Director Eric Pennycoff’s new film The Leech is a fascinating take on your typical Christmas horror film. Instead of killer Santas or ghosts of Christmas past, Pennycoff centers his tale of Christmas ennui on a struggling priest and the insidiousness of religious belief. Featuring stunning performances from Graham Skipper, Jeremy Gardner, and Taylor Zaudtke, it’s a hallucinogenic and bloody trip into Christmas hell.
Read the full synopsis below:
Father David (Graham Skipper, Dementia: Part II, Sequence Break), a catholic priest struggling to grow his congregation, encounters a stranger by the name of Terry (Jeremy Gardner, Bliss, Offseason) asleep one morning after Mass. Terry is without a home after a fight with his girlfriend Lexi (Taylor Zaudtke, Sadistic Intentions). With Christmas less than a week away, David offers him a place to stay for the night. What begins as a simple act of kindness quickly turns complicated as Lexi arrives shortly after with news of being evicted from her house. Unable to turn away this helpless young woman, David allows both her and Terry to stay with him through the holidays on the condition that they open themselves to the healing power of God’s love.
Yet the harder David tries to reform the lives of these seemingly innocent strangers, the more he himself falls victim to their toxic ways, leading to the belief that their arrival is in fact, a test from God. Will David pass the test and accept his new houseguests as they are? Or will he set aside the ways of Christ and resort to blood-soaked, Old Testament justice?
Dread Central spoke with The Leech director Eric Pennycoff and star Graham Skipper about Christmas horror, Batman Beyond, and more.
Watch the full interview below:
The Leech is streaming now on ARROW.