Tyler Christensen is no stranger to working behind the camera. He began as a film graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, before he produced shows like Billy the Exterminator, Wild West Alaska and Lone Star Lady. Tyler eventually went on to primetime network programming to work as a producer of such hit shows like Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and America’s Got Talent. In between all the time that those shows required, Tyler took the time to share his unique of vision of thrilling horror with his feature film House of Purgatory.

House of Purgatory is an upcoming horror thriller that features a talented cast of Anne Leighton, Laura Coover, Brad Fry, and Aaron Galvin as four unfortunate high-school students who enter the terrifying House of Purgatory. The house preys on individual fears to deliver a personal brand of terror for each character admitted by the Skeleton (Brian Krause), and once you enter you can never leave. The film uses a genius blend of Halloween fun and urban myths to develop a modern myth for the tale. The supernatural chill of the film is eerily enhanced by the setting. “It was all night shoots. It was Wisconsin. It was October, and it was cold,” Christensen explains. The mood and setting works to strengthen the film and audiences have received it well. The film became an official selection of the Fear Fete’s Horror Film Festival. Tyler refers to that moment as, “incredibly exciting.”

Tyler reveals that filming a feature film is a long process, “Each step takes so much longer than you expect it to.” For House of Purgatory, the script took a month and a half to write, followed by two months of scouting for filming locations. Filming occurred in October of 2011, and is finally being released for digital platforms on October 21. “I still don’t really believe it is going to be seen by anyone. I know you can go on iTunes and pre-order it, but when it’s been this long, it feels like purgatory,” Christensen admits. “To think that it is going to be out there and available and people are going to be watching it is kind of too big to wrap my head around.”

This film marks Tyler’s directorial debut, and he also served as the writer of the script. His background in producing helps him as he transitions to writer/director. Many first time writer/directors have a staunch vision of their project that they are unwilling to deviate from in the least. “Coming from the world of ‘hey, get what you can get and let’s move on’ helps to keep you from getting bogged down, you’re more willing to let people give opinions and communally make this thing better,” Christensen says. The ability to be flexible in his vision is helpful in creating a much better film and allows for the experience of his cast to really add to their characters.

Tyler Christensen is no stranger to spooky tales as he is also the author/illustrator of the children’s book “Bryan the Scarecrow Who’s Scared of Everything”. With so many talents and titles at his disposable Christensen doesn’t narrow himself into any one label. He explains, “I just feel like I’m a story-teller, in whatever capacity that takes.” V

by Brandon Evans