This week, horror news seemed to be centered around some of my favourite auteurs. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless), Julia Ducourneau (Raw), Walter Hill (Streets of Fire), Brandon Cronenberg (Possessor), and Luca Guadagnino (Suspiria) all get some love here. But I’ve also got peeks at a few exciting new voices in the spook-a-doodle world, and some werewolf-based projects that should keep you howling at the moon.
Julia Ducourneau’s Raw was one of the most unsettling and impactful feature debuts I’ve ever seen, and the director is back with Titane. The body horror first glimpsed in Raw continues in the mysterious new film, which is one of four woman-led films to be competing for the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year. Take a look at the debut trailer for this much-anticipated project, which is hands-down the coolest and most unsettling trailer I saw this week (sorry Michael). You might not want to watch this one at work, or anywhere around kids.
Variety reported this week that after two films and a season of TV, horror fans will be able to go back to the outback with Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek 3. The newest installment of the ultra-brutal franchise will see John Jarratt return as the grizzled serial killer Mick Taylor. Wolf Creek 3 will centre around “an American family [who] takes a dream trip to the Australian outback and soon draws the attention of notorious serial killer Mick Taylor. A hellish nightmare ensues as the couple’s two children escape only to be hunted by Australia’s most infamous killer.”
Night Raiders is a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller from Saskatchewan’s Danis Goulet, a Cree/Metis filmmaker making her feature debut as a director. The film boasts Taika Waititi as executive producer and will be premiering at both the Berlindale and Toronto International Film Festivals. Night Raiders “is set in the year 2043, in a dystopian future where a military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are considered property of the regime which trains them to fight. A desperate Cree woman joins an underground band of vigilantes to infiltrate a State children’s academy and get her daughter back.” You can bet I’ll be first in line for this one. Take a look at some early footage from Night Raiders.
The buried lede in an article from The Hollywood Reporter about independent genre film producer XYZ Films forming a new distribution arm in the United States confirmed a brand new project from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the writing/directing team behind Resolution, Spring, The Endless, and the upcoming Moon Knight for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their new film is called Something in the Dirt and while plot details aren’t available yet, Benson and Moorhead have, for my money, not produced a bad film yet. I can’t wait to see what they have for us next.
I’ve got to admit, I was not a fan of Walter Hill’s (The Warriors, Streets of Fire) last film, 2016’s The Assignment (which was called Re-Assignment when I saw it). But Deadline reported this week that the Aliens scribe is back with a new project that looks like it could be pretty great. Hill’s new project is called Dead For A Dollar and is a western-thriller starring Willem Dafoe (who seems to be in everything these days) and Christoph Waltz. According to Deadline’s article, the film takes place in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1897 and “[t]he story will follow Max Borlund (Waltz), a famed bounty hunter, hired to find and return Rachel Price, the politically progressive wife of Nathan Price, a successful Santa Fe businessman. Max is told she has been kidnapped by an African American army deserter, Elijah Jones, and is being held for ransom in Mexico. When Max goes south of the border he soon runs across his sworn enemy, expatriate American Joe Cribbens (Dafoe), a professional gambler, sometime outlaw, who Max had tracked down and sent to prison years before.”
Aroo! NECA’s got a new figure in their lineup of Universal Monsters and, according to Bloody Disgusting’s report this week, the Wolf Man (as portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr. in 1941’s The Wolf Man) is getting the honour. The figure is amazingly detailed as we’ve come to expect from NECA, and will allow you to transform Mr. Chaney from man, to wolf, to even snarlier wolf as you see fit. The figure is set to release in November, which is just in time to grab one as a holiday gift for the particularly hairy pal in your life.
Speaking of werewolves, (aroo!) Mark Andrew Hamer’s The Hunting has a haunting new trailer this week. The film stars Peyton Hillis, Joelle Westwood, Joaquin Guerrero, Keith Migra, Angela Cole, Alan Tuskes, Heidi Azaro, Billy Grimm, Daniel Repas, and Matt Tifft and looks like it features some excellent practical effects. In The Hunting, “a mysterious animal attack leaves a mutilated body in the forest, [and] a conservative small town detective must enlist the help of an eager wildlife specialist to uncover the dark and disturbing truth that threatens the town.”
I reported last week that Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire classic Near Dark was unavailable anywhere to stream, but that’s all about to change as Shudder has, once again, swooped in for the rescue for horror fans. Near Dark will now be coming to the streaming service on July 1, along with a grip of great new horror including The Son, The Boy Behind The Door, and much more. Check out the full list of new releases on CBR.com.
I know, I know, I said that Titane was my favourite trailer this week. But maybe I can have two favourites? Shahad Ameen’s Scales also got a new trailer and it is freakin’ gorgeous. Ameen’s film was Saudi Arabia’s submission for Best International Feature at this year’s Oscars, and while it may draw comparisons to fellow mermaid horror The Lure or fellow black-and-white horror The Lighthouse, the trailer makes it clear that it’s something altogether unique and special. I don’t even want to say anything else about it, just let this one wash over you.
Infinity Pool is the new feature from Brandon Cronenberg, of the new horror classics Antiviral and Possessor fame. Deadline reported that Alexander Skarsgard has signed on for the film, which “follows James and Em, who are young, rich, in love, and on vacation. Their all-inclusive resort boasts island tours and gleaming beaches. But outside of the hotel gates waits something much more dangerous and seductive, beyond the edge of paradise.” Sounds intriguing, and if Cronenberg’s prior two films are any indication, should be incredibly unsettling. Filming will begin on Infinity Pool in September, so look for more details next year.
According to Deadline, Luca Guadagnino’s new feature, Bones and All, is about “star-crossed young lovers surviving on the margins of society, who meet and join together for a thousand-mile odyssey that takes them through the back roads, hidden passages and trap doors of Ronald Reagan’s America.” Sounds like a romance, right? And with the Call Me By Your Name guy at the helm and reuniting with his star from that film, Timothee Chalamet, it sure sounds like this could be a saccharine-sweet love story. The twist is that the film is an adaptation of Camille DeAgnelis’s novel of the same name, which is about a pair of teen cannibals. Bones and All reunites Guadagnino with prior collaborators Jessica Harper (Suspiria), Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name), and Chloë Sevigny (We Are Who We Are).