Hermiston graduate produces award-winning horror film | Local News

An evening screening of a film produced by Amanda Rae Jones, a 1997 Hermiston High School graduate, will be available to moviegoers at Walla Walla.

Shot in the Pacific Northwest, “The Stairs” is described as a chilling story about a group of hikers tracked down by an ominous presence in the woods. It stars acting veterans John Schneider of fame “The Dukes of Hazzard” and Kathleen Quinlan, an Oscar nominated actress in “Apollo 13”. The all-star cast also includes Adam Korson, Brent Bailey, Stacey Oristano, Tyra Colar and Josh Crotty.

Describing herself as “a huge movie fan” growing up, Jones fondly recalled a “movie vacation” with her family. Her parents would rent a stack of movies, park their cars around the corner, pick up the phone, and from Friday night to Monday morning they would hide in their living room with the blinds drawn – eating junk food and watching movies.

“It was all about a vacation you love, minus the luggage and the travel, plus the movies,” Jones said. “I think this movie vacation influenced me more than anything else in my decision to enter the industry.”

After graduating from high school at Hermiston, Jones headed to Eastern Oregon University, where he graduated in 2001 with a history degree. She then obtained an MBA from Portland State University and began a career in the financial industry. After being approached to read and possibly help support a film project, Jones changed course and co-founded Wandering Dragon Productions. “The Stairs” is his third feature film project.

“The Stairs” accumulates accolades at horror festivals around the world. It was an official selection at over a dozen film festivals, including its premiere in the Pacific Northwest on August 1 during the Portland Horror Film Festival at the New Hollywood Theater in 1926. It counts nearly of two dozen victories and counts, including the highest honors in several festivals.

According to its synopsis, the scary film is set 20 years after the mysterious disappearance of an 11-year-old boy and his grandfather. A group of friends meet along the same trail, unaware that a long-forgotten evil lurks just beyond the treeline. What started as a weeklong adventure with friends quickly turns into a terrifying fight for survival as they come face to face with what nightmares are made of.

Presented by Cinedigm and Fathom Events, the film screening will take place Thursday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at Cinemark Grand Cinema 12 in Walla Walla. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office or in advance via www.fathomevents.com/events/The-Stairs.

Jones said the film will be released on August 27 on DVD / BluRay / VOD in conjunction with a week-long release in a few select theaters.

Melody Fowler, vice president of acquisitions for Cinedigm, said “The Stairs” delivers what horror fans look for in a movie – real scares, suspense and a terrifying conclusion. Additionally, with its well-developed characters, stunning stunts, creative design and effects, and the film’s strong reception among genre fans, Fowler said that it “further confirms that this is a film. A must see”. Director Peter “Drago” Tiemann agreed, saying the isolation the characters face creates an extra level of tension.

“The idea of ​​being stalked by a stranger touches a visceral part of us,” he said, “and we become a part of the story.”

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