To commemorate Easter (everyone’s favourite zombie story), I’ve got a packed edition of The Week in Horror, with some appropriately gruesome and disturbing content from The Sadness, Trip, and the wild practical effects of a Thai film called The Lake. Hop on down the bunny trail and join me, won’t you?
Rolin Jones’ Interview With The Vampire series for AMC is coming this fall, and has a brand new teaser trailer for the fangin’ and bangin’ fans of Anne Rice. The series stars Sam Reid as Lestat de Lioncourt, Jacob Anderson as Louis, Eric Bogosian as Daniel Molloy, and Bailey Bass as Claudia.
You can expect to see a whole lot more Anne Rice on AMC as the network has acquired the rights to The Vampire Chronicles series: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch The Devil, The Vampire Armand, Pandora, Vittorio the Vampire, Blood and Gold, Prince Lestat, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, and Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat; The Lives of The Mayfair Witches series: The Witching Hour, Lasher, Taltos; and The Vampire Chronicles/The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches crossover novels: Merrick, Blackwood Farm and Blood Canticle. Take a look at the teaser here!
Celebrating it’s nine-year anniversary last week, Fede Alvarez’s beloved Evil Dead remake from 2013 still has chops today. The director hit Twitter to reveal some juicy details about an alternate ending to the film. In the original, Mia (Jane Levy) seems to escape relatively unscathed, but this draft has, uh, different plans for her. I love the original ending and Jane Levy’s portrayal of Mia, but damn I’d love to get a glimpse of this (unfortuately un-filmed) scene.
In exciting news this week, Deadline reported that Shudder has picked up the rights to Rob Jabbaz’s extreme plague horror film, The Sadness after a festival run that had tons of people leaving screenings in pure shock. It’s certainly one of the most violent and nihilistic horrors I’ve seen in some time, and while it’s hard to recommend due to content that will definitely not sit well with everyone, it’s certainly can’t miss for fans of truly disturbing content. Shudder will release the film on May 12, with some limited theatrical screenings ahead of that.
“The Sadness follows a young couple, played by Regina Lei (76 Horror Bookstore) and Berant Zhu (We Are Champions, How to Train Your Dragon), trying to reunite amid a city ravaged by a plague that turns its victims into deranged, bloodthirsty sadists. Tzu Chiang Wang (It’s Drizzling) and In Ru Chen also star. “
Prolific Halloween store Spirit Halloween is getting a film adaptation this fall, from director David Poag. Spirit Halloween is a family-friendly kids adventure movie starring Christopher Lloyd and Rachel Leigh Cook, and will release on October 22.
“When a new Spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they’ve outgrown trick-or-treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store Halloween night. But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters. The kids embark on a thrilling and spooky adventure in order to survive the night and avoid becoming possessed themselves.”
Spirit Halloween also stars Donavan Colan (Zoe), Dylan Frankel (Raven’s Home), Jaiden Smith (Blue Bloods) and Marissa Reyes (Raven’s Home).
Big-budget Thai/Chinese co-production The Lake might not be on your radar yet, but it should be. Featuring incredible practical, life-sized animatronics from prolific monster designer Jordu Schell (Cloverfield, The Thing, Starship Troopers, The Mist, Feast, Avatar, Men in Black, Planet of the Apes, The Cabin in the Woods, Predators), the film is sure to shock audiences when it releases on August 18.
No English in this trailer (or subtitles), but I don’t think words would do justice to the horror on display here, and I can’t wait to see what Schell and the crew behind The Lake have in store.
Hallucinogenic horror from director Neil McCay, Trip, sounds like an exceedingly bad time. It teases a parent’s worst nightmare and the trailer is certainly hard to watch.
In Trip, “Following her daughter’s suicide, a grief-stricken mother is visited by an unconventional therapist who offers a hallucinogenic drug that will allow communion with the dead. Desperate to understand her daughter’s psyche she accepts the offer, and soon finds herself terrorized by her daughter’s identical experiences.”
The film stars Akasha Villalobos (Last Girl Standing), Major Dodge (Cobra Kai), Peggy Schott (Fear the Walking Dead), Jill Young, and Björgvin Arnarson (Chucky). Take a look at the trailer here, ahead of Trip‘s release on digital on May 20.
Cannes announced their lineups for the 2022 edition of the prestigious festival, with lots of horror news stemming from that. In addition to official selections like David Cronenberg’s Crimes of The Future (if you slept on the trailer this week, correct that), Squid Game star Lee Jung-Jae’s Hunt, Fumer Fait Tousser by Quentin Dupieux and Moonage Daydream by Scott Morgen, in the Frontieres Marketplace, the following projects will be on display:
“A Guide to Living for the Dead” (Turkey)
Turkish filmmaker Baris Fert (“Farah”) brings an action thriller filled with femme fatale violence and dark comedy. Produced by Ipek Erden and Emre Pekçakır, “A Guide to Living for the Dead” plays a violent crew against itself in a campy parable of betrayal, neck snapping and murder.
