The Week In Horror: ‘Texas Chainsaw’, ‘Let The Right One In’, ‘False Positive’, ‘Jakob’s Wife’ + More!

If you hear the unmistakable whirr of a chainsaw in the background of this post, it’s not just your imagination. I’ve got a whack of new and potentially optimistic news about Fede Alvarez’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel and, yes, I know you’ve been burned before by this franchise and I have too, but this new take sounds like one of the first interesting ideas to come out of it in many years. I’ve also got big scoops about one of my favourite horrors getting a series order at Showtime, new projects by Natalie Erika James of Relic fame, and a whole lot more! So get your chili cooking, and let’s get after it.

People who know me will be keenly aware that I’m a massive Broad City and Ilana Glazer fan, so I was thrilled to hear that she was dipping her toes into the horror waters with a pregnancy-themed spook-a-doodle called False Positive for Hulu. The film stars Glazer, Pierce Brosnan, Gretchen Mol, and Justin Theroux. Glazer co-wrote the film with Wonder Showzen writer John Lee. A24 describes False Positive with the following:

“After months of trying and failing to get pregnant, Lucy (Ilana Glazer) and Adrian (Justin Theroux) finally find their dream fertility doctor in the illustrious Dr. Hindle (Pierce Brosnan). But after becoming pregnant with a healthy baby girl, Lucy begins to notice something sinister through Hindle’s gleaming charm, and she sets out to uncover the unsettling truth about him, and her own “birth story.” As if getting pregnant weren’t complicated enough…”

False Positive will debut exclusively on Hulu on June 25th

Lena Leandersson as Eli in Let The Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Let The Right One In is one of my favourite horror stories and was adapted into two films; Tomas Alfredson’s Let The Right One In (2008) and Matt Reeves’ Let Me In (2010). But even across two very different movies that highlighted different themes and characters, the full story in Lindqvist’s novel, which contains rich and developed backstories for almost every character, has never been told. That’s the impetus for a series adaptation of the novel which Variety says is underway at Showtime with Damian Bechir (Godzilla vs Kong) at the helm. A series seems like the perfect vehicle to (presumably) have the time and space to delve into the world beyond Oscar and Eli’s story.

If you left the fantastic Saint Maud with an appetite for more religion-themed horror, your boi Sam Raimi has your back with his next project, The Unholy. Written and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos and produced by Raimi, “The Unholy follows Alice, a young hearing-impaired girl who, after a supposed visitation from the Virgin Mary, is inexplicably able to hear, speak and heal the sick. As word spreads and people from near and far flock to witness her miracles, a disgraced journalist (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) hoping to revive his career visits the small New England town to investigate. When terrifying events begin to happen all around, he starts to question if these phenomena are the works of the Virgin Mary or something much more sinister.” The film will release on April 2, and we’ve got it’s fantastic poster right here:

The Hollywood Reporter said, this week, that John Krasinski’s Sunday Night Productions will be producing a new film from Natalie Erika James (Relic) called Apartment 7A. Plot details are under wraps, other than the new film will be a psychological thriller, but I thought James’ Relic was one of the best horror surprises of last year, so I can’t wait to see what she does with this major studio backing. James is co-writing the script and Michael Bay will also be producing for Platinum Dunes.

Barbara Crampton shows that she hasn’t missed a step with a new film that’s getting a lot of great reviews from SXSW called Jakob’s Wife. Crampton plays Anne, the wife of a Southern pastor (guess what his name is), played by the always-amazing Larry Fessenden. She experiences an awakening, of sorts, after a traumatic event and she discovers a new appetite for life, after years of repression. Crampton described Jakob’s Wife to Entertainment Weekly as “like if Marriage Story was a horror movie.” The film is directed by Travis Stevens, who reunites with Phil “CM Punk” Brooks (who starred in Stevens’ Girl on the Third Floor) on this project. The film is scheduled for a theatrical release on April 16, but it’s a Shudder joint so expect it to show up on that service as well.

I don’t exactly know what EPIX is, but Dread Central says they’re working on a 10-episode series based on Stephen King’s Jerusalem’s Lot short story, which will be called Chapelwaite and takes place in the setting of Preacher’s Corners in the 1850’s. Adrien Brody and Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire will lead the series, which will tell the story of Rebecca Morgan (Hampshire) who is a gothic horror writer. She applies as a governess to the family of Captain Charles Boone (Brody), who has returned to the town and taken residence in the spooky Chapelwaite manor. We’ve got the first poster here:

Some of the buzziest chatter in my horror circles has been the SXSW debut of the Duplass Brothers’ (Creep) new three-part docuseries Sasquatch. It’s about a group of pot farmers who are terrorized by Bigfoot, and it’s been getting really solid reviews out of SXSW. The series will release on Hulu on, naturally, April 20 (4/20 if ya nasty). Check out the trailer!

I was overjoyed when I heard that Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead, The Girl in the Spider’s Web) was tackling the often hard-done-by Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise by not rebooting the thing, for once, but taking a page from David Gordon Greene’s playbook on Halloween by doing a true sequel to the original film, as Alvarez confirmed to Bloody Disgusting this week. Texas Chainsaw (which has a snazzy new website) has Alvarez on as producer and is directed by David Blue Garcia (Tejano) and written by Chris Thomas Devlin. The story will take place many years after the original, with an aged “old man” Leatherface taking up the saw again. Alvarez also let slip that Texas Chainsaw will be true to the original, visually speaking, featuring all practical effects and “vintage lenses” to capture the original’s grimy, realistic look.

Casting-wise, Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade) will star, along with Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2U), Mark Burnham (Wrong Cops), Moe Dunford (The Dig), Olwen Fouéré (Mandy), Alice Krige (Star Trek), Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner), Nell Hudson (Victoria), Jessica Allain (The Laundromat), Sam Douglas (Snatch), William Hope (Dark Shadows), and Jolyon Coy (War & Peace). We also got confirmation that Fouéré will be playing Sally Hardesty, the sole survivor and iconic ‘final girl’ from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The original actor, Marilyn Burns passed away in 2014 but I’m excited to see the character back in action here. Texas Chainsaw wrapped filming last year and should be ready for release sometime later in 2021.

I watched Johannes Nyholm’s Koko-Di-Koko-Da on Shudder this weekend, and I can confirm that it’s as unusual as it’s title suggests. It’s the story of a grieving couple who go camping and are subjected to a seemingly-endless Groundhog Day-esque carousel of psychological torture by a troupe of travelling carnival folk. The pair are forced to live the same few hours again and again as this surreal group of singing, jovial torturers fuck with them in all sorts of ways. Koko-Di-Koko-Da is impossible to classify – sometimes a pitch-black comedy, other times a dead-serious drama about mourning and grief – but I enjoyed every moment right up to one gut-buster of an ending, and think it’s definitely worth checking out, perhaps as a double feature with Ari Aster’s Hereditary or Brea Grant’s Lucky.

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