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Horror film features Skagit County scenes

November 22, 2018
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Director Nick Thompson stands with assistant director Hailey Williams (right) and actor Taigé Lauren on the set of their horror film set in the Skagit Valley.

On a chilly, rainy November night on Fir island, the dreary weather was just what Nick Thompson needed.

The stereotypical Pacific Northwest weather set the stage for the horror film Thompson wrote and is directing at locations throughout Skagit, Whatcom, Snohomish and King counties.

The plot follows the connections between four young adults from Seattle as they navigate the “child-adult” space of their early 20s, he said.

The four friends leave Seattle for a weekend getaway in the Skagit Valley, but “slowly lose their minds and drift into their own personal realities, all with a common thread leading back to the dark pull of the valley,” according to Thompson’s website.

Thompson said the film, titled “Skagit,” draws its horror element from an atmosphere of dread and melancholy, rather than from terror and gore.

Born and raised in Seattle, Thompson said he grew up learning about film from his parents, who are documentary filmmakers. He then went on to graduate from Evergreen State College and direct, edit and act in a variety of film projects.

Inspired by the Puget Sound landscape, Thompson said he wrote “Skagit” while living in Port Angeles last year.

“Growing up in the Northwest, weather and climate are a big part of your experience and your identity,” he said, and the film has “a sense of appreciating the importance of that in terms of balance and mental health.”

Thompson said he chose to convey that message through a horror film because it’s an accessible genre that many people enjoy.

Still, he said, the film is really about human emotion.

“That’s sort of at the heart of it, and that’s tied to the landscape for me,” he said.

For Thompson, Skagit County exemplifies the Pacific Northwest landscape, which led him to shoot at about 10 locations throughout the county.

The film has a budget of about $40,000, he said.

After wrapping up filming after Thanksgiving, Thompson said he hopes “Skagit” will be finished by spring and ready to send of to film festivals in the fall.

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