Six friends arrive at a Secret Cove cabin in the woods to hold a pre-wedding celebration. But something is a bit off, tension ramps up, and when the guests begin to die mysteriously, one by one, the fun turns to horror. That's exactly how actors and producers Peter and Julia Benson wanted it.
Their latest film, Death Do Us Part, is a psychological whodunit, says Julia. As well as starring in the feature-length film, the couple also wrote it and filmed it on the Sunshine Coast, an area that Julia has been familiar with since childhood.
It opened at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver last week and will be distributed in Canada and the U.S.
"It's more of a thriller, not a gorefest," Peter points out. "No one gets killed on camera."
He considers the Secret Cove location as perfect for a low budget, horror film since the cast and crew are contained on the property.
"The coolest thing about it is that it has a million dollar view, just gorgeous, but two minutes into the woods and it becomes creepy and terrifying," he said.
"We want to keep people guessing the whole time," Julia adds.
The cast includes other actors who will likely be familiar faces from TV shows such as Sanctuary and Arctic Air. Nicholas Humphries (The Little Mermaid) directed it, and the Bensons have the biggest role as the engaged couple.
"This has been cool for us," Julia said. "It's the first time we took a project from beginning to end."
Both are experienced actors. Julia is perhaps best known for her Leo award-winning role as the character 2nd Lt. Vanessa James on Stargate Universe, while Peter has appeared in many TV series, most recently Motive and Arrow and movies such as District 9. As actors they wanted to be more involved in the creative process of making films and developed their own company, Married to the Boss Productions, to write and direct new films.
Their first project was a series that they co-created called Kits, set in Vancouver's Kitsilano, which was accepted into the prestigious NSI Totally Television program.The script that Peter wrote garnered them a development deal with City TV and they served as executive producers on the project when a pilot episode was ordered.
Death Do Us Part was shot entirely in 2011, but took another year in post-production. The couple jumped right in to their next feature movie titled What an Idiot, a comedy this time.
"We wanted to keep the craziness going and cement ourselves as a production company," Peter said. "Now when we get an acting job, it seems so easy."
The film is available now from iTunes and the DVD will be in stores as of April 15.
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