Welcome, Atom Insider readers to Donato’s Dungeon! Isn’t chasing news headlines a grueling and exhausting task? Ever wonder where you can get all the week’s biggest headlines in one easy-to-find place? That’s why I’m here, armed with a chainsaw and machete to slice through the week’s onslaught of horror news to find the most notable happenings in our genre community. Let’s see what sights I have to show you…
1. Next ‘Saw’ Announced Based On A Story By…Chris Rock?!
Yes, those words are real. Comedian Chris Rock, confessed Saw lover, pitched a “reimagining/spinoff” so enticing that all plans halted on a 2019 sequel. Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg already penned the project’s script based on Bloody Disgusting‘s report, which is now confirmed to come from Rock’s pitch. Saw franchise veteran Darren Lynn Bousman returns to direct the newest installment, set to release October 23, 2020.
Decisionmakers seem HYPED on Rock’s idea. Here’s Joe Drake, Chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group:
When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins-off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in. This upcoming film will still be as mind-bending and intense as all the previous SAW films. Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise.
Let’s also quote Saw producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules:
Chris wants to put his own spin on the SAW franchise in the way Eddie Murphy put a completely fresh perspective on buddy-cop films with 48 Hours. This new SAW is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans. It will have all of the twists and turns and hardcore layers that our fans expect directed by one of the masters of the craft, Darren Lynn Bousman.
Jordan Peele’s recent transitional success isn’t an anomaly. Horror and comedy go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to someone who’s as socially observant as Rock. Jokes are often used to distract from mounting darkness, so for someone like Rock, layers exist. Don’t expect Silly Saw or something fangless.
2. Is That A Werewolf On The ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ Poster?
We knew Annabelle would unleash a stacked roster of baddies in Annabelle Comes Home, but, uh, do I spy a freakin’ werewolf on the new poster (top right)? The Warrens’ “Artifact Room” is where all their worst foes stay locked away. Bring on the chaos when Annabelle breaks every holy seal.
3. It’s Simon Pegg Vs. Lulu Wilson In ‘Becky’
Not to rev the hype machine on Becky too early, but the logline states: “John Wick with a 13-year-old girl.” Even better, Simon Pegg plays leader to a clan of escaped convicts who invade Lulu Wilson’s lake house (you’ll recognize Wilson from Annabelle: Creation or The Haunting Of Hill House). From here you can expect “high-octane” action and home invasion thrills, directed by the duo behind Bushwick and Cooties. All this to say I AM HERE FOR IT.
4. ‘Zombieland 2’ Moves Back A Week
Zombieland 2 release update! Once slated for October 11th, 2019, what’s another week to wait until October 18th, 2019? Nothing else new to report past the already updated casting inclusions of Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson and Rosario Dawson. Evolved zombies, mentions of a story that tracks from the White House to rural America, and the same makeshift family dysfunction. Maybe even more Twinkies.
5. ‘Invisible Man’ Plot Details And Cast Update
Blumhouse’s Invisible Man reboot under Leigh Whannell has added A Wrinkle In Time and 12 Years A Slave actress Storm Reid to play a character named “Sydney.” As per Deadline:
With her mother gone, [Sydney’s] picked up the maternal slack and is very capable and mature for her age. She’s an outgoing lover of fashion who aspires to see the world, and she initially likes having Cecilia around as a role model, but grows mistrustful of her when strange things begin to happen around the house.
Also available is a new plot synopsis, which points towards the direction of Whannell’s narrative mystery:
The Leigh Whannell-directed movie follows Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss), who receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s suicide. She begins to re-build her life for the better, but her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.
Is that a hint of Hollow Man in plotting?
6. Fox’s ‘The Passage’ Gets Staked
Vampiric drama The Passage only lasted a single season on Fox, as the show’s season finale has now become its series finale. Based on Justin Cronin’s novels, the episodic wrapped most important arcs up by the time all was said and done with Season 1. Maybe it’ll catch a streaming life preserver if enough fans speak out?
