Cloudy with light rain this evening...then a chance of an isolated thunderstorm overnight. Some mixed winter precipitation possible. Low 38F. E winds shifting to W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%..
Cloudy with light rain this evening...then a chance of an isolated thunderstorm overnight. Some mixed winter precipitation possible. Low 38F. E winds shifting to W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
LINCOLN – Lincoln’s Michael LoCicero wrote, directed, produced and starred in psychological thriller, “The Killers Next Door,” a full length film centering around two ex-convicts on the run who meet a young couple while crashing in a remote New Hampshire cabin.
Though the majority of the film takes place in New Hampshire, locals will recognize certain Lincoln landmarks, including the Lodge Pub and the Lincoln Shopping Center on Front Street, which are distinctly featured at the beginning of the film.
Those locations were chosen specifically because of their rustic look.
“I loved that they look almost old-timey, like they could be in any town; they were just perfect for the movie,” LoCicero said.
He noted that besides looking the part, he wanted to feature places that he himself frequents. A keen eye might notice that LoCicero also filmed a mid-movie scene at Conklin Limestone on Wilbur Road.
In a 2021 Breeze article, LoCicero stated that his inspiration for the film came from a specific “48 Hours” episode, where two criminals break into a family’s home around Christmas and document themselves opening the family’s gifts. Due to a snowstorm, the criminals couldn’t leave and ended up sitting around the house, waiting for the family to get back so they could kill some of them and make the remaining members drive them away from the house in snowmobiles, getting themselves caught as soon as they were out of the storm.
“I wanted to make a film that focused on antagonists and why people do the things they do.” said LoCicero. “Most people can relate to the married couple in the movie; most people can’t relate to being in the mindset of criminals … it’s more intriguing.”
With the main characters in this movie, Bobby, played by David Pridemore, and Ryan, played by LoCicero, LoCicero’s objective was to show that even though they may not make good decisions, they are still people, and “hopefully you will be able to empathize with their hearts and feel at least a little bit bad for them.”
Throughout the movie, LoCicero said he builds tension by playing off of Hitchcock’s bomb theory: “If a bomb suddenly explodes, it’s scary and you jump, but it’s much scarier and more suspenseful if you know there is a bomb, but you don’t know when it’ll go off,” LoCicero explained.
Implementing that filmmaking style, LoCicero creates scenarios within the film where there is always a possibility that something bad may happen, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and uncomfortable, wondering when the bomb will explode.
From starting the manuscript to finding a home for the movie, this project took approximately eight years total, as LoCicero balanced his family life and his full time job in addition to writing the script and producing the movie. LoCicero stated that the editing of the script itself took years, since he didn’t want to bring investors on until he was completely happy with the final product.
When the film was finally complete, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, making it difficult for JL Pictures to find a way to distribute the movie. Eventually, they were able to get into the Rhode Island International Film Festival, where they found a sales agent who helped get “The Killers Next Door” on Amazon Prime and Vudu.
One of the biggest challenges LoCicero faced was playing one of the lead roles while also directing and producing the film. He said this isn’t something that he’d like to do again, because he feels he could’ve done a better job if he was either just directing or just acting. Ideally, LoCicero would like to write and produce and act in a project while having someone else direct him.
LoCicero’s love of acting began in college, when he chose to join the theater program instead of signing up for the basketball team. LoCicero said he inherited the spirit of creativity and collaboration grandfather, J.L Wickstrom. As an ode to him, he named his production company JL Pictures. Now, the name has a double meaning– both of LoCicero’s children’s initials are “J.L.”
“I really wanted to make something I could put out there for the world to see, and I’m so proud we accomplished this. It was such a huge project.” LoCicero said. He expressed extreme gratitude for all of his investors, the entire cast and crew and his marketing and sales team.
LoCicero hopes to continue making films under JL Pictures, and eventually hopes to have a venue where he can offer classes to those who are interested in making movies.
“The Killers Next Door” is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime and Vudu. After viewing, the movie can be rated on IMDB and Amazon Prime. For more information on Michael LoCicero, JL Pictures, and the film itself, visit killersnextdoor.com.
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