Recently I discovered a film that has the potential to be a fun retro trip back to the days of Monster Squad, Something Wicked This Way Comes and Ernest Scared Stupid.  These are a few of the movies I grew up on that developed in me a love and appreciation for the horror genre and which seem to be disappearing from theaters.  I’m not sure when Hollywood stopped bringing out family friendly fright fare but it seems sparse now.  Director Andy Schroeder aims to contribute to this storied and respected legacy with his upcoming film Distiller.

Matthew Moon is a Distiller, a specialized exterminator who catches all manner of ghosts, goblins and monsters by distilling their spirits into bottles of liquor. For a fee he’ll trap and remove anything not-of-this-world from your home. But spirits can only be contained, not destroyed. Twenty years after his mysterious disappearance Matt has been declared legally dead, leaving his cabin and all possessions therein to his unwitting niece, Blue.

Blue is moving into the cabin with the help of her envious brother Charlie over Fourth of July weekend, finally moving out of her parents’ home and starting a life of her own. It’s the first time either of them has returned to their Uncle’s home since he disappeared when they were kids. While cleaning up the “twenty years of disrepair and junk” that characterize the once luxurious cabin they come across an enigmatic collection of liquor bottles stored in the basement among other odd relics.

With the home in presentable condition, the siblings try to forget their differences and invite friends over for the holiday to enjoy Blue’s new home with its private pond, mostly functioning jacuzzi, pinball machine, and a basement full of what they can only assume is moonshine. As the party goers open the bottles to toast to the long lost Uncle and Blue’s newfound fortunes they can only imagine what it was that Matt was distilling into the bottles all those years ago…

You can get some more insight into what’s in store for you by reading a little something from director Andy Schroeder himself

In a landscape of entertainment that plays more and more to specific and divided niche audiences I was constantly left wanting for the type of films I grew up loving. Films that kids watch peeking through shaking fingers while adults alternately laugh and jump on the edge of their seats. Films made for adults, but appropriate to watch as a family. That’s the tone we set out to put on film. DISTILLER came to life as I was sitting in waiting rooms reading lots of Roald Dahl, pirate lore and lists of legendary cryptid creatures from the ever-accurate Wikipedia. While there are multiple fantastic monsters, effects and fun sequences in the movie, Steve and I spent the majority of our script conferences worrying about the characters. The characters came first, the story came from who they were; and as we got into production and the actors enveloped those characters we adjusted the story further because we loved the ride they were taking us on.

Character is also a principal reason that all of our ghosts and goblins were done with practical effects. I don’t want audiences to just see ghostly fog or dripping slime, I want them to feel it. DISTILLER only took 13 days in production, but Erin and I spent 285 long nights achieving our 286 effects shots and I don’t regret a single moment of it.

Distiller will be available soon but in the meantime, support the film and find out more about it on Facebook, Twitter and the film’s official website,

Distiller Theatrical Poster