Terry R. Wickham has a day job, but his passion is making movies.
Now, the Everett native wants his terminally ill father to see one of his films in a proper movie theater before he dies.
His father, Reid A. Wickham, 72, was recently diagnosed with stage-four cancer. Doctors told the elder Wickham he has only six to eight months to live.
“When I thought about all the stuff I could do with my father while he’s still alive, I realized he’s never seen one of my movies in the theater,” Terry Wickham said. “I had to make that happen.”
Wickham, 53, is showing his award-winning horror film “Devil’s Five” on Sunday at the Historic Everett Theatre.
He helmed three of the five shorts featured in “Devil’s Five,” which won Best Horror Film at Hell’s Kitchen NYC Festival last year.
“Devil’s Five” is about an ancient evil that unleashes a deadly computer virus, hellbent on destroying humanity.
The movie is divided into five segments: “Devil’s Five,” “Abandoned,” “Don’t Say These Words,” “Choke” and “Stash.” Several episodes are made to look like found footage, and all storylines deal with the devil in some way.
The title of the movie is taken from the first of its episodes. But the “Devil’s Five” doesn’t just kick off the movie — the storyline continues in between each segment and serves as the climax of the 118-minute feature.
Wickham, who lives on Long Island, New York, was inspired to get into film after seeing John Carpenter’s “The Thing” at the Everett Mall theater in 1982.
But he’s been watching scary movies since he was 4. He enjoyed watching the late-night horror show “Nightmare Theatre,” popular in the 1960s and ’70s. That’s how he was introduced to films like 1954’s “Godzilla” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
Wickham even watched a few thrillers at the Everett Theatre on Colby Avenue, including “The Evil Dead” in 1981, “Halloween III” in ‘82 and “Christine” in ‘83.
He grew up in Everett and Snohomish, graduating from Snohomish High School in 1984. After a stint in the Army, he studied directing and screenwriting with the American Film Institute, film technique and technology at New York University and acting at HB Studios in New York City.
Wickham, an administrative assistant at an engineering firm, has been making short and feature-length films for more than 30 years. His films include “Out of Touch” (1995), “Evil Streets” (1998), “Washington Road” (2001) and “Hair of the Dog” (2003).
He said his work is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, M. Night Shyamalan, Brian de Palma and Wes Craven.
“I’m a filmmaker who puts suspense as the key ingredient,” he said. “You make the audience wait. The apprehension is just as important as the payoff. Like in ‘Jaws,’ it’s not scary when you see the shark, it’s when you don’t know where the shark is.”
Wickham’s home is near Amityville, New York, which is known for “The Amityville Horror.”
His 10-year-old daughter likes scary stuff, too. “It’s definitely in her blood,” Wickham said.
When she was 2, her favorite Muppet on Sesame Street was Count von Count. Now she likes to read Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine. She’s also watched all three seasons of “Stranger Things” on Netflix.
Wickham’s daughter may love horror flicks, but Historic Everett Theatre manager Curt Shriner admits he’s not a fan.
Shriner has seen the trailer for “Devil’s Five,” but he says the movie’s not for him. “I want to laugh. I want a comedy,” he said.
Still, “I’m kind of excited about this,” Shriner said. “Terry is a local guy, and I’m really excited for his dad to see one of his movies.”
If you go
Everett native Terry R. Wickham is showing his award-winning horror film “Devil’s Five” at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. A Q&A with Terry Wickham and co-star Diana Noris follows the screening. Tickets are $10 general, $5 student and military.
Call 425-258-6766 or go to www.yourhistoriceveretttheatre.org for more information.