The Week In Horror: ‘Brand New Cherry Flavor’, David Gordon Green’s ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Mad God’, + more!

It’s a holiday here in Canada, but you know what they say: Horror never takes a holiday! Just kidding, no one says that. But this week I’ve got news about a new 90’s-tinged horror anthology series, a kick-ass stop-motion horror that’s three decades in the making, a new take on The Exorcist from Halloween Kills’ David Gordon Green, and a whole lot more!

The 90s are back, baby! Well, at least on Netflix they are. Nick Anotsca and Lenore Zion, creators of the anthology series Channel Zero, are back with Brand New Cherry Flavor for Netflix. The new series stars Rosa Salazar (Alita: Battle Angel) and will debut on the streaming giant on – when else – Friday August 13. 
In Brand New Cherry Flavor, “Lisa N. Nova (Salazar) comes to LA dead set on directing her first movie. But when she trusts the wrong person and gets stabbed in the back, everything goes sideways and a dream project turns into a nightmare. This particular nightmare has zombies, hit men, supernatural kittens, and a mysterious tattoo artist who likes to put curses on people. And Lisa’s going to have to figure out some secrets from her own past in order to get out alive.”

Are you as surprised as I am that there’s never really been a Predator origin story? Well fear not (or maybe, fear a lot?) because, according to Collider, Skull, a story about the first Predators on earth, is close to wrapping filming. Skull is directed by Dan Trachtenberg, and producer John Davis says that “it goes back to what made the original Predator movie work. It’s the ingenuity of a human being who won’t give up, who’s able to observe and interpret, basically being able to beat a stronger, more powerful, well-armed force.”

He elaborates that “[i]t actually has more akin to The Revenant than it does any film in the Predator canon.”

I don’t know about you folks, but stop-motion animation has always creeped me out a bit. Maybe it’s the slightly-unnatural motions of the characters, or the slightly-off-centre realism of them, but films like David Lynch’s The Grandmother and Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León’s The Wolf House have a way of getting to me like few other horrors can. It was through gritted teeth that I watched the stunning new trailer for special effects legend Phil Tippett’s Mad God.

Tippett started work on this project way back in 1990, right after completing work on Robocop 2. He had to back-burner Mad God, however, to work on a tiny film you may have heard of called Jurassic Park. Now, more than thirty years and a Kickstarter campaign later, Mad God is ready to be unleashed on the world. Take a look at the unsettling, brilliant trailer, over three decades in the making!

Hot on the heels of his medieval witch horror The Reckoning (now playing on Shudder), Neil Marshall is back with a new creature feature called The Lair. The director spilled the beans on Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew Podcast , saying that “The Reckoning was certainly a return to horror, but I showed a degree of restraint. With the exception of one wagon wheel scene. So I wanted to come back and do a creature feature, I wanted to do some monsters, and just kind of combine elements from Dog Soldiers and Aliens and Predator and things like that. So [The Lair is] a full-on monster movie with action and explosions and blood and guts and everything.”

The Lair stars Charlotte Kirk, Jamie Bamber, and Jonathan Howard.

David Gordon Green is likely to have another huge hit or two on his hands with the upcoming Halloween Kills, which is set to drop on October 15, and his trilogy finale, Halloween Ends in 2022, which is set to wrap up the Laurie Strode storyline of the series. Not content to reboot that franchise, Green has turned his eye toward The Exorcist, which The New York Times reported will be getting the David Gordon Green treatment as well.

In a deal reportedly worth 400 million dollars, Green will be directing a new trilogy of Exorcist films for Universal and it’s streaming service Peacock. Details are obviously pretty scant in these early days, but the Times reports that Ellen Burstyn will be returning as Chris MacNeil, and will co-star with Leslie Odom Jr (Hamilton), and that the first film should be ready for release around 2023. Unlike with Halloween (2018), this series will not be a direct sequel to the first Exorcist film, but rather incorporate story elements from all the Exorcist sequels.

“I like all the ‘Exorcist’ movies,” Gordon said in an interview with Total Film. “And not only do I like them, I think they can all fall into the acceptable mythology for what I’m doing. It’s not like I’m saying, ‘Pretend that “The Exorcist 2” never happened.’ That’s fine to exist. They’re all fine to exist, and I enjoy all of them.”

I’ve written about the new A24 thriller Lamb in this space before, but with the release of a new trailer this week and reviews trickling in from Cannes that suggest it’s one of the most bizarre and twistiest films of the year, my interest was piqued for Valdimar Jóhannsson’s writing/directing debut once again. Playing on the vibes of fellow A24 projects Robert Eggers’ The Witch and Ari Aster’s Hereditary, Lamb‘s trailer shows atmosphere and moody scares for days.

Take a look at the stirring and confounding trailer for Lamb, starring Noomi Rapace and coming to theatres on October 8!

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