“Cult Hero” (Canada)
This action horror flick directed by Jesse T. Cook (“Monster Brawl,” “The Hoard”) follows the hilariously over-the-top Dale Domezar as he infiltrates and destroys cults from the inside. Co-produced by Cook, Liv Collins and Craig Shouldice, “Cult Hero” plays with cult cliches and serves laughs for the price of deprogramming.
“Falling Stars” (U.S.)
Writer-director Richard Karpala (“Iris,” “Deadbox”) returns alongside Gabriel Bienczycki with dramatic horror thriller “Falling Stars,” a dark exploration of witchcraft. The film follows a group of American men who venture into the desert to dig up the corpse of a witch and pay a price for their desecration.
“In Flames” (Pakistan, Canada)
Directed by Zarrar Kahn and produced by Anam Abbas and Shant Joshi, “In Flames” follows a young woman who is haunted by the ghost of her partner. Her journey to learn the truth about his passing brings culture-clash to the psychological horror genre in this Pakistani-Canadian co-production.
“Junction Row” (Canada)
Canadian director and photographer Ashlea Wessel (“Tick,” “Weirdo”) brings her newest feature “Junction Row” to Frontières. The snowy sci-fi horror film follows a frozen town besieged by a mysterious many-legged monster. The film is produced by Pasha Patriki, James Fler, Michael Paszt and Andrew T. Hunt. Raven Banner Entertainment is handling sales.
“Kidnapping Inc” (France/Canada)
This fast-paced dark comedy, directed by Haitian Bruno Mourral, follows two hapless kidnappers in Haiti tasked with what appears to be a simple job only to find out that it’s anything but. Produced by Yanick Létourneau and Samuel Chauvin, “Kidnapping Inc” weaves genre with comedic action and political conspiracy.
“Gnomes!” (The Netherlands)
Director Ruwan Suresh Heggelman (“I Can Fly,” “Dutchtown”) has teamed with producers Monique van Kessel and Richard Raaphorst (“Frankenstein’s Army,” “Black Book”) to bring life to “Gnomes!” and death to anyone unlucky enough to be hunted by them. Filled with gruesome practical effects, this fantastical horror film shows not all gnomes are content with the garden.
“Night Town” (Ireland)
Irish TV and film director Imogen Murphy (“Dead Still,” “Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope”) showcases her newest feature “Night Town” at Frontières. This gothic period drama, produced by Ruth Treacy and Julianne Forde, follows a young woman’s haunted escape from a brothel in Dublin.
“Requiem for a Robot” (Austria, Germany)
Director Christoph Rainer’s passion project, “Requiem for a Robot” is a live-action science fiction fairytale following a clumsy robot lost in a city that never sleeps. This Austrian-German co-production (produced by Loredana Rehekampff, Andreas Schmied and Josef Redinger) leans on generous heart and practical effects to inspire and impress.
“Roqia” (Algeria, France, U.S.)
Algerian writer-director Yannis Koussim (“Khouya,” “Alger by Night”) presents “Roqia,” an exorcism-style horror film which explores bisected timelines. The film, which has already been selected for the Maskoon Fantastic Festival in Lebanon, is a co-production between Farès Ladjimi, Christophe Lafont, Armen Aghaeian, Abhi Goel and Tara Ansley.
“Serial Kitten” (France)
Equal parts fun and disturbing, Cédric Hachard’s newest fantasy “Serial Kitten” follows the dangerous exploits of a monstrous cat. Blending practical effects with CGI, this French production (Alexis Perrin) has humor and heart.
“Street Trash” (South Africa, U.S.)
South African actor and director Ryan Kruger (“Fried Barry”) brings gruesome horror and over-the-top humor with “Street Trash.” The international co-production (Justin Martell, Matt Manjourides, James C. Williamson, Ryan Kruger) follows a group of homeless misfits who must fight for survival when they discover a plot to exterminate every homeless person in the city.
“The Portal” (France, Syria, Germany)
Science-fiction fantasy film “The Portal,” directed by Chadi Abo, follows a wartime journalist as well as an orphaned refugee in the Syrian desert, her stellar destiny, and her miraculous healing abilities. The film is a French-Syrian-German co-production (Chadi Abo, Ruba El Khash Khair, May Odeh, Zorana Musikic, Tania Khouri).
The Cannes Film Festival will return to an in-person event from May 17-28, after two years off due to the pandemic.