Good day, horror fans. It was not the best week for releases on any front… unless you wanted to count the horrors of biblical history featured in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. Rivers have rarely run redder. Maybe Christian Bale will play a Southern space pilot in the next Prometheus movie.
In smaller news, the Mo Brothers’ insanely violent thriller Killers is getting a U.S. release on January 23, 2015 on VOD and in limited theaters. The acclaimed 2011 Japanese horror Birthright is getting an American remake. And Todd Lincoln’s segment for V/H/S Viral, which was left out of the released version for some yet-to-be-explained reason, is going to debut for the film’s DVD release on February 17, 2015.
And now, the greatest Hallo-mas present ever.
You Can Own the Babadook Book!At the black heart of Jennifer Kent’s nightmarish The Babadook is a woman’s inability to commit herself 100% to a motherhood haunted by tragedy. But the flick gets its more visceral scares from a children’s pop-up book, where the shadowy Babadook makes his presence known. Mega-fans of the acclaimed thriller who have $80 to plunk down will be jazzed to find out that physical copies of Mister Babadook can be pre-ordered through this website, as a way of crowdfunding the project. And don’t worry about this being a pricy cash-grab by some big studio. Jennifer Kent and illustrator Alex Juhasz, who created the handmade book used in the film, are behind the project, which has easily exceeded the initial goal of 2,000 buyers.
$80 seems like a lot of money for a book – it’s $60 for the book itself with a flat $20 shipping fee – but this will probably be the only publishing that the book gets. And the company Insight Editions, who are known for their quality pop-up books, will be creating each book to the highest standard. Once people are hand-gluing things into books, you know where part of that money is going. Plus, Juhasz will be expanding the story within Mister Babadook, adding pages that weren’t seen in the film. Beyond getting an actual copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy used in the novels, this sounds like the best pop culture tie-in book I can think of. If only I hadn’t been haunted by a freaky ass two-dimensional creature last week.
Preservation Trailer is a Rough Time in the WoodsHave you guys ever wanted to go on a long nature field trip with Pornstache from Orange is the New Black? Well, the next best/worst thing to it is Christopher Denham’s sophomore effort Preservation, which sees actor Pablo Schreiber playing Sean, whose recent days as a soldier are still with him as he heads out to what’s supposed to be a fun trip with his brother, Mike (Aaron Staton), and Mike’s wife Wit (Wrenn Schmidt). But it isn’t fun for anyone, as Mike is distracted by work stuff and Wit is upset that this romantic getaway is anything but. And then shit gets weird.
Somebody starts messing with them first by taking their stuff and then just by fucking with their minds. (I wouldn’t have thought that a smiley face painted on a tree could ever make me uncomfortable, but that’s what happened here.) The three are then forced to fend for themselves against unknown assailants whose motives are a complete mystery. It sounds kind of like Black Rock, or any number of other "in the woods" thrillers, but the psychological terror aspect is a pretty interesting addition. Denham, who plays Jim Meeks in WGN America’s Manhattan, previously wrote and directed the pretty-good-not-great found-footage horror Home Movie, and that was back in 2008. I’m interested to see if this feels like an evolution in the right direction. We’ll find out when The Orchard puts it out on VOD and in limited theaters on January 9, 2015.
The Loft Trailer Brings Danger to Secretive Dude LifeDutch filmmaker Erik Van Looy’s last film was 2008’s wonderfully twisty Loft, and his next film is an American remake of that film, called The Loft. (I’m pretty sure he’s been done with it for a while though, as it’s been the victim of several delays since it was first completed.) We now have two new looks at the all-star film, which seems to be paying homage to Alfred Hitchcock and Brian de Palma in equal strokes (but distinctly the later sections of both men’s careers). Check this fractured poster.
The Loft centers on the titular apartment shared by five men – Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban, James Marsden, Eric Stonestreet, and Matthias Schoenaerts – who use it for whatever desires are driving them. Things take a dramatic turn downward when an unknown young woman is discovered inside the apartment murdered and handcuffed to the bed. Someone else seems to know about the loft and what the men are hiding, but who could it be? Also starring Rhona Mitra, Rachael Taylor and Isabel Lucas, The Loft will hit theaters on January 23, 2015. If it’s even half as good as the original, I’ll be surprised and impressed.
Julia Stiles is Haunted by Children in This Creepy TrailerJulia Stiles’ biggest trips into horror in the past have been with the Omen remake and her stint on Dexter, but I’m already willing to bet that her latest genre pic Out of the Dark will eclipse both of those. Not because its plot is abundant in its originality, but because those little scarf-faced children running around are scarier than anything in the aforementioned projects. I’m not a big fan of creepy children thrillers, but this could fit right in with exceptions like Citadel and The Children.
Out of the Dark, the directorial debut from Spanish filmmaker Lluís Quílez, will following Stiles’ Sarah Harriman, who moves to a small Columbian town to take over her father’s business. She’s joined by her husband Paul (Scott Speedman) and daughter Hannah (Pixie Davies), and everyone gets put in the path of danger once the town’s sinister history comes to light. And a lot of it involves Sarah’s company, and a bunch of dead children. Your face sores will feel right at home with these kids’ when Out of the Dark hits VOD and limited theaters on February 27, 2015.
Dark Summer Trailer Makes House Arrest HorrifyingHave you ever had a crush on someone, and they returned the feelings by haunting the shit out of your very core? That appears to be what’s happening in the above trailer for Dark Summer, the latest film from Grace director Paul Solet. Teen Daniel Austin (Keir Gilchrist) is placed on house arrest, as his obsession with classmate Mona (Grace Phipps) goes too far. It appears she gets in touch with him so that he can watch her commit suicide. That’ll ruin your masturbation fantasies right quick. (Hopefully.)
And now Daniel’s punished-from-electronics existence is seemingly possessed by Mona’s spirit, and he starts receiving spooky packages and seeing things that don’t make any sense. Daniel gets his friends to help him (do something that I can’t really place), and Peter Stormare comes into it at some point. Ghosts can’t handle Stormare. IFC Midnight will be putting Dark Summer out in limited theaters and on VOD starting January 9, 2015.