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Feeding desires: Sci-fi/horror short film ‘Hatchlings’ explores wall between fantasy, reality

New Mexico filmmaker Catharine Jones in a scene from the sci-fi/horror short film “Hatchlings.” (Courtesy of Barb O’Dell)

“Hatchlings” is the little engine that just keeps going and going.

Catharine Jones is perfectly fine with it.

The New Mexico-based filmmaker is surprised by all the places the sci-fi/horror short film has gone.

The film won best horror short at Peephole Film Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico. It premiered at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience and screened at Boca do Infernos’s Film Festival in São Paulo, Brazil.

Right before the pandemic crippled the United States, the film had its time to shine at the Durango Independent Film Festival in Durango, Colorado.

“It was the weekend just before lockdown, and we were in Durango,” Jones says. “It was a nice send-off.”

“Hatchlings” tells the story of Mary Burch, who is in the fantasy business.

A night spent in her house is a night spent with your deepest desire in the flesh.

The year is 1972, when many loved ones are overseas, missing, or worse; business at the Burch House is booming.

Scott L. Perez in a scene from the short film “Hatchlings.” (Courtesy of Barb O’Dell)

Unfortunately for Burch’s customers however, nights end while desires only grow stronger, and before long visitors are sacrificing their very souls to stay in her macabre bordello of dreams.

All the while the house continues to feed, until the wall between fantasy and reality finally cracks.

“The whole story came from a novel that (husband) Adam (Jones) had started,” Jones says. “He just got stuck. He approached me and asked me if I wanted to shoot it. It was the prologue to the novel, and it turned into a 13-minute short. Originally, it was going to be set in WWII for his book. We realized that WWII would be expensive to design.”

Jones and her crew filmed in Durango and in Villanueva, New Mexico. Production took place along the Animas and Pecos rivers in February 2019.

The location for the Burch house was found in Jones’ late grandmother-in-law’s house.

“The house looks like someone pressed pause in the 1960s,” Jones says. “It’s a great big house, and the surrounding area is beautiful.”

The film was co-produced by Jones’ film company, Enedina Films, and Barb Odell’s production company, All Girls Media.

The film stars Barbara Kerford, Scott L. Perez, Colleen Kay Sample, Michael Guajardo, Gyana Lua, Greg Farinelli, Laura Trujillo, Taylor Trujillo and Jones.

Adam Jones and Catharine Jones on the set of the short film “Hatchlings.” (Courtesy of Barb O’Dell)

Jones also made the rounds in 2020 with “Hatchlings” in virtual film festivals.

The icing on the cake came a few weeks ago when Jones learned that the film will be distributed by First Focus International for digital rights and with Meridian Releasing Group for DVD.

“This is a huge step in my career,” she says. “There will be the opportunity for more people to see this film.”

 

 

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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