Abigail Breslin's Haunter Is The Second Horror Bought At SXSW
In sticking with its prominent position in the campaign of keeping Austin weird, the film side of South by Southwest has always been a lot friendlier to horror films than almost any film festival that isnít singularly geared towards a genre. Instead of being relegated to time-filling slots, films like Adam Wingardís Youíre Next, Rob Zombieís Lords of Salem and Fede Alvarezís Evil Dead remake are as anticipated as any other films being shown, and E.L. Katzís Cheap Thrills was the first sale of the festival.
The second SXSW sale went to Haunter, the latest film from director Vincenzo Natali, who last gave audiences the polarizing sci-fi Splice and first broke into the business with 1997ís cult classic Cube. Deadline reports the Midnighter selectionís U.S. rights were appropriately acquired by IFC Midnight. The screenplay was written by Brian King, who wrote and directed 2009ís decent Night Train and worked with Natali on 2002ís sci-fi mystery Cypher.
Haunter gives 16-year-old Abigail Breslin her first leading role as Lisa, a girl whose family was killed in 1986 and are now stuck inside of the house where they died, though only Lisa realizes it. When a new family moves into the house, their teenage daughter Olivia (Skinsí Eleanor Sichy) becomes Lisaís link to the real world, which Lisa must use to stop Oliviaís family from meeting the same fate. Hopefully Haunterís original premise isnít wasted on the limited scope and ghostly time travel thatís supposed to occur throughout. Itís hard enough for indie horror without introducing time travel into it.
It also stars Stephen McHattie (XIII: The Series) as the antagonist The Pale Man, as well as David Hewlett, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Noldon and Sarah Manninen. No release dates have been planned for Haunted just yet, but that news should be forthcoming now that someone is paying to distribute it.
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