The Week in Horror: ‘ Queer For Fear’, ‘DASHCAM’, ‘Smile’, + more!

I’ve got a packed, ahem, menu of horror news this week with tasty new projects starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Jenna Ortega, and Ellen Burstyn! What’s old is new again as fresh takes on The Exorcist, Pennywise, The Addams Family, and Arachnophobia are being served up to horror fans very soon. Check it all out here in The Week in Horror!

Kicking off Pride Month, we got some scintillating news from our pals at Shudder about a new docuseries about queer horror called Queer For Fear, which hits the streaming service this fall.

Queer for Fear is a four-part documentary series about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the horror and thriller genres. From its literary origins with queer authors Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde to the pansy craze of the 1920s that influenced Universal Monsters and Hitchcock, through the “lavender scare” alien invasion films of the mid-20th century and the AIDS obsessed bloodletting of 80s vampire films, Queer for Fear re-examines genre stories through a queer lens, seeing them not as violent, murderous narratives, but as tales of survival that resonate thematically with queer audiences everywhere.”

Alaska Thunderfuck (Drag Artist, Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2) for Queer for Fear

The docu-series will feature interviews with series consultant Renée “Nay” Bever (“Attack of the Queerwolf” Podcast co-host), Mark Gatiss (Co-Creator, Writer & Actor, Sherlock and Dracula on BBC), Kimberly Peirce (Writer and Director, Boys Don’t CryCarrie (2013), Lea DeLaria (Actor, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (2000), Orange is the New Black), Jennifer Tilly (Actor, Child’s Play franchise), Karyn Kusama (Director, Jennifer’s Body, Yellowjackets), Leslye Headland (Creator, Russian Doll), Oz Perkins (Writer & Director, Gretel & Hansel), and more.

Fresh off The Northman, Anya Taylor-Joy is set to star in a brand new thriller from director Mark Mylod (Succession) called The Menu, set against the backdrop of the restaurant industry. The film, which hits theatres on November 18, co-stars Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Hoult and “is a darkly comedic psychological thriller set in the world of eccentric culinary culture, centering on a young couple who visit an exclusive restaurant on a remote island where an acclaimed chef has prepared a lavish tasting menu. Taylor-Joy will play one half of the couple. Fiennes is playing the chef.”

Check out the delicious new amuse-bouche…I mean teaser trailer for The Menu from Fox Searchlight!

Bloody Disgusting reported this week that the reboot of The Exorcist from David Gordon Green (Halloween Kills/Ends) is well underway, and Ellen Burstyn is reprising the role of Chris MacNeil from the classic horror. It was noted that Burstyn said in a recent interview with Daily Blast Live that “I’ve already shot the new version… nothing weird happened [on set]. There was a lot of weirdness on the first one.” It was news to us that the prolific actor had already shot her Exorcist scenes, so that’s one more detail we can look forward to in Gordon Green’s adaptation.

We already know that The Exorcist, like Halloween, is being planned as a trilogy with the first film set to release theatrically on October 13, 2023. In that movie, “[Leslie] Odom Jr. will play the father of a possessed child. Desperate for help, he tracks down Ms. Burstyn’s character.”

Look for a new teaser for Netflix’s Wednesday series from Tim Burton on the streaming service today as part of “Geeked Week.” The first footage from the new live-action show centred on the classic Addams Family character should give a glimpse at what the series will have in store ahead of it’s release this fall on Netflix. Wednesday stars scream queen Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, and co-stars Luis Guzmán as Gomez and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia, with Christina Ricci teased as making an appearance.

Speaking of Jenna Ortega, who’s racked up credits in Scream (2022) and Ti West’s X in short order, has yet another on the horizon with the upcoming American Carnage from director Diego Hallivis. It imagines an all-too-plausible future where racism is further weaponized by governments in a twisted new way.

In American Carnage, “After a governor issues an executive order to arrest the children of undocumented immigrants, the newly detained youth are offered an opportunity to have their charges dropped by volunteering to provide care to the elderly. Once inside the eldercare facility, the volunteers discover the governor and the facility’s supervisor have cooked up a horrifyingly depraved conspiracy that endangers the young and the old in this twisted thriller-comedy.”

Check out the trailer for American Carnage, which hits theatres, digital, and on-demand on July 15.

