have Gregory Blair who is in ‘Safe Place’, Jordon Essoe who the is the brother of Alex Essoe and Maria Olsen from ‘Starry Eyes’. It’s being co-directed by Allie Rivera who co-produces ‘Safe Place’ with me.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for our updates on Nick’s projects. To learn more about Safe Place and The Dark Heart of Jason Vorhees follow the films on Facebook. 

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