The Week in Horror: ‘BARNEY’, ‘Satanic Hispanics’, ‘Dead Ringers’, + more

What is it, remake week? I’ve got news on some fresh takes on a Cronenberg classic, a cult cop-shop horror, and everyone’s least-favourite purple paleolithic nightmare. I’ve got some new stuff too, though, don’t worry.

We have the newest trailer for the eleventh Children of the Corn movie, which is probably the most attempts at adapting a short story ever with the lowest hit rate (don’t fact-check this, please). In this version, “Possessed by a spirit in a dying cornfield, a twelve-year-old girl in Nebraska recruits the other children in her small town to go on a bloody rampage and kill all the adults and anyone else who opposes her. A bright high schooler who won’t go along with the plan is the town’s only hope of survival.”

Kurt Wimmer directs Children of the Corn, which stars Elena Kampouris, Kate Moyer, Callan Mulvey, and Bruce Spence. The movie hits theatres on March 3 and digital/VOD on March 21, presumably including a Shudder release somewhere in there given the logo in the credits. I can’t quite get a read on the tone of this trailer or the movie, which seems to switch lanes about halfway through, but if you’re a corn fan, you’ll probably want to get your freak off it’s leash and check this out.

Speaking of questionable reboots, the reaper of nightmares himself, and a plague on children and caregivers alike, Barney the Dinosaur is getting a terrifying new coat of paint from Mattel. Corus Entertainment and Nelvana will re-introduce the “friendly” purple dinosaur to a new generation of unsuspecting preschoolers with “lessons on love, community, and encouragement told through music-filled adventures” according to Variety. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for “Barney toys, [a] TV series, film and YouTube content as well as music and a full range of kids’ products including books, clothing, and more. Apparel and accessories for adult fans, featuring classic Barney, are also in development.” Gritting my teeth for Mike Flanagan’s inevitable Caillou adaptation if this thing does well.

I’ve been hearing great things about anthology horror Satanic Hispanics which, as you might guess, features an all-Latino slate of directors that includes Gigi Saul Guerrero (El Gigante), Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project), Alejandro Brugues (Juan of the Dead), Demian Rugna (Terrified), and Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!). The cast includes Efren Ramirez, Greg Gunberg, Jacob Vargas, Hemky Madera, Patricia Velasquez, Jonah Ray Rodrigues, Demian Salomon, Luis Machin, and Ari Allegos. The film picked up a Best Director(s) honour in the horror category at Fantastic Fest this year.

In Satanic Hispanics, “when police raid a house in El Paso, they find it full of dead Latinos, and only one survivor. He’s known as The Traveler, and when they take him to the station for questioning, he tells them those lands are full of magic and talks about the horrors he’s encountered in his long time on this earth, about portals to other worlds, mythical creatures, demons, and the undead.”

Check out the teaser trailer for Satanic Hispanics here, ahead of a limited theatre release this September in the US, Canada, and (of course) Mexico!

2015’s Last Shift was a bit of a surprise, in that it took what seemed to be a series of urban legends and tied them together into a compelling horror package. It’s perhaps a little unclear why a new ‘reimagining’ of the story from the same filmmakers – director Anthony DiBlasi and writer Scott Poiley – is currently in production less than ten years out from the first one. The new film will be caled Malum, which is, according to DiBlasi “not only a major element of the plot and how things unfold, but that word, in some of the oldest languages in history, means ‘evil’ and ‘an offense against right or law,’ which seamlessly ties into the twisted, horrific themes of the film. Once audiences see the movie, they won’t soon forget the name ‘Malum’.”

Both the original Last Shift and Malum centre “on a rookie police officer who willingly takes the last shift at a newly decommissioned police station in an attempt to uncover the mysterious connection between her father’s death and a vicious cult. Throughout the night, she finds herself barraged by terrifying supernatural events while unveiling the truth behind her family’s twisted past.”

Malum stars Jessica Sula, Candice Coke, Chaney Morrow, Clarke Wolfe, Morgan Lennon, Valerie Loo, Monroe Cline, Eric Olson, Sam Brooks, Kevin Wayne, Danielle Coyne, Natalie Victoria, Christopher Matthew Spencer, and Britt George. The film is set for a theatrical release this spring.

Ishana Night Shyamalan makes her feature film directorial debut with The Watchers for New Line, which is set for a June 7, 2024 release according to Deadline. The daughter of M. Night Shyamalan, Ishana will kick off filming The Watchers this year. The film follows “Mina, a 28-year old artist who gets stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside three strangers that are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night.”

Shyamalan previously wrote 10 and directed 6 episodes of the Servant TV series for Apple TV+, which is currently in its fourth and final season. She was one of the youngest to ever do it, at only 19.

Jennifer Reeder (Knives + Skin, Night’s End), who Bong Joon-Ho listed as one of his 20 upcoming directors of the 2020’s, is back with a new film which screens at the Berlindale Film Festival. This one’s called Perpetrator and stars Alicia Silverstone (The Lodge) and Kiah McKirnan. In the movie, “Jonny (McKirnan), a reckless teen, is sent to live with her estranged Aunt Hildie (Silverstone). On her 18th birthday, she experiences a radical metamorphosis: a family spell that redefines her called Forevering. When several teen girls go missing at her new school, a mythically feral Jonny goes after the Perpetrator.”

Reeder wrote and directed Perpetrator, which also stars Christopher Lowell, Melanie Liburd, and Ireon Roach. Check out an, ahem, delicious clip here!

Finally, David Cronenberg’s 1988 thriller Dead Ringers is headed to TV with a six-episode series for Amazon Prime Video, which debuts on April 21.

The series will star Rachel Weisz as “Beverly and Elliot Mantle, two identical twin sisters who both work as gynecologists and operate a successful OBGYN clinic. In the original ’80s film, Beverly and Elliot were male twins portrayed by Jeremy Irons. Like the film, the series will explore Beverly and Elliot’s messy, co-dependent relationship, and how the tension it causes eventually pushes both to madness.” Britne Oldford, Michael Chernus, Poppy Liu, and Jennifer Ehle will co-star. Alice Birch (‘Normal People’) is the creator and writer of the series.

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