Reel Estate

Creepy short film "The Listing" might make you rethink your dreams of a Detroit fixer-upper

By Virginia K. Smith  | August 21, 2015 - 10:30AM

This week, we venture outside NYC to check out the real estate in a buzzed-about short film, The Listing. Because admit it: You've spent at lease one lazy afternoon, eyeing your dwindling bank account and cruising dirt cheap listings in Detroit, fantasizing about snapping up your own rambling fixer-upper for the same amount you pay in rent every month. But what if that house was ... haunted?! 

Such is the nightmare scenario introduced in this movie, a new short by 19-year-old director Luke Jaden that's been making the rounds of film festivals. We see a sinister, dilapidated Detroit house in the stages before a family arrives for the open house, when a hapless broker comes by to fix it up. The place is pretty appealing on the outside (minus the neighborhood pitbulls trying to break in). But the inside? Well, take a look for yourself:

Why yes, that is a butcher knife floating out of a kitchen drawer on its own! And then there's the basement. We won't give too much away, but to give you an idea, Jaden told Entertainment Weekly that for set design, they had a friend who worked at a slaughterhouse "show up to set with his truck full of dead carcasses and pig heads."

As for the actual house, "It was very critical that we found an empty house that had that feeling that someone may still live there or come there every once in a while," Jaden told us over the phone last week. "So the house couldn't look abandoned or falling apart." After four weeks of searching, he says, "We settled onto a last-minute jackpot we found in Boston Edison, a nice residential historic neighborhood in Detroit. It's absolutely beautiful, and I want to purchase a property [of my own] in the area someday."

The short doesn't yet have a schedule for wide release—and Jaden tells us he'd potentially consider making it into a full-length film—but for now, you can check out the trailer below. We trust you'll be sufficiently creeped out.

The Listing - Trailer from TROIKA on Vimeo.


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