7. Rob Zombie Gives A Glimpse Of Richard Brake In ‘Three From Hell’
I’m not one to get excited about single stills, but when it comes to creepy Richard Brake, you make exceptions. Thank Rob Zombie for sharing the picture above on Facebook, which shows Richard Brake as painted and bloody “Foxy” in Zombie’s Three From Hell. Methinks he’ll be helping the Firefly clan out in this sequel to The Devil’s Rejects.
8. Lars Klevberg’s ‘Polaroid’ Finally Has Distribution…Just Not In The U.S.
Lars Klevberg, director of the upcoming Child’s Play remake, will have shot, locked, and released Chucky’s A.I. reboot before his actual directorial debut – Polaroid, a “take pictures with the camera and you die” Final Destination riff – ever sees stateside theater screens. The good news? It’s being released on Blu-ray in Austria, Germany, Greece, and Italy throughout varying dates into June so you region-free player owners can snag a copy before the general public gets a taste. Oh, and who called it?
Chances CHILD'S PLAY becomes Lars Klevberg's directorial debut since 2017's Dimension-doomed POLAROID is still sitting on a shelf somewhere? (Reports suggest Netflix is interested as of September.) https://t.co/rZe6Fd5K8E
— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 12, 2018
*takes a bow*
9. Lin Shaye Talks Another ‘Insidious’ Sequel
In shocking news (note: sarcasm), it seems that another Insidious is on the way. While chatting with Forbes, Lin Shaye dropped vague confirmation that another trip into “The Further” is closer than you might think:
“I think there is another one, that they have a story for that and it is very different, The last one, for me to have realized the character’s past, present, and future of my character, was a gift. I don’t know if there’s a script being written, but I think there will be another Insidious movie.”
As for her involvement:
“If I’m in it, which I believe I would be, I’d probably be in the Further as my character is now a ghost.”
Insidious: The Last Key left me wanting a bit more from the otherwise dynamite paranormal franchise, so here’s wishing yet another Insidious brings us back to the unnerving heights of Tiny Tim and red-faced demon man.
10. Bella Thorne To Play ‘The Friendship Game’
Reports state that Bella Thorne has signed on to lead The Friendship Game for director Scooter Corkle. As per a brief explainer on Damien Ober’s (The OA) script: “A group of teens in a small town come across a strange object that tests their loyalties to each other with increasingly destructive consequences the deeper into the game they go.” Sounds generic as heck, but I’m here for Thorne’s genre career.
11. ‘Killer Sofa’ Is A Movie Being Sold At Cannes And I Just Wanted You To Know
Today’s Donato’s Dungeon brings you two killer furniture updates, the first of which is DevilWork’s latest repped market title: Killer Sofa. No, this isn’t a horror spinoff from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. An evil recliner “becomes enchanted by a young woman and begins committing deadly crimes of passion.” I cannot explain how badly Killer Sofa needs to be in my life.
(Source: Bloody Disgusting)
12. You’re Gonna Dig ‘American Horror Story: 1984’ According To, Um, Its Producer
Cheekiness aside, I’m happy to hear Executive Producer Tim Minear is committed to ’80s slashers for the newest American Horror Story season. Fingers crossed that new casting addition Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy is playing the villain.
I will tell you nothing, except that I think it’s awesome. If you have a taste for ’80s horror, you’re in for a treat.
(Source: The Wrap)
13. Russell Crowe Has A Bad Case Of Road Rage In ‘Unhinged’
Ever sit in traffic too long? Sun beating down while your A/C is broken? Maybe a crying child in the car? You’ve had it, you snap, and blare on your horn out of frustration. Unhinged is that similar scenario, when a mother leans on her horn and pisses off the wrong aggravated driver (played by Russell Crowe). Expect this highway mayhem sometime in Q3 of 2020.
(Source: Bloody Disgusting)
14. Next (And Possibly Final) ‘Purge’ Slated For 2020
We don’t have a story, or cast, or any information really, just that Purge sirens will once again screech on July 10th, 2020. Creator James DeMonaco has previously voiced desires to end his dystopian manhunt (seriously, please keep this dystopian), telling EW he’s come up with a great way to “end it all.” We’ll see if Blumhouse honors said intent based on box office returns.
