: Narrative Feature
GENRE: Horror
STATUS: Development


Four strangers are being hunted by the same demon. They must find each other before the fiend finds them.


Across 75 years, Walking Clothes, a figure invisible but for its clothes, haunts the lives of four Chilltown residents. It pursues and possesses, but background does not determine destiny.

Prologue: Walking Clothes, 1985

An invisible menace clad in denim and plaid chases two brothers through their house during a very adult New Years Eve party. Patrick drags his little brother Squirt down stairwells and through hallways. They finally find refuge in a dark crawl space. SLAM! Just as Walking Clothes smashes through the door, a new reality opens. A different pair of siblings are pulled from a bedroom closet and the girl, Ruby, is separated from her brother.

Act 1: The Devil is a Liar, 1996

Ruby, now nineteen, wakes up in a closet where she lives with a friend’s family. She hopes for a normal life with her best friends Sam and Jasmine. This trio of young black women seems destined for bright futures, but Ruby is on the run from Walking Clothes, which now wears a dress. Drugs and alcohol gradually become Ruby’s only escape from the sober waking torment of Walking Clothes. At a party that turns tragic, Ruby gets into a fight with Sam, accidentally kills a stranger, and goes on the run. Giving in to Walking Clothes, and giving up on the life she wanted, Ruby vanishes as JP appears.

Act 2: Cycle Breaker, The Near Future

JP was locked up for killing his best friend Jay. Just released, he is under constant surveillance by a hovering ‘Parole’ drone. JP has also been possessed by Walking Clothes, so he spends his waking life drinking, drugging, and hurting his loving Filipino family, while the real JP spends his nights haunted by the death of his friend Jay in hyper-real drunk dreams. In a moment of desperation, and with the help of the Parole drone, which becomes an unexpected guardian angel, JP accepts responsibility for Jay’s death and stops using drugs. Through a wild withdrawal, from the depths of delirium tremens to the heights of cold, empty reality, JP fights Walking Clothes. Finally, the real JP exorcises the beast, but he does not kill it.

Act 3: A.D. After Dystopia, 2060

Chilltown's favorite citizen and octgenarian, Val, is at a gala to be crowned Jersey City's "Person of the Year", but she is distracted. Earlier, she had been asked to find a woman named Eva, who has gone missing after starting to use opiates again. Val fears Walking Clothes is near. To find Eva, Val recruits her best friend Bee, her soberist friend John, and her sickly friend Sean. This odd lot of seniors bicker endlessly, but their bond is tight: they have all fought Walking Clothes before.

Eva desperately calls Val during her award speech. Eva's husband is holding her against her will. Val stops her speech and unplugs herself. She and her pals were living most of their elderly lives in a simulation. Now they rise from their comfy hospital beds, leaving virtual reality to rescue Eva in the real world. They discover Eva on the verge of destruction on a balcony high above the city. We have met Val's gang before. John is JP, Bee is Ruby, and Sean is Squirt from the prologue so long ago. The gang battles Walking Clothes to save Eva from herself.


As an artist, I am shaped by rich characters with unconventional stories and the layered rhythms of motion pictures. The shared story of “what it was like, what happened, and what things are like now,” is the elegant three act structure that has served millions of people in recovery for decades. This structure is the dramatic arc of Chilltown. There is also a prologue to express the trauma that is often the inciting moment for this specific kind of journey.

This film is about being lost in familiar places, a powerful feeling common among addicts, parentless children, and anyone dislocated from the familiar. Fixing a place, Jersey City (Chilltown), and a threat, Walking Clothes, the film breaks the protagonist into four characters whose stories span eighty years. The audience identifies with the protagonist, one being, through the four characters united by their location and the phantom’s threat. Unrealistically absurd, terrifying, and divine moments channel the power of identification across vast differences in character and time. In this way, the film captures the elusive sense of being lost among the familiar. Chilltown drags the audience far from their reality, shakes them, then returns them home in a four-part tale of resurrection.

