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Chest (film)

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Chest (film)
Directed byAaron Irons
Produced byAaron Irons & Josh Croft
Written byAaron Irons
Music byiron/fox
CinematographySteve Cross
Edited byAaron Irons
  • AI Multimedia
  • IFKY Films
  • Jcroductions
Release date
  • May 7, 2022 (2022-05-07) (Unnamed Footage Festival)
Running time

Search Chest (film) on Amazon.

CHEST is a 2022 USA found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Aaron Irons. It stars Jasson Cring, Sarah Van Arsdal, Dean Shortland, Ted Welch and Marissa Kaye as the crew of a reality television program called Dark Appalachia who go into the Appalachian Mountains investigating a mysterious box, or chest, rumored to be lost in a cave after its discovery by two hunters nearly 40 years ago.

CHEST premiered on May 7, 2022, at the Unnamed Footage Festival 5: Virtual. An official release via Amazon Prime Video is in the works, as well as other streaming services.


While filming a documentary series about Appalachian folklore and mythology, a crew of amateur filmmakers uncover the legend of a mysterious box hidden away deep in a wilderness area known as "Jeffrey's Hell" in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee. As the mystery unfolds they soon discover that some secrets are best locked away and forgotten. Based on actual events.[1]

Inspired by Real Events[edit]

The legends and stories told in CHEST are based on real stories that writer/director Aaron Irons heard growing up in Monroe County, Tennessee including the titular story of the mysterious chest that was discovered by hunters while deer hunting after a prolonged drought in the area.[2][3] They discovered the entrance to a cave that would have normally been covered with water and upon exploring it they found a large box that was said to be wrapped in old chains and multiple locks. Upon returning later with tools to open the box, the hunters were not able to find the cave again and the box remains a mystery to this day. Many locals have theorized about what could be inside and one legend states that something evil was locked inside and was never meant to be let out or found.

The film also mentions the story of Ebenezer Jefferey, who went missing nearly 200 years ago in a wilderness area in the Cherokee National Forest, now referred to as "Jefferey's Hell". There are multiple stories about his disappearance one where he got lost in the dense forest and another of him disappearing in a cave. Both stories involve his prized hunting dogs running off and him stating his final words: "I will find my dogs or end up in Hell".[4][5]

Other stories mentioned in the film that are based on allegedly true events:

  • the ghost cabin of Cades Cove
  • the panther of Povo Road
  • the Tellico Ironworks gold vault



The film was written and directed by Aaron Irons. The first script was written during the early summer of 2018, and put into pre-production in September of the same year. Aaron became a signatory with the Screen Actors Guild and established the core cast in early October 2018, with actor Josh Croft coming on as producer of the film as well as playing the character Jeff Granger. The film was self-funded by Aaron and Josh in a strategic attempt to retain control of the film through it's lifecycle.[6]


The film began its first production shoot with a one-off shoot in October 2018 in Ashland City, Tennessee, followed by a one-off shoot in December 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. The primary production ran from April 14-20, 2019 in various locations in Monroe County, Tennessee. Following the pandemic in 2020, the filming remained on hold for all of 2020, completing production in November 2021 with one final shoot in Nashville.

Filming Locations[edit]


  • Jasson Cring as Mark Rogers
  • Sarah VanArsdal as Isabella Frerichs
  • Marissa Kaye as Stephanie Dobson
  • Ted Welch as Yancy Underwood
  • Dean Shortland as David Morgan
  • Josh Croft as Jeff Granger
  • Jessejames Locorriere as Russell West
  • Tamiko Robinson Steele as Agent Kara Mills
  • Steve Wedan as Detective Harold Gardner
  • Henry Haggard as Atlas Mckersie
  • Jackson Pyle as Stan Belcher
  • JK Gregg as Laurie Granger


The film had it's first official release in May 2022 at the Unnamed Footage Festival[7] in San Fransisco, CA. The film's hometown premiere was at the Defy Film Festival in Nashville[8], TN on August 20, 2022 to a sold out crowd, the first in the festival's 7 year history. The film is currently being distributed through [Film Hub] with a release through Amazon Prime Video in the works.


  1. "CHEST(2022)". Found Footage Critic. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  2. "Interview with CHEST Director, Aaron Irons". Focus. 4th Dimension Film Festival. 4 April 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  3. "Interview with director Aaron Irons". Scénema. Beyond the Curve Film Festival. 11 April 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  4. Quillen, John (22 April 2021). "Lost in Jefferey's Hell". Blue Ridge Outdoors. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  5. "Jeffrey's Hell". The Heartland Series. WBIR-TV. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  6. "Episode 295 - Live From DEFY Film Festival @ The Premier of 'Chest' - Aaron Irons, Director/Writer And Josh Croft, Producer/Actor On The Challenges Of Making Found Footage Film 'Chest'". MAKE-IT Podcast. Bonsai Creative. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  7. "Sinister Cinema: Chest (2022 Found Footage) Review". YouTube. POV Horror. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  8. Nolan, Joe. "Defy Film Festival to Spotlight Homegrown Horror, Shorts and Weird Cinema". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 28 October 2022.

External links[edit]

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