Rob Savage’s DASHCAM, which Biff Bam Pop head honcho Andy Burns proclaimed to be the “scariest movie of 2021” (and more!) when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last year was in the news this week for perhaps more dubious reasons than the filmmakers would prefer. UK cinema chain Vue has apparently decided against screening DASHCAM in its auditoriums, according to The Independent. The reasons for keeping the controversial found-footage frightener are less clear, though. Savage shared a screenshot of an email from Vue to a customer which apparently lists “the contents of the movie which may offend our audiences…” as the main reason for the shut-out.

However, the chain is denying this claim, stating to The Independent that “[their] decision not to screen DASHCAM was informed purely by the commercial conditions not being viable,” and that “[they] are currently investigating the cause of the incorrect information about our rationale for not screening this film…”

“The film, shot on an iPhone, follows a musician (Annie Hardy) who – depressed by her pandemic lifestyle in Los Angeles – breaks quarantine to go to London to see her bandmate (Amar Chadha-Patel).”

It’s all very curious, and smells to me like a way to drum up chatter about the film (mission accomplished!) Though, personally having also seen DASHCAM, I think the movie stands on it’s own merits. Either way, a limited release in theatres is set for this week, with a digital release on June 6 (today!) at the same time. Watch it and see for yourself!

Skybound Entertainment will be releasing a five-issue comic series based on the Shudder anthology series Creepshow, which in turn was developed by George A Romero and Stephen King in the 1982 film. The series will, of course, also be an anthology with each issue being a standalone story from accomplished artists from throughout the TV and comics worlds.

The roster behind this series of graphic novels includes Chris Burnham (Die!Die!Die!), Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), Steve Langford (Creepshow TV series), Josh Malerman (Creepshow TV series, Bird Box), David & Maria Lapham (Stray Bullets), Steve Foxe (Razorblades: The Horror Magazine), John McCrea (Hitman), and Kelley Jones (Batman, The Sandman) with more to be announced.

Look for Creepshow #1 (of 5), with a main cover by Chris Burnham, at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on September 21, 2022.

After years of rumours and innuendo about James Wan’s remake of Frank Marshall’s Arachnophobia (1990), it seems that the project is finally back on the rails. The Hollywood Reporter is now confirming that Christopher Landon (Freaky, Happy Death Day) is on board to direct and write the new Arachnaphobia for Amblin. Wan and Marshall are on as producers.

The original Arachnophobia, “centres on a small town terrorized by a colony of deadly South American spiders accidentally brought into the U.S. Jeff Daniels stars as a doctor who moves his family from the big city for the calm bucolic small-town life with John Goodman playing a know-it-all exterminator.”

A mysterious teaser trailer for a new horror called Smile is creeping into theatres ahead of Crimes of the Future and Top Gun: Maverick. The uncharacteristically short teaser for writer/director Parker Finn’s film is extremely unsettling and not much is revealed, though we know that Smile will hit theatres on September 30 and is about “a doctor whose mind begins to turn on her after she witnesses a traumatic event that involves a patient.”

Smile stars Sosie Bacon (“Scream” TV), Jesse T Usher (“The Boys”), Kal Penn, Rob Morgan (“Stranger Things”), Kyle Gallner (Scream 2022), and Caitlin Stasey (All Cheerleaders Die). A full trailer is coming soon, but check out this mind-bending teaser.

Anyone who doubted my early theory that Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope, is about aliens is completely in the mud with a new TV spot that explicitly shows a Flight of the Navigator-esque UFO. It’s not clear what it means beyond that, except that that thing is definitely Not Of Planet Earth.

Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun star in the thriller, which hits theatres later this summer on July 22. Check out the new trailer, and die mad, haters! 🙂

A new documentary about everyone’s favourite clown, Pennywise of Stephen King’s IT, is set to hit theaters on July 8 after a festival run internationally. Pennywise: The Story of IT, premiered at the Sitges Festival in Spain and will tell the story of the production of the 1990 miniseries starring John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, a very young Seth Green, and of course Tim Curry as the iconic Pennywise.

The documentary from John Campopiano (Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary) and Christopher Griffiths (Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser) will meld archival footage, never-before-seen content, and new interviews with the cast and crew. Check out this trailer for Pennywise: The Story of IT, which will no doubt titillate fans of the killer clown!

If you miss Pennywise in theatres on July 8, expect to see the documentary on VOD platforms, as well as on Screambox, on July 26.

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