This Week in Horror: ‘Resident Evil’ Joins $1 Billion Club; ‘Stranger Things’ SAG Speech Goes Viral
Howdy, horror fans! Welcome to the inaugural debut of the weekly horror hook-up, a one-stop spot for all the horror movie and TV news of the week, from casting news to trailer debuts, reviews, interviews and more. Basically, if it’s in horror and it’s worth knowing, we’re rounding it up here for your convenience.
Since we’re still in that early year pit of cinema, this week was relatively slight in major horror announcements and reveals. The Resident Evil franchise finished off its long run by officially joining the $1 Billion club after the returns from The Final Chapter. We also got a look at the original audition tapes for Paranormal Activity thanks to director Oren Peli, who posted an extended video of the improved scenes online. There’s also an update on the once-dreaded, now-anticipated Suspiria Remake. Fresh off the buzz of his Sundance smash Call Me By Your Name, director Luca Guadagnino has wrapped filming on Suspiria and he’s taking his remake of the Dario Argento classic to the European Film Market this week.
On the TV Side, it’s all about Stranger Things, with the first look images at Season 2 and a viral SAG Awards win thanks to a rousing speech from David Harbour and a baffling display of emoting from Winona Ryder. We’ve also got reviews for Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet and FX’s Legion, which is waaaaay scarier than you’re probably expecting.
For all the horror news we’ve already at length this week, you can check out the links below. Then check out other genre highlights from the week, including the latest episode of Collider Nightmares, and finish it all up with a rundown of the week in horror movie trailers.
(You may be surprised to see Legion in here, but having watched the first three episodes, Noah Hawley’s new Marvel series can be utterly terrifying at times and may end up being one of the best horror shows on TV.)
Collider Nightmares: 'Friday the 13th' Casting Details; McAvoy's 'Split' Performance Award Worthy?
Start things off with the latest episode of Collider Nightmares, our weekly video show digging into the biggest and best horror news. This week, the panel chats about new casting details from the new Friday the 13th, Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown joining Godzilla: King of the Monsters, whether or not James McAvoy‘s Split performance is awards worthy, and a whole lot more.
'Resident Evil' Becomes a Billion Dollar Franchsie
Is it possible to go out with a fizzle and a bang at the same time? The long-running Resident Evil franchise delivered The Final Chapter (Well, for now. We all know how little the words “final chapter” mean in the horror genre), and the box office receipts were either real bad or pretty great, depending on how you look at it. The Final Chapter shifted from the franchise’s long-held September release pattern to a January debut and opened soft to a tepid $13.6 million at the domestic box office, landing the #4 spot in it’s opening frame. Not great. However, the film has already racked up $117 million worldwide, and it’s enough to officially land the Resident Evil franchise a proud spot in the $1 Billion club. Not a bad way to say goodbye.
Luca Guadagnino Has Completed His 'Suspiria' Remake
Luca Guadagnino is having a bit of a moment right now. Last year, the Italian director reteamed with his I Am Love muse Tilda Swinton for decadent and sultry sun-drenched thriller A Bigger Splash, which was quietly one of the best and most delicious films of the year. His follow-up, the 1980’s set queer coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name just debuted at Sundance to universal rave reviews, including one from our own Adam Chitwood, who calls it a “sensual triumph”. So here’s the part where I say something I never thought I’d say — I can’t wait to see the Suspiria remake.
Guadagnino is bringing his sumptuous style to the long-dreaded remake of Dario Argento‘s 1977 classic, and suddenly I cannot wait to see the fever dream fairytale retold through his lens. Deadline reports that the film is already in the can and Amazon Studios, who acquired the film last year, is taking it to Berlin for the European Film Market next week. For Suspiria, Guadagnino turned to Swinton once again (please please please tell me she’s playing a super scary witch), who co-stars with Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Mia Goth. Here’s hoping we get our first look soon.
'Stranger Things' Wins SAG Award; David Harbour Gives Incredible Speech, Winona Ryder Gives Crazy Face
Everyone’s favorite nostalgia-fuelled fun-fest, the Netflix series Stranger Things, took home the SAG Award for outstanding ensemble in a drama series and David Harbour (AKA series MVP Sheriff Hopper) took the opportunity to give a rousing and moving speech about fighting real-life monsters and punching Nazis. He poured his heart into it, the room lost it, Finn Wolfhard was literally jumping with glee; it was awesome. Unfortunately, Winona Ryder took the opportunity to yuk it up (and/or experience vivid pizza hallucinations) throughout the entire. freaking. thing. Frustrating, but iconic. Wino forever.