The monster, Walking Clothes, rarely seen, is like the shark in Jaws. The audience is best served by having their own vision of who or what it is. Walking Clothes will drive the characters to run and fight and break. In the end, they will find acceptance in the reality of its existence. Walking Clothes is alive within us. How much control it has is the daily battle. The camera in Chiltown will be wide, light, and breezy until those times when Walking Clothes arrives to narrow the scope and weigh it down.

Chilltown is not a constant jump-out-of-your-seat scary movie, but it has an ominous edge with potentially a few glorious shrieks. The film is also social commentary, in that our culture lacks clarity with the experiences I am evoking, but it is not overtly political. The most honest and simple message to Chilltown is that it’s never the right moment to withhold love.

Isolation, loneliness, and anger are everywhere; in our technology, our communities, our politics, and our families. The lessons of recovery are perfectly suited to meet this difficult moment and to push back.


Matthew Kulvicki - Writer / Director

Matthew Kulvicki is an award-winning Director and Producer. This past year, Kulvicki won 7 Telly Awards and a Webby nomination for his work at the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) where he reimagines economics with creative and innovative video series, animations, and educational content consumed by tens of millions worldwide.

Kulvicki was a director at Strong For All which helped found Occupy Wall Street following time as the Director of Production for the New York Senate where he oversaw all video content. Kulvicki was Director of Photography for Showtime Networks. He also has served as Producer and Director of Photography for numerous programs on a variety of commercial networks, including The History Channel, TLC, BET, and Smithsonian.

Currently, along with his ongoing work with INET, Kulvicki is developing the film Chilltown, was named to the Telly Awards judging council, and is a court-appointed foster child advocate in Jersey City.

Damon Bundschuh - Director of Photography

Damon W. Bundschuh is a Director of Photography whose education in film and video production came from working in documentary, entertainment, and news gathering. Damon focused his lens on filmmakers, writers, musicians and artists while working for companies such as the BBC, Criterion, and WNET. Working with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, Phillip Roth, Bruce Springsteen and Isabelle Huppert was perhaps the best Master class anyone could hope for. Many of these productions were small, giving Damon extraordinary exposure to most aspects of filmmaking. 

In 2009, Damon began working for Late Night Starring Jimmy Fallon as part of The Remote Team as a camera operator and then transitioned with the team to The Tonight Show becoming a Director of Photography. The Remote Team shoots everything that happens outside of the studio including countless shorts spoofing and recreating popular television shows, movies, music videos and general comic mayhem. From matching a Nestle commercial from the 80’s, to recreating a Game of Thrones episode, to emulating the feel of a Nancy Myers film, Damon was given a limitless sandbox to expand and strengthen his knowledge as a cinematographer. 

Currently, along with his work on the Tonight Show, Damon is the cinematographer for documentaries, commercials and promotional material for companies such as Pepsico, A24, NEON, Juilliard Global, School of American Ballet, and The Institute for New Economic Thinking. 

CydCharise Jeyes - Production Designer

As an arts and cultural studies scholar, it has been an enormous privilege for CydCharise to work in a variety of creative disciplines and contexts. Her studio work was rooted in architecture and drawing and her passion lies in the intersection of culture, identity, and creativity.

After starting out in events in her hometown of Boston, CydCharise moved to New York City in 2000 to work in the music industry with pioneers of online marketing and design. She produced and managed content for entertainment legends and leading artists across genres. She returned to events with Concert Foods, then official caterer for Central Park Summer Stage, and enjoyed a near decade tenure at the world-renowned Shakespeare in the Park. CydCharise directed all events for sponsors, casts, and crews and oversaw the annual galas.

She partnered with the Museum of Chinese in America on an arts curriculum, and later curated project teams for USTA US Open, MLB, and five international venues of the World Baseball Classic. While living in Mexico City, she deepened her longstanding connection to Danza Mexica, and followed dance, film, and television industry friends and family around the city. Now back in Boston, CydCharise works from her studio in Boston where she created the interior design for the historic Sumner House. She Co-Produced Plus 1s (RIFF, RIFF) and she is excited to be  on the creative team for Chilltown.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2024
Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund Fellowship 2023/2024


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