H.P. Lovecraft’s Witch House star Michelle Morris Interview

Michelle Morris (aka Portia Chellelynn) is a bonafide horror staple known for her work in such indie classics as Hematic Web and Leaf Blower Massacre 2. In H.P Lovecraft’s Witch House, the Alabama-native plays graduate student Alice Gilman, a young woman running from an abusive past. She seeks refuge in the infamous Hannah house; a historic home with an ominous past. Determined to prove the possibility of alternate dimensions, she unknowingly unlocks a gateway to unimaginable horror. Facing a series of bizarre and violent events, Alice is plagued by nightmarish dreams of these evil entities. Trapped between the 4th dimension and reality, the diabolical truth is revealed as Alice fights for her sanity and her very soul.

We caught up with Michelle to talk about her impressive turn in a real chiller of a film!

Where are you based Portia?

I actually went by my real name, Michelle Morris, for the first time with this film.

Oh, you did?

Yeah! I made a lot of trips from Princeton, Illinois to Indianapolis, Indiana. I drove over 5000 miles collectively.

Wow! How long ago did you shoot the film?

We began filming in either August or September of 2018 and we re-shot some scenes and did some pick-up shots as late as summer of 2020.

What interested you about it?

The fact that it was so different from any other roles I had ever done. I loved the interdimensional twist.

Did you know the filmmaker previously?

I met Bobby [Easley] a few years before-hand from the Days of the Dead horror conventions we both worked. I had also watched a couple of his films.

Did you have a backstory for your character, even one you created that wasn’t on the page?

I wouldn’t say I had so much a backstory for Alice, but I could relate to her, which made it relatively easy to get into character.

And in what ways could you relate to her?

Like Alice, I escaped an abusive past. I immersed myself in making movies and basically living in a world that isn’t often reality, while she immersed herself in her research that led to dreams that become a reality. We both have a love for research.

Would you react the same way in the same situation, you think?

I would like to say that I would have left the house before it came to all that craziness, but I stayed there filming at the Hannah House, even after all the strange paranormal events were really happening to us. I for sure would not have gone back into the house at the end.

Are you a fan of horror movies like this yourself?

I never was a big horror fan growing up. For one, I wasn’t allowed to watch scary stuff because my mom knew I would have nightmares. I didn’t really like too much horror, just a few films, before I began acting in them. Once I began acting in them, and seeing how they were made, they weren’t so scary anymore and the love of horror grew on me.

Having said that, were you a fan of Lovecraft?

I had never heard of him before this movie. I am a fan now. Hopefully I can find some time to look more into his stories someday soon.

Definitely! Is there a favorite moment in the movie?

I don’t want to give too much away for those that haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll just say, “candelabra” *winks*

My least favorite was swimming with the Water Moccasins in the dark!


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