Shudder Celebrates Women in Horror Month with Killer Female-Directed Selection
February is Women in Horror month, and Shudder — truly the best damn streaming service there is for horror fans — is celebrating with a collection films celebrating female filmmakers. Some of the highlights are Clair Denis’s divisive and disurbing cannibal romance, Trouble Every Day (starring Vincent Gallo and Beatrice Dalle), Lynne Ramsey’s chilling school shooting drama We Need To Talk About Kevin (with Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, and Ezra Miller), and Shudder exclusive supernatural horror film Dearest Sister by Mattie Do.
Check out the full programming description and title listing below.
We know there’s no such thing as “a woman’s perspective on horror”, because the twisted and unique views included in this collection are as diverse as the women who offer them. From vampires both real and imaginary, to doppelgängers and collisions with the afterlife, this collection has it all. Identity crises, demonic domestic issues, phantasmagoric romance, the horrors of motherhood and feminist interpretations on the giallo all make an appearance. These films don’t shy away from tough and personal themes. More importantly, these blood-splattered gems are sure to satisfy your cravings for powerful voices and thought-provoking horror.
Dearest Sister (2016) – A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE
- Director: Mattie Do
- Cast Includes: Amphaiphun Phommapunya, Vilouna Phetmany, Tambet Tuisk
In Their Sleep (2010) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Caroline du Potet
- Cast Includes: Anne Parillaud, Arthur Dupont, Thierry Frémont
Mirror Mirror (1990) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Marina Sargenti
- Cast Includes: Karen Black, Yvonne De Carlo, William Sanderson
My Sucky Teen Romance (2011) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Emily Hagins
- Cast Includes: Elaine Hurt, Patrick Delgado, Santiago Dietche
Soulmate (2013) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Axelle Carolyn
- Cast Includes: Anna Walton, Tom Wisdom, Tanya Myers
The Countess (2009) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Julie Delpy
- Cast Includes: Julie Delpy, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt
The Stylist (2016) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Jill Gevargizian
- Cast Includes: Najarra Townsend, Jennifer Plas, Angela Dupuie
The Velvet Vampire (1971) – ONLY ON SHUDDER
- Director: Stephanie Rothman
- Cast Includes: Michael Blodgett, Sherry E. DeBoer, Celeste Yarnall
Blood Punch (2014)
- Director: Madeline Paxson
- Cast Includes: Milo Cawthorne, Olivia Tennet, Ari Boyland
- Director: Catherine Fordham
- Cast Includes: Monica West, Parker Madison, Tanner Dahlin
She Wolf (2013)
- Director: Tamae Garateguy
- Cast Includes: Luján Ariza, César Bordón, Hernán Bustos
- Director: Izzy Lee
- Cast Includes: Sophia Cacciola, Porcelain Dalya, Phil Healy
Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009)
- Directors: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
- Cast Includes: Rikki Gagne, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Don’t Look Back (2009)
- Director: Marina de Van
- Cast Includes: Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci, Andrea Di Stefano
In Her Skin (2009)
- Director: Simone North
- Cast Includes: Guy Pearce, Miranda Otto, Ruth Bradley
Trouble Every Day (2001)
- Director: Claire Denis
- Cast Includes: Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle
Mexico Barbaro (2014)
- Directors (segments): Gigi Saul Guerrero, Laurette Flores Bornn
- Cast Includes: Adrián Aguirre, Dulce Alexa, Leslie Arce
The Midnight Swim (2014)
- Director: Sarah Adina Smith
- Cast Includes: Lindsay Burdge, Jennifer Lafleur, Aleksa Palladino
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013)
- Co-Director: Helene Cattet
- Cast Includes: Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener
We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
- Director: Lynne Ramsay
- Cast Includes: Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly
Clive Barker Wants to Give You $300K to Make a Horror Film
In other Shudder news…
Got a pitch for a horror film you know would kill? Good news, there’s a legit opportunity on the table to develop it with genre legend Clive Barker. The Hellraiser and Lord of Illusions filmmaker has teamed up with Shudder and Project Greenlight for a filmmaking competition that will hand $300,000 dollars to the winner to make their horror film dreams a reality. Oh, and Barker will mentor the winner throughout the process. It’s a really incredible opportunity so if you’re a filmmaker with a pitch that’s ready to take it to the next step, it’s time to get to work.
Here are the details:
“From February 13th to March 17th, filmmakers can submit one-to-three minute pitches for original horror film concepts on ProjectGreenlight.com. Ten semi-finalists will be selected and voted on by the public. The audience winner automatically moves on to the next round, where five finalists will each receive funding to direct a short scene representative of their abilities. In June, those finalists will also be granted a spot in the second annual Shudder Labs, Shudder’s creative retreat for developing genre filmmakers, using the experience to enhance their submission.
Shorts will be judged on originality, story, character, editing, directing, and commercial value. The final stage of the contest will consist of an interview with Barker and representatives from PGLDS and Shudder, where the five finalists will answer questions regarding crew, casting, creative execution, and more.”
