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Welcome, vexers of all things virtuous. Hope your Valentine’s Day went swell, and that you aren’t swelling from all the fun. Those allergic to flowers, chocolates and love don’t always fare well on that day, and most of the people we’ll be talking about here also don’t fare well. No one ever wins it all in horror movies. But fans get to reap all the benefits.
One of the more interesting tidbits revealing itself this week is the always excellent Stacy Keach joining John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in Tod Williams’ adaptation of Stephen King’s Cell. Speaking of King, his story "Gramma" was turned into the upcoming feature Mercy from director Peter Cornwell, who just landed a job directing Minion, about a possessed martial arts coach. Ghost roundhouse to the face! Finally, King fans should be pumped that producer Dan Lin recently told Collider that Cary Fukunaga, who has been blowing everyone’s minds recently with his work on HBO’s True Detective, is still very much behind writing and directing a big screen version of IT. Now to head down to where everything floats.
X-Men Writer David Hayter’s Wolves is Dead Serious About its WolvesWriter and voice actor David Hayter has made a career out of pleasing comic book fans (some of them anyway) writing screenplays for Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films and Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. He also wrote the fang-bearing upcoming horror Wolves, which will serve as his directorial debut, distributed domestically by Ketchup Entertainment. The film’s first trailer recently took a bite out of the Internet, and what it left was a mild amount of interest for a sub-genre that I don’t usually get into.
Starting out like Teen Wolf with actual consequences, Wolves centers on Lucas Till as Cayden Richards, a high school student who sees his parents get murdered and then finds himself getting all wolfy and hungry. Guided by the batshit spewing madman Wild Joe, Cayden then enters the testosterone-driven town of Lupine Ridge, where Jason Momoa’s Connor is the self-appointed judge and executioner and Stephen McHattie’s John Tollerman is something of an overlord. There are mysteries and secrets in this city that will probably only pertain to werewolf things. I’m not entirely sold on it, especially that awful-looking green screen shot of Cayden riding past a sunset, but this could potentially be the flick to knock Twilight, Hemlock Grove and the most recent Wolfman remake out of our heads for good.
#Horror Actually Has That Name, With Chloe Sevigny and Timothy Hutton StarringEven if a film has nothing to do with the Internet, a net-related title can be an immediate death knell, as was the case with the recent "comedy" That Awkward Moment. Adding a hashtag to a title is an even bigger kick to the creative teeth, but #Horror hopefully isn’t just your average indie cheapo flick, even though it is the directorial debut from sometime-actress and fashion designer Tara Subkoff.
#Horror, which I hopefully will never have to refer to while speaking, has already been filmed, though no plot details have been revealed, according to Deadline. It will star Chloe Sevigny (whom Subkoff worked with on art projects in the past), Timothy Hutton, Balthazar Getty, Stella Schnabel, Lydia Hearst, Annabelle Dexter-Jones and the Orange is the New Black duo Natasha Lyonne and Taryn Manning. No one is going to stand on a soapbox and claim everything these actors do is gold, but their combined alchemy skills might just make this a winner. #freakyshitftw
Eccentric Artist Horror Mr. Jones Finds New Poster and Release Thanks to Anchor BayBased on first looks alone, Karl Mueller’s upcoming thriller Mr. Jones looks like a combination of the tree rape scene from Evil Dead and the effigy-building community of Summerisle in The Wicker Man. The film’s first two posters offer up a strange kind of potential, one that scrapes along the walls on its way to scaring the shit out of you. Luckily, Anchor Bay recently landed distribution rights to the film and will give it a small theatrical release starting May 2, with a Blu-ray/DVD/VOD release coming immediately afterward on May 6. I wonder if it’ll come with a special Tree-VD edition.
The film centers on an artistic couple (played by Jon Foster and Sarah Jones) who head out to a remote cabin to get away from the world and focus on their work. What they don’t know is that the reclusive Mr. Jones is also out there in the woods with his mysterious sculptures that he drags around. When Scott and Penny let their curiosity get the best of them, they also unwittingly invite Mr. Jones to turn their lives into constant nightmares. Mueller is most famous for co-writing the script for 2012’s survival thriller The Divide, and that story was strong enough to build up confidence in Mr. Jones. Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la. Uh huh!
Nifty Teaser and Viral Site for IFC Midnight’s Alien Abduction from Pulp Fiction and Hostel ProducersIt wouldn’t be a week in horror without news of a new found-footage movie shaking its way to viewers’ eyes, and that’s just what Alien Abduction will be doing, now that IFC Midnight has used its tractor beam to pull the film in. The formerly-titled Project Blue Book is notable for having a pair of high-profile producers behind it: Lawrence Bender, who produced all of Quentin Tarantino’s films before Django Unchained, and Mike Fleiss, who is experienced in both horror (Hostel and 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and fake reality (The Bachelor and The Bachelorette).
The teaser seen above looks about what you’d expect. Quick shots of an alien with post-production squiggles added to the words "alien abduction." As a bonus, the teaser directs you to a faux website that gives a little insight into the Brown Mountain Lights, a barely mysterious phenomenon that has sprouted many conspiratorial legends over the years. The film follows a family who gets stranded in the area around the mountains and finds themselves the target of an otherworldly threat. And the youngest child captures the frightening events on camera, because nothing spells enjoyment more than a kid with a camera. You can find this flick in theaters (maybe) on April 4.
Extended Promo for Filipino Thriller Gemini Provides Twice the Bloody OdditiesSome might think the scariest thing about having a twin is knowing someone who is just as terrifying looking as them. Maybe that’s just my fear. But the above promo for director Ato Bautista’s psychological warp Gemini spins identical siblings into their most disturbing light since the ones that haunted the Overlook. Sure, it seems to give away a lot of the story with the amount of footage used, but it seems to be more of a business card than a traditional preview, and I don’t really understand any of it anyway.
In Gemini, Julia is a psych patient haunted by a past that manifests itself when her estranged twin sister Judith shows up and tries to kill her. With the help of a local cop, Julia faces her demons and revisits a crime she and her sister committed years back, which opens up a world of dark secrets and I don’t think I need to say anything else. I mean, we technically watch one of the twins kill the other one, though it might just be a dream. If there’s something more interesting than having one of the main characters kill the other one, I’m completely on board with this movie.