The Week In Horror: ‘The Night House’, Horror at The Canadian Screen Awards, ‘The Forever Purge’, + more!

Howdy friends! This post is a bit late on account of my being chased by some kind of…anthropomorphized bunny all weekend? In any case, I hope you all had a great Easter, if that’s a thing you celebrate! This week’s news has a bit of a Canadian focus, with some big news about Canadian horror receiving accolades at the Canadian Screen Awards, a massive new production taking place in Calgary, and the trailer for the Canadian-made-and-set The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve also got scoops on the new entry in the Collector series of films, a great new trailer for David Bruckner’s new one, and much more! Let’s hop to it!

With last week’s release of Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong, kaiju have been the talk of the movie world. Well we just learned that Scream Factory will be releasing a new edition of 1976’s King Kong, which will include a couple of new transfers of the film. According to Scream Factory, “[t]he sweeping ’70s remake of the classic tale comes home in a 2-disc definitive collector’s edition set including both the theatrical cut with a new restored theatrical stereo track and an extended TV broadcast cut with a new 2k scan of the additional TV footage from the internegative. The release also comes packed with bonus features including new audio commentary with film historian Ray Morton (author of KING KONG – THE HISTORY OF A MOVIE ICON) and several new interviews with cast and crew.”

The new collector’s edition will be available from Scream Factory on May 11, and you can pre-order it here.

David Bruckner (The Ritual) has a new tale of terror set to release on July 19 from Disney Searchlight. The Night House stars Rebecca Hall as a widow who is exploring her deceased husband’s belongings and finds herself uncovering his secrets throughout her home. You can check out the chilling trailer here, and it’s one of the scariest things I saw all week:

A new Paranormal Activity film is in the works, the first since 2015’s The Ghost Dimension, with Will Eubank (Underwater) directing. reported this week that the new film, which will debut on Paramount+ and is co-produced by Blumhouse and Paranormal Activity creator Oren Peli, has secured it’s lead cast. Among those to be terrorized via grainy video will be Emily Bader (Charmed), Roland Buck III (Chicago Med, Better Call Saul), Dan Lippert (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Henry Ayres-Brown (Monsterland). Plot and release details are scant at the moment but watch this space for any further details!

I gushed over the gorgeous trailer for Philip Gelatt and Morgan Galen King’s The Spine of Night last month and I was downright tickled when Deadline reported that the animated film has been picked up for US distribution by RLJE Films and Shudder. The film will have theatre releases in late 2021 and 2022, with Shudder snagging streaming rights next year in Australia, the UK, and New Zealand. I can’t wait to see this movie, and the folks that managed to catch it at SXSW have been raving about it.

The Collector

In sad news for fans of The Collector/The Collection films, the upcoming third entry in the series called The Collected has unfortunately halted production, with no restart in sight. Creators Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton joined the Thing With Two Heads podcast and claim that the film’s producers have gone radio silent after only eight days of shooting in Vancouver. The Collected commenced production in September of 2019 in Atlanta, but was halted.

Dunston said that “[they] shot for eight days, and then it was shut down…I invested in this thing, I’d like to know what’s happening. We stopped hearing from anybody with the production. I know most of the props I brought there have been stolen. I would think that anybody else who invested in this movie that thinks that it’s happening, wouldn’t they like to know what’s happening? .. All calls and emails have gone unanswered .. When you can’t get anyone on the phone and you don’t hear anything, at this point, I’m really p*ssed off.” Melton claims that “[they] actually stopped shooting in 2019…That was two years ago, and we only shot eight days, so [there’s only been] very, very little shot. Anything that’s been released has been from that time period, and there’s no plans to start shooting it. We haven’t talked to anyone who was in the production… we’d love to finish it, but, I don’t know. We’re not the producers, so we don’t know.”

You know who’s great? Issa Lopez, that’s who! The director of 2018’s transcendent Tigers Are Not Afraid got us good on April Fools by releasing a trailer for El Chupacabras, a collaboration with Blumhouse which is sadly not real. Dammit, I would’ve been there on day one for this thing:

The world of The Purge has never felt more real than the past few years, but a new – reportedly final – installment in the franchise that keeps topping itself is set to hit theatres on July 9th, and word is that it’s earned a not-wholly-surprising R-rating for “strong/bloody violence and language throughout.” I guess that dashes my hopes of throwing this on after the 99th viewing of Raya and the Last Dragon at our house. The Forever Purge will be directed by Everardo Gout (Mars), who has said that the film is “an amazing story of Latinos and Americans coming together to overcome despair and evil…It’s dystopian, but he’s trying to get us to look in the mirror. It makes you think, ‘Sh-t, if I get pushed into a corner, would I do the same?’ Once you open that door, how do you close it again?”

The newest trailer for the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale has some serious horror vibes going on ahead of it’s release on April 28. This season will continue June (Elisabeth Moss)’s attempts to liberate the Handmaids from Gilead, with potentially deadly consequences involved.

Neil Blomkamp (District 9) has a new film called Demonic which is ready to release this summer. The film will be about a young woman who unwittingly unleashes terrifying demons into the world, and is set for a theatrical release on August 20, 2021 from IFC Midnight. Demonic stars Carly Pope (Elysium), Chris William Martin (The Age of Adaline, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, The Vampire Diaries), and Michael Rogers ( Siren, The BlacklistSupernatural).

The Canadian Screen Awards are coming on May 17-21, 2021 and it filled my heart with joy to see some great Canadian horror selections among the nominees. Jeff Barnaby’s excellent zombie thriller Blood Quantum put a very different spin on the walking dead by setting the story on a Mi’gmaq reservation and is nominated in a number of categories including Best Editing and Best Lead Actor. Madeline Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli’s Violation (which we reviewed here), Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor, and Amelia Moses’ Bloodthirsty will also receive recognition at the awards. Here’s a list of the categories where these films will compete:

  • Blood Quantum (dir. Jeff Barnaby)
    • Achievement in Make-Up
    • Art Direction
    • Costume Design
    • Stunt Coordination
    • Original Screenplay
    • Cinematography
    • Best Casting
    • Best Editing
    • Best Visual Effects
    • Best Lead Actor (Michael Greyeyes)
  • Possessor (dir. Brandon Cronenberg)
    • Achievement in Make-Up
    • Best Casting
    • Best Director
  • Violation (dir. Madeline Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli)
    • Best Actor (Jesse Lavercombe)
    • Best Actress (Madeline Sims-Fewer)
    • Achievement in Sound Mixing
    • Achievement in Sound Editing
    • 2021 John Dunning Best First Feature Film Award
  • Bloodthirsty (dir. Amelia Moses)
    • Achievement in Music – Original Score
    • Achievement in Music – Original Song

The awards have kind of a confusing schedule across a number of dates and platforms so I’ll let the Academy explain how to catch them at this link.

Speaking of Canadian horror, the CBC reported this week that the upcoming adaptation of the hit PlayStation game The Last of Us, which is filming in Calgary, will be “the largest ever…film or television production in Canadian history”, if beleaguered Premier Jason Kenney is to be believed. The shoot will begin in July of this year and is set to wrap in June of 2022. The first season of The Last of Us will be an “enhanced” version of the events of the first game, and will star Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey from Game of Thrones. The series will be directed by Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin.

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