For those who like movies involving horror, suspense and Kansas tornadoes, then KCTV5 has the perfect movie to suggest. As KCTV5's Brad Stephens explains in this week's Faces of Kansas City, the entire film was shot locally and it's premiering this weekend at the Kansas City Film Festival.
Stephens will be the first to say he's no movie critic, but he can say he had a lot of fun watching local filmmaker Patrick Rea's latest flick.
"It's a horror film but it's not a gore-fest like a lot of Hollywood films. It's kind of a Hitchcock type thriller... suspense. Kind of a monster movie... well, it is a monster movie," said Rea, a local film director.
Rea directed Nailbiter. It's a story of a mother and her three daughters who take shelter in the cellar of a house while fleeing a Kansas tornado. They soon discover they're trapped and not alone.
By his own design, Rea is not your typical Hollywood director. He graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in film studies and, rather than move to Los Angeles, he began making short films in Kansas City.
"Ever since then I haven't had a real job, I've just been working on films. I feel blessed and lucky," Rea said.
He's been awarded regional Emmys for his work on two short films and his full-length film, Nailbiter, is getting positive reviews. So some may ask why he doesn't move to Hollywood.
"Doing it out here, getting people involved, shooting the film is cheaper out here. There's so many talented people here in KC. There's a lot of good opportunity for people to make films right here," said the director.
Many of the projects he's worked on are horror movies and they're something he's been drawn to since childhood.
"As a kid, it was forbidden fruit. I wasn't supposed to be watching horror movies but I'd sneak and do it anyway. It became a fascination," Rea said.
He's now working to get Nailbiter released in a number of different ways: the traditional theatrical release, video on demand, Netflix and even Redbox.
Rea is quick to point that, while he's doing what he loves, he said anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps must be willing to make sacrifices.
"Because, for the first four of five years out of college, I had little money. You have to be willing to live through some misery. If you stick to it, you'll succeed," he said.
You can see Nailbiter on the big screen at Ward Parkway AMC theatres this Sunday afternoon at 12:15. As for Rea, he's already working on Nailbiter Two.
Click here for the official Nailbiter website.
Click here for the Kansas City Film Festival's website.
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