The Week in Horror – Spiral: The Book of Saw, The Sadness, The Talisman + More!

Is it just me, or is it getting warmer around here? It must be this hot horror news we’ve got for you this week! There’s some new images from the highly-anticipated new installment of the Saw series, Spiral: The Book of Saw, some huge upcoming film announcements, and skin-crawling red-band trailers for a couple of films that I’ve heard great things about; Devereux Wilburn’s Honeydew, and the one that’s ruining my YouTube recommendations because I’ve watched it probably a dozen times now – Taiwanese horror The Sadness. We’ve also got some scoops on a new adaptation of Stephen King’s The Talisman, and a brand new horror documentary from Clapboard Jungle‘s Justin McConnell.

Darren Lynn Bousman’s Spiral: The Book of Saw, starring Chris Rock, was supposed to debut last year but (like many films) was delayed by over a year. We have some brand new images from the film, showing Rock looking like he’s having a rough time, to say the least.  Spiral will now be released on May 21, 2021 which is a week ahead of Paramount’s A Quiet Place II, which is scheduled for May 28. 

Chris Rock in Spiral: The Book of Saw

Aquatic horror may be poised to have a moment, from last year’s excellent Sea Fever (out on Shudder) to Kristen Stewart’s Underwater. Bloody Disgusting reports that French Extremity pioneers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside, Livid, Leatherface) are working on a new water-centric horror called The Deep House. James Jagger and Camille Rowe star as a pair of YouTube stars who uncover a submerged house in a lake where some violent crimes have taken place. Bustillo and Maury are known for their ultraviolent films, and the addition of an underwater setting sounds very interesting. The film is scheduled for a release in France sometime this year.

James Jagger and Camille Rowe in The Deep House

Speaking of the ocean, Deadline reported that Alicia Silverstone is going back to the horror well after a small but indelible role in The Lodge last year. The new film is a shark attack movie called The Requin. Co-starring with James Tupper (Big Little Lies), The Requin will be about a woman who has to survive in shark-infested waters in Vietnam with her injured husband. The film should see release in June.

Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper in The Requin

I guess it’s a big week for shark news too, because Bloody Disgusting reported that NECA will be adding Bruce from JAWS (as well as his arch-nemesis Quint) to their “Toony Terrors” toy line. You can take a look at the iconic Great White in the image below, ahead of the toy’s release this summer.

NECA’s new Jaws figures

Devereux Wilburn’s Honeydew has been the subject of many discussions in the horror community since its world premiere at the Nightstream Film Festival last fall. The co-production of Bloody Disgusting and Dark Star Pictures earned Wilburn a Best Director nod from the UK Frightfest festival, and has been described as “hallucinatory and hellish.” The film will have a limited theatre release on March 12, 2021 as well as a digital HD release a month later on April 13. Here’s the red-band trailer for Honeydew, and I’d advise watching it on an empty stomach.

We’re big fans of Gigi Saul Guerrero around these parts, so it was great news to hear that her newest project, called Bingo, will be a part of Amazon’s Welcome To The Blumhouse anthology series. The long-tenured and respected Mexican actress Adriana Barraza (Babel) is attached to the project which Deadline reports Guerrero will be writing and directing. The story looks awesome, based on the synopsis from the same Deadline report:

“Set in the barrio of Oak Springs, Bingo follows a strong and stubborn group of elderly friends who refuse to be gentrified.  Barraza plays the leader of the pack, Lupita, a “chingona” (aka bad ass) who grew up in the neighborhood formerly filled with crime and dangerous characters. Lupita has dedicated her life to cleaning up the neighborhood and creating a community the residents could be proud to call home. Little does Lupita and her friends know, their beloved bingo hall (hence the title) is about to be sold to a much more powerful force than money itself.”

One of my quarantine guilty pleasures has been rewatching Happy Endings, a 3-season ensemble comedy series from 2013 that I still love and which currently resides on Amazon. One of the stars of that series, Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert stars in an Irish/Belgian co-production called The Cellar which Bloody Disgusting reports has just finished principal photography.

Elisha Cuthbert in The Cellar

The Cellar was filmed on location in Ireland and “tells the story of Keira Woods (Cuthbert), whose daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house in the country. Keira soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever.”

I haven’t been up on The Walking Dead for a few seasons now, but for those that have been following the exploits of Rick (is he even still on the show?), Daryl, and the gang, we got a brief but effective teaser for the show’s final season, which will begin this summer.

Some of the biggest horror news from this week, and which will likely be of particular interest to BBP head honcho and Stephen King superfan, Andy Burns, is that King’s The Talisman, a 1984 fantasy novel co-written by Peter Straub, will be adapted into a TV series by Steven Spielberg (ET) and The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things). The Hollywood Reporter, um, reports that Curtis Gwinn, who worked with the Duffers on Stranger Things, will write and act as showrunner for the series, which Spielberg has been trying to adapt into a movie for over 30 years.

The Talisman is the story of 12-year-old Jack Sawyer, who embarks on a quest through both our world and a parallel one called The Territories in order to retrieve a mystical Talisman in order to save his dying mother.

Our friends at Raven Banner have been making some big moves lately, picking up the Canadian rights to Amelia Moses (Bleed With Me)’s werewolf horror Bloodthirsty after it’s premiere at the virtual Fantastic Fest, according to a report by Screen Daily. Lauren Beatty stars in the film about a songwriter who self-isolates to work on her album, but is slowly transforming into a feral beast. Bloodthirsty will have a limited theatre and VOD release on April 23.

As I mentioned, I’ve been obsessed with the red-band trailer for the Taiwanese horror film, The Sadness this week, and I was delighted to hear Screen Daily report that Raven Banner has picked up the rights to what should be one of the most disturbing films of the year as well. The film is about a young couple trying to survive a viral outbreak that forces people to succumb to their worst and most violent impulses (sound familiar?) We don’t have a release date for this one, but based on this trailer I am downright thirsty for a look at The Sadness.

Following the critical success of his surprise hit Clapboard Jungle, Justin McConnell’s got Canadian horror on the brain for his next documentary, which is a feature film adaptation of Caelum Vatnsdal’s 2004 book They Came from Within: A History of Canadian Horror Cinema. In comments to Rue Morgue, Justin referenced a couple of my favourite horror documentaries in saying that “other countries have had their genre cinema showcased in an entertaining way with films like [Mark Hartley’s] Not Quite Hollywood and Machete Maidens Unleashed, and Canada is long overdue for this kind of treatment.” When Canada boasts stone-cold classics like Ginger Snaps, Cube, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas, and so many more, I totally agree that it’s time to turn the spotlight north, and if Clapboard Jungle is any indication, Justin’s just the right director for the job.

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