Watch the Original 'Paranormal Activity' Auditions
The best thing about found footage filmmaking is the ability of the format to transport you directly into the fear of the moment. When it’s done right, the bare, unpolished naturalism of found footage is what give the format it’s experiential power; that heightened sense of reality that convinced people The Blair Witch Project was real. A lot of that hinges on the actors, who are presented with the challenge of performing with stripped down believability in uncommon
Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli has revealed previously unseen footage from the audition process for the film, for which he required his actors improved their entire monologue. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the creation of one of the most successful and influential genre films of the 21st Century. The major takeaway is, hot damn, Katie Featherston is a tremendous improvisational actress. Her co-star Micah Float also handles the challenge with impressive composure and creativity, but Featherson has an incredible knack for storytelling and naturalistic performance.
'Kong: Skull Island' Lays into the 'Apocalypse Now' Thing Even Harder with New Poster
Kong: Skull Island has been not so subtly riffing off of Apocalypse Now from the get go, looking to Francis Ford Coppola‘s revered 1979 drama for inspiration in tone and imagery from the very first trailer. But the marketing team behind the Jordan Vogt-Robert-helmed return of the gigantic ape gave Apocalypse Now a dramatic nod with the reveal of their IMAX poster, which is a near picture perfect recreation of the film’s iconic poster, except one major difference — there’s a King Kong where the Marlon Brando should be.
Elsewhere, CinemaBlend revealed some details on how Skull Island will connect with Godzilla, confirming that the throughline will come from the mysterious scientific organization, Monarch. Producer Alex Garcia explained,
It’s a landslide expedition, officially, but John Goodman, who plays the guy from Monarch, is sort of pulling the strings in the background and we come to realize obviously that they knew much more than they let on initially.
Trailer Trash: All the Week's Horror Trailers, For You're Viewing Convenience
To close things out, catch a glimpse at the upcoming horror haul and watch all the horror trailers of the week, lined up for your convenience below.
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
Director: Osgood Perkins
Cast: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, James Remar
A deeply atmospheric and terrifying new horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter centers on Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton), two girls who are left alone at their prep school Bramford over winter break when their parents mysteriously fail to pick them up. While the girls experience increasingly strange and creepy occurrences at the isolated school, we cross cut to another story—that of Joan (Emma Roberts), a troubled young woman on the road, who, for unknown reasons, is determined to get to Bramford as fast as she can. As Joan gets closer to the school, Kat becomes plagued by progressively intense and horrifying visions, with Rose doing her best to help her new friend as she slips further and further into the grasp of an unseen evil force. The movie suspensefully builds to the moment when the two stories will finally intersect, setting the stage for a shocking and unforgettable climax
Director: Michael Mongillo
Cast: Jason Alan Smith, Carlee Avers, Margaret Rose Champagne
Afghanistan War veteran Steve’s lasting injuries and regrets plunge him into a daily soulless routine until the body of a beautiful singer, Diane, is discovered in his backyard. Steve takes a photo of her corpse with his cellphone before reporting the murder and becomes obsessed with the dead woman’s image. Now a prime suspect, Steve is scrutinized by the police, hassled by Diane’s widower, and attacked by self-righteous neighbors. Before long the malevolent ghost of Diane weaves a dark spell in Steve’s psyche that leads to strange and startling revelations.
Director: Erlingur Thoroddsen
Cast: Colin Critchley, Cait Bliss, Jason Martin
In Child Eater, little Lucas (Colin Critchley) goes missing from his bedroom in the middle of the night, his babysitter Helen (Cait Bliss) ventures out into the deep, dark woods armed only with a flashlight. But these are no ordinary woods. They were once the home of Robert Bowery (Jason Martin), a serial killer who years ago came for children’s eyes in order to keep himself from going blind. But Robert Bowery was stopped and killed… or was he?
Director: Dennis Bartok
Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Steve Wall, Ross Noble, Leah McNamara
Dana Milgrom, a track coach who survives a near-death car accident only to find herself almost completely paralyzed and trapped inside her own body, forced to communicate via an artificial voice program. While recovering, she becomes convinced that some evil presence exists inside her hospital room and is intent on killing her. No one believes her – not even her own husband and daughter, who think she’s experienced a mental breakdown. However, Dana soon realises she may not be the only target. As the hauntings become more disturbing and violent, Dana’s life is increasingly at risk – as well as the person she cares most about: her teenage daughter, Gemma.
WHEN THE STREET LIGHTS GO ON
Director: Brett Morgan
Cast: Mason Baxter, Charles Casey, Nicola Peltz
In the summer heat of 1983, a string of unusual occurrences in a small Illinois town culminate with the shocking murders of a popular high school girl and her teacher. When a fellow student, and neighbor, discovers the bodies while riding his bike home one night, the quiet suburban lives of the town’s residents are irrevocably shaken.