15. Screen Media Nabs Horror Anthology ‘Portals’
Bloody Disgusting’s Tom Owen and Brad Miska have produced a sci-fi/horror anthology, created by Chris White, that’s rounded up a host of intriguing talents. Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly, Exists), Gregg Hale (V/H/S/2), Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre, Headshot, May the Devil Take You, V/H/S/2, The Night Comes For Us) and Liam O’Donnell (Beyond Skyline) tell tales of a worldwide blackout that causes cosmic anomalies across the world. Screen Media plans a multi-platform Fall release. In short, KEEP AN EYE OUT!
(Source: Bloody Disgusting)
15. ‘Child’s Play’ Remake Rated R For “Bloody Horror Violence”
Robo-Chucky is going to get mighty graphic and messy with it comes to slaughter, as producers have been promising. The R rating ensures blood will spill, and in the above featurette, you’ll get a taste of the slices, lawnmowers, and other methods of dispatch. Six different animatronic Chucky dolls were used to bring Child’s Play to life. My curiosity is running WILD.
16. IFC Midnight Nabs Larry Fessenden’s ‘Depraved’
IFC Midnight has nabbed Larry Fessenden’s Brooklyn-based Frankenstein story Depraved for release this Fall (most likely limited theatrical/VOD). In any case, look out for this lean masterclass in do-it-yourself indie filmmaking that only Fessenden could execute with such ease. Gnarly makeup, strong performances – a hipster’s Frankenstein born from Bushwick warehouse apartments.
17. SYFY’s ‘Van Helsing’ Finds Its Dracula!
With Season 4 entering production, SFYF’s Van Helsing has found its Dracula in actress Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica). Descriptors of Helfer’s character include “fierce and unstoppable,” which suggests Kelly Overton’s Vanessa Van Helsing has her work cut out. Other announced casting additions include Richard Harmon (The 100), Nicole Munoz (Defiance), Keeya King (Jigsaw) and pro-wrestler Big Show.
18. Bruce Campbell May Be Done Portraying “Ash” Williams On Screen, But ‘Evil Dead’ Will Live On
File this one under “Groovy.” While Bruce Campbell is done “groveling in the blood” for more demanding genre roles, he’s confirmed that we haven’t seen the last of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise. Fede Alvarez most recently remade Evil Dead by uniting Jane Levy’s Mia with Campbell’s Ash, connecting universes. While Campell couldn’t comment on Alvarez’s involvement in future Evil Dead chapters, he revealed in an interview with Inquisitr that ideas are moving forward for more Necronomicon spellcasting:
“[Fans are] going to see different versions, they’re going to be seeing more Evil Dead, too,” Campbell told the site. “We’re not done with the Evil Dead saga. More stories to tell.”
19. Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, And Isla Fisher Lead Horror Comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’
Based on Noel Coward’s 1941 play, Edward Hall’s newly announced Blithe Spirit sees a struggling writer accidentally summon the spirit of his dead ex-wife. One is correct to assume Stevens plays Charles, now caught between writing an uncrackable screenplay and quelling the tiff between current lover and past haunter. Humorous romantic ghost love triangles? I approve. Get filming already!
20. ‘Wrong Turn’ Remake Finds Lead Actress
Six friends from New York City will meet a savage West Virginian congregation while hiking in Alan B. McElroy’s reimagined Wrong Turn update, and now we know Charlotte Vega (The Lodgers) will star as “Jes.” Note, the original film’s focal female character is named Jessie. Not the wildest reimagining if you ask me, but it sounds like McElroy’s 250-year-old mountain sect known as “The Foundation” will handily differ from Saw Tooth and company.
21. ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ Remake Dates Summer Release
Looks like David M. Rosenthal’s Jacob’s Ladder remake is finally hitting screens this summer! Vertical Entertainment will release the film on DISH this coming July and then follow up with a theatrical release in August. Writer Jeff Buhler has been working on the project since 2013, so it’s about time this project climbed from the depths of distribution purgatory.
