A fistful of drug popping ravers swallow what leads to a hell bent trip to "The Habit", (underground rave party), being held at an abandon lunatic asylum in Salem Massachusetts.
Plans to party all night drastically morph into chaotic hallucinations of the rave being buried deeper and deeper within a mind bending structure of massive abandonment.
Decrepit walls and stairwells built to keep insanity captive, separate the group into a spiral of horrifying paradoxes, splicing nightmares into reality. In the end, one persons insanity is the others reality.
cast & crew
JOHNNY HICKEY - SIMON
Johnny Hickey morphed from a street kid surviving the rough and tumble Charlestown (Boston) neighborhood, to award winning film maker and actor. In the recent years, his feature-length opiate tragedy film, "Oxy Morons", had a successful month of screenings at National Amusement Showcase Cinemas in New England where it placed #1 in the theater's box office sales in it's first week of showing against eighteen studio films. Moving on from there it's distribution had a successful Netflix home for eighteen months with well over 200,000 (praised) reviews. "Oxy Morons" currently finds it's home on Amazon Prime and Xfnitity VOD platforms, reaching over 30 million nationwide.
Hickey was a field producer for Vanguard correspondent Mariana Van Zeller in the part two of "The Oxycontin Express" which claimed a Peabody award. The Current TV team had already started to investigate opiate subculture around Greater Boston, but hit a wall in accessing the underworld where pills are sold and trafficked. Hickey agreed to assist. In the least, he could help sound alarms about the epidemic his first feature was torn from. Mainstream media regards Hickey as one of Boston's most colorful characters; that's vividly illustrated in the Vanguard documentary.
Hickey took on the position of director for fight choreography in the 2018 release MMA action film "Blood Circus", which he also produced and acted in.
Johnny is currently in post production with Sugar Studios LA on his second feature film as writer/director/actor " Habitual", a psychological drug thriller/horror that was filmed in several abandoned lunatic asylums in the Boston area starring MTV's Chris "CT" Tamburello.
You may also recognize Johnny from the recent MTV special "CT's Getting Married" as the best man to his fellow Bostonian Chris CT Tamburello, which gathered 3.9 Million Viewers Nationwide.
CHRIS 'CT' TAMBURELLO - BRETT/THE BLIGHT
Cameras have tracked Tamburello since he joined The Real World: Paris in 2003 before later competing in several seasons of the game-show spinoff The Challenge, snagging six-figure cash prizes along the way. Hickey broke onto the scene with his 2010 film Oxy-Morons—based on his experience with the OxyContin trade in Boston—which he wrote, directed and starred in after turning down James Gandolfini’s offer to produce the film. Hickey was inspired to pursue filmmaking after his own opioid abuse almost killed him.
'Habitual'is a crime drama, psychological thriller and horror mashup that explores the darkness of drugs during a rave at an abandoned North Shore asylum. “It’s a whole different animal,” Tamburello says of his first turn at acting. “And that’s the part that I love about it. It’s a transition, but if you’re just doing the same thing over and over again, you never grow.”
“I knew Chris could dig,” Hickey says of the scenes they shot in 9-degree weather, when Tamburello mined his past to rage at the sky, covered in fake blood. “I knew he could go to those places. And I knew it was a good chance for him to kind of dump that stuff out.”
That same drive to exorcise negative experiences is what led Hickey and Tamburello to team up with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism to found the networking and training organization Film Intervening Getting High Team (FIGHT). “A lot of the kids in our neighborhood thought that because bad things happened to them that they had the right to use their energy in a negative way,” Tamburello says. “And I can understand that. But we want to show people that there’s a positive way to channel their energy.” FIGHT helps adolescents and adults express themselves and learn career skills such as writing and directing as they create anti-opioid educational materials—be it a song, a comedy show or a documentary-style video. Thanks to FIGHT, two young adults had paid positions working on 'Habitual" and continued their creative careers once production wrapped. Both Hickey and Tamburello hope to take the nonprofit nationwide with school tours and other programs.
KEITH SHAFFER - PRODUCER
Keith Shaffer is a Massachusetts native and Producer on “Habitual.” Having seen ‘Oxy Morons’ in 2012 and deciding to treat his opiate addiction as a result of the impact the movie made on his life. He met Hickey in 2014 and the two have remained colleagues on numerous other projects including ‘Habitual”. Shaffer gained experience as a PA and Field producer for the Travel Channel’s ‘Ghost Adventures” and “Paranormal Challenge”.
“I approached Johnny and told him about my passion for film, the impact that ‘Oxy Morons’ had on my life, and how it marked the turning point in fighting against my addiction. It was the catalyst in my life to pursue recovery, and I don’t know if I would still be here today without that film. ”
His expertise in production and paranormal culture made for a great fit on the ‘Habitual” crew, and was a key part of scouting and weathering the desolate and haunting locations “Habitual” used in the film.
WESTBOROUGH STATE HOSPITAL
Westborough State Hospital, originally "Westborough Insane Hospital", was a historic hospital in Westborough, Massachusetts, which sat on more than 600 acres. The hospital was established in 1884 on the grounds of the State Reform School for Boys. The existing buildings were renovated to accommodate the needs of a mental hospital and was opened on December 1, 1886. This was the first homeopathic hospital for the insane established in New England; but such hospitals existed in New York, Michigan, and perhaps other states.
The Hospital served as the perfect location to shoot 'Habitual', Director Johnny Hickey scouted location with Producer Keith Shaffer, who spent time working as a producer for MY Entertainment and the hit Travel Channel tv shows 'Ghost Adventures' and 'Paranormal Challenge'. The desolate, abandoned location combined with the frigid New England winter set the perfect stage to capture the madness of the script.
In April of 2018, the Hospital was torn down by the Town of Westborough.
Tewksbury Hospital is a National Register of Historic Places-listed site located on an 800+ acre campus in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The centerpiece of the hospital campus is the 1894 Richard Morris Building ("Old Administration Building").
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health currently operates a Joint Commission accredited, 350-bed facility at Tewksbury Hospital, providing both medical and psychiatric services to challenging adult patients with chronic conditions. The Public Health Museum in Massachusetts now occupies the Richard Morris Building. In addition to the hospital and museum, the Tewksbury Hospital campus also hosts eight residential substance abuse programs, serving up to 275 patients.
The film utilized the Murpee Building, a facility utilized by the Massachusetts State Police for training, and also the active hospital for certain scenes, a location that has been used by 'Manchester By The Sea' and 'Slenderman' amongst other major studio films.
"Habitual" Behind The Scenes