“The Lake on Clinton Road” is a horror movie about six friends from Massachusetts traveling to a haunted house near a lake on the Jersey Shore. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, director DeShon Hardy talked about researching for the movie and some of the memorable moments he and the cast members shared.
Many people have heard about the scary stories of Clinton Road. While researching for the movie, Hardy and his staff read material that dated as far back as the 1950s, the director revealed. “We talked to people that have lived there for over 30 years, also the 'Weird New Jersey' books were a big help as well. There were so many tales coming from Clinton Road. When you YouTube Clinton Road, so many videos come up of people traveling down the road. All these things contributed to our research for the movie,” he said.
One popular tale that intrigued the director and his staff was related to a particular curve on this road. “There's a spot called ‘Deadman's Curve,’ which looks like a straight road but is actually a curve. If you don't proceed with the curve you tend to drive right into the stream. So many accidents have occurred they had to put up a median to prevent cars going into the stream. The story is this little boy was sitting right there and was hit by a car, drowning in the stream. Supposedly he haunts that whole area. We took that story and put a spin on it, and that's how the script was developed,” Hardy explained.
Although the movie is about Clinton Road, it was not filmed at this location. “We wanted to shoot on Clinton Road but there were no locations where we actually could shoot,” Hardy said. The movie was filmed at a 55-acre estate in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The house in the estate is surrounded by wilderness and a lake.
“The lake was five miles long and the road leading to the house off the main road was a mile long. This location matched what Clinton Road looked like before it was formally paved. It was perfect for what we wanted to do,” Hardy said.
Filming at this location came with its own challenges. The director revealed that the filming location was “very creepy for everyone.” After arriving on the set, cast member Anthony Grant (Mark) went on a walk with his manager and encountered three coyotes staring at them from about 20 feet away. “They weren't track stars beforehand, but as of that moment they became Olympians,” Hardy joked.
The cast and crew also heard wolves howling when they were filming a fire party scene. “The actors were a little frightened but they wanted to finish the scene,” the director said.
Hardy complimented cast member Leah Jones particularly for her dedication while filming “The Lake on Clinton Road.” The actress had to take a dip in the lake for a scene. “This wasn't like a beautiful clean lake, this was a lake cloudy, filled with algae and probably all types of reptiles, not to mention freezing cold.” The director later added that she got a lot of respect from her fellow cast and crew for her performance in this scene.