And Now…This Week’s Horror Trailers!
Ari Aster’s sophomore feature seems to be a prime cut of “sunny scary horror” – a favorite subgenre for yours truly. Midsommar looks every bit the Hereditary follow-up genre fans hoped from Aster.
THE DEAD DON’T DIE
Jim Jarmusch’s zom-com The Dead Don’t Die gets a red band trailer. Famous actors curse. Other famous actors playing zombies get their heads cut off. Hope this one is for you!
Trailer #1 withheld Chucky, Trailer #2 gave us “docile” Chucky, and now, in Trailer #3, we have a brief but full view of “kill mode” Chucky. Red eyes, total menace, and, well, I really need to see this movie because I’m so on the fence regarding this doll’s design. The screenshot above isn’t selling me hard enough.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE
Want to see Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone without all that pesky colorization? You’re in luck! Starting May 30th, viewers can stream the show in black-and-white.
Episodic Slasher: Solstice is set to hit Netflix as the series’ third season on March 23rd, so here’s the “get hyped” trailer. Although, note the real headline: Adam MacDonald (Pyewacket/Backcountry) directed the whole damn season. If that means nothing to you, watch Pywacket and Backcountry then get back to me.
Love is in the swamp, y’all! A romantic alternate look versus the horror-centric trailers that’ve dropped for the upcoming Swamp Thing television show.
Out of Fantastic Fest, no film was talked about in a more provocative and awestruck way than The Perfection. Keep this one on your radar when it drops May 24th.
I feel like this trailer is openly mocking my pull-quotes to date, but also, I dig the ultra-meta vibe here. Bring it, Harpoon.
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS
From director Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night), penned by Kerry Fleming and Victor Miller (Friday The 13th), Rock, Paper, Scissors turns the popular children’s “hand game” into a serial killer’s torture of choice. It’s…uh…well it doesn’t look to be the next Friday The 13th. Hits Blu-ray/VOD on July 23rd.
BED OF THE DEAD
Ok. Wait. Hear me out. I caught Bed Of The Dead at Fantasia Fest 2016 and the nightmare surprisingly opts for a straight-shooting horror vibe that makes you forget how silly an “evil bed” movie sounds on paper. Don’t sleep on this one – literally. I’m just as shocked to report that Bed Of The Dead knots a noose out of sheets and ties it tightly around the audience’s neck, choking viewers with isolated tension. It makes its bed and kills in it too. HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH SLEEPYTIME PUNS?!** Hits Blu-ray June 18th.
(**Editor’s note: Don’t worry; I’ll fire him for you readers.)
DO NOT REPLY
Looks like another slice of techno-horror, but with a reality twist? Blonde hair, captive cheerleaders, and a camera-rigged helmet that captures one murderer’s good time.
What could be worse than a zombie apocalypse? Living with roommates in a bunker during the zombie apocalypse! Or, that’s the premise of Bunkheads at least. I’ll take cramped quarters over having my insides devoured while looking on in horror.
A reclusive writer lives his latest horror novel under the guise of experimentation. HARD PASS on the leather cocoon (aka that’d mess me up for life).
Artsploitation films just dropped Firstborn on VOD, so yeah, go watch if this trailer creeps ya out!
IRON SKY 2: THE COMING RACE
On July 19th you can watch zombie Hitler ride a Tyrannosaurus in space. Honest. This trailer dropped in 2017 and since then Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race has faced distribution complications, but with news of release finally hitting, I want to make sure none of you miss this wackiness.
MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM
Ever wonder what could have happened if witches and the U.S. government struck a deal that turned Salem’s outcasts into frontline soldiers? Welcome to Freeform’s latest, produced by…*checks notes*…Will Ferrell and Adam McKay?
Last week it was Clownado, this week it’s ClownDoll. Let’s not even talk about how there’s clearly an actor playing the